Seoul Metropolitan Subway: Coffee

As a Singaporean who grew up learning that drinking and eating on the train can get you a hefty fine, one of my happiest discoveries is being able to legally consume food & beverages at train stations and in the carriages.

In 1987, the Rapid Transit Systems (RTS) Act was established by Parliament and it was declared that no food or drink was to be consumed in MRT trains and stations. If you do, you will be issued a notification of offence which carries a fine of up to $500.

In fact, the first time I drank my coffee at the train platform, I got a little paranoid and wondered if someone would come up to scold me. Luckily, my fears were unfounded and no one shot me dirty looks for it.

In addition, you can even buy food and drinks at the train platform! Some stations have little kiosks where you can buy some snacks and the newspaper while waiting for your train. They have also vending machines like the one below, where you can pay just 300won for a small cup of coffee. They also offer other types of hot drinks, such as milk coffee, black coffee, lemon tea, cocoa etc.

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I bought a cup of Maxim milk coffee for 300 won, which is about SGD 0.40. I love Maxim coffee (bought a few boxes in Korea, still buys them in Singapore), and I thought this was a very nice & cheap way to perk up my morning commute. It’s definitely much better (for your wallet) than having to buy one cup from a café every morning.

I honestly wish we could have this in Singapore because I can see how popular this will be. Unfortunately, we can’t have nice things because apparently, we’ll get the station and trains dirty (thanks to a few inconsiderate souls), so I guess we won’t be seeing this in Singapore anytime soon 😦

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