Hello one and all. A very happy 2012 to you. 새해 복 많이 바드새요.
Great news to start off the year! As mentioned in a previous post
, there was a free bus operating between Seoul and 3 major Korean cities exclusively for foreigners. This service was for ‘Visit Korea’ year and was due to end on December 31st, 2011.
Well, due to popular demand, and bar a few changes, the service has been extended.
Changes to note are as follows:
- The route to Gyeongju which I took and wrote about previously has now been cut. The routes Seoul-Busan and Seoul-Jeonju will remain open, with one bus travelling in each direction every day.
- The timetable for the Busan bus has changed, now leaving later and stopping at fewer places along the way.
Incredibly, Visit Seoul are currently offering a free shuttle bus between Seoul and three major tourist destinations in Korea. This is part of their oddly named Visit Korea Year, which would be all well and good if it weren’t for the fact that it runs from 2010-2012.
The destinations a foreigner in Korea can travel to for free are:
Gyeongju – Korea’s historical capital and former seat of the Jeoseon Dynasty for centuries. This is the best place is Korea to get a sense of historic Korea, and one which has not been rebuilt.
Busan – Korea’s second city, famed for being more laid back than Seoul, and home of the famous Haeundae Beach. It also hosts the expansive Jagalchi Fish Market and good ferry and plane links to close neighbour, Japan.
Jeonju – Supposedly the culinary capital of Korea. All you foodies take note. There are a number of sites of historic interest here also.
This offer runs from now until December 31st, 2011.
The buses are phenomenal; only 3 seats across each row, spacious, comfortable, air conditioned and shiny deluxe buses. Aside from the lengthy visit Korea promo video which plays for a while once the trip has started, it is easy to fall asleep and wake up at your destination.
What’s more, there is NO catch. You don’t have to buy anything, you don’t have to visit any specific places and get herded around like cattle, you just get on at a designated spot and off at your destination. You can travel free either one way or return, and there is no time limit on how long you wait before returning.
The buses travel on every day of the week except Mondays. Plan your trip accordingly.
To reserve your seat, click on this link and have your passport handy. You must reserve in advance, you can’t just rock up and get on the bus.
So far I have only been to Gyeongju and back using this service but I highly recommend it and will certainly take the opportunity to visit Busan and Jeonju using it also before 2012.