How to buy a ferry ticket from Busan->Tsushima (Izuhara) from the US
May 20, 2019 2:06 PM   Subscribe

I know what I need and even where to buy it, but I'm running into difficulty using the Daea ferry website. Largely because it's all in Korean, and I don't speak Korean. Some other complications around website verification inside... [Oh, and I won't be allowed to fly to Busan from Tokyo unless I can demonstrate I have a return ticket to leave Korea.]

So the ferry I need is the Daea-operated ferry departing from Busan and going to Izuhara port on Tsushima island. When I visit the ferry company's website, I can't seem to navigate correctly, and machine translation applications (Google Translate, Bing Translator, etc.) all seem to break the scripting that allows me to do things like change the date of departure and submit forms.

It looks as if I'll also need to go through some verification steps as well--but I can't really tell, since my Korean is terrible.

Please also note that there are companies operating ferries to the *other* port on Tsushima, but it is a few hours drive away from where I'll need to be (Izuhara), so therefore the JR Beetle and Directferries options won't work here.

What's my best option for getting this ticket remotely?
posted by yellowcandy to Travel & Transportation around Busan, South Korea (11 answers total)
I can't seem to navigate correctly

Use Internet Explorer. For some reason, many Korean sites still only work with IE, even in 2019.

Then maybe try your translate options again.
posted by danceswithlight at 2:47 PM on May 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I can see that will let you book it, but can't confirm directly. They'll send you booking details with a reference number by email.
posted by ambrosen at 2:56 PM on May 20, 2019

Yeah. IE is big in Korea.
posted by kathrynm at 3:14 PM on May 20, 2019

Response by poster: Not trying to hover here, but I have used Chrome, Firefox, and IE. None seems to work when combined with the necessary translation.
posted by yellowcandy at 4:19 PM on May 20, 2019

Hoo boy, that website is shite. I just tried using it on Edge and no luck whatsoever. It downloaded some sort of .exe too?????

You might have better luck on Reddit:
posted by JamesBay at 4:40 PM on May 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

Yeah you will probably have to download some kind of Korean web security thing. They like to make credit card transactions as complicated and annoying as possible here.

You can try calling the Korean Tourist helpline, they offer multi-lingual assistance and if it's possible to make reservations remotely they'll be able to sort you out.
Korean Tourist Help Line

If that doesn't work, PM me and I'll possibly be able to help with some rough translations.
posted by FakePalindrome at 4:50 PM on May 20, 2019 [3 favorites]

Oh, and I won't be allowed to fly to Busan from Tokyo unless I can demonstrate I have a return ticket to leave Korea.
If you continue being unable to buy a ticket online, one option is to buy a refundable airline ticket from Busan to Tokyo (Or anywhere else, really), and then cancel it once you get to South Korea and buy the ferry ticket.
posted by Hatashran at 6:26 PM on May 20, 2019

If the translation is the sticking point (which it sounds like it may not be), you can always try using the Google Translate app on a smartphone. One of its features is to recognize text in an image, so you could literally point the app at a computer screen, take a picture (from within the app) and highlight the website text you want translated. I'm able to work my way through the site that way, though I did get the .EXE download mentioned above, and I stopped once I got to the second page.

(For what it's worth, for all the dates I tried, it didn't seem possible to book a one-way ticket, but round-trips departing the same day were available. I don't speak Korean at all, so I don't know if the site is just being wonky, I'm also doing something wrong, or if they just don't have one-way fares on very many dates.)
posted by yuwtze at 9:14 PM on May 20, 2019

It looks like the site requires Windows (or, at least, gives a notification that it won’t work with MacOS).

However, when you access the site on a phone they forward you to a mobile-friendly site. Try this link:
posted by suedehead at 8:07 PM on May 21, 2019

Here’s another ferry that seems to work on my iPad.. at least up to payment, which I haven’t tried yet (they request you to create an account with email, etc). It looks like they specifically go to Izuhara.
posted by suedehead at 8:17 PM on May 21, 2019

Response by poster: An update: I found a way to purchase the ticket through You pick the ticket up at the Busan ferry terminal, but just the itinerary was enough to allow me into South Korea (and indeed, they absolutely wanted to see evidence that I had a booking to leave the country).

The ferry to Izuhara doesn't run every day, it turns out, so I arranged to stay an extra day in Busan.
posted by yellowcandy at 9:47 AM on August 5, 2019 [1 favorite]

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