This time, i’m not totally doing solo traveling. In between 12 days trip, sometimes i have traveling friend. Yeah…. That’s Miss. Mini! Actually, there are another couple – our friend – Mr and Mrs. Essential, whom also traveling to South Korea in the similar period of time. So…. sometimes we become gang of four, sometimes just me and miss. Mini, sometimes just me.
What is the big differences between traveling in big group and alone? I think, it is in transportation matter. For example, when i’m alone, i don’t want to take taxi. No way! But, in gang of four, taxi become a friendly choice. Anyway, taxi in south Korea is quite friendly. I mean, price wise. but, most of them, especially the old driver, they can’t read latin alphabet, only in hangul! That’s a bit of an issue, but not much!
So, mostly transport in south korea can be paid by card. Mostly here means, subway, train, bus, and taxi but……. not always works nationally. For example, i can use the pre-paid card i bought in Seoul, only for some buses in Gwangju, not all. I think, the rapid city bus need local pre-paid card, or another card, while intercity bus takes the card i bought in Seoul. The express intercity bus using ticket, we need to buy on the terminal. What is express intercity bus? This kind of bus goes directly from one city to another, they are not stopping everywhere, except for toilet rest. Korea is using this kind of bus a lot, and they are nice in every aspect! I mean, good bus condition, pretty on time, and good price!
Back to the card. So far, i know they have cash-bee, T-money, and something else. Don’t ask me what’s the differences between T-Money and Cash-Bee, i have no idea. Miss. Mini using T-money, while i’m using cash-Bee. The Korean using another card that so much flexible, they can pay almost anything with their card! Sounds like the RING on the Lord of the Ring! One card to rule all! hahaha! To make things easier, beside the card, i always ready with cash, just in case my card doesn’t excepted. The good thing about bus in Korea, they provide money change!
So, just scanned the card on the machine, and listen carefully. The machine would say bla bla bla bla…. Gamsahabnida! No gamsahabnida means, the card are not excepted 😀
We can purchase this pre-paid card in convenient stores, such as C U, Family Mart, 7-eleven, etc. It is a bit different with Octopus card in Hongkong, where we buy them on the subway station. We can also use this card in almost all convenient store. Re charge can be done in the machine in subway – the machine speak english, no worries-, or in convenient store. Becareful, as much as i love human, sometimes dealing with machine become so much efficient! Once i tried to re charge my card 10.000 KRW in convenient store, i hand them my 50.000 KRW bill. Instead of recharge it 10.000 and gave me change 40.000 KRW, the sweet cashier girl put all my 50.000 KRW inside my card! Great! We – me, miss. Mini, the sweet girl, her dad, and her mom – spend the next 20 min sorted this problem out.
So much positives in using pre-paid card, we have the negative here. It have no re fund system! I was thinking we can do refund, if we still some credit at the end of the trip, and it turns out big NO. So, we spend the last credit in the airport convenient store. Glad they’re exist, though!