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How to Travel Around Korea

Domestic flights: Most domestic destinations are within an hour's flight from Seoul. Gimpo Airport, located between the western area of Seoul and the newer Incheon International Airport, is primarily used for domestic travel and short flights to Japan and China. Korean Air, Asiana Airlines and a few domestic discount carriers handle all flights within the country.

KTX
KTX
Railway services
: The Korea Railroad (KORAIL) operates three types of trains ― high-speed (KTX), express (Saemaeul), and local (Mugunhwa) ― along an extensive nationwide network. The KTX trains link Seoul with Busan, Mokpo, East Daegu, Gwangju and Iksan. Since even the longest KTX trip is under three hours, there are no dining cars, but passengers can purchase snacks and beverages from service carts provided.

Express trains usually have dining cars. Most popular destinations in the nation can be reached via direct line or a single transfer. Check Korea Rail's website (www.korail.go.kr) for information about combination train-ferry tickets and rail passes available. (Note: Rail passes are only available to inbound tourists and must be purchased from certified Korail vendors overseas.)

Local and city bus services: Regular intercity and long-distance express bus networks connect virtually all cities and towns in the country. Regular intercity buses are the least expensive way to travel around the country but make frequent stops. Bus fares range from 700 to 1,800 won (US$0.74~$1.91). The website “www.visitkorea.or.kr” has detailed information. Click on "Transportation."   

Long distance express buses: Long distance express buses go directly to their destinations, stopping only at expressway rest areas every few hours. Two types of buses link every major city in the country. Regular intercity buses have four seats per row. The more-expensive deluxe buses have only three seats per row and offer amenities such as phones and movies. Some lines run late-night deluxe express buses as well. Seoul has three intercity terminals providing service to different parts of the country ― the main Express Bus Terminal and Nambu Bus Terminal on Subway Line 3 in Gangnam and the Dong (East) Seoul Bus Terminal near Gangbyeon Station on Line 2. Busan's Express Bus Terminal is in its eastern downtown area. 

Subway services
: The subway is the most efficient and convenient way to get around Seoul, Busan, Daegu, Gwangju, Incheon and Daejeon. Subways have developed into these cities' main transportation systems and provide fast, safe, and comfortable rides. The Seoul Metro links all neighborhoods with the outlying areas and satellite cities. Fares vary according to destination, the basic fare being 1,000 won (US$ 1.06). Passengers can easily pay bus and subway fares and receive free transfers by using a debit card, known as T-money.

Taxi services: There are two kinds of taxis ­ regular and deluxe. Fares are based on distance and time. The black deluxe taxis are more comfortable, provide better service and charge more than the regular gray taxis. Nearly all taxis are equipped with a free third-party interpretation system that can be accessed by cell phone if passenger and driver have difficulty communicating.

Car rental : Driving can be an exciting and effective way of getting around Korea. Extensive road and expressway networks are available, which means you can visit every corner of the country easily.

**Drivers must meet the following requirements:
-Have more than one year's driving experience.
-Have an International Driver's License.
-Be over 21 years of age.
-Possess a valid passport.

Rental fees vary from 68,000 to 265,000 won (US$ 71.5 - $ 278.9) per day, depending upon the type of car. The speed limit is 60km/hr for most roads in the city and 80-100km/hr on expressways. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a felony that may result in a heavy penalty.

Ferry services : One of the most pleasant ways to see Korea, popular mainland to island ferry routes are Busan to Jejudo, Mokpo to Hongdo, and Pohang to Ulleungdo. There are ships making runs between Busan and Yeosu, with many in-between stops possible at ports along the south coast and Hallyeo Maritime National Park. Click “Transportation” on the website www.visitkorea.or.kr for more information about transportation and many other tourist-related information.

 
 

  Korea History  
   Gojoseon
People began living on the Korean Peninsula and its surrounding areas from some 700,000 years ago. The Neolithic Age began some 8,000 years ago. Relics from that period can be found in areas throughout the Korean Peninsula, mostly in coastal areas and in areas near big rivers. The Bronze Age began around 1,500 to 2,000 B.C. in present-day Mongolia and on the peninsula. As this civilization began to form, numerous tribes appeared in the Lioaning region …
   Three Kingdoms and Gaya
Town-states gradually united into tribal leagues with complex political structures which eventually grew into kingdoms. Among various tribal leagues, Goguryeo (37 B.C.- A.D. 668), situated along the middle course of the Amnokgang (Yalu River), was the first to mature into a kingdom. Goguryeo's aggressive troops conquered neighboring tribes one after another, and in 313, they even occupied China's Lolang outposts. Baekje (18 …
   Unified Silla and Balhae

map of Unified Silla and Balhae (8th century) By the mid-sixth century, the Silla Kingdom had brought under its control all of the neighboring town-states within the Gaya Confederation. Through an alliance with the Tang Dynasty of China, Silla unified the Korean Peninsula in 668 and saw the zenith of its power and prosperity in the mid-eighth century. It attempted to establish an ideal Buddhist country. Bulguksa Temple was constructed during the Unified Silla period. However, its Buddhist social order began to deteriorate as the nobility indulged in increasing luxury. Silla had repelle…

   Goryeo
map of Goryeo Dynastry (11th century) The Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392) was founded by Wang Geon, a general who had served under Gungye, a rebel prince of the Silla Kingdom. Choosing his native town of Songak (present-day Gaeseong in North Korea) as the capital, Wang Geon proclaimed the goal of recovering the lost territory of the Goguryeo Kingdom in northeast China. Wang Geon named his dynasty Goryeo, from which the modern name K…
   Joseon
map of Joseon Dynasty (15th century) In 1392, General Yi Seong-gye established a new dynasty called Joseon. The early rulers of Joseon, in order to counter the dominant Buddhist influence during the Goryeo period, supported Confucianism as the guiding philosophy of the kingdom. The Joseon rulers governed the dynasty with a well-balanced political system. A civil service examination system was the main channel for recruiting go…
   Japanese Occupation
Japanese Occupation and Korea's Independence Movement High-ranking officials from Korea's Provisional Government in Shanghai pose for a commemorative photo in 1945. In the 19th century, Korea remained a "Hermit Kingdom," adamantly opposed to Western demands for diplomatic and trade relations. Over time, a few Asian and European countries with imperialistic ambitions competed with each other for influence over the Korean Peninsula…
   Founding of the Republic
A special ceremony inaugurating the government of the Republic of Korea was held on August 15. 1948. Koreans rejoiced at Japan's World War II defeat. However, their joy was short-lived. Liberation did not instantly bring about the independence for which the Koreans had fought so fiercely. Rather, it resulted in a country divided by ideological differences caused by the emerging Cold War. Korean efforts to establish an indepen…
   Travel Advice
Visas : Most tourists can visit Korea for 15 days without a visa, provided they have a return ticket upon entry. Many nationals may stay for longer periods, one to six months, without visas under reciprocity agreements between Korea and their governments. Visitors planning to work or reside in Korea for longer periods must have a visa before entry and obtain an alien registration card from a local immigrati…
   Transportation
Getting to Korea Arrival by Air : Korea is connected by air to every major capital in the world, either through direct flights or by connecting flights from major international airports in East Asia. About 37 international airlines maintain regular services, with over 1,500 flights into and out of Korea every week. Korea has nine international airports: Incheon International Airport, which opened in March 2001, and Gimpo for Seoul; Gimhae for Bu…
   How to Travel Around Korea
Domestic flights : Most domestic destinations are within an hour's flight from Seoul. Gimpo Airport, located between the western area of Seoul and the newer Incheon International Airport, is primarily used for domestic travel and short flights to Japan and China. Korean Air, Asiana Airlines and a few domestic discount carriers handle all flights within the country. KTX Railway services : The Korea Railroad (KORAIL) operate…
   Accommodation
The Shilla Hotel in Seoul Visitors to Korea can choose from a wide range of quality accommodations, including hotels, inns, hostels, homestays and condominiums. Hotels : There is an extensive choice of hotels. An increasing number of hotels offer recreation facilities such as swimming pools, saunas, indoor driving ranges, bowling alleys and health clubs for their guests. There are also dance clubs…
   Discovering Korea
Seoul Located along the Hangang River, Seoul has grown into a teeming metropolis with a population of more than 10 million. Over the years, the capital city of Korea has greatly expanded in the process of urbanization and industrialization and continues to grow as the thriving center of the country's political, economic, cultural and educational activities. Seoul is the world's 10th-largest city. Its past and present coexist in a fascin…




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