South Korea is a country, which has previously been underrated compared to its competitor North Korea. However, the country is developing. Recently, the country has seen a boom in entertainment. The ‘Korean Wave’ of pop-culture has hit many Asian as well as American countries. South Korea is nestled between China and Japan. Even so, it has managed to treasure its unique culture and heritage.

Seoul is the capital city located in the center of Gyeonggi region. Cities like Daegu, Gwangju, Busan, Incheon, Daejeon, Jeonju and Chuncheon are famous destinations. The cultural and historical attractions are Andong (Confucius traditions), Panmunjom (location of the armistice agreement), and Guinsa (Buddhist culture/temple). 

Natural gems include the Jirisan National Park, Soraksan National Park, Yeosu (port city), Boseong (tea plantations), and Ulleung-gun (secluded island).

Language

Korean is the lingua franca in the country without any doubt, and it is a difficult language to learn. Consequently, you should learn a few phrases. Also, everyone except senior citizens can understand English. Young people know English very well and can help you out if you get into trouble.

Currency

The currency used is the South Korean Won (KRW). One USD is equal to 1188 KRW. Foreign currencies and traveler’s cheques exchange are available at foreign exchange banks and other authorized money changers. ATMs are available everywhere, but most of them do not accept foreign cards. All major credit cards are widely accepted in large cities. You can find out if you can use your credit card in a particular facility by the sign on the door.

As for electricity, South Korea uses types C and F sockets, as in Europe. You need to bring a travel adapter to fit the proper socket type. Check out the above-linked page to see the photos and other useful information. The standard voltage is 220 V.  Many of your devices may need a step-up transformer to match the electrical voltage.

This country is expensive. You will have to spend $450/day here, and that is if you are living in an average hotel and eating cheap food.

Getting Around

The air network is extensive. Thus, you can fly to any of the major cities. Trains are expensive and slow. Plus, they are not suitable for long distance travel. Buses are more comfortable for long distance trips.

Taxis are a good way to move inside the city. However, the drivers do not speak English, so you have to be clear when communicating with them. You can also travel throughout the country by car. English instructions are available so you shouldn’t have difficulty navigating the roads. There are numerous car hire companies in the country.

Cars drive on the right side of the road. However, complex road system, high traffic density, and erratic drivers make it hard to drive in South Korea. If you are not a very confident driver, you should use a taxi or rent a car with a driver.

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August 14, 2016 12:00 am Published by 2 Comments

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