Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Seoul Public Transportation

Seoul has the best public transportation of any city I've ever visited. Its trains, subway, and buses are all clean, fast, and go everywhere. This is the station nearest my apartment. Despite being cleaner than any station in New York City its relatively drab by Seoul standards.

One of the greatest things about subway platforms in Seoul is that many of them have small convenience stores on them. Great to grab a drink or paper while waiting for the train.

The subway cars are new, and larger than cars I'm used to back in the US. Many of them are also color coded. This is a car on the #4/blue line, so the floor is correspondingly blue. Like subways in any city people spend their time reading/listening to music/people watching. Unlike most subways though the Seoul system has wireless TV signals running throughout and great cell coverage.

Me playing doodle jump, lucky to have a seat in a relatively empty car.

A Seoul bus, not many seats and maniac drivers, but a great alternative to taking the subway.

Mt. Seorakson

Brian playing air guitar on our pension's trampoline. We went for the Christmas holiday and were the only people staying out our small bed/breakfast type place. Lots of open space, and Mt. Seorakson not too far off. 

Our personal BBQ, on which we grilled big Costco-bought Christmas steaks. Yum. 

Not Mt. Seorkason, but another peak next door. We had 2 hours to kill while we waited for our gondola ticket time so we ambled around snapping pictures. 

Mountains in Korea often play host to Buddhist temples and statues. In the foreground is a beautiful lotus  shaped incense burner. There is a small sanctuary inside/under the statue. We went inside to pay respects and get out of the cold for a minute. 

The walls of a beautiful, if austere, monastery near the large Buddha statue. At the end of the turquoise beams you can see a shape which I had previously always associated with Nazi Germany. I've since learned that it was a Buddhist symbol long before Hitler usurped it. 

A beautiful stone carved spring. The small pool is fed by the three big turtles at the top of the picture. 

My Korean friends didn't do a great job of explaining what this was. It was covered in Chinese, as opposed to Korean characters, and had something to do with an ancestral memorial. 

The moon rising up above Mt. Seorakson. We caught one of the last cable cars up to the peak. A ten minute hike beyond brought us to the actual summit, where we horsed around until it go truly dark. 

People like ourselves who were there for the view and to say they'd visited the peak, not to hike.