If you are on budget and if you like traveling solo you definitely need the tips to reduce your budget. Here is a post on how to enjoy the sight of Seoul using the local bus. Cheaper way from Itaewon to Myeongdong or vice versa while experiencing the exhilarating ride..Haha.
With the current exchange rate which is not helping much (for Malaysians) 1,000 KRW is about MYR3.77 now. T_T Quite huge compared to when I used to round up 1,000 KRW to 3 Ringgit! Let’s save your money!.
There are times that I needed to enjoy the sight of Seoul especially at night, resting my tired feet from the long journey of guiding my delighted guests and the answer was taking the local bus! I miss the green, blue, and the yellow bus and the whole unforgettable experience of taking a local bus in Seoul. If you could, you should try them!
One of my Korean friends’ mother used to hate taking the subways. Her reason is that she felt ‘답답하다다’ whenever she rides them. She loves watching the scenery around her when taking the bus instead of being trapped inside the train underground and you cannot see outside. I agree with her on this one.
An extremely versatile word used to describe situations that are emotionally or physically stifling.- Naver dictionary
I love this word! 🙂
Here is my experience taking the bus number 421 (Blue) from Itaewon to Myeongdong and vice versa. First, I would like to show you the difference in fare and journey time.
First, If you take the subway from Itaewon to Myeongdong, you need to transit at Samgakji Station and trust me, you need to walk a bit inside to make the transfer. Total journey time, 34 minutes for 1,250 KRW (with TMoney card).
While with the bus, total journey time is 25 minutes for a bit lesser 1,200 KRW (with TMoney card). Of course there are variables here where you need to wait for the bus and there might be traffic jam along the way.
But imagine, when your feet are dead tired and you don’t have any energy left to walk the staircase down into the subway station, then bus is the answer.
My suggestion, is to not take any of the public transportation during the rush hour (working hours).
However, if you are 4-in a group, taking the taxi is much much better when you have so much shopping done in Myeongdong or Itaewon and amazingly your boarding is at either of this two locations.
Taking the taxis between Myeongdong and Itaewon is about 11 minutes of 4,900 KRW, divided by 4 pax is only about 1,225 KRW which is quite affordable and relaxing.
Anyway, let’s see how we can take this bus number 421 from Itaewon to Myeongdong, shall we?
First, locate the famous landmark of Itaewon – Hamilton Hotel. Then walk towards the bus stop which is near the shop Aritaum about 50 meters.
When the bus number 421 arrived, get on the bus and tap your TMoney card on the card scanner near the bus driver. Find your seat if there is any available. You need to be fast because the bus driver will just drive away without waiting for everyone to find their seat first. You might be shocked but this is the culture. 🙂
The bus have a few stops along the way and among them are,
War Memorial of Korea which is awesome and you should visit this place. Read more here to know about the place.
Then the bus will also pass by Seoul Station. There is another spot which is worth visiting here which is the building of the former Seoul Station. If you have been to Tokyo before, compare this with Tokyo station’s building. They look almost the same!
The next spot is Namdameun! OMG, so many places to stop by but don’t forget that our destination is Myeongdong and not any of the previous famous tourist spots okay?
Finally, we reach Myeongdong! When you hear the announcement in the bus for Myeongdong, make sure you press the red button to notify the bus driver that you will get down there. It is a courtesy to get up from your seat before the bus stops.
Don’t forget to tap your card again at the card scanner which is near the back door before you step down the bus. If you are clueless, just observe how the locals do it. Absorb.:)
Alternatively, you can watch a very useful video down below on how to use the local Bus in Seoul as shown by AhaKorea team. Enjoy your bus ride!