You may have already read our article on the ways of getting around within Korea but do you know how to travel from Korea to other countries?
At first it may sound like a weird topic. Why would you need to know how to travel from Korea to other countries, when you are just arriving in Korea? It’s already a foreign country to you. But actually, whether you are coming to Korea as an exchange student, a teacher, or something else, Korea provides an excellent base from which to explore other countries. Alternatively, you may be planning a backpacking trip across Asia, with Korea as one of your destinations.
Though travel from Korea may not happen with as much ease as country hopping in Europe would, it is still an excellent choice to make your base. Additionally, due to its location, with it being further from most countries besides Japan and China, it’s important to know the best way to travel from Korea to maximize your adventurous fun.
How To Get To Japan?
Japan is, of course, the easiest and cheapest country to get to from Korea. As such, there is more than one way to travel there. From Busan, for example, you can take a ferry to Fukuoka. The ferry ride takes less than 3 hours. Next to Fukuoka, is Tsushima, another city in Japan that you can reach by ferry from Korea. Additionally, you can even reach Osaka by ferry from Busan!
But while ferries might be a new and exciting way to travel, it is still more common to fly. There are several small airlines, both Korean and Japanese, that can take you to just about any place in Japan for a low fare and short travel time. Usually you can get these plane tickets for as low as $100 if flying to Osaka in the off-season, even if the trip is short notice. Tokyo will also amount to less than $200 for a round trip, short notice or planned. The flight time is often less than two hours to a maximum of three hours. Sapporo and Okinawa are also among some regions in Japan that are cheaper, and faster, to fly to than Tokyo. In either case, if you are looking for a quick weekend getaway, Japan is absolutely the perfect choice when traveling from Korea. Just keep in mind that things are much pricier in Japan than in Korea!
How To Get To China?
Much like Japan, China is fairly close to South Korea. Although flying there seems to be just about the only option, it’s not a time consuming one. The plane tickets are a little bit more expensive in comparison to Japan, at $200 or more, but still very affordable when compared to international travel elsewhere in the world.
The main downside of traveling to China is the need for a visa for most countries. If you are a traveler, just passing through Korea as one of your stops, you’ll likely want to do your research and make preparations before arriving in Korea. But for those with valid visas for staying in South Korea, you can submit your Chinese visa applications right in Korea. In that case, the most you have to think about is applying early enough for the process to be completed on time.
This makes China not so good a choice for a spontaneous trip. However, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau, are all within easy reach from South Korea and don’t require a visa for most countries. And flying to these countries can be quite cheap. For example, a round trip plane ticket to Hong Kong will cost you less than $200!
How To Get To South East Asia?
Now, there’s no point in denying it: Asia is a huge continent. And while China and Japan might be reachable in under 3 hours from Korea, the rest are not. However, as long as you are staying in Korea, Asian countries are still far more affordable to reach than if you flew there directly from home.
As one comparison, flying to the Philippines from Europe can easily take $1000 out of your pocket, and the flight still wouldn’t be a direct one! But traveling from Korea? The ticket price ranges between $200 and $400, with many Filipino airlines flying the distance without stopovers.
And as far as continental South East Asia goes, many of them are near enough to each other that you only need to fly to one and then you can use local transportation methods to visit the rest. You can get to Hanoi, in Vietnam, for as little as $250 on a direct flight, making it a great place to start, especially as it is the easternmost point. Alternatively, Bangkok, in Thailand, is less than $300 from South Korea as well, and with no stopovers! Vientiane in Laos is just shy of $300. Of course the prices rise as we go further into the peak season, but that’s not the only time of year that’s good to travel!
In the case of Indonesia, however, it is best to take a flight with a stop over, typically in Malaysia. The flight time may be longer, but the cost of the flight will remain less than $400. Note that, oddly enough, a direct flight to Kuala Lumpur costs about as much as using Kuala Lumpur as a stopover point on your way from Seoul to Jakarta or Bali. For Singapore, you will also save a lot of money by not flying direct. Once there, you can take a bus to Malaysia or a ferry to Indonesia!
So where do you plan to go first to from Korea now that you know just how easy and cheap it is? Let us know in the comments below!
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