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Home >> Travel Guide >> South Korea >> Travel Tips

South Korea - Travel Tips

Currency

South Korea’s currency is the Won. Coins come in denominations of 10, 50, 100 and 500 Won while notes come in units of 1000, 5000 and 10,000 Won.

Currency can be exchanged at any Korean banks. Besides that, some currency exchange bureaus are available at the airports, train stations and big shopping centers. Overall, only large currencies like USD, Pound Sterling and Yen are accepted.

Obtaining the Won from the United States and countries in Europe is possible but this should be investigated in the home country before departure to South Korea. However, exchanging to the Won in other Asian countries is not easy.

It is necessary to be informed that only authorized currency exchange facilities should be patronized. This will ensure you safety and peace of mind. Going to an unauthorized currency exchange facility can cost you money, a fine, deportation or arrest.

What to wear

Spring

During the spring season, light long-sleeved shirts are enough during the daytime, but in the evenings, a light jacket or a sweater will be needed. In March, winter has just ended but the coldness still stays on and a jacket is needed even during the day. However, in April and May, you do not require a jacket during the daytime but you may find a hat and sunglasses necessary to protect yourself from the UV rays.

Summer

June was once part of the spring season but it feels more like summer now due to global warming. Normally, people will wear slacks and short-sleeved shirts in June. In July and August, the temperature can rise to as high as 35 to 40°C. So, you are advised to wear shorts, sleeveless shirts and sunglasses.

Autumn

Autumn in Korea is a beautiful season because of the clear skies and that the weather is not so hot. In September and October, the perfect clothes to put on are long slacks, long-sleeved shirts and cardigans. However, you are advised to wear a thick jacket in November because it gets quite cold.

Winter

During the winter season, you will need to wear a good jacket or wool coat, a heavy sweater, thick pants, a scarf as well as gloves. And, on the coldest days of winter, you are advised to wear fur-lined earmuffs and boots.

Medical Services

The quality of medical services in South Korea is excellent and up to date. To get medical treatment, it is recommended to visit international clinics at large general hospitals like Severance Hospital, Asan Medical Center or Samsung Medical Center.

Severance Hospital

134, Sinchon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul
Tel: (02) 361-5114
Website: www.severance.or.kr/en/index.asp

International Clinic

Tel: (02) 361-6540
Opening Hours: 9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m. on weekdays, and 9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. on Saturdays.

Asan Medical Center

388-1, Pungnap-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul
Tel: (02) 3010-3114
Website: http://www.amc.seoul.kr/eng/

International Clinic

Tel: (02) 3010-5001
Opening Hours: 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. on weekdays, and 9:00 a.m. - noon on Saturdays.

Samsung Medical Center

50, Irwon-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Tel: (02) 3410-2114

International Clinic

Tel: (02) 3410-0200
Opening Hours: 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. on weekdays, and 09:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. on Saturdays.

Tipping

Tipping is not usual in South Korea but lots of restaurants and hotels add a service charge to the bill. As a polite gesture, people blow slightly and say thank you for services given. Taxi drivers do not expect you to give them tips unless they help you to carry the luggage bags.

Business Hours

Banks open on weekdays from 9.00am to 5.00pm and are closed on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays. Besides that, Government offices and organizations open from 9.00am to 6.00pm on weekdays but are closed on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays. Post Offices work full day from 9.00am to 6.00pm on weekdays and work half day from 9.00am to 1.00pm on Saturdays. They are closed on Sundays and Public Holidays. For departmental stores, they are opened everyday from 10.30am to 8.00pm.

Electricity

The electricity in South Korea is 220 V and the outlet used here has two round holes. You can find the same type of outlet in France, Germany and many other countries.

It is advised that you bring along your multi-voltage travel adapter but if you do not have one, you can borrow it from your hotel’s front office. However, it is also possible to buy one from a duty-free shop, convenience shop at Incheon International Airport and Yongsan Electronics Shopping Town.

Useful telephone numbers

Crime Reporting & Police – 112

Fire Department – 119

Medical Emergencies – 1339

International Telegram Service – 00795

Tourist Complaint Center  - 02 735 0101

International Emergency Rescue – 02 790 7561

Seoul Call Center  - 02 120

Korea Travel Phone  - 1330

Lost and Found Center of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Bureau – (+82) 2 2299 1282

   
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