Travelers leaving for their ancestral hometowns for Chuseok or Korean Thanksgiving are expected to suffer the worst traffic on the morning of Sept. 18, the first day of the holidays. The afternoon of Chuseok Day, Sept. 19, when many of them are on their way back to Seoul, will also be bad.
The Korea Transport Institute conducted a telephone survey of 8,900 families nationwide for the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport last month and found that largest proportion of 41.9 percent will travel to their hometowns on the morning of Sept. 18. Next came the morning of Sept. 19 (18.7 percent), Sept. 18 afternoon (14 percent), and Sept. 17 afternoon (10 percent).
On return, the biggest proportion of 29.8 percent said they will return to Seoul on the afternoon of Sept. 19, followed by Sept. 20 afternoon (26.6 percent) and Sept. 20 morning (13.6 percent).
It will take them on average about 10 minutes longer than last year to reach to their ancestral hometowns and travel back to Seoul. The journey from Seoul to Busan will take nine hours and 40 minutes, to Gwangju nine hours, and to Daejeon six hours and 40 minutes.
The ministry predicts that a total of 35.13 million people or 5.85 million people per day will hit the roads between Sept. 17 and 22, up 4.9 percent on-year.