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The Republic of Korea lies between 38ºN and 33ºN latitude and 126ºE to 132ºE longitude. The country has a continental climate of very cold, dry winters and very hot, humid summers. Winters are influenced by westerly winds from Siberia and the Mongolian plateau, while summers are generally characterized by an oceanic climate due to moist, warm winds from the Pacific Ocean. Korea has four distinct seasons, though spring and autumn tend to be short. Spring comes in early April and lasts throughout May. The hot and humid summer begins in June and lasts about four months. The summer rainy season lasts from the end of June to Mid-July. Summer ends in late September, giving way to crisp, clear autumn days that last until the end of October. It becomes colder in November, and a very cold, bleak winter sets in during December and lasts until the end of February.



The unit of Korean currency is the Won (₩). Coin denominations are ₩10, ₩50, ₩100 and ₩500. Banknotes are ₩1,000, ₩5,000, ₩10,000 and ₩50,000. As of 3 March, 2019, the exchange rate is approximately USD 1 to KRW 1,133.90.
Currency exchange: Foreign banknotes and traveler's check can be exchanged at foreign exchange banks and other authorized money changers.
Credit cards: Diners Club, Visa, American Express and MasterCard are widely accepted at major hotels, shops and restaurants in the larger cities. Check with your credit card company for details of merchant acceptability and other services which may be available.
Traveler's check: Accepted, but may be difficult to change in smaller towns. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travelers are advised to take Traveler's check in US Dollars.
Banking hours: Monday to Friday 09:00a.m. -16:00p.m.

Car rental

Driving can be an exciting and effective way of getting around Korea. Extensive road and expressway networks are available, which means you can visit every corner of the country easily. Drivers must meet the following requirements: - Have more than one year's driving experience. - Have an International Driver's License. - Be over 21 years of age. - Possess a valid passport. Rental fees vary from 60,000 to 460,000 won (US$ 51.89~397.82) per day, depending upon the type of car. The speed limit is 60kph for most roads in the city and 80-100kph on expressways. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a felony that may result in a heavy penalty.


Outlets for 220 volts are dominant in Korea. Always check your power supply before using your equipment. You can buy it at a convenience store or a Duty-free shop, but it is good to prepare your own before you leave for Korea, just in case.


The official Korean language is Korean. Street signs, transportation signs, and travel information in Korea are usually provided in both Korean and English for visitors' convenience.

Public transportation

Public transportation in Korea is remarkably efficient and inexpensive. The subway, with eight lines and one national railway line, and local buses cover the entire area of Seoul. Taking a bus or the subway to a local destination costs less than USD 1. Taxis are widely available and constitute safe transportation. Taxis can be hailed on the street or requested by phone. Interpretation service can also be requested by phone. The basic fare of a regular taxi is KRW 3,800. (USD 3.35). The basic fare of a deluxe taxi, which can be identified by its black color and “deluxe” on the doors, is KRW 6,500 (USD 5.72). (It will be changed on the exchange rate)


There are three types of public telephones in Korea: coin-operated phones, card phones, and credit card phones. Card telephones can be used to make international calls as well as local and intercity calls. Telephone cards come in KRW 2,000, 3,000, 5,000 and 10,000 denominations and are on sale in convenience stores close to telephone booths. There are also credit card phones, which you can use with major credit cards. A local call costs KRW 70 for three minutes. To make an international call, first, dial one of the international dialing codes (For regular phone: 001 / cell phone: 00700) then the country code, area code, and the phone number.

Time difference

Korean time is 9 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT +9).

Tipping & VAT.

Tipping is not customary in Korea. Sometimes, expensive restaurants and luxury hotels may add a service charge of 10%. Value-added Tax (VAT) is mostly included in the retail price. However, in hotels and some big restaurants, the price may not include a VAT.

More Information on traveling Korea

- Korea Tourism Organization - www.visitkorea.or.kr
- Korean Information Service www.korea.net
- Seoul Metropolitan Government - www.seoul.go.kr
- Travel info service (Just call 1330)
When you need English assistance or travel information, just dial 1330. A bilingual operator will offer you detailed information on tourist sites, transportation, restaurants, etc. In Korea: 1330(Land line), Area code+1330(Cell phone), From Abroad +82-Area code-1330