30 August 2008

Getting Around in Seoul

Getting around with a push chair in Seoul is at times challenging. The first couple of days Mummy brought Anais with her on a bus, which requires overcoming half a meter of ascent into the bus. This can only be achieved with the help of other passengers. Luckily, Seoul's inhabitants are very helpful and ever so patient. Even the bus driver would get up and assist Anais and Mummy to board the bus. The good thing about taking the bus is that it brings you from right in front of the hotel to the centre.
Seoul also has an extensive subway system comprised of eight lines. All the stations are equipped with lifts, one from the street level down to a concourse and another downwards to the platform. However, the stations are huge and taking the lift often involves a close study of the station map followed by a long walk to reach the lift. Another problem is that there's often only one lift going to/from the street level and reach the place you want to go may require you to cross a major road, but often the next crossing is far away. All in all it's far from always practical to go by the metro and Daddy has had to carry Anais in her push chair up many flights of stairs.
Finally, when you get tired of all the hassle you grab a taxi. The price for a trip is reasonable though not exactly cheap. Additionally, one shouldn't count on the driver speaking even a word of English. Funny, that English is so uncommon, but that's probably the case for both Korea and Japan.

Anais and Daddy on a Seoul metro platform. Safety is indeed good with the tracks behind glass doors; not all stations have this system installed. On the screens you can see not only advertisements but also the locations of all incoming trains. For example at the time this picture was taken there was a train departing the previous station and a train stopping two stations before.

Late in the evening on a Seoul metro train.

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