Korea is an amazing country with a rich history and an amazing aptitude for technology and futuristic development. It’s not a big country but it has at least one very large city and a series of interconnecting locations that you may very well want to visit when you are out there.
Travel is pretty efficiently handled, like most things in Korea, so you shouldn’t find things too difficult. That being said, the language barrier plus the density of the population in some areas can make life a bit complex as a traveler without any prior information.
So, let’s take a look at the best ways of handling your travel needs when you are in Korea!
Flying is certainly going to be your method of entering Korea and it can even be a method of getting around on a domestic level as well.
As a hugely technologically advanced country that draws a lot of international business, there are constant flights in and out of Korea, most of it going to and from Seoul, Korea’s iconic capital city.
The airport there is Incheon which handles huge volumes of flights from North America on airlines like Korean Air, United, and Delta. It’s not an out of the way destination either, so many flight options are non-stop for your convenience.
Domestically, Gimpo International Airport is the best bet, an airport connected to the subway in Seoul. You can easily find flights to Cheongju, Daegu, Busan, and Jeju.
Korea is a bit lopsided when it comes to their cities versus the countryside. Seoul is a behemoth and draws a massive proportion of general activity to its locus whilst the countryside is very calm.
In Seoul and Busan driving is very tricky: huge numbers of people and unfamiliar traffic networks make for a stressful time, not to mention the volume of traffic itself.
But it can be amazing, and leisurely, way to experience the rest of Korea. Beware though, car rental is complicated and pretty expensive. And you won’t get one at all if you don’t have an international driving permit as well as your normal license.
Simply put, the train service in Korea is a joy. In contrast to many Western train services, Korea has a super-regular, efficient service that is clean, simple and a pleasure to use.
If you have a KORAIL rail pass you add a further level of convenience for not all that much additional cost. Korea is home to an excellent bullet train, the KTX which reduces the cross-country Seoul to Busan journey to a mere 3 hours.
Everything is updated, modern, well-maintained and quiet. The only thing to beware of is the business, but if you book in advance you should find that you don’t run into any problems.
When in Seoul, it’s really the best way to get anywhere. The rest of the world looks on in great envy at the organized, calm, clean and accurate subway network which threads itself beneath Seoul.
It has a great deal of stops, so you’ll almost never have to walk for more than 5-10 minutes after getting out of the Subway to reach where you are heading.
Other bigger cities in Korea, Busan, and Daejon for example, also have similarly efficient services and it can be a great idea to purchase a subway card and putting enough money for your trip at the very start.
Buses are rarely anyone’s first choice for getting around a new country. But, in Korea, you are in for a pleasant surprise. Just as with most things in Korea, buses are calm, clean, operated efficiently, not too expensive and well-connected.
Plus, to allay your fears, they’re rarely too crowded also. The interiors of buses for traveling across the country are very plush and modern, making the experience like a much slower version of getting the train.
As you can hopefully see, travel in Korea isn’t hard, even if you don’t speak the language and it’s your first time. Some options require some forethought and planning but most of them allow you to just arrive and get going immediately.
An efficient and clean country meets those standards with their transport system.
Ashley Halsey is a professional business writer at Lucky Assignments who has been involved in many projects throughout the country. Mother of two children, she enjoys travelling, reading and attending business training courses.