SURVIVAL TIP: All about taking the Korean Trains
To travel from city to city in Korea, taking a train is probably the most safest and the best way as a foreigner.
There are several types of trains in Korea.
1. Regular Trains
a) KTX : It’s the fastest train in Korea. By taking this train, it takes less than 3 hours from Seoul to Busan. Although the train fee is expensive, you can save time with high quality seats. If you go to Busan from Seoul by Mugunghwa train or a car, it takes more than 5 hours.
b) Saemaul Train : Before the launch of KTX express trains, Saemaul was the fastest class of trains in South Korea, making the journey from Seoul to Busan in less than 5 hours. Saemaeul trains are distinguished from the more basic Mugunghwa trains by their larger and comfortable seats and the absence of standing passengers.
c) Mugunghwa Train : The basic train which stops at many stations where KTX & Saemaul train are not serving. It is cheap but slow. Also there are standees who don’t have any seat available in the train.
2. Special Trains
a) S-Train : S-train takes people to Korea’s southwest region. This is a new tourist train which launched in 2014. It operates between Busan and Boseong, South Jeolla Province, along the southern coast of the peninsula.
b) V-Train : The ‘V’ in V-train stands for “valley,” as it travels through the remote mountainous areas of Gangwon-do and Gyeongsangbuk-do. It is also referred to as the “Baby Baekho (white tiger) Train” due to the motif on the train’s exterior of a white tiger. It stops at Bucheon, Bidong stop, Yangwon, Seungbu and Cheoram.
c) O-Train : O-train is a central inland region tour train. Its name derives from the word, “One”, as the three provinces (Gangwon-do, Chungcheongbuk-do, Gyeongsangbuk-do) in the country’s central inland region are connected by this circular route. It stops at Seoul, Wonju, Jaecheon, Yeongwol, Mindungsan, etc.
d) DMZ Train : The DMZ-Train allows tourists to travel through Korea’s untouched natural landscape and historical landmark that is the Korean Demilitarized Zone. The train runs twice a day and tickets are available at each station. Tourists can also purchase a “DMZ Plus Ticket” which lets you freely board and depart at any of the stations along the way.
e) G-Train : G-train is a west gold train which has rooms with “ondol”, Korea’s floor heating system. It runs down the coastal area along the west sea. It stops at major travel destinations, including Boryeong and Gunsan.
f) Wine & Cinema Train : In this train, you can enjoy wine and cinema at the same time. The Wine-Train runs between Seoul and Yeongdong every Tuesday and Saturday. Starting from Seoul Station, you go to Yeongdong to taste wine and try wine food spa. Then also stop by Geumsan to look around geumsan ginseng museum and town.
g) Sea Train : This train operates along the coastal of east sea. Running along the beautiful East Coast, every seat is tailored to see the ocean and windows are larger than those in regular trains for visitors to overlook the majestic waves, beaches, and the blue ocean.
Try to enjoy any of these special trains!