A couple weekends ago we travelled down to Busan (sometimes spelled Pusan for us English speakers). We were particularly excited because we were taking the train and would be able to get a sense of what the Korean landscape is like.
Our day didn’t start out too smoothly. We had to take the subway to Suwon, a city close by where the train stops. We gave ourselves what we thought was a lot of time but found that the subway was taking longer than expected. Then, the train stopped and we all had to get off and wait for a different one! (Maintenance perhaps?… I don’t know.)
We were sure we were going to miss the train, but we thought we might as well try and get it. So we arrive at the Suwon stop and run for it. Sandy is the faster of us two, obviously, so we had a plan: Sandy would run ahead and figure out what direction we needed to go and then wait at any turns for Ms. Slowpants. It was busy, I mean, really busy. Sandy would later say that he felt like straight-arming the people who were blocking the way, including little old grandma. Sandy, the navigator, made a few lucky guesses at particularly confusing intersections and we found ourselves running down a set of stairs to where the train was.
We saw it on the platform. We kept running. We heard, of all things, a whistle. (Did you know that the train people still use whistles to signal the train was leaving? I thought that was just in movies!) We ran. We showed our tickets. We got on and a moment later, the train started to move. Whew! That was close! Note to self, leave A LOT of extra time when catching a train!
The ride itself was very nice. There were beautiful hills, farms and towns along the way.
We took the super slow train mainly by accident – we wanted the KTX super fast train but we didnt think to ask for it in particular and instead got the super slow train tickets instead. It took 5 hrs to go from Suwon, a city close by to Osan, to Busan. We didn’t mind the time it took. It was like a little road trip except you didn’t have to drive and could walk around more often.
The train tickets were $25 per person for one way. $100 to go from the upper left of the country down to the bottom right and back again, that seems a good deal to me!