2018 Beach Bus Reservations Have Started

2018 Beach Bus Season Has Arrived!

For the second year in a row, South of Seoul has ride-share buses leaving Pyeongtaek on select Saturdays, headed to beaches. Bus travel is wonderful because you can avoid the stress of traffic, driving home exhausted, not being able to have a drinky drink while at the beach. Heck, we even have cars but we still go on these buses because it makes the experience so much more relaxing.

Not only are they the easiest way to get there, but the buses are surprisingly affordable. One-day trips are all under 20,000 won per person. Considering it usually takes 6-8 hours (BUT ONLY 2.5-3 WITH US!) on public transportation, it seems like a steal. In fact, outside of having your own car, the SOS ride-share buses are the only real option for getting to the beaches nearest Pyeongtaek.

These beaches are not for those who are looking for an experience just like the Bahamas. It’s not going to be perfectly manicured to specific western ideals or super warm water. These beaches are about being outside and enjoying the sea air, splashing around, and being free of the city for the day. Korea has its own unique flavor and we love it. We swim, surf tiny waves, play in the sand, collect shells, dig for things, look at tiny crabs, and blissfully waste our day. On a rainy day, we read next to the sea, get wet, go to the botanical gardens, and still have a brilliant time.

However, we understand it’s not for folks who are shy about being in a new country. Especially the SOS ride-share trips because no one will be holding anyone’s hand. Instead, we just all go together and enjoy our own free time. Maybe make some new friends or chill with the friends you came with.

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WHERE ARE ARE GOING: (we will update this as we add places)

Dates                   Seats           Ride-Share Contribution
July 7, 2018            44            Mallipo  18,000 won round trip West Sea
July 14, 2018           44           Mudfest  19,000won round trip West Sea
July 21-22, 2018      19            Sokcho  38,000 won round trip East Sea

HOW TO JOIN US:
Registration for the rideshare buses is handled via the South of Seoul app which is available for Android and iPhone. This system allows us to easily manage the rideshare and keep costs to a minimum. Thank you for playing along :p

HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR CONTRIBUTION:
You don’t pay in the app. Instead, we offer two ways to pay for the convenience of our local and US Military participants. Payment needs to be completed within 24 hours of submitting your seat request. Once payment has been verified you will get an email confirming your reservation.

******To pay in US Dollars: ******
OPTION 1: PayPal southofseoul@gmail.com – please select the gift option or there are high fees taken out and that leaves the shared cost short.

******To pay in Korean Won:******

OPTION 1: transfer directly to KB account 468601-04-118306 Name: Rivers-Woods

A few regularly asked questions:
WHY A BEACH BUS?
Pyeongtaek is close to a number of delightful beaches, yet they are surprisingly hard to get to because there are no direct express buses. We are changing that. We are doing this by harnessing the power of the community and renting buses for us all to share together. By pooling our resources we can all enjoy some time in the countryside even if we don’t have cars or don’t feel like driving.

IS THIS A TOUR?
Nope, it’s not a tour. It’s a bus to the beach. There won’t be interpreters, no hand holding, no special stops, or pre-made meals. The bus driver picks us up, drops us off, and we explore the area. You are going to love it. Bring all the things you need to just sit back and relax. They will not drive us to lots of different places along the way. We go from Pyeongtaek to the beach and back.

WHO CAN GO?
Anyone can go on the bus if they pay for a ticket. It’s for families, single travelers, teachers, military, friends, etc. You can be from Songtan, Anjung, Paengseong, Suwon, Dongtan, Yongin, etc. It’s also not just for foreigners. Bring all your friends no matter where they are from. It’s about having a beautiful time together in the summer. If you have a group that wants to go together (language meetup, church group, kids whatever, etc) just be sure to buy your tickets early so everyone can go.

WHERE WILL THE BUS PICK ME UP?
There will almost always be three stops. You will select which stop you will be at when you reserve your seat in the South of Seoul app: 

  • Songtan Subway Station
  • Pyeongtaek Station Exit 2
  • Camp Humphreys walking gate. 

You will need to be there on-time. We can’t hold the bus on the street for long periods of time.

ARE THERE DISCOUNTED TICKETS FOR (fill in the blank)?
No, there are not. The bus costs a base amount. We’ve based the tickets on that price. We are not a tour company nor good at math… simple division is all we can handle. Also, we are not affiliated with the military. This bus is for EVERYONE! So prices, are prices, are prices.

WHAT ARE THE BEACHES LIKE?
The beaches on the west coast of Korea tend to be shallow with very small surf (often no surf). This makes them really fun for kids because they can play like crazy in the water. When it rains or there is a storm at sea it will affect the clarity of the water. No way around that. It’s how the ocean works. Over the last few years, we have seen clear blue waters as well as silty/muddy waters. Just depends on the weather around the time you visit. The beaches are sometimes a mix of rocky and sandy. There tend to be lovely tide pools and lots of little crabs to chase around. This is not Hawaii. It’s not South Florida. It’s not Mexico. It’s not a comparison game. We are sure that at some point in your life you went to a different beach than this and it was so much better. We aren’t going to the beach because it’s the best beach to ever exist in the world. We are going because beaches are awesome and these are the ones we have.

WHAT SERVICES ARE THERE AS THE BEACH?
There are always restrooms, places to rent floaties, a snack shop, maybe a restaurant, and often showers. 95% of the food is Korean since this area is not heavily visited by tourists due to the lack of public transportation. If you don’t like Korean food, be sure to pack a picnic for the day. However, there will always be a convenience store for drinks, chips, water, etc. If we get there and you did not bring food and also don’t like Korean food, this was your own personal choice to go hungry. Korea has done nothing wrong by having its own food at beaches visited by Koreans.


WHAT SHOULD I BRING?

  • A tent or umbrella to get out of the heat
  • Wet wipes
  • Dry case for your phone
  • Swimsuits/rash guards 
  • Snacks 
  • Towels
  • Clean clothes
  • Sunscreen
  • Hammack
WEATHER
If there is a massive storm coming in we may re-route to a potentially less crazy area. However, we are talking a HUGE storm. If it’s just raining we still go. The beach is awesome always and so far we have had great luck with the beach weather being excellent even when it’s storming in Pyeongtaek.

REFUNDS & CANCELLATIONS
We don’t refunds because we are all in this together. We rely on everyone paying their part. However, you can certainly find another person to fill your seat. That’s up to you though. We can’t help with this aspect. We don’t have staff so we can’t do the hustle. Of course, if we have to cancel we will give everyone their money back.
CAN YOU HELP ME WITH (fill in the blank question on the trip)?
No, not really. We are not going as tour guides, translators, or as information support. So, although we will be helping make sure all the passengers are loaded who are going to and from the beach, that’s the extent of it. We are an all-volunteer organization and don’t have endless time to dedicate to this so please read everything before you ask questions. 


All that said, we are so excited for beach season!!!!! Let’s do this!!!!