Autumn 2014 Trip: Planning

Who’d have thought I’ll be going to Korea twice in a year? Just happens that I’m getting a few weeks break in between jobs and thus have a chance to travel. Korea is the natural choice given how much fun I had on my trip there this past spring, It’s also much easier to plan a trip to somewhere one has been to before. Yup, just like the last time, I’m self-planning the trip. It’s not easy, with a million and one decisions to weigh, but so very fun!

In anticipation of future posts on the trip this time round, I started a new blog category (Autumn 2014) and commemorating it with this post 🙂

Let’s start with my itinerary. For now, only the first 3 days are more or less confirmed.

Day 0: 9-Nov,Sun Evening flight to Korea
Day 1: 10-Nov,Mon KTX to Busan from Incheon Airport; Gamcheon culture village; Nampodong Shopping
Day 2:11-Nov,Tue Busan (city tour + taejongdae+gwanggali beach)
Day 3: 12-Nov,Wed S-train to Sucheon; overnight in Sucheon

The plan for the following few days look like this for now. Will update once the itinerary’s more firmed up.

Day 4: 13-Nov,Thu KTX to Seoul; visit attractions near accommodation
Day 5-10: 14-Nov – 19 Nov Seoul + Overnight trip near Seoul
Day 11: 15-Nov,Sat Morning flight home

Yup, I’m going to Busan! I had a blast the last time in Jeju and hope to return there some day, but Busan is an exciting new place to explore. The idea to include Busan in the itinerary of my next Korea trip was planted when I first heard that the high-speed KTX train started to connect to Busan directly from Incheon Airport. Previously, one had to take the A’rex airport train down to Seoul Station and transfer to the KTX. The direct connection saves time, with the Incheon-Busan route taking an est. 3.5 hrs.(You can also fly to Busan, but this involves transferring to the domestic terminal at Gimpo Airport).

Shall also share some details about the S-Train that runs along the southern coast from Busan to Yeosu-Expo. I came acorss it when researching about the special trains run by KoRail. These include the O-train (which takes a looping route in central Korea), V-train (taking you into mountain vallets; route connects with the O-train), Sea-Train (with a route down the north-east coast) and finally, the S-Train. However, I had problems finding info on the train schedule on the KoRail English site. Kept getting an error message when I was trying to search from Busan – Yeousu-ExpoA call to the helpful 1330 KTO hotline (you can call free using Skype if you’re outside of Korea) revealed that the train doesn’t run on Mondays (the original date I searched for). I also happened to read somewhere that the train is not listed as “S-Train” in the schedule, but as a “Saemaul” train. Finally, figured out that I might need to search for “transfer” trains if “direct” routes do not work (there is a radio button to choose between these options). One has to transfer upon reaching Suncheon on to another train for the last few miles into Yeousu-Expo. Reading a useful blog post from a fellow Singaporean who had taken the S-Train, I was able to verify the train number for the Saemaul train route that I found matches with the identifier number for the S-Train. Thus I was able to confidently make a booking for train no. 4871 from Busan – Suncheon (in the end decided to end the journey at Suncheon so that I wouldn’t have to transfer to another train. Besides, Suncheon sounds like it would be more interesting than the typical coastal scenery in Yeousu).

Looking forward to finishing up the planning!

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