Any visitor to Seoul will surely be familiar with the efficiency and convenience of Korea’s subways and metros. But beyond the befuddling criss-cross of intra and inter city lines, Korea’s railways have more to offer than simply being one of many ways to travel cheaply and conveniently across the country.
From abyssal valley passes to prominent cultural sights and breathtaking seaside vistas, Korea has its fair share of mesmerising rail journeys. From the picturesque coast of Gangwon to the rural hinterland just past the city limits of Seoul, here are 5 of South Korea’s most scenic train rides!
- The Sea Train
This four-carriage tourist train is nothing short of spectacular — its two cabins are equipped with an in-house movie screening system and with window-facing seats that give passengers an unparalleled viewing experience of South Korea’s stunning west coast. In line with the marine theme, the Sea Train comes complete with sea themed decor such as pictures of marine critters on the exterior, as well as marine life themed trick art.
- V-Train / Baekdudaegan Mountain Range Canyon Train
Otherwise known as the “Baby white tiger (baekho)” train due to the white tiger motif on the train’s exterior — the V-train (or Valley train) takes passengers on a visual spectacle across obscure mountain ranges across Gangwon and Gyeongsangbuk-do. Running through the Baekdudaegan mountain range, a train ride on this scenic route will take you past beautiful alpines and geographic formations such as overhangs, valleys and cliff faces. Additionally, much of the train’s facade is made out of clear glass windows which passengers may choose to open to take in the fresh mountain air.
- O-Train / Central Inland Region Train
Traversing the Baekdudaegan mountain range as well, the O-Train (or Open Train) provides a more comprehensive rail journey across the 3 provinces of Gangwon, Chungcheongbuk-do and Gyeongsangbuk-do. A ride on the O-train will take you on a scenic tour in South Korea’s central inland region, allowing you to stop at a multitude of stations for a more immersive travel experience.
- Snow Flower Trains
Highly popular and only available in winter, KORAIL’s Snow Flower Trains (nun-kot yeol-cha) offer train treks across enchanting snowscapes in the eastern mountains, taking passengers into a surreal realm of crystal-white trees, glistening snow blankets and frozen rivers. Dubbed as one of the most romantic train rides in South Korea, Snow Flower Trains are the perfect way to enjoy the wonders of winter with your significant other.
- Jungang Line
Want to experience rail travel without having to travel far beyond Seoul? Have a go on the Jungang Line! Connecting Yongsan station to Yongmun in Gyeonggi-do, this inter-city line will take you from the urban hustle and bustle of metropolitan Seoul, to scenic mountain ranges and vast rice fields in the Korean hinterland. A train trek on the Jungang Line will feel very much like a journey through time.
Whether you’re traversing from one end of Seoul to the other, or looking for a cheap way to get from Seoul to Busan, South Korea’s trains are an ideal option for any traveller looking to get the most out of his visit. So the next time you’re in South Korea, hop on for a scenic train ride and be enthralled by the beauty of this amazing country!
This article was contributed by Douglas, a writer for ShopBack Malaysia. ShopBack Malaysia is an online shopping site that provides cashback and travel deals for your next trip to Korea.