[but can you get there from here?]

Topic: Korea

When I was in Korea in 2001 and 2002, I was impressed by the high quality of the subway system, which made the contrast of the bus system all the more striking. The buses were grotty, poorly designed, weirdly numbered and driven by psychopaths, and worse yet, there were no bus maps. They simply didn’t exist. (You can read my description of them here.)

Well, apparently all that has changed. My friend Graeme sent me a link to his Anyang Expats MSN group, where I was startled to see a post entitled Bus map: startled because as far as I had known, no such thing existed. Following the link, I discovered that there is in fact a fascinating online Seoul bus map (works only in Internet Explorer and requires an applet). When I tried it out, though, none of the bus route numbers matched the ones I remembered.

Then I stumbled across a post in a blog called The Beige Report explaining that Seoul has thoroughly upgraded its bus system. There are new blue buses, new route numbers, and, of course, a map.

Ah, progress! South Korea changes so fast that when I talk to someone who was there in 1997, it’s like he’s describing a different country. I suppose I, too, have an out-of-date picture of the place. And there’s only one way to fix that. I suppose I will have to go back.

Also published on Medium.