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Last updated : Nov 2009
Korea South Getting Around - Interna Travel
Korea South Internal Travel - Getting Around Korea South - TravelPuppy.com
Air

Korean Air and Asiana Air run regular services between Seoul and Busan, Cheju, Kwangju, Taegu and Ulsan, linking the Republic of Korea’s 16 main cities.

Seoul Gimpo (GMP)

The major domestic airport is situated 17 kilometres (10 miles) away from the city.

Airport Limousine Buses depart every 5 to 10 minutes to the city from 7.00 am - 10.15 pm with a travel time of 40 minutes and Airport Express buses depart every 12 minutes.

A subway line 5 runs to the city centre with a travel time of 40 minutes. Taxis are also available to the city.

Airport facilities

Include currency exchange, car hire, children’s restroom, duty-free shop, pharmacy, post office, gift shop, local products shop, restaurant and travel information desk.

Departure tax: W3,000 - 5,000.

Sea/River

A steamer service runs along the spectacular south coast between Mokpo and Busan 2 times a day.

A hydrofoil service links Busan and Yosu via Ch’ungmu 5 times a day (Angel Line).

Ferries run from Busan to Cheju-do Island once a day and car ferries run 3 times a week.

Semo Cruise Company provides a cruise service on the Han-Gang River in Seoul, which runs around the city centre. Children pay half fare and night cruises are also available.

Travel times

From Busan to Cheju by sea is approximately 11 hours (3 hours 30 minutes via the super-express ferry). From Mokpo to Cheju by sea is about 5 hours 30 minutes.

Rail

Korean National Railroads connect main destinations. There are 3 classes of trains:

 Local
 Express
 Super-Express

Super-Express trains operate:

 Seoul–Mokpo
 Seoul–Busan
 Seoul–Chungju–Yosu
 Seoul–Incheon (particularly scenic)
 Seoul–Onyang (second-class only) routes.

Some are air-conditioned and some have restaurant cars. A supplement is payable for better-quality accommodation. The Station signs are commonly in English and English translations of timetables are normally available. Children under 6 years of age travel free and children from 6 to 12 years old pay half fare. Timetables and fares are accessible online at http://app.korail.go.kr.

Korea Rail Pass

Visitors are allowed by the Korea Rail Pass to get free travel with reserved seats on any KR train (except subways) within a 3, 5, 7 or 10-day period.

Saver passes are available for groups of between 2 and 5 people and for people who are from 13 - 25 years old. A Korea Rail Pass voucher can be bought at certain offices and travel agencies abroad and exchanged for the actual pass at Korean railway stations. The voucher must be exchanged within sixty days from the date of purchase. For further information, contact the Korea National Tourist Organisation

Road

Cars are driven on the right hand side. The network extends over more than 60,000 kilometres (37,300 miles) of roads and over half of it has been paved.

Great motorways link all the main cities, but minor roads are usually quite badly maintained. Good thing is that road signs are usually written in both Korean and English.

Bus

Express and local buses are not expensive, although the local buses within cities are normally crowded and make no allowances for English-speakers. Hotel staff will generally be able to help with choosing the correct bus and stops. Chwasok buses, air-conditioned city-express buses in Korean are much more comfortable than the local buses, operate in competition with trains for connections to the main cities. Towns are linked with villages by local bus services. Fares are paid in change into the coin box to the right of the driver when boarding. Push one of the stop buttons to stop the bus at your destination.

Taxi

An inexpensive and good way is to travel by taxis and there are also deluxe-taxis (mobom taxis) available which are black with a yellow sign on top.

Car hire

Many car hire companies operate in Korea South, including the main international ones. Some of the travel agents and hotels also have car hire services.

For further information about driving in the Republic of Korea, phone the Korea Car Rental Union on telephone number: (2) 552 8772.

Documentation

International Driving Licence is required. Drivers must have driving experience of more than 1 year, be in possession of a valid passport and be over 21 years of age.

Urban

Underground and suburban railways and well-developed bus services are available in Seoul, all of which are crowded during rush hours. Underground station names, transfer signs and ticket counters are clearly marked in both English and Korean. The Underground lines are colour-coded, and the trains have multilingual announcements. Fares are relatively cheap, but different within service areas. Taxis are available while bus services also operate in other cities.

Travel times

The chart below gives approximate travel times (in hours and minutes) from Seoul to other main cities/towns in the Republic of Korea.
  Air Road Rail
 Busan
0.50 hours 5.30 hours 4.10 hours
 Taegu
0.40 hours 3.50 hours 4.10 hours
 Kwangju
0.50 hours 3.55 hours 4.20 hours
 Ulsan
0.50 hours 4.40 hours 4.00 hours
 Chonju
1.10 hours 3.00 hours 3.20 hours
 Cheju
0.50 hours - -
 Kyongju
- 4.40 hours 3.30 hours
Useful travel links
AA route planner directions and maps within Korea South