Survival Tips for Travelers to Seoul- The Illustrious T-money Card

Why Must Travelers Have This Magical T-money Card in Korea?

3686207257_703278dc32_b.jpgIn South Korea, travelers can buy a Single Journey Ticket or a rechargeable card called T-money Card. We advise you to get a T-money Card as it is a magic wand that will make your journey super convenient!

These cards can be used for all the buses, subway and taxis. If you’ve forgotten to bring your wallet, you can even make payments with these cards in convenience stores. 😉 3707332912_0192c18755_bOther T-Money items: There is a variety of accessories such as key chains, mini mirrors, straps, all of which can be used just like the T-money Card.

1. Where to buy your T-money Card

You can easily purchase the basic T-money Card at retail convenience stores such as CU, GS25 and 7-Eleven. The card itself costs 2,500 KRW.1 (1).jpgNowadays, Kakao Friends is gaining a huge popularity and it has released T-money Cards with totally cute Kakao characters. These cards cost 4,000 KRW.

2. How to recharge your T-Money Card

There are 3 ways to recharge your T-money Card.

1. Locate a ticket vending machine. They are located inside all the subway stations and train station.3686203061_017ce8945b_b

Click the third button with the T-money logo on the far right. Place your card and then select the amount of money. Insert coin or bill and wait until the charge is over.

2. Newstands near bus stops with a display of the T-money sign. You can find them usually next to the subway station exits and entrances.

3. Head over to retail convenience stores. This is the easiest way to recharge your card!

Tip: Some Student IDs offer the T-money card service, but may not be recharged at convenience stores. Therefore, find the closest subway station to reload your card.

Refunds: If you have a T-money balance of 20,000 won or less, visit a T-money affiliated convenience store and receive your money. If your remaining balance is more than 20,000 won, please visit the T-money headquarters at:

Address: 1st FL. T-money Town, Seoul City Tower Building, Namdaemun-ro 5Ga, Jung-gu, Seoul

Phone: Customer Service, 02-1644-0088/080-389-0088

Directions: Located just outside Seoul Station Exit #8, Seoul Subway Lines 1 and 4

3. How to use T-Money Card

Bus: When you get on the bus, place the card on the sensor. It will tell you how much money has been charged and your remaining balance. If an error occurs, give it a second or two, and try again. If this continues, the bus driver will let you know what the issue is. When you exit the bus, tap the sensor one more time to get a discount for the transfer. You can enjoy 4 discount transfers in a day._MG_5284Tip: Make sure you tap your card again and you hear a beep. If you don’t, you will be charged extra for distance traveled.

Metro: When you enter the subway station, place the card on the sensor. If an error occurs, press the red “help” button and the staff will come and help you.

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Photo credits to 

Taxi: Not all but some taxis do accept T-money as a form of payment. Look out for the signs on the taxi and see if the driver accepts to money.

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Photo taken from VisitSeoul

When you arrive at your destination, simply tap your card on the sensor and the screen above the gray box (see picture below) will let you know your remaining balance.

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Photo credits to VisitSeoul

*If you’re looking for a train pass that travels throughout all regions of Korea, we recommend you a KR Pass! Find more details here or read A Beginner’s Guide to Train Travel in South Korea from our previous post.

Don’t forget to visit Trazy.com for more tips and advice about new locations and things to do reviewed by users like you 🙂button_main

How to Travel by Train in South Korea Pain-free

CC0-photo-1880For travelers who want step outside Seoul and get around other destinations around South Korea, traveling by train is probably the best option.

It’s true that the price for express buses is comparatively lower than that of trains, but the travel times can become very long due to heavy traffic. So if you want your travel plans to be exact and move to destinations on time, taking a train is highly recommended.

For travelers who are planning on train travel in South Korea, here’s a basic guide to help you make your rail journey in South Korea pain-free.

Railway Lines in Korea

Train fare depends on train type and distance traveled. There are 4 railway lines in Korea: the Gyeongbu Line, the Honam Line, the Gyeongjeon Line and the Jeolla Line.

The Gyeongbu Line (on the left) connects Seoul and Busan and the Honam Line (on the right) runs from Yongsan Station in Seoul to Mokpo in the southwest. 

The Gyeongjeon Line connects Seoul and southeastern part of Korea such as Jinju and Changwon. The Jeolla Line runs across the southwestern part of Korea and its major stops include cities like Jeonju, Namwon, Suncheon and Yeosu.

What is KR Pass?

For those who want to save money and time on train travel without the hassle of buying point-to-point tickets, buying Korea Rail Pass (KR Pass) can be cost effective. It is very similar to how Eurail Pass works.

With KR Pass, travelers will have an unlimited access to standard class seats of KTX, Saemaeul, Mugunghwa, Nuriro and Tourism Trains (O-train, V-train, S-train, DMZ-train, A-train, G-train) for a certain period of time (1~7 days) starting from the date you choose. For more information on KR Pass, click here.

With this pass, you can even enjoy additional discounts on selected accommodations and tourist attractions. You can buy KR Pass at the cheapest price here.

Korean Train Classes

Classes of Korean trains depend on the speed and the amenities offered on board. In Korea, there are KTX express trains (including KTX-Sancheon), and the non-express Saemaeul, ITX-Saemaeul, ITX-Cheongchun, Mugunghwa, Nuriro and tourism trains.

1. KTX (Korea Train eXpress)

KTX.jpgKTX is a high-speed train in Korea that takes less than 3 hours for you to travel from Seoul to Busan. Although the train fare is relatively expensive, it is fast, safe and comfortable.

2. ITX (Intercity Train Express)

After KTX is ITX, which are semi-fast trains and currently there are two types: ITX-Cheongchun and ITX-Saemaeul.1024px-KORAIL_ITX_36808_Special.jpgITX-Cheongchun runs from Yongsan Station in Seoul to Chuncheon City in Gangwon Province, the eastern part of Korea. You can also take ITX-Cheongchun trains at Cheongnyangni Station (Subway Line 1 & Gyeongeui Line) in Seoul to get to Gangwon Province.ITX-SaemaeulITX-Saemaeul is the new kind of service that is gradually replacing regular Saemaul-ho trains on electrified lines. It runs on Gyeongbu,Honam, Gyeongjeon, Jeolla, and Jungang Line.

3. Saemaeul-ho

1200px-Saemaeul_DL_Janghang_LineBefore KTX trains were launched, Saemaeul-ho was the fastest class of trains in South Korea. The Saemaeul train makes more stops than KTX and ITX and it allows the journey from Seoul to Busan possible in less than 5 hours.

4. Mugunghwa-ho

1200px-Mugunghwa-hoMugunghwa-ho is the cheapest class of trains in operation today and they are the only trains that stop at many stations where KTX & Saemaeul trains do not serve. However, the speed is very slow and there are more standees than sitting passengers.

5. Nuriro-ho

KORAIL_TECThis train operates from medium- to long-distance and mainly runs between Seoul and Sinchang. It offers various facilities such as restroom for the disabled and luggage racks.

Tourism Trains

1. S-Train

S-TRAIN.jpgIf you want to get a glimpse of the southwestern region of South Korea, taking S-Train is recommended. It is also known as Namdo Sea Sightseeing Train, which operates between Busan and destinations in South Jeolla Province along the southern coast of the peninsula.

2. V-Train

Front_of_V-trainThe ‘V’ in V-train stands for “valley,” as it travels through the remote mountainous areas of Gangwon and Gyeongsangbuk provinces. It is also referred to as the “Baby Baekho (white tiger) Train” because of the white tiger design on the exterior of the train. On this train, you will be able to enjoy the beautiful gorges and valleys of South Korea.

3. O-Train

Outside_of_O-train_02.jpgO-train, or Jungbu Naeryuk Circular Train, is a sightseeing train that operates in a circular route around a central inland region. Its name derives from the word, “one”, as the trains loops around attractions in the three provinces (Gangwon, Chungcheongbuk, Gyeongsangbuk provinces) in the country’s central inland region.Inside_of_O-train_(중부순환내륙열차_내부)_11.jpg

4. DMZ Train

1200px-Korea_DMZ_Train_34_(14246311162)DMZ Train, or Peace Train, runs from Seoul Station to Dorasan Station, passing through some of the major attractions located near the Korean Demilitarized Zone. On this train, you will be able to admire Korea’s untouched natural landscape and historical landmark.1200px-Korea_DMZ_Train_01_(14061927467)The DMZ Train for the Gyeongui Line does not operate on Mondays and national holidays falling on weekdays. And for the Gyeongwon Line, the train does not operate on Tuesdays.1200px-Korea_DMZ_Train_02_(14225366326)Tourists can also purchase a “DMZ Pass,” which allows unlimited use of the DMZ Train.

5. G-Train

G-train, also known as the West Gold Train, has rooms with ‘ondol’, a Korean floor heating system. Along the route, you will be able to travel along the coastal areas of the West Sea. It stops at major travel destinations including Boryeong and Gunsan.

6. Wine & Cinema Train

14320_29098_1141On this tourist train, you can enjoy wine and cinema on board. The Wine & Cinema Train runs between Seoul and Yeongdong every Tuesday and Saturday. Starting from Seoul Station, you can go to Yeongdong to taste wine and try the wine spa. You can also drop by Geumsan to take a look around Geumsan Ginseng Museum.

7. Sea Train

1200px-Korail_seaside_train.jpgSometimes called “ocean train,” the Sea Train runs along the beautiful East Coast, passing through Gangneung, Donghae and Samcheok.1200px-Korail_seaside_train_inside_1stThis tourist train features seats that face the windows that allow passengers to overlook the majestic waves, beaches, and the blue ocean.1200px-Korail_Class_9000_Jeongdongjin

8. Jeongson Arirang A Train 

A-Train_(Korail),_Jeongseon_Arirang_Train,_2015.jpgWith A-Train, or Jeongseon Arirang A-Train, you can travel through Jeongseon Country in Gangwon Province, the northeastern region of Korea. The ‘A’ in the name comes from “Arirang (a Korean folk song)”, “amazement” and “adventure”. The train offers a round trip once a day from Cheongnyangni station in Seoul, passing through Jeongson, and arrives at Auraji Station in Gangwon Province.

Major Train Stations

Seoul-Station-서울역-기차역.jpg

  • Seoul/Gyeonggi : Seoul, Yongsan, Gwangmyeong, Noryangjin, Yeongdeungpo, Guro, Suwon, Incheon (Seoul Metro Line 1), Incheon International Airport (KTX, AREX), Cheongnyangni, Uijeongbu, Deokso, Bupyeong, Dongducheonjungang
  • Gangwon : Chuncheon, Wonju, Donghae, Gangneung, Jeongdongjin
  • Chungcheong : Cheonan, Cheonan-Asan, Jochiwon, Sintanjin, Daejeon, Seodaejeon, Janghang, Jecheon, Cheongju, Chungju
  • Jeolla : Iksan, GwangjuSongjeong, Gwangju, Mokpo, Gunsan, Jeonju, Suncheon, Yeosu EXPO
  • Gyeongsang : Gimcheon, Daegu, Dongdaegu, Samnangjin, Busanjin, Busan, Andong, Yongju, Gyeongju, Pohang, Ulsan, Changwon, Gimhae, Jinhae, Masan, Jinju

Find this guide helpful? It’s time for you to start planning an amazing rail adventure in South Korea.

Make your train travel unforgettable with KR Pass on Trazy.com, Korea’s #1 Travel Shop.button31

Photo Credits
By Subway06Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5057937
By Minseong KimOwn work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36986322
By Subway06Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18834358
By Minseong KimOwn work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37013579
By Minseong KimOwn work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37245422
By Subway06Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6275028
By 충북선 무궁화호, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24598451
By Kabelleger / David Gubler (http://www.bahnbilder.ch) – Own work: Also available at http://www.bahnbilder.ch/picture/15064, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=33379381
By 충북선 무궁화호, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28827554
By 인생살이Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=44862465
By ACROFAN, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25693867
By ACROFAN, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25489381
By ACROFAN, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25491616
By Korea.net / Korean Culture and Information Service (Photographer name), CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=33681078
By Korea.net / Korean Culture and Information Service (Photographer name), CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=33681077
By By Korea.net / Korean Culture and Information Service (Photographer name), CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=33681038
By Republic of Korea from Seoul, Republic of Korea – West_Gold_Train_07, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=38677096
By Republic of Korea from Seoul, Republic of Korea – West_Gold_Train_09, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=38677045
By Jeon Han, Korea.net – https://www.flickr.com/photos/koreanet/15671376913/in/photostream/, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=38639534

The Best Guide to South Korea’s 5 Cheap Domestic Flights

Are you looking for cheap flight tickets from/to Jeju and Seoul? Then check out our liswt of all the low-cost airlines in South Korea that offer both domestic and international flight tickets. Compare and save on your airline tickets before you plan your visit to Jeju Island!

1. Jeju Air다운로드 (2)

Jeju Air is one of the representative domestic airlines in South Korea that is very popular among the locals. It operates not only the busiest route, Gimpo Airport-Jeju Airport, but also more than 20 major routes in Asia including Japan, China, Taiwan, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand and Guam as well as other domestic routes.

You can often find cheap flight tickets and take advantage of special offers on Jeju Air, but the downside is that blanket and cushion are not served during flights.

It is a hip and trendy airline which tries its best to offer fun, entertaining flights to its customers. For example, there are in-flight FUN Service Teams (Game Team, Magic Team, Musical Band, Illustration Team, etc),  and you can check the flight schedule of each team from their facebook page.

company_visualSee Jeju Air’s website for more details, click here.

Plus, Jeju Air always use top Korean celebrities as their promotional model such as Kim Soo-hyun in 2016 and Song Joong-ki in 2017!

2. Jin AirLJ

Another popular domestic airline in Korea is Jin Air, which also offers both domestic and international flights. It operates more than 15 routes international routes to major Asian cities, including Bangkok, Cebu, Hong Kong, Guam and etc.

Jin Air offers complimentary water on all flights. Alcoholic drinks and snacks are available to purchase onboard.

다운로드See Jin Air’s website for more details, click here.

It is also well known for its delicious in-flight meals, so try it if you have a chance. 😉

3. Air Busan다운로드 (1)

Air Busan first launched its flight departing Busan, the second largest city in South Korea, and eventually expanded routes and now operates fourteen domestic and international routes today.

Speaking of its logo, it is designed as an image of a seagull and its wings that look like a sea wave and a sky, all of which represent the image of Busan very well. To add, Air Busan provides the largest space between the seats!

다운로드 (1)See Air Busan’s website for more details, click here.

4. Eastar Jet다운로드

The fourth domestic airline in South Korea is Eastar Jet, which is currently operating services to regional destinations such as Gimpo, Gunsan, and Cheongju.

Like the color of its logo, the uniforms feature a red-violet color that you’ll find very pretty!

images (1)See Eastar Jet’s website for more details, click here.

5. T’way

tway_airlines_logoLastly, it’s T’way. This airline operates 6 international routes from Gimpo and Incheon to Bangkok, Fukuoka, Sapporo, Saga, Taipei and Jinan in China.

다운로드 (2)See T’way’s website for more details, click here.

Did you find this blog helpful? Then, browse through Korea’s #1 Travel ShopTrazy.com, if you want to find the latest, trendiest, newest things to do in South Korea.button_main

5 Survial Tips not to get ripped off when using a taxi in Korea

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Recently there was an accident in Busan where a Japanese woman was ripped off by a taxi driver. When she asked for a receipt, 39,000 won was written on the sheet while the number on the taximeter was only 19,000 won. She asked the driver about the extra fee, knowing that the extra 20,000 won was added out of nowhere. The driver told her that it was a mistake. Luckily she only had to pay 19,000 won eventually, but she got enraged by how she was mistreated.

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If you are a foreigner, unfortunately, it is highly possible that you are exposed to the danger of being ripped off when using a cab. Some taxi drivers think that foreigners are good preys to rip off as they cannot understand Korean. So here are some tips which can prevent you from spending extra money when taking a cab.

taxi61. Check whether the taximeter is on.

Some taxi drivers may not use the taximeter and ask for more money when they take you to the destination. It is illegal to turn off the device and drive the taxi, so check whether the taximeter is on. The basic rates are different from city to city, but the default rate in Seoul is 3,000 won for 2 km; Busan and Jeju are 2,800 won for 2 km.

taxi12. Make sure you ask for a receipt just in case.

When you get off from a cab, tell the driver to print out the receipt. Whether you pay cash or use a credit card, you can get the receipt. On the receipt, various information like the taxi number, company number, distances, and fare is printed. If you have a problem later (for example when you left something at the cab), the receipt will be very helpful.

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3. Beware of a surcharge after midnight.

After midnight, most of the public transportation are closed and you probably have to take a cab to get around. However taxi fare increases by 20% if you take a cab after midnight. In other words, if the fee is 10,000 won during the day time, then you have to pay 12,000 won for the same distance during the night. The surcharge is applied from midnight to 4 AM. Also if you go to one city to another, such as from Seoul to Incheon, you have to pay extra 20% of the fare too. And if you take a taxi to go to another city after midnight, you have to pay additional 40 % of the normal fare.

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4. Black taxis are Premium Taxis with extra fare.

Sometimes you will see black taxis on the street. They are premium taxis whose drivers are certified by local governments for their safe driving history. However their basic fare is 5,000 won (while other taxis’ are 3,000 won) and pay 200 won for every 178 meters. Even though they are more expensive, they don’t ask for surcharge after midnight.

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Seongnam taxis have “성남” sign on the taxis.
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Seoul taxis have “서울” or “Seoul” sign on the taxis.

5. Look at the city sign on the taxi to figure out whether it’s a Seoul taxi or not.

If you take a taxi in Seoul, take a look at the city sign of the taxi before you hail one. Even though most of the taxis in Seoul accept customers who want to go somewhere in Seoul, some taxis don’t. It is because those taxis are not from Seoul. They offer ride in Gyeonggi-do province cities in the vicinity of Seoul (like Seongnam) and drive to Seoul only when customers from the cities ask to go Seoul. After the customers get off in Seoul, the taxi drivers look for customers who want to go back to the cities (outside of Seoul) where the taxis are from. Taxis that drive in Seoul have rooftop lights with a word ‘서울(Seoul)’ on. Taxis from Seongnam and other Gyeonggi provinces have indicating signs on the sides or the top of the taxis.

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Trazy’s Survival Tips for Travelers to Korea: Getting around Incheon

Welcome to Incheon! The 3rd largest city in South Korea.

This latest edition of Trazy‘s Survival Tips will help you during your stay Incheon, providing valuable information as to how you can travel around. The guide will explain how to arrive to Incheon and the public transportation system of Incheon.

From the Airport to Incheon: Take the Arex train lines to Gyeyang and then take the Incheon Subway to your destination. You can also take a limousine bus out of exit 9A or 9B of the airport to Incheon for about 10,000 won.

Major cities and town to Incheon: If you’re coming to Incheon from another city, use the Express Bus website to help you plan your trip

d30302_01 d30302_04 d30302_02 d30302_03      All Credit for pictures to Visit hikorea.go.kr

The bus system is identical to that of Seoul’s. Refer to our Seoul post for more information.

For information on all the  Incheon intercity bus routes visit here ( Korean only). Another way to find out about the bus routes is to find the bus station ID number and use the Seoul Bus app and it will tell you the time of arrival and the stations it visits.

SUBWAY

Incheon has its own metro (Incheon  Line) but follows the same format as Seoul’s metro line. Click here for information regarding taking the metro . The major Incheon subway lines are: Line 1, Line 7 and the new Suin line. Line Transfer stations to the Seoul Metro system are located at stations with the  symbol.

캡처Credit to photo goes to urbanrail.net

For more information concerning the Subway system in Incheon and Seoul visit the Seoul metro site and use the interactive map to plan your trip.

TAXIS

Taxis in Incheon follow the same price structure as the taxis in Seoul. Click here to see the post on taxis in Seoul.

For a list of Taxi companies in Incheon please check this link.

Tip: If a taxi refuses to take you (its against the law to do so) please report the license plate numbertime and date of use, and the destination details (i.e. starting and ending destination) to happyride@seoul.go.kr or the Korea Tourism Organization Tourist Complaint Center (☎ 02-735-0101, 02-1330)

With all the luck. Happy Travels! 🙂

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