Taxis in Daegu

Korean taxiOne of the things I really love about the population density here in Daegu is the easiness in hailing a taxi whenever you need one. Taxis are cheap and plentiful (compared to the US). I remember in the States (Denver, Colorado), I would have to call in advance for a taxi certainly if I needed one from my house, but even often times from leaving downtown. In the States, most taxis hang out near hotels and rightfully so. Idling/street-cruising taxis are hard to come by.

Not so, here in South Korea. Stand outside for no more than 2 minutes and you’ll be picked up.

When hailing a cab, look for one with the small, red neon sign on the driver’s rearview mirror. If it’s lit, it says 빈차 which means “vacant car”, and should be easily hailed. Just step out into the street and hold your arm out, palm down, and wave it in. Easy as that. During normal hours, the cab rate is 2,200 won. After midnight, it climbs to 2,640 won as the base rate.

Whenever I get into a cab, I just say the name of where I’m going and follow it with: gga-ji-yo (-까지요). So, if I need to catch the KTX to Seoul, and need to get to Dong Daegu train station, I will say: Dong Daegu Station-gga-ji-yo (동대구역까지요).

I think Daegu cab drivers are generally honest folks, but don’t expect them to speak much English. Sometimes, I’ve had a cab driver who switches his radio station to the English channel after picking me up, which is always a nice surprise.

In my hometown, taking a taxi from downtown Denver to my home (about an 8 minute ride away) was around $12. A taxi from downtown Daegu to my home (also about 7 or 8 minutes) is only 5,000 won. That’s about $4.50. A significant difference in price. A difference that makes itself available due to such a high congestion of people in the urban areas here in Korea.

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