Taxis are actually not expensive as I thought they could be. Ofcourse if you take a taxi from Incheon aeroport to downtown expect to pay 100000 wong but it's 1 hour and half drive. I took taxis for short rides in the city, they always used meter and I never paid more than 10000 wong for a 10 minutes long taxi ride.
Taxi Drivers in Busan (not necessarily in Seoul) want to be your tour guide and will slow down to show you things and/or take the longer way to your destination - the scenic route. I mention this because I don't know if the taxi drivers do this in Seoul. But more than likely, the do. You should indicate you want to get to your destination by the shortest route. The valet at your hotel could probably relay this message to the taxi driver for you because most taxi drivers do not or will not speak English.
Do not take photos while riding in a taxi. The taxi driver will stop so you can take your picture and all the while, the meter is still runing.
Have your destination written down in Korean (if possible) so you can show the taxi driver where you want to go. If you don't speak fluent Korean, there is a HUGE possibility the taxi driver doesn't understand you.
There is no tipping in South Korea. You do not have to tip the taxi driver.
Do not take a Taxi from Incheon to Seoul unless you are in a hurry or have lots of extra money. There are frequent city buses to all parts of Seoul that only cost 12,000 won ($9) rather than 45,000 Won for a taxi (including the 7,000 Won toll). The buses go to many major hotels and tourist areas. If the bus doesn't go where you need to be, just take the bus to Seoul Station and take a local taxi (5,000 Won or less for most trips) or the subway (1150 Won within the city).
I am a taxi driver in Seoul. just 2 years experience since i got a certificate of international taxi drive in Seoul, I took mnay many forieners to where they wanted to go, hotel to airport, home to compny,ect...all passangers were so satisfaction to take my service, also complained about seoul taxi who don,t speak english.
taxi fare is no promblum to use a taxi at daytime but to use a taxi at midnight time at ietaaewon so much crazy strreeet so drunk keep drinking ...that,s your complaint that you are so drunk that u ask seoul taxi driver to go whre you want to go...hhhh..
then call me if you are so drunk so mixed then i be there as soon as i got your call
don,t forget my number +82-10-9191-6552 or local mobile no. 010-9191-6552.
Tat's job of Taxi ..I am a service drive for drunk foriegners who alway like to drink so much.
I am sober for more than ten years. No worry about a drunken driving...okk..
I am a fluent english speaker, too. also All alkie wordsthat i learned for morethan ten years
is "don,t jaywalk just stop and be there".
Thank you who read all wrinting.
Its true that there are many types of taxis in Seoul but one word of warning - do not take the black taxi! Ever! It is the most expensive taxi in Seoul according to my tour guide and is meant for business executives whose companies pay for it. So, bottom line..any taxi but the black one is fine. If you have trouble with telling them where to go, prepare a flash card with both the english and korean counterpart of important words i.e your hotel etc. Should be fine most of the time. I managed to get across where I wanted to go to my taxi driver from the airport. Lol.
There are two different types of taxis. One is medium-sized taxi and the other is deluxe taxi (black-colored). In case of the former, it will cost about 75,000 Korean Won from the airport to Seoul including toll fee (7,100 Korean Won) for the Incheon Airport Exressway. In case of deluxe taxi, it will cost about 95,000 Korean won including toll fee (7,100 Korean Won) which we took so it cost us (me and my friend) $ 52 each.
There are three types of taxi available in Seoul, South Korea. General Taxis are colored silver gray and you can board them either from the taxi stops or flag one down by waving your hand at streets. An empty taxi can be identified by the red light at the front. The minimum fare starts from 1,900 won (caveat: most general taxi drivers don't speak english so it is better to hire a deluxe taxi). The fare then goes on increasing by 100 Won depending on the traveled distance and riding time. (you can see at the gps screen in front since all taxis have gps screens!)
Best Deluxe Taxi is another type of taxi. The taxis are distinguished from General Taxis by their color. Deluxe taxis have yellow caps on their black bodies and most drivers speak passable english that is why this is the most preferred taxi by foreigners. The basic fare starts from 3000 South Korean Won and goes on increasing by 200 Won depending on the distance traversed. Though a bit costly than General Taxis, they are much more comfortable and you can flag them down anywhere on the road.
Another type of taxi is Call Taxi. You can call a cab anywhere to pick you from by making a phone call. There is one advantage. If you do not speak Korean, you can call for a taxi fitted with interpretation facility. Green Call Taxi Company Number is (822) 366-340-50
If you are 4 people in a group and you only have to travel a short distance then take a taxi. One subway ticket costs W1000 so a short taxi ride is on the cards. You also get the benefit of door to door if the taxi man knows where he is going.
Remember to get a business card of your hotel, or go to the internet to get the location map or direction of your destination in Hangul (Korean character). You just show it to the taxi driver and have him to call the telephone and ask for direction how to get there in their own language. I stayed inside the campus of Yonsei University, I have difficulty to make the taxi driver understand my exact location of going inside the campus. So I used the sign language to tell him to call the telephone no. to ask for the direction, it didn't miss any each time by doing so.
Dongdaemun is a great place to buy cheaps stuff like imitation bags , cool sunglasses and etc. it also has night market which consist so many small street stalls that sells really cheaps stuff and food. the thing is its open around 10pm until morning.
In case , you are going there to shop please take notes that some of the taxis didn't want to give u a ride if u live nearby..for example you are living in Seoul plaza hotel near Seoul city hall which is 20mins away or so..they simply asked you where u wanna to go and rudely denied you.
in some cases like mine, we went to buy a backpack in dongdaemun because its really cheap!~ my place is about 25mins , the bus stop around midnight as well as the subway. we had no other options but to get any taxi around there.At 2am, it was raining heavily and we couldn't get any taxis!!~ we have to walked 5km in wet clothes just to get a taxi . there were lots of people standing in the rain to get a taxi but the taxi drivers ignore them and went away...!!!
in case its happen to you..try buy any midnight movies at the mall nearby and wait until morning for the subway.
that time we had 9am classes so we had to go home.
Taxies are pretty cheap in Seoul. The black taxies are more expensive so take the silver/white ones. You hail the taxis by putting your arm out and down towards the ground and moving your hand by bending it at the wrist while keeping the fingers straight. There are alot of taxis so there is no problem getting one. Taxi drivers are hard to communicate with though. It will help if you have a business card with the address where you are going on it and the phone number. Give it to the driver and he will call the phone number and get directions. Very useful if you are going to a restaurant. Dial 1330 if you get really desperate. It's an English speaking help service.
It has been said over and over, but let me reaffirm- depending on your perspective, drivers in Korea are either the BEST or the WORST, in the WORLD. Considering most have only had their license for under 10 years, just picture total anarchy at 100kpm. Taxi drivers are proud of their abilities, however, and drive like F-1 racers, except they slam on the brakes. I can best describe it as a rollercoaster ride on a flat plane, with obstacles inches from them in each direction. If you've ever been on the Back To The Future interactive ride at Universal Studios, this is a good parallel, only, your life is actually on the line. Regardless, I have always felt safe in the hands of these drivers, aside from the nausea.
General rule- black taxies are AAFES, US hired transportation- they speak English, and expect a tip, and are a little more expensive, but always accept $US. White cabs are nationals, and sometimes they reluctantly accept $US, and often speak enough English to get you where you are going. I would always have won ready, just in case. Korean cabbies usually don't expect tips, but if you are American, they appreciate it and are growing used to tips.
Don't be surprised if you are inches away from peril; time is money, and they aren't afraid to run lights, u-turn illegally, graze pedestrians, or park/drive on sidewalks. I honestly feel safer IN cabs than AROUND them on the street.
Also, don't make a big deal out of it, but it is pretty common for these guys to play dumb and ask for more money than is on the meter, or to not reset the meter when you get in. A $1 extra is worth getting where you're going, I feel, but if you know Korean, you are more than welcome to toss around some allegations.
Beware of last subway train schedules if you want to be out and about late in Seoul. With the all night markets happening everywhere in the city, I am sure we were not the only ones got trapped in the following situation:
Having so much time shopping, we forgot about time and missed the last subway back to our hostel. But there is always taxi right? WRONG!!! NO taxi would stop for us for the 30 minutes we've tried hailing one. Later on we found out that around 2-3am is change of shift time for taxi and they are all rushing. Having shopped until we dropped literally, this was not the ideal situation. We ended up paying online access fee and nap infront of a computer at a 24 hours kinko.
This has happened twice, so it may not be a coincidence (once to me, once to a friend of mine). There is limosine bus that goes from Hannan-Dong through Yeouido and on to Incheon Airport. I usually get it at the stop that is ourside the Kookmin Bank, across from the Korea Stock Exchange, near Yeouido Station (Line 5).
The last time I went there, though, I was approached by a Black/Deluxe Cab driver. I know the trip is 60-70,000 won (USD 50-60) so I passed, but he insisted...and the rate was 12,000 won (exactly that of the limobus!). The reason: he had a fare to pick up there and wanted to cut his costs.
The second time was recently. My friend and I were waiting and looking at the limobus's route in the shelter. A taxidriver approached...same story: 12,000 to the airport.
I can't sayt that it's happen to you, but if you get approached with a deal like this: take it! The driver has the meeter running the whole time (don't be alarmed) but you only pay 12,000. What a deal.
The easiest way to get around Seoul is by Taxi. They are everywhere, they are inexpensive, and the are safe. The gray taxis and white taxis are inexpensive, starting at 1,600 won. The black taxis are the luxury taxis, starting at 3,000 won.