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Before Departing Your Country
 
Passport & Visa
Valid passport and Korean Visa is needed for all visitors to Republic Korea.
Exemption:
  Visitors with round-trip tickets from countries that have a special agreement with Korea can stay in Korea up to 30days, or 90 days,
  depending on the type of agreement between the two countries.
For more information: http://www.mofat.go.kr/ENG/visa/application/index.jsp?menu=m_40_10.
 
Travel Insurance
Getting travel insurance in your country prior to visiting Korea is recommended.
Insurance is also available at the Incheon International Airport.
  For more information: http://www.airport.kr/airport/facility/efalicityInfo.iia?carId=24&facilityId=80
 
Time Difference
Korean Standard Time: UTC/GMT +9 hours
  (Daylight Saving Time is not applied in Korea)
Current Time in Korea:  http://www.worldtimeserver.com/time_converter.aspx
 
Climate
Four Distinct Seasons in Korea: Spring(March ~ May), Summer(June ~ August), Autumn(September ~ November),
  Winter(December ~ February)
Weather Information of Late August to September in Korea:

Year Factor Aug 27 Aug 28 Aug 29 Aug 30 Aug 31 Sept 1 Sept 2 Sept 3
2014 Temperature (℃) 21.1~28.6 19.8~30.7 21.0~30.1 19.9~30.7 20.7~29.0 20.4~29.7 19.3~27.7 17.4~20.6
  Rainfall (mm) - - 6.5 - - 1.5 6.0 57.5
  Humidity (%) 66.8 65.3 71.9 71.6 68.6 72.5 73.6 99.8
2013 Temperature (℃) 22.5~29.3 22.7~30.8 24.5~26.7 22.3~28.3 21.1~27.9 19.8~28.8 17.3~26.9 16.4~26.8
  Rainfall (mm) - - 21.5 - 2.5 - - -
  Humidity (%) 61.6 59.4 79.1 69.6 65.8 54.6 49.9 43.5
2012 Temperature (℃) 24.5~32.9 21.8~29.4 21.7~29.1 18.7~24.7 18.7~28.4 22.3~29.4 20.8~29.5 22.2~28.5
  Rainfall (mm) - 13.5 6.0 34.5 - - - -
  Humidity (%) 59.9 69.5 70.3 85.8 65.6 69.0 65.1 71.4

Clothing: Light clothing including light and/or short pants, short-sleeved or sleeveless shirts, hats and sunglasses are essential items
  of this season, and applying sunscreen is also highly recommended.
 
Language
Official Language: Korean
Official Alphabet: Hangeul
  - Basic Characters: 14 consonants, 10 vowels

 
Consonants 

Vowels
       

  - Usage: Written in syllabic units made up of two to four letters
Learn Korean: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/CU/CU_EN_9_9_1_1.jsp
Useful Korean Phrases: PDF Download
 
Korean Currency
Currency: Won (\)
  - 4 Kinds of Notes: fifty thousand, ten thousand, five thousand, one thousand won
  - 4 Kinds of Coins: 500, 100, 50, 10 won
10,000 won, 5,000won and 1,000 won are most frequently used in everyday life.
Only 1,000won bills and coins are accepted on buses, or when using vending machines.
Exchange Rate: Approximately KRW 1,200 to USD 1

 
Tipping and Value-added Tax (VAT)
Tipping is not a regular practice in Korea.
Value added tax and service charges are usually included in the consumer price. However, service charges and VATs may not be
  included in the fees charged by some hotels and luxurious restaurants.
Tax Refunds for Non-residents and Foreigners:
  - http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SH/SH_EN_7_1_4.jsp
  - http://www.airport.kr/airport/facility/efalicityInfo.iia?carId=21&facilityId=72
 
Electricity & Voltage
Voltage : 220 volts
The outlet has two round holes and is the same type used in France, Germany, Austria, Greece,
  Turkey, and many other countries.
Inquire the hotel front desk for multi-voltage travel adapters. They are sold in duty-free shops,
  convenience stores, airports etc.
 
Phone calls / Mobile Phones
Rent mobile phones or apply for roaming services at Incheon and Gimpo Airports.
Save time by reserving your Korean mobile phone before your trip.
Details:
  - http://roaming.kt.com/renewal/eng/main.asp
  - http://www.sroaming.com/eng/main.asp?kind=1
  - http://www.skroaming.com/en/benefit/ttkevent.asp
 
After Arriving In Korea
 
Business Hours
Post Offices
  9AM – 6PM weekdays only

Department Stores 
  10:30PM – 8PM closed on Mondays

Restaurants & Retail Stores 
  11AM – 9PM commonly, in some cases until 2 – 3AM

Major Convenience Stores (GS25, CU, Seven Eleven etc.) 
  24 hours
 
Transportation
Seoul's public transportation system is well known for its cleanness and cheap fare. By using buses and subways, there is practically no place that you cannot reach in Seoul. Fares are based on distance traveled, and the standard fare (up to 10km) is 1,250 won for adults; additional 100 won is charged for every 5 km.

For details, please refer to the homepage of Seoul Transport Operation and Information Service: http://topis.seoul.go.kr/english.jsp

Bus
  - Lines: Blue, Green, Yellow, Red, Customized, Nightrider
  - Fares: 1,250 won for adults, additional 100 won charged for every 5 km
  - Payments: Notes, Coins, Transportation Cards (T-money, U-Pass, EB Card, Cashbee, Korail Membership Card etc.)

Subway
  - Lines: 15 colored lines
  - Numbers and names are given to each station
  - For station map and details: http://www.seoulmetro.co.kr/station/eng/linemap.action

Taxis
  Types: Standard, Deluxe, Jumbo, International
  1) Deluxe Taxi(Mobeom Taeksi)
       - Black taxis with yellow signs, provides much space and higher service
       - Fare: Basic fare and additional fares are higher than standard taxis
  2) Jumbo Taxi
       - Fits six to ten passengers, provides simultaneous foreign language interpretation by phone
       - Fare: Same as Deluxe Taxis
  3) International Taxi
       - Drivers speak one or more foreign languages; English, Japanese or chineses
       - Operates on reservation basis
       - Number: 1644 2255
       - E-mail: reserve@intltaxi.co.kr
       - Fare: Calculated according to 3 divided sections in Seoul

* Details: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/TR/TR_EN_5_2.jsp
 
Nearest Facilities
COEX Mall (Shopping & Dining)
COEX Mall is the largest underground shopping center in Asia. It is located in the basement of the Korea World Trade Center, and is considered to be the best shopping and entertainment complex in the area.

Along the main route, visitors will find the Lake food court, the event court, and plenty of brand name stores. There are also plenty of attractions for those visitors looking for a break from shopping. The Game Champ video arcade has 100 of the latest game devices, while the Megabox Cineplex has 16 theaters screening a wide selection of movies. Other popular attractions include the COEX Aquarium, with its water tunnel, and the Kimchi Museum, where visitors can learn everything they need to know about Korea's favorite food, and even try some of it.

  - Business Hours: 10AM – 10PM
  - Telephone: +82 2 6002 5312, 3
  - Homepage: http://www.coexmall.com/index.do
  - COEX Mall Map: http://www.coexmall.com/common/hp/images/store/map_big_b1.jpg

Lotte Duty Free
Lotte Duty Free is Korea's largest duty free shop and has a 20 year long history. It carries luxury goods from over 500 companies.

  - Business Hours: 10AM – 9PM
  - Telephone: +82 2 3484 9600
  - Homepage: http://en.lottedfs.com/branchGuide/4/intro

Hyundai Department Store
Hyundai Department Store is one of the three major department store chains in South Korea, along with Lotte Department Store and Shinsegae. The Trade Center branch is located near COEX and Samsung Subway Station.

  - Business Hours: 10:30AM – 8PM
  - Telephone: +82 2 552 2233
  - Homepage: http://www.ehyundai.com/DP/lang/en/DP000002.do?branchCd=B00122000
  - Shopping Guide for Foreigners: http://www.ehyundai.com/images/file/ehyundai_GourmetGuideMap_2014.pdf
 
Recommended Korean Food
 
Helpful Numbers
Seoul Global Center (Any question about visiting or living in Seoul)
Number: 1688 0120, 9AM – 6PM weekdays only

Korean Tourism Organization Information Line (Tourism information, translation services, complaints center)
Number: 1330, 24 hours

Seoul's Dasan 120 Call Center
Number: 120, 9AM – 10PM

Police
Number: 112, 24 hours

Fire & Ambulance
Number: 119, 24 hours

Emergency Medical Information Center
Number: 1339, 24 hours

Local Telephone Number Guide
Number: 114

International Medical Center at Yonsei Sinchon Severance Hospital
Number: 2228 5880

International Health Care Center at Seoul National University Hospital
Number: 2072 0505

International Health Care Center at Seoul St. Mary's Hospital
Number: 590 2932