Traffic expected to peak during Lunar New Years in South Korea

Ota Akira, Jan. 30, 2019, 9:13 a.m.

Holiday traffic is expected to peak on Monday morning as people head to their ancestral hometowns, and on Tuesday afternoon, as they return.

The forecast is based on a telephone survey the Ministry of Land, Transport and Infrastructure of 9,000 households earlier this month.

The average driving time from Seoul to the southern port city of Busan during this year's holiday exodus is estimated at six hours, and to Gwangju in the southwest five hours. This is up to an hour and 30 minutes faster than last year because the weekend before the holiday allows traffic to spread out more.

But there is then one day less for people to return home compared to last year as New Year's Day falls on Tuesday, so the drive can last up to two hours and 50 minutes longer. The drive from Busan to Seoul is expected to take eight hours, and from Gwangju eight hours and 20 minutes.

An estimated 48.95 million people will make the journey to their ancestral homes and eight out of 10 are expected to drive.

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