This morning I caught the KTX train to Busan from Seoul station (subway line 1 & 4). The journey takes less than three hours. On a Tuesday morning it wasn’t crowded so we had no difficulty buying tickets. On other occasions such as Chuseok and the Lunar New Year seats are bought up on the internet within minutes of going on sale. Last Lunar New Year we thought we had lost our chance to go by KTX but then we heard about standing up tickets. We bought those from a ticket office the night before travelling.
The track between Seoul and Busan passes through pleasant green farmland and forested hills, with some mountains near the Busan area. South Korea has some very impressive national parks but you won’t see anything of those from this train. Instead expect to see farming villages, rice paddies, people working in the fields and glimpses of towns along the tracks. This is throughly well utilised countryside so even the most bucolic stretches are sprinkled with electricity pylons and building sites.
When we arrived in Busan we got on the city’s clean and efficient subway system and met a relative at the famous Haeundae beach.