When my husband and I go to Seoul, we usually take the subway. Though we have a car, we prefer to use Seoul’s subway system because it is faster, inexpensive and more convenient, and of course, we can avoid traffic and save gas, as the price of gasoline seems to increase all the time.
Foreigners find it easy to get around Seoul using the subway, because besides Korean, subway signs and train announcements are also in English, Chinese and Japanese. There are subway maps in each station, which are easy to spot because they are BIG; some maps are even electronic. Lines are numbered, color-coded, and translated in English, so finding your destination won’t give you a headache.
Korean subways are clean and comfortable. Most stations have convenience stores, phone-charging machines, paid lockers and vending machines selling snacks and drinks, sometimes even comic books and crossword puzzles.
While waiting for the train, you can eat out in cafes or restaurants, go shopping in underground malls or look around, as there are more things to see in the subway station like paintings on display or Korean crafts on exhibit.
Truly, Seoul’s subway, and Korean subways in general, are a haven for commuters, Koreans and foreigners alike.
A New Yorker, Michael Aronson, who has lived in Korea and worked at a publishing company in Seoul even wrote and sang a song about it called ”Seoul Subway Song” (서울 지하철 노래). The rap song has received more than half a million clicks on YouTube and an article about it was written in The Korea Times: Showing new ways for people to appreciate Korea.
Next month, I am going to discuss transportation to some of my classes in the hagwon, and I’ve been thinking of using the ”Seoul Subway Song” as a springboard for the lesson.
Here’s the video. Enjoy rapping the ”Seoul Subway Song”. ^^
- Korea’s “Pali-pali” Culture and It’s Dynamism (chrissantosra.wordpress.com)
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- Namsan Seoul Tower: The Symbol of Seoul (pinaytravelmom.com)
- Teach English in Seoul, Korea. (socialactions.net)
- Solo in Seoul (iuoverseas.wordpress.com)
- Seoul (charioteers.org)