Bus tours offer fare way to view citiesMany of Korea's major cities offer bus tours as inexpensive and convenient ways to learn about the areas. Here's a brief rundown of 10 of the bus services offered.
SEOUL -- The basic city tour runs every 30 minutes, while the other tours go once an hour. Korean, English, Chinese and French languages are available. A full-day ticket costs 12,000 won ($10) for unlimited rides. One night pass costs 8,000 won. A single trip costs 3,000 won.
The tours include the basic city tour (2 hours long), World Cup Stadium tour (2 hours, 30 minutes), Palace tour (1 hour) and Night tour (2 hours, 30 minutes).
BUSAN -- There are two main courses in this southern port city -- one for Haeundae Beach and another for Taejongdae -- each offered twice a day. Tickets cost 10,000 won. The Haeundae tour includes UN Memorial Park, Busan Museum, the City Art Gallery, Asiad stadium and Haeundae Beach. The Taejongdae course includes Taejongdae, the Busan Film Festival square and Yondusan Park.
SUWON -- This tour centers on the cultural heritage site Hwaseong. The bus starts at Suwon Station and goes to Seojangdae (the army base on top of Mount Paldal), Hwaseong Gate, Hwaseong Palace, Paldal Gate, Hwahong Gate, Yeonmudae, the firefly toilet, Suwon World Cup Stadium and the Castle Hotel. Tour operates twice a day, at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tickets cost 5,000 won, 2,000 won for children.
INCHEON -- The bus tours begin at four locations: Incheon Station, Neunghaudae, City Hall front gate and Juan Station. The tours run every hour from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets cost 1,000 won for one trip and 2,500 won for the entire day. The tour goes to Wolmido Cultural Avenue, Incheon Fishery Market, Songdo Amusement Park, Incheon Landing Memorial, the Incheon government building, the Olympic Memorial, Incheon Grand Park, Bupyeong Station, Hwadojin Park and East Incheon station.
The Incheon International Airport tour course passes over land and sea to get to the airport on Wolmi Island. This course allows passengers to get a taste of Wolmi Island's culture and, if you go in the evening, to see the sunset over the Yellow Sea.
This route starts and ends at East Incheon Station, and leaves every 90 minutes, eight times a day. One round-trip takes three hours and costs 5,000 won.
YEOJU -- Tour buses run every weekend and public holiday through this Gyeonggi province town, starting from the Yeoju Intercity Bus Terminal. The three-hour course includes Gangbyeon Game Park, Shinreuk Temple, Moka Buddhist Museum and the birthplace and memorial of the "Last Empress" Myeongseong. Tours run every half hour.
DAEJEON -- Tours run every day starting from Dongbang Market, going to the Yuseong hot spring district and back. Runs four times a day and costs 1,000 won per trip.
GONGJU -- Free tours start every Sunday at 10 a.m. from the Gongju Tourism Information Center in the Gongsanseung parking lot. Buses run to the Gongju Museum. There are two courses.
DAEGU -- Tour buses run every day from 10 a.m. at the Tourism Information Center inside Duryu Park. Tickets cost 2,000 won (half day) and 3,000 won (day ticket), but free for foreigners. Full-day course is 10-5; half day course 10-2.
GYEONGJU -- Tours at 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. at the express bus terminal. Stops include the Bomun tourism area, Bulguk Temple, the traditional crafts village, the Gyeongju Museum, and the tomb of General Kim Yoo-shin. The full tour lasts seven hours and costs 10,000 won.
ULSAN -- Tours run every day except Mondays and Fridays, beginning at 10 a.m. in front of the Taewha hotel. There are six courses available, depending on the day of the week.
LEAVE DRIVING TO THEM
AREA PHONE HOMEPAGE
Seoul 02-777-6090 www.seoulcitytourbus.com
Suwon 031-256-8300 www.suwoncitytour.com
Incheon 032-469-6060 www.inpia.net
Yeoju 031-883-2114 www.yeoju.gyeoggi.kr
Daejeon 042-222-5451 www.metro.daejeon.kr
Gongju 041-856-7700 www.gongju.go.kr
Daegu 053-627-8900 www.daegutour.or.kr
Gyeongju 054-743-6001 www.chunmatour.co.kr
Ulsan 052-271-6633 www.ulsancitytour.com
Busan 051-851-0600 www.saepusan.co.kr
by Kim Sae-joon