Moniker : land of the morning calm.
An irony because it is a land that is divided by political and ideological differences spanning more than 60 years. An unfortunate conflict in the early 1950s led to a “partition” of the nation that has separated families. Today South Korea is vibrant and advanced while the north languishes in a seemingly failed nepotistic experiment.
We are not fanatical about Korean pop culture or sitcoms though. However, over the years we have variously visited the country. Mainly to the city of Seoul and lately to Busan, though Suan’s tour package in the early days (1996) had ventured a little outside of the metropolis. Thereon, it has been extension of our stay in the city on each occasion of Melvin’s business trips.
If there has been a myth about travel to Korea, it has been that it is challenging. For example,
Getting around Korea
Getting around within or between Korea’s cities has never been easier. Take the subway for example, in Seoul it costs just W1,350 for each trip within the city center (radius of 10km), and that is all the places you’d need to see within the metropolis. You will find that the price of the ticket is W1,850, which includes a W500 deposit fee that you can refund back at station machines when you clock out. It’s easy and remember its not so different from other cities around the world. Don’t let the Hangul (Korean script) intimidate you. Its slightly more complex in Busan with a zone-based cost but it’s all still affordable!
If you are ever interested in getting around the country quick, then KTX is for you. It takes just 3 hours from Seoul to Busan and costs us W59,800pp for a one-way ride.
Reserving tickets online is easy, but at this time we still find it a hassle to actually go to a ticketing booth to actually get the tickets…we expect that to change.
And from Incheon airport it is equally easy too. There is the “expensive” option of taking an international taxi for W65-75,000 or the limousine bus for a mere W15000. The difference is literally where you get dropped off – the coach having fixed destinations such as designated hotels. Metered cabs are would not be far off, but take note though most drivers do not speak English, so it is best to have the Korean script name of the hotel/AirBnB address handy with you.
There are lots to do in Korea and we have written a few short stories for your reading pleasure. Take a look at the sub-menu stories, they tell so much more about this land that is more than just calm!
Updated November 2016