Sunday, February 3, 2013

Travel to South Korea: KTX Story

The speed is below Japan's famous bullet train (Shinkansen) but it's still worth to try. South Korea's fastest train that runs at 300km/h : high-speed railroad, KTX!

Actually there are 3 types of train that connecting big cities in South Korea: KTX (high-speed railroad), Saemaeul Train, and Mugunghwa Train. Each train is divided into 2 classes, economy and first class. The difference between each train are vehicle design and facility, also the speed and price. KTX is the fastest and more expensive than the other two. Toilet, vending machine, kitchen, dining area, PC table are available on the train.

I rode the train from Busan to Seoul for 2 hours 40 mins journey. The ticket was quite pricey, 57.300 won. It was my first experience to ride a long journey train and I had to face it alone since my brother already back to Seoul with the first KTX of the day (around 5 AM). I love Busan, so I decided to stay several hours longer :) I was a little scared, yes, since it's possible that I rushed to a wrong platform and took the wrong train then arrived in another city outside Seoul. 

My brother already arrived in Seoul when I woke up. He sent me a text message and said that all the information (train number, platform, seat number) was already provided and easily to be seen inside the station. It's soothe me a little :)

I arrived at Busan Station around 09.40 AM. There are many automatic ticket machines inside the station, I tried to buy the ticket on the machine first, but I was lost. Since I wanted to catch the 10.00 AM train, I rushed to the ticket counter and queued to buy the ticket. 

My ticket!
Date: November 9, 2012
Departure time: 10.00 AM
Busan to Seoul
KTX no 126
Car no 8, seat 12D
Estimated arrival time: 12.39 PM

I found the platform number on a big screen, attached with my train number (KTX 126). After that I just followed the information signage to find the right platform, went down, and met my train! 
For the next steps, I had to go inside car number 8 and find my 12D seat. Once I found the right car and seat number, I double checked with the information on my ticket. Inside the train there are also TVs that displayed the train number (KTX 126), route (Busan to Seoul), and departure time (10.00 AM). 

Several minutes later, about 5 mins to departure time, there's an ahjumma (older woman) who asked me to move and insisted that I sat on her seat. Since I had checked my ticket information more than 5 times, I was pretty sure that I was on the right train, car, and seat number. I asked her permission to see her ticket but she refused, so she asked for help from another ahjumma who sat behind me. The truth was... she's not even on the right train because it's clearly stated on her ticket that the departure time was 10.10 AM, not 10.00 AM. So she sat beside me for a moment until the officer came to check our ticket and since the seat beside me was already booked by another passenger on the next station, in the end she had to move. I felt relieved.

After that little 'incident', I enjoyed my KTX journey with the newest episode of Running Man and my fav K-Drama, Nice Guy :) In a blink of an eye, I arrived at Seoul Station. The smoothest train ride ever!

I snapped these two pics at Seoul Station
(1) Information screen for KTX. Departure time, destination, train number, and platform (track) number. 
(2) Tracks (platform) signage

Car number 
 Seat number
Car no. 8, seat 12D (window) :)

Inside the train

More information about KTX (operated by Korail) :

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