Places

Taking the Seoul Subway

Seoul, South Korea — In my hometown, the means of public transportation around the city is by jeepney only and buses are for long distance travels. Although, I’ve also experienced riding the LRT in Manila and subway in Hong Kong, some things that one isn’t familiar with gives this scary and exciting feeling at the same time.

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Seoul Subway Map in English, Japanese and Chinese ©SMRT (click to enlarge)

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Seokgye Station
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An empty cabin of Line 1

When I arrived in Korea, just by looking at the colorful subway map entangling each other, already made me think that I’m gonna get lost. So, I’ve made this list which I think are important tips if you want to take the Seoul subway.

  1. If you are taking the public transportation during your stay in Korea, it is advisable to get a transportation card (t-money). You can save much especially if you transfer from subway to bus or vice versa very often, a better choice than paying 1,300 every ride.
  2. Memorize as much as possible the route of where you want to go, the station where you’re heading and the next station from where you are getting in.
  3. Don’t expect to be seated at all times of the day. Rush hours could mean standing even from the starting point to the end point of your journey.
  4. Avoid those special seats called 노약자석 (noyakjaseok). These are allotted for elderly, pregnant women and persons with disabilities (PWD). They are located at each corner of the cabin.
  5. When it’s crowded and you’re seated, be kind enough to offer it to the elders. They would refused, but insist them to your offer.
  6. On some days, there are people sitting next to you who will be banging their sleepy heads on you.
  7. You won’t get bored on board, there’s free wifi exclusive for SK telecom and Olleh users.
  8. Although there are convenience stores in every station, it’s still not advisable to eat nor drink on board. Drinks may spill all over or on to somebody and the smell of the food might disgust other passengers.
  9. If you want to catch the next ride, you’d better run.. FAST but with caution.
  10. If ever you missed your stop, just go across and take the next train back.
  11. Whether you can read Korean or not, there are romanized (rendered in the English alphabet) signs along the way.
  12. Always keep right.
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Seoul Station

Don’t worry too much. With the resources available, you’ll never get lost. The quickest way to learn is to take the subway all by yourself. I couldn’t rely on Danny too much and so, I’ve decided to be an independent commuter 2 months after I arrived and now, I can go anywhere I want with my t-money card and a map.

Subway Guide Website: http://www.smrt.co.kr

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My first time to board here. Can you guess which Seoul subway line this is? 🙂

7 thoughts on “Taking the Seoul Subway

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