seoul metro subway - 지하출

9:12 AM Sian Mei Yeoh 0 Comments

i have a korean homestay entry in the works but inspiration keep fleeing from me these days and it's taking a long time to finish. >.<

to end my lack of updates, i'll be writing a quick entry filled with photos and short information about getting around seoul via subway, which i hope would be a useful treat for you :)


seoul metro is the transport of choice to get around seoul since it was cheap and relatively quick.. unlike the subway lines in tokyo, seoul metro is operated under one company and transferring trains was really rather straightforward as long as you know your destination. an excellent website for subway information including how to get your transportation cards -- which is lovingly called t-money: official site of korea tourism (subway)

if you are planning to travel around seoul more than just one day, it is probably a good idea to get a t-money card which is usable on any public transportation, be it trains, cabs or busses - call it the travel card, if you will. if i am not mistaken, it could also be used for transactions at some convenience stores and at some vending machines. you could recharge your card at any ticket vending or card reload service machine at any subway stations. no worries, these machines have english language option! :)



the price of a normal t-money card is 2,500원 (which you could purchase at the machine) or you could buy special edition t-money cards (like what i have ^^ i mean who else but hae right?ㅋㅋㅋ ) if you'd like those for keepsake. any balance you have left on the card can be refunded after a 500원 service charge.  most cards are not returnable. more information about t-money card can also be found on their official website

however, if you are traveling using the subway as a one time thing, you could also purchase the single journey card. there is a deposit of 500원 added to the cost of travel which you can get refunded at ticket refund machines at subway stations. this card cannot be used anywhere else but for subway trains. 





btw, getting around seoul using the subway is rather simple but to make it even a whole lot easier, you can download a free app on the iphone called jihachul {지하철} that translates to subway. all you have to do is select the departure and arrival stations and it will suggest a route with the estimated travel time and the cost of travel.


be prepared to walk because there are quite a bit of steps at the subway station :) now i know why most of the locals are so healthy since there is a lot of exercising involved getting to places. i love the tv screens in the subway showing where the trains are currently so you could calculate if you are able to make it to the doors on time or just wait for the next one without having to almost kill yourself trying to catch it.




some subway train stations are filled with petite fashion shops, snack food stalls, book as well as music stores. you could think of it as a small mall within the subway station. occasionally, you can find interesting artistic display on walls in the subway station. also, informational maps of the area are also readily available. 

this was during winter in february 2012
a few rules in the subway trains -- there are special seats that are reserved for the elderly. what impressed me is that most of the time, the passengers obey this rule even though the trains were packed. it's also advisable to keep your noise to a minimum because it is the right thing to do and respectful to the other passengers.

my week of traveling solo in seoul, i had a habit of taking instagrams of what i wore that day using reflections in train windows and subway doors -- my way of sharing my updates of my travels :) 










if you ever got lost, there is always the option of taking a cab to get to your destination. but word of advice, avoid the black cabs since those are more expensive since the drivers can speak english. if you  board the other cabs and worried about not being able to convey your message in english, the drivers can always contact the call center and have you translate to the driver :) so no worries!

a short entry but hopefully a useful and interesting one while i am still working on my homestay piece.  comments are welcomed for any questions about exploring seoul using the subway :) 

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