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Seoul Travel Ep.4 Kakao Taxi and Cheonggyecheon

Seoul Travel Ep.4 Kakao Taxi and Cheonggyecheon


Hello. It has been 4 days since I came to Korea. It seems that I have been physically active in the meantime, so on the 4th day, I decided to focus on a more static course rather than an active tourist course.

One of the members of the party was a bit tired from climbing Mt. Inwang the previous day, so on the 4th day, the rest of the party went on a tour except for the party with a sore leg.  Inwangsan Mountain Climbing Course 

The place we are going to visit today is a place where you can enjoy leisure in the heart of the city.

1. Taxi in Korea
(1) Classification of regular taxis and model taxis

There are basically two types of taxis in Korea. These are standard taxis and regular taxis. The quickest way to differentiate between the two types of taxis is by 'color'. Standard taxis are usually black 2-seater cars.

A regular taxi, on the other hand, is orange. However, it is important to note that not all black cars are model taxis.

The basic fare for a standard taxi is 6,500 won. After that, an additional fee is charged for every 3km. The current basic fare for a regular taxi is 3,800 won.
Until recently, 2-3 years ago, the basic fare of a general taxi was between 3,000 won and 3,500 won, but the basic fare has risen.

To become a model taxi driver, you need to drive a regular taxi for 5 years. Additionally, you must have no accidents in five years to qualify as a model taxi driver.

(2) How to take a taxi

There is no Uber service in Korea. For foreigners who are familiar with the service called Uber, using a taxi may be inconvenient.

Uber eliminates the need to tell the destination because the user sets the destination and boards the Uber.

But in Korea, you have to catch a passing taxi. There are many taxis you can see, but you may not be able to catch them easily.

(1) Cross to a place that coincides with the direction you are going.
(2) Stand so as not to deviate from the Pedestrian road.
(3) One of the passing taxis comes automatically.
(4) (If it is difficult to catch a taxi) Open your palm and wave your hand 45 degrees downward.

The method presented above has a 90% chance of getting into a taxi.
Sometimes you may be denied boarding. However, if you are denied boarding for no good reason, you can report it to 120.

(3) Kakao Taxi

We left the hotel in the morning and took a taxi to go. Because Myeongdong has complicated traffic, I had to call a Kakao Taxi in front of the hostel. Kakao Taxi is an application related to call taxis and public transportation launched in 2015 by Kakao Corporation. Usage is the same as with Uber.

Kakao is the most used application in Korea like Wechat in China and Whatsapp in the United States.

After that, you can download the Kakao Taxi app separately.

There are three types of taxis in this app. There are regular calls, smart calls, and women-only calls. There is no separate fee for general.

Smart calls come a little faster at the cost of an extra fee. Women-only calls come from a female driver.

The procedure for using Kakao Taxi is as follows.

<Install Kakao Taxi App -> Departure Settings -> Destination Settings -> General Call Settings -> Wait for Driver> 

You do not need to enter an address to set the departure location, and if the GPS link is well established, the current location can be set automatically.

Occasionally, the current location may be slightly different due to a GPS error. You should be aware that errors may occur, such as having to cross a crosswalk or setting the building's back door instead of the front door. And if you register your card in advance, you don't have to pay separately when you get off.

2. Explore Cheonggyecheon

(1) Go to Cheonggyecheon

It was the next day after climbing, so I was a bit heavy, so I came out late. So I arrived at Cheonggyecheon around 3pm. Since Cheonggyecheon is about 10km long, you can see Cheonggyecheon from any point within 10km, but if you want to go to the entrance of Cheonggyecheon, you have to go to the exact location.

The easiest way to get to Cheonggyecheon is to find exit 5 of Gwanghwamun Station. Other major buildings close to the entrance to Cheonggyecheon include the Four Seasons Hotel, Tom N Toms Black Cheonggyecheon Branch, and Ilmin Museum of Art.

If you visit the representative buildings mentioned above, as you can see in the photo, there is a large purple cone model.

The name of this work is 'Spring' and it was created by an artist named Kles Oldenburg.

In 2004, when the Cheonggyecheon restoration project was actively underway, it is said that this sculpture was installed at a great cost to install a symbolic sculpture.

Originally, the artist is famous for creating new types of objects by twisting existing objects.


(2) Cheonggyecheon, which contains the history of Korea

It is said that Cheonggyecheon was originally a single stream. Until the Joseon Dynasty and the Japanese colonial period, there was a time when the area was covered with cement because it always overflowed when it rained. In the meantime, development projects were carried out, and now it has become a cultural space for the citizens of Seoul.

When we went there were a lot of people with their feet in the water. In 2018, there was a record heat wave in Korea, and the temperature in midsummer rose to 40 degrees (Celsius). If you see a lot of buildings clustered together in the middle of the city, naturally, the middle is playing the role of lowering the temperature a little, even if it is not sunlight.

Cheonggyecheon is also famous for the annual Lantern Festival, which attracts large numbers of people. You can see it if you go on public holidays or holidays that occur every year, such as Buddha's Birthday, Chuseok, and Christmas.


(3) Tourist attractions around Cheonggyecheon

Cheonggyecheon is about 10 km away. This is a long road from Jongno 1-ga, the center of Seoul, to Dongdaemun. We decided to walk from the starting point of Cheonggyecheon to Gwangjang market to go to Gwangjang market.

The first is the Korea Tourism Organization Seoul Center. Currently, the headquarters of the Korea Tourism Organization is located in Gangwon-do, and the Seoul Center serves as a tourist information center.

This five-story building consists of a tourist information center on the second floor, a Korean food exhibition hall on the third floor, a Korean food culture center on the fourth floor, and a local tourism experience center on the fifth floor.

In particular, a Cooking Class is being held at the Korean Food Culture Center on the 4th floor, teaching foreigners how to make traditional Korean food.

The second is the Bancha Island to the tomb of King Jeongjo. Those who see it for the first time may not know what it is. It means Banchado, where King Jeongjo, the 22nd king of the Joseon Dynasty, is practicing.

The tomb here refers to the cemetery of the king. It is said that the expression is different from that of the common people's graveyard.

Banchado is a painting that records important mountain events and ceremonies in the Joseon Dynasty. At that time, of course, it was impossible to take photos or videos, so I drew pictures as well as writing descriptions.

If so, we need to find out whose tomb is the tomb of King Jeongjo.

This is the father of King Jeongjo, Crown Prince Sado. Crown Prince Sado, who met his tragic death, had a young son, Jeongjo, at that time.

Even when King Jeongjo became king, he was full of longing and filial piety for his father. So, in 1795, to celebrate the sixtieth birthday of King Jeongjo's mother, Hyegyeonggung Hong, he was on his way to meet his father, Crown Prince Sado.

At that time, the number of manpower mobilized was 1,779 and the number of horses was 779, so it is estimated that it was a very large event.

Even though the life expectancy and actual life expectancy of people have risen dramatically compared to the Joseon Dynasty, the 71st birthday party is important.

Even in the 21st century, when an elderly person in the household turns XNUMX, family and friends gather together to pray for a long life. If it was a XNUMXth birthday party for the mother of the king of the Joseon Dynasty, the scale would not be easy to predict.

Banchado for King Jeongjo's tomb is located between Gwanggyo and Samilgyo Bridge among the Cheonggyecheon Bridges.

In addition, the first Mojeon Bridge you see was called 'Mojeon', where a place that sells fruits in the past, but it is called Mojeon Bridge because it is a nearby bridge. The second bridge you can see, Gwangtonggyo, is an important bridge from Gwanghwamun to Sungnyemun, because the king went through it when he visited.

3. Concluding

Seoul is a beautiful city. If overlooked, they are just sculptures and stone bridges, but if you look closely, there are hidden stories in them.

Since it has been the capital of the Korean Peninsula for a long time, it contains so many stories and history. Thanks for reading. See you next time.