Thursday, 12 September 2013

The Quickest Way to Travel Around Korea

KTX Standing Seat

Only one more sleep until my mum and her friend Julie arrives in Seoul and I get to see her after 6 long months. Not only am I excited about her arrival, along with the stash of treats for me in her bag, nor the fact I get a mini holiday, but I'm kind of excited about the journey up to Seoul to meet her.

I'm not sure if it's because I was an avid driver back at home, or whether the UK's transport is just as appalling as I thought it was, but the ever late, shoddy trains in the UK pale in comparison with how you can get around in Korea. It's not just that, but I really dislike the fact that in England you aren't allocated a seat, unless you have pre booked in advance. Cue many a hot, frustrating train ride sat on the floor in the corridor outside of the toilet. Not pleasant.

The KTX is a super fast train that travels from Busan to Seoul in just over 2 and a half hours. It leaves every 15 minutes from Busan station and I have never known it to be late. It costs ₩54,00 which is about £30, and you are guaranteed a reserved seat unless you specify that you want to stand. Not unreasonable when it's usually so dependable. How can you argue with a company whose motto is 'Korail wants to be a beautiful bridge that connects people's hearts, not just some iron-made transportation'. Oh Korea! How can you even make trains sound cute?

I love that as soon as I step onto the train I feel like I'm on a plane rather than a train. It has WIFI, big, comfy seats, immaculate staff that could only be compared to hostesses, an entertainment carriage including Noraebangs and food carriage too! Amazing! I can't help feel a little bit excited about wherever I'm off to.

Even better is that the Koreans seem to really take pride in their amazing, super powered train, so are all very peaceful and quiet on the train, meaning that it's perfect to catch a nap if you're up early or late to get to wherever you need to be. My favourite journey I've had on the train is when Nick and I were going to Seoul, we got The Walking Dead ready on the lap top and a bottle of red wine and two paper cups. I've never known a journey go quite so fast!

KTX journey Walking dead and wine

I think the best example of how much the Koreans love the KTX too is the fact that one of Nick's students painstakingly made a bomb style game called 'Ding Dang Dong KTX' which he pestered Nick about so much that he actually played it with his class! Apparently the pestering still goes on and I'm not to mention it anymore...

BUT if you don't have much time in Korea, or want to save precious time on your day trips, then I would always recommend the KTX as the number one way. To make the cost even cheaper, you can buy a standing ticket, yet they have little fold up chairs in the doorways that you can sit on, so like many a long journey in the UK, you don't have to sit in the toilet or on the floor!

So yay for Korea and its amazing transport and yay for my mum and Julie being able to have their first experience of bridging their hearts on the iron-made transportation! Who wouldn't want to do that?

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