Transportation in South Korea

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After 9 years of traveling in South America you can draw only one conclusion about transportation in South Korea: it’s highly modern and efficient. But there have been surprises too, and a lot of smiles at what we saw. So let’s share with you a bit how Koreans move from A to B.

Going Underground

“The Seoul Metropolitan Subway is an integrated urban rail transit system consisting of 19 rapid transit, light metro, commuter rail and people mover lines. The first line, Line 1, started construction in 1971 and opened in 1974, with through-operation to Korail suburban railways. Today, it is one of the largest and most efficient metro systems in the world, with 331.5 km (206.0 mi) of track on lines 1–9 alone. It has wireless and internet service on all trains” (according to Wikipedia).

There’s no denying, this is the best option to move around Seoul. It uses the same type of subway maps I remember from Paris in the 1990s and I guess that’s simply because they work well.
There’s no denying, this is the best option to move around Seoul. It uses the same type of subway maps I remember from Paris in the 1990s and I guess that’s simply because they work well.

On Foot

But we don’t have the impression people really care about staying on the right…
Make sure to cross on the right side!

Above the Ground – by Bus

Make sure you line up behind the right number on the pavement.
No problem, Korea has a solution. On the curb are the numbers of where that bus will stop – exactly with the door next to the number on the curb. The modern ones now have the numbers no longer painted but with a backlight in the pavement so they are easy to see at night too.

Just 1 Wheel

Called an airwheel, looking pretty fancy.

2 Wheels – Bicycle

Subscribe to a system and you can use these public bikes in Seoul.

What a service!

Using 2 Wheels – Motorized

I’m sure this deliverer will find his way around…
This is far from common though, we saw a double front wheel like this once or twice.

Harley-Davidson culture.
Harley-Davidson culture.

On 4 Wheels – Car

Rooftop tent in South Korea
98% of the cars in South Korea are white, black, gray/silver. Boring! Plus that same percentage is brand new cars. Seeing this bright yellow and old car, which has the size of a  match box compared to the bigger surrounding cars, brought a smile to our faces.
Everybody uses a GPS and many of them talk incessantly!
Here’s the reason you take the subway in Seoul and leave your car at home. Besides the traffic jam, what do you think of the digital panel? Makes any sense to you?
Don’t get distracted by all the advertisements and bright colors.

Brand-new cars come with these protective plastic things on the sides. Not just inside showrooms, but also when in use on the road. Have you ever seen that?

On 4 Wheels – Truck

Tanks

Depending on the area you’ll see no or quite a few military vehicles on the road (mostly in the north, along the DMZ).

Other – By Helicopter

Transportation in South Korea: helicopter
To supply and take out trash from temples and shelters in the mountains.

More on South Korea:

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