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Newer Page 44 of 1040 Older Full Trip Report
Korea Seoul Suwon Train

25 May 2022

Turning a 30 minute train ride into a full day

Seoul to Suwon on the Mugunghwa

Seoul to Suwon on the what now? In Korea there are 5 classes of train or 7 if count ones that are retired but still listed on the schedule, in order from fastest to slowest they go KTX, ITX, Saemaeul, Nuriro and Mugunghwa. Normally you only take the KTX. And just to confuse matters, the journey I took today can also be taken on the regular subway which is not one of the 5 listed, or the KTX, but I took the Mugunghwa. Later in this trip I will take a much longer coastal journey only possible on the Mugunghwa, that will be fun.
Anyway, it was only a 30 minute journey from Seoul to Suwon, but I made a day of it by stopping at cafes on both ends, wandering around the station, taking photos of the train, standing around doing nothing, occasionally changing position to stare at the departures board, that kind of thing. Great fun.

Once in Suwon, I transferred back to the subway to get to my hotel. The Seoul subway network is ridiculous, extending 200km as the bird flies east to west and over 100 north to south (rough guesses). I think that might make it geographically the 2nd biggest 'joined up' subway system after Hong Kong / Shenzhen / Dongguan / Guangzhou / Foshan, assuming that is now finished.
So there you go, that is a lot of train talk. Now weather, how thrilling. It was very hot when I left but now it is cloudy and cool.

Later I will go and wander around Suwon.

Korea-Seoul-Suwon-Train - Great weather in Seoul this morning, seemed pretty clear to me that it was pretty clear.

Great weather in Seoul this morning, seemed pretty clear to me that it was pretty clear.


Korea-Seoul-Suwon-Train - This is the senior citizens centre. Just like Australia, boomers have all the cash in Korea too.

This is the senior citizens centre. Just like Australia, boomers have all the cash in Korea too.


Korea-Seoul-Suwon-Train - Starbucks premium, which roasts its own coffee and milks its own cows on premise, also has a traditional kneel uncomfortably while you sip area that n

Starbucks premium, which roasts its own coffee and milks its own cows on premise, also has a traditional kneel uncomfortably while you sip area that no one was using despite every regular seat being in use.


Korea-Seoul-Suwon-Train - Before heading to the station there was time for a wander around the massive Namdaemun market. It is mainly a clothing market that goes deep undergrou

Before heading to the station there was time for a wander around the massive Namdaemun market. It is mainly a clothing market that goes deep underground, but here is the fresh food section.


Korea-Seoul-Suwon-Train - I have taken this photo before, the tracks of the main Seoul station.

I have taken this photo before, the tracks of the main Seoul station.


Korea-Seoul-Suwon-Train - And... the interior of the station. Korea still operates long distance trains completely on the honour system. There is no ticket scanning, no ticket

And... the interior of the station. Korea still operates long distance trains completely on the honour system. There is no ticket scanning, no ticket checking, no barriers, just wander onto the train. It has always been like this and I do not know of anywhere else in the world where this is the case. People who live in Korea and regularly travel by KTX train say they have never had a ticket check in years of travel.


Korea-Seoul-Suwon-Train - Here comes my Mugunghwa. Yes it is an old diesel. I think this class of train is the only diesel class remaining.

Here comes my Mugunghwa. Yes it is an old diesel. I think this class of train is the only diesel class remaining.


Korea-Seoul-Suwon-Train - Inside it is dated, but very solid and comfortable, big seats. Hardly anyone onboard. This particular train goes to Daejeon, a city I went to last tim

Inside it is dated, but very solid and comfortable, big seats. Hardly anyone onboard. This particular train goes to Daejeon, a city I went to last time I was here.


Korea-Seoul-Suwon-Train - Suwon station is also fine, linked to a flash department store that had a great food section in the basement. Perhaps some more pics of that another t

Suwon station is also fine, linked to a flash department store that had a great food section in the basement. Perhaps some more pics of that another time when I am not dragging around my bags.


Korea-Seoul-Suwon-Train - One of the main streets of Suwon, I think, I have no idea yet really. I know there is a shopping street quite far from where I am, but then the city w

One of the main streets of Suwon, I think, I have no idea yet really. I know there is a shopping street quite far from where I am, but then the city walls and lake area are in the opposite direction.


Korea-Seoul-Suwon-Train - Now for a discussion on COVID and recycling. For lunch I went to Paris Baguette, along with 'Tous le Jour' they are the ubiquitous Korean owned sit in

Now for a discussion on COVID and recycling. For lunch I went to Paris Baguette, along with 'Tous le Jour' they are the ubiquitous Korean owned sit in cheap bakeries. There are plenty of higher end options but I am no snob. And yes, they are Korean despite being all over Japan too. Anyway, Korea often leads the world in environmental things, they were the first to ban food waste, and it is now illegal to use a take away cup if you are sitting in at a cafe. However, due to COVID, everything is plastic wrapped and vacuum sealed in multiple layers with signs explaining how they take hygiene seriously to offset opinion about the plastic disaster. It took me a long time to get into my sandwich through its triple defence layers.


Korea-Seoul-Suwon-Train - Here is the inside of the store, every single item is plastic wrapped, none of them used to be. If you buy a bag of 6 cookies, each of the 6 cookies i

Here is the inside of the store, every single item is plastic wrapped, none of them used to be. If you buy a bag of 6 cookies, each of the 6 cookies is wrapped, then wrapped again.


Korea-Seoul-Suwon-Train - And as a result, here is the disaster after I ate a sandwich and a donut.

And as a result, here is the disaster after I ate a sandwich and a donut.


Korea-Seoul-Suwon-Train - Final pic of the day to appease my mother, my hotel room. Smaller than I thought. Very cheap, less than $40 per night Australian. The bathroom is very

Final pic of the day to appease my mother, my hotel room. Smaller than I thought. Very cheap, less than $40 per night Australian. The bathroom is very modern and large with a full bath, but due to weird angles, I cannot photograph it. All Korean hotels seem to have Japanese style space toilets. At first I thought there was nowhere to sit and work, but the bench thing under the tv is on wheels so you can pull it over the bed, or sit on the edge of the bed to use it as a desk, which I am doing now. Very comfortable actually.


NewerPage 44 of 1040OlderFull Trip Report