Traveling in Korea: Korail

 

Aboard the Korail, the train’s internal design meets passenger needs. There is a top shelf for passengers to place their bags. Even hanger straps on the train are made for people of different heights! (Image courtesy of Viviane Szeto.)

Aboard the Korail, the train’s internal design meets passenger needs. There is a top shelf for passengers to place their bags. Even hanger straps on the train are made for people of different heights! (Image courtesy of Viviane Szeto.)

 

By Viviane Szeto

When I got to the security check point at Seoul’s Incheon International Airport in South Korea, the trays used to put personal items through the X-ray surprised me with “Have a nice trip J” written on them. This friendly and thoughtful little gretting on the trays marked the end of my 10-day vacation in Seoul.

Seoul will always be in my heart. Everything is cleverly designed not only to meet the needs of users but also to enhance the user-experience, from K-pop, Korean TV dramas, cosmetics and more. What impressed me the most during my stay was how efficient the subway system is.

The Korean subway system, or the Korail, is by far the best public transportation system I’ve ever used. It is extremely tourist-friendly since it uses four languages: Korean, English, Japanese and Chinese. Before the train arrives at a station, a melody is broadcast instead of a dry announcement for the arrival of the train, to get the attention of passengers.

Some of the major stations, such as the Souel Station and the Airport Station, have rental lockers in different sizes for people to leave their bags, so they don’t have to carry too many things while exploring the city. There are vending machines on every single platform selling soft drinks and snacks. Moreover, each of the underground stations has different stores selling food, cosmetics, electronics and more.

The internal design of the train is thoroughly designed for the needs of passengers. What surprised me even more is the “help” button for customer assistance at the stations. After pressing the button, a musical melody will play and alert staff to assist passengers.

Each detail of the Korail system made traveling around Korea fun. It made waiting for the next train and riding the train itself a more enjoyable experience.

This post is also available in: Chinese

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