South Korea

Country Information

South Korea, otherwise known as the Republic of Korea is an interesting and delightful place to visit. There are friendly people, amazing cities and awe inspiring scenery for visitors to enjoy. From the capital city of Seoul, with its futuristic skyscrapers, to the amazing UNESCO World Heritage sites littered across the country, South Korea is truly fascinating.

Once under the dynastic rule of the Japanese, South Korea managed to free itself from occupation after WWII and the Korean War. After the spilt the country had seen hard economic times, but has bounced back to succeed economically. Fortunately, the country has maintained much of its unique culture through its modernization.

Language

The primary language in South Korea is Korean. More than 65 million people living on the Korean Peninsula speak the language along with an additional 5.5 million on the outlying islands. In modern Korea different dialects are spoken. The standard dialect is spoken in Seoul and the country’s central areas

Religion 

Diverse in its culture, South Korea has many different religions practiced throughout the country. The majority of South Koreans are Christian. However, many people are also of the Buddhist faith. Other religions would include Islam, Confucianism and Cheodoism.

Climate 

South Korea has both a humid continental and humid subtropical climate. It experiences heavy rain in the summer from the end of June through the end of July. It is also subject to typhoons in late summer that bring high winds and heavy rains. The winters are quite cold, but temperatures are considerably colder in the country’s interior. Most consider the spring and fall the best time to visit because the weather is generally dry and mild.

Clothing 

 When traveling to South Korea the clothing you bring depends on the season you are traveling. Summer requires lightweight clothing made from cotton and linen fabrics. Spring and fall calls for medium to lightweight clothing, and winter calls for medium to heavy weight with outerwear and extra clothes for layering on cold days. 

Mobile Phones

South Korea is the sixth largest user of the Internet worldwide, so naturally the Internet is widely accessible.  Internet cafes can be found throughout the cities and in public places like airports and bus and train terminals. An inexpensive option for Internet access would be a “PC bang”, which is a room filled with computers open 24 hour in most cases.  


Getting Online & Checking E-mail

South Korea is the sixth largest user of the Internet worldwide, so naturally the Internet is widely accessible.  Internet cafes can be found throughout the cities and in public places like airports and bus and train terminals. An inexpensive option for Internet access would be a “PC bang”, which is a room filled with computers open 24 hour in most cases.

Emergency Telephone Numbers

Your Personal Assistant's phone number will be provided upon arrival in South Korea.

  • Police Station: 112
  • Ambulance:119/129
  • U.S. Embassy in South Korea: 82-2-397-4114 

Activities in South Korea

Advisory

Please be advised that you may not be able to participate in certain activities after receiving your medical treatment. For instance, some of the hiking, skiing and theme parks may be off limits while you are recuperating. Your doctor will be able to advise you on the appropriate activities in which you can participate.

South Korea Excitement

Its cultural diversity lends South Korea to a host of historical and recreational activities for all tastes and budgets. Many visitors enjoy trips to the UNESCO World Heritage sites; most notably the Hwaseong Fortress with the walls that line the Suwon city, and Gyeongju, which is packed with more than 1,000 years of history. Many also enjoy a trip to Mount Gayasan National Park in Daegu, where Korea’s most well-known temple, Haeinsa is located. The UNESCO site Tripitaka Koreana is located there as well.

In Seoul, South Korea there are many places for tourists to enjoy. Like the N-Seoul Tower, located on top of Namsan Mountain or the War Memorial and Museum. Many also enjoy a visit to Olympic Park or World Cup Park while they are in Seoul.

One-Day Tours

There are many wonderful things to do and see on day trips in South Korea. For instance, off the southwest coast is the island of Jeju-do, otherwise known as Honeymoon Island. Beautiful scenery surrounds visitors to the island who often enjoy a hike up Korea’s highest mountain, Mount Hallasan. Statues made from black are a popular attraction here, as well as other volcanic scenery from Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak.

Shopping 

There is plenty of shopping for visitors to take advantage of in South Korea. In fact, many visitors could spend an entire day shopping in the markets and malls in Seoul. Often, shops offer duty free prices to foreigners making purchases.

There are many places of note shoppers should check out while in Seoul. Namdaemun is Korea’s largest wholesale market, Dongdaemun is great for bargains, Insa-dong has many antiques and crafts, Koyndang has oriental medicines, spices and herbs, and Apgujeong is where designer goods are sold. Many people also enjoy a trip to COEX, which is Asia’s largest shopping mall.

Tourists enjoy buying wood carvings, silks, leather goods, tea paintings, ginseng, costume dolls, scrolls and screens. They also like handbags, hand tailored clothing and jewelry. To take advantage of duty free pricing bring your passport while you are shopping

Nightlife and the Arts

While traveling in South Korea there are many places to enjoy the arts and nightlife. Those interested in the arts may enjoy shows like Cookin or the Korean B-Boys. You can also take in an opera, concert or recital at the National Theatre. For nightlife, the city has many beer bars and champagne bars. There are also many karaoke bars and casinos

Spas

 There are many spas for visitors to enjoy while visiting South Korea. Larger hotels have spas directly on site and day spas are also located throughout the country. Dongnae Busan is located near hot springs that are believed to have healing properties. Visitors can enjoy a massage, sauna, whirlpool and scrub pool.