Football fan in Korea
Korea has four distinct seasons: In spring, it is mostly clear and dry. Temperatures range from 16C - 19C in May. Summer is hot and humid with daytime highs over 30C in mid-season. Gusting winds and torrential rains strike the south coast as late-summer typhoons sweep up from the southern seas. Precipitation is heaviest in June / July. Fall brings a cooling trend along with clear skies. Temperatures range from 11C - 19C in October. The winter season sees low temperatures (from -6C to 7C in January) and little precipitation. Snow accumulation is mostly in the mountains; urban areas receive little.
Legal tender is South Korea is the Won. Notes come in denominations of 10,000 won, 5,000 won, and 1,000 won. Coins: 500 won, 100 won, 50 won, and 10 won.
Note that some buses and vending machines only accept 1,000 won bills and coins. Tipping is not customary in Korea, however, some better restaurants and hotels include a 10% service charge. ATM machines are found in many convenient public places and will accept major credit or debit cards (VISA/PLUS, MASTER/CIRRUS, DINERS, JCB, and AMEX). Most urban restaurants, hotels and shops accept credit cards. Cash is best in rural areas and with some smaller businesses. Generally, restaurants and shops do not accept foreign currencies, but souvenir shops and hotels may accept either U.S. dollars or Japanese Yen. Moneychangers are available for cash or traveler's cheques.
UTC / GMT (+9) There is no daylight savings time.
Some restaurants offer early breakfast, but usually most open at around 10 am and close at around 10 pm. Bars open from the afternoon until dawn. Shops, from 10 am until 10 pm. Department Stores operate between 10:30 and 19:30 (closed on Mondays). Banks open 9:30 to 16:30 (closed weekends). Business offices are open 9:00 - 18:00.
Modern telecommunications are widely available in urban centres. There are three English-language dailies, an English-language cable station, and US military broadcasts in English on TV and radio. Mobile phones are available for rent at the airport and from the Korea National Tourist Organization (KNTO) Tourist Information Centres (TIC). Internet cafes offer printing, scanning, fax, etc. There are three types of public telephones in Korea: coin-operated telephones, card phones, and credit card phones. Coin phones return coins that are not charged, but do not return change for partially used 100 won coins.
Current is supplied at 220 volts and wall outlets take a twin round-prong plugs.
Korean is spoken everywhere and although English is not widespread, the younger generation can usually speak a basic level of English. Most signs are written in both Korean and English, except some buses and shops. On the subway, announcements are given in English and Korean, but on buses, you may not have any assistance in English. Taxies, on another hand, offer telephone interpretation service.
There are no dress codes in South Korea per se but it is a good idea, nevertheless, to be sensitive to your surroundings. Dress for the weather and check upscale establishments for suitable dress requirements if in doubt.
Inner city transport is best served by tourist-friendly subway or taxi. Deluxe taxis (black taxis with a yellow light on the top) accept credit card payment and provide trustworthy service in comfort. Public busses do not have English signs or announcements. Several rail lines serve the country linking major metropolitan centres. Rental cars are available and even come with a driver if desired.
There are many quality hospitals where some English is spoken. International clinics at large general hospitals like Severance Hospital, Asan Medical Center or Samsung Medical Center are recommended.
Severance Hospital:134, Sinchon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul Tel: (02)361-5114.International Clinic Tel: (02)361-6540,Open 9:30-12:00 and 14:00-17:00 on weekdays, and 9:30-12:00 on Saturdays.
Asan Medical Center (Jung-ang Hospital):388-1, Pungnap-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul Tel: (02)3010-3114;International Clinic Tel: (02)3010-5001,Open 09:00-17:00 on weekdays.
Samsung Medical Center:50, Irwon-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul Tel: (02)3410-2114;International Clinic Tel: (02)3410-0200,Open 09:00-16:00 on weekdays, and 09:00-11:00 on Saturdays.