South Korea – Moving to The Hart of Korean Culture, Andong

Seoul, South Korea, April 2017: Having spent 10 very pleasant days in the capital its time to move on. A few days a go I booked an Air bnb  accommodation in Andong, a town in the central region and said to be the pulsating hart of Korean culture or as Mr. Lee from the Seoul guesthouse says, “more Korean than Seoul”. So for now, its good bye Seoul for a couple of weeks before returning via the Southern city of Busan to complete my Korean adventure.

How to get from Seoul to Andong by train: The track begins at Cheongnyangni station. The line is named Mugunghwa and the trains operating are local trains as opposed to the super fast KTX ot the less fast ITX.

  1. If arriving at Cheonbnyangni via the Metro/Subway then passengers for the overland lines need to head up to the 3rd floor where there is the ticket office. There are no directional signs in English, just have to guess. I found a lift near the metro ticket machines as directed by a very kind old timer who spotted I was somewhat lost!
  2. Frequent trains run down to Andong from here and its easy enough to rack up and get a ticket for the next service. 15,300 Won, about £12.50 for the 3 hour ride on the 1150.
  3. Carefully follow the signs to the correct platform, its quite easy to get on the wrong train if passengers are not of Korean origin.
  4. Bring snacks and drinks since I didn’t spot any on board services. And that’s it –  the Koreans have their public transport needs weighed up pretty nicely!
  5. If it all go’s pear shaped, well, there’s always the bus.

IMG_3726

A very comfortable ride, plenty of room and space to move around. The train is about 1/2 full, mostly pensioners heading back to their base after a mornings stomp around Seoul. Every so often the ticket inspector passes through, pauses and bows, impeccable manners these Koreans!

Its a first look at Korea outside of a metropolis. Quaint little hamlets of traditional style houses. Farmsteads, rice fields and veggie patches, this train ride offers a fleeting glimpse into Korean rural life. And the scenery, well that’s pretty awesome shining through in the afternoon sunshine. Here, take a look….

Next: Air bnb shock, temple art and a free Korean lunch, coming up shortly.

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