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Stay in Seoul, Tips for Traveling to the 2018 Olympic Games in Record Speeds

With anticipation running high on the upcoming Pyeongchang Olympics, many to-be spectators in Korea and abroad are getting busy making plans to attend the once-in-a-lifetime event that has great meaning for the history of the nation. A big part of any trip planning is figuring out transportation, and it is certainly important for gatherings of this scale. Many are curious about alternatives to reduce time and stress on the road, the new Pyeongchang Olympic KTX line provides a great option. According to many reports, the train will take only 58 minutes to travel from east side of Seoul to Pyeongchang. As a result, the convenience of staying in Seoul will be a great bonus for those hoping to see more of Korea.

KTX is Korea’s high-speed rail system that connects many of the major cities across the country (and made famous through the critically acclaimed movie Train to Busan). It first launched in 2010, and has reduced travel time to anywhere in South Korea to less than three hours. For example, it can take you from Seoul to Busan in under 2.5 hours, allowing for quick and easy getaways to check out various parts of the country in just a day or two. In preparation for the Olympics, the government announced the building of its newest KTX line that connects Incheon Airport to Gangneung through stops in Seoul, Gyeonggi-do, and Gangwon-do. It is estimated to launch in December, with test runs being held in late October and November. The new line is actually a combination of three projects leveraging existing rails and building new ones. In short:

  1. Incheon Airport – Seoul: use existing airport express line and add a connecting line from Terminal 2 (total distance ~49km)

  2. Susaek Station – West Wonju: convert existing rail into high-speed (108.4km)

  3. Wonju – Gangneung: build a new high-speed rail (120.7km)

The events take place across two main stadium areas between Pyeongchang and Gangneung. The above project will connect coast to coast and will help many of the estimated 56,000 visitors per day get to the Olympics. It is scheduled to run 51 times a day from various starting points, and total train time from ICN to Gangneung is estimated to be 1 hour 52 minutes. The exact time tables will be announced closer to launch, but from the announcements so far, we expect there to be many trains from early morning to late night carrying cars full of excited, high-spirited passengers looking to have a great time in Pyeongchang.

There are also plans for free shuttles from terminals and stations near the stadium areas, so whether you live in Seoul or plan to head there for the amazing nightlife at the end of each day, you will be able to take advantage of the quick and easy transport.

September 5th marked the start of the Online General Sales Phase, opening the floodgates to tens of thousands of locals as well as foreigners living in Korea who have been patiently waiting to get their hands on tickets. It’s been interesting for us to see the interest level from our customers across the 200+ events: at the time of this writing, the top three most popular, hard-to-get tickets are for men’s figure skating, lower-tier opening ceremony, and ­– as expected from the country that has been dominating the sport for many years – short track speed skating.

We have contacted KTX to find out more, and they are also waiting on ticketing details. If you plan on going to the games, make sure to get your tickets and accommodations now. Wonderful can help with tickets, transportation, hotels, flights and local activities for a customized experience tailored for making Olympic dreams come true. As your personal assistant, we give you access to Korea like a local.

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