Travel in Korea – KTX (Korea Train Express)


Korea high speed train or commonly known as KTX  (Korea Train Express). It is very similar to Japan bullet train (shinkansen) or France TGV.

Surprisingly, the train fare is very reasonable. It does not cost you a bomb to take the high speed train. Comparing the fare you pay for shinkansen or TGV, Korea high speed train fare is very affordable. Eg for a trip from Seoul to Busan, return ticket is less than W90,000 if you are not taking the First Class.

Seoul station is the major station where KTX depart. There are 4 main KTX line, Gyeongbu Line that ends at Busan. Honam Line ends at Makpo passing through Gwangju, Gyeongjeong Line ends at Jinju and Jeolla Line ends at Yeosu Expo.  And these individial line runs through different major cities making selected stops in some cities. There are 2 stations that KTX depart from Seoul, Seoul Station and Yongsan Station. So be very careful when you are planning your train journey and go to the correct station to catch you train. You don’t want to get yourself stranded in the wrong train station and be disappointed… 😉


the modern look Seoul Station, which is the extension of the  old Seoul Station

old seoul station

the old Seoul Station

In my recent trips to Korea, I have taken few trips to other cities via KTX and I must say it is extremely comfortable and efficient.  For example, taking an express bus from Seoul to Busan takes appx 5 -6hours , but KTX takes appx 3.5hour.

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Seoul Station from inside is impressive. Be prepared to be swamped by a sea of crowd and people moving in all directions. There are a lot of platforms so make sure you are at the correct platform and board the correct train. You don’t want to end up on the wrong platform and miss your train… because KTX is punctual most of the time unless something major happen.

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There  are plenty of local packed lunch boxes or take-away food in the station that you can buy before boarding.  Grab something to enjoy while on board. Not to worry if you didn’t , you can always buy snacks, drinks from the bar on board.

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you can check the your carriage to make sure you board the correct train .. 🙂

For anyone taking KTX, you can book your ticket online if you don’t want to be disappointed. In my opinion and personal experiences, unless is a major national holiday in Korea, you can check the train schedule online before making the purchase at the counter on the day of traveling.  There are many trips everyday to all cities, so you do not have to worry left stranded with no ticket.  Normally I will check the train schedule and purchase ticket at the counter.  Unless you are traveling on weekend or major national holidays or going to some popular city like Busan, make sure you make a reservation to avoid disappointment especially on weekends.

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the interior of KTX is clean, quiet and even the announcement on board comes with different languages in English, Japanese and Mandarine. I am very impress, this shows the country is making huge effort to make travelers feel comfortable and at ease.

For anyone who does not have the luxury of time, taking KTX is a good option but paying a little more…you enjoy a very comfortable ride and shorten your traveling time by almost half.

Enjoy …;)

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