|Hello, Seoul Subway!|
Photo credit: Seoul Korea Facebook page.
|Seoul Subway sign.|
Subway stations are mostly located underground, although there are quite a few above ground level. Their lines are easy to identify as they have both a number and color and can be referred to either way. For instance, the line on the photo above is the Orange Line, or Line Number 3. At present, there are 10 lines operating in the Seoul area, including the Bundang and Incheon lines.
|One of the entrances/exits at Bongeunsa Station.|
This one leads to Bongeunsa Temple.
|My Seoul survival kit includes the Subway Navigation app on my Note 5,|
and a loaded T-money card. :)
I must admit, the Seoul Subway map looked very intimidating at first, but things got easier for me after I've installed the Subway Navigation app on my phone. This app gives the fastest route via subway, considering your position, time, and train timetable including Express schedules (express trains that skip other stations) and transfer times per station. Best of all, this app uses English text and works offline.
Show me the (T)money!
Now to able to ride the subway, you need to have a T-money card - a transportation card used to pay for bus and subway fares. T-money cards can be purchased at convenience stores (7Eleven, GS25, CU, Mini Stop, Buy the Way, With Me, Story Way) and at ticket vending machines inside subway stations.
|Kakao Friends T-Money card, Hello Kitty T-money cellphone charm, Seoul City Pass card.|
|Reloading device at Ttukseom Station.|
Tap and go.
|Place your card here.|
|Are you on the right track?|
|Not Platform 9 and 3/4.|
After entering the gate, make your way to the platform, and wait for the train to arrive. The platforms in most subway stations in Seoul have screen doors that block direct access to the track. These doors prevent accidents from happening - ergo rambunctious kids running around the platform, or individuals trying to commit suicide by jumping on the tracks.
|Bigger doors for passengers on wheelchairs or parents with prams.|
Ttukseom Station, Line 2.
Board quickly once the train arrives. Take an empty seat, but be prepared to stand when seats are unavailable especially during the rush hours.
|The boy loves riding the subway.|
|Subway selca, just because. :)|
When exiting the subway, don't forget to tap your card on the reader. You won't be able to pass through the gate otherwise. Similar to the 'tap-out-before-you-alight-the-bus' rule, the same principle applies in the subway with regards to your T-money card. You will be charged extra if you don't tap your card out of the system.
It is important to know in advance which side you are exiting from, since subway stations have multiple exits. You can also refer to the Neighborhood Map and signage around the subway, they're a big help if you're not familiar with the area you are going to.
|Ugh, the horrendous transfer - Euljiro3-ga, Line 3.|
|One of my favorite stations - Myeongdong Station, Line 4.|
|Interesting sculptures at the Bongeunsa Station, Line 9.|
For the most part, transferring can actually be fun as you get to see a lot of cool things along the way. And by 'cool things', I mean artwork,
|Royal Procession, and some other cool drawings.|
At City Hall Station, Line 1.
|Admiral Lee Sun Shin.|
At Chungmuro Station, Line 4.
|Crumble Cookies - really large, ball-like cookies that you need to hammer.|
At Myeongdong Station, Line 4.
|Crunchy cream-filled taiyaki!|
At Dongdaemun History & Culture Park Station, Line 2.
|Underground Shopping Mall at Myeongdong Station, Line 4.|
|Still at that Underground Mall. :)|
|G-Star Zone at Apgujeong Rodeo Station, Bundang Line.|