Korea Travel Guide
About South Korea & Seoul
South Korea, officially known as the Republic of Korea, is a vibrant East Asian nation located on the Korean Peninsula. It is renowned for its dynamic economy, technological advancements, and rich cultural heritage. Seoul, its capital and largest city, is a global hub for technology, entertainment, and commerce.
Seoul, the capital of the Republic of Korea, is the heart of Korea’s culture and education as well as politics and economics. It is located in the western center of the Korean peninsula. With the Han River running across the city and magnificent and splendid mountains surrounding it, it is indeed the center of the peninsula, boastful of scenery rivalling that of any city in the world.
Tourist Attractions in Seoul
- Gyeongbokgung Palace: This historic palace is one of Seoul's main royal palaces, known for its stunning architecture and the changing of the guard ceremony.
- Myeongdong: A bustling shopping district famous for its street food, fashion boutiques, and vibrant atmosphere.
- Namsan Seoul Tower: An iconic landmark offering panoramic views of the city and surrounding mountains. It's particularly beautiful at night.
Photo courtesy World Olympians Association, Twitter
Pyeongchang is a county located in Gangwon Province, South Korea, known for its stunning natural landscapes and winter sports facilities. It gained global recognition as the host city for the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, attracting athletes and spectators from around the world. Pyeongchang continues to be a popular destination for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter activities, as well as a hub for cultural events and tourism.
Tourist Attractions in Pyeongchang
- Odaesan National Park: This park offers a wealth of hiking trails, dense forests, and scenic waterfalls. It's a popular destination for hikers and nature enthusiasts during the summer months.
- Daegwallyeong Sheep Farm: Explore this picturesque farm, known for its flocks of sheep grazing on lush green pastures against the backdrop of rolling hills and mountains.
- Biryong Falls: Hike to Biryong Falls, one of the most iconic waterfalls in the region. The trail to the falls is especially beautiful during the summer when the landscape is in full bloom.
Tourist Attractions in Gangwon
- Alpensia Resort: A popular winter sports destination, known for its ski slopes and being one of the venues for the 2018 Winter Olympics.
- Seoraksan National Park: Home to Seoraksan, one of South Korea's most renowned mountains, known for its hiking trails, stunning landscapes, and Buddhist temples.
- Sokcho: A coastal city offering beautiful beaches, fresh seafood, and access to Seoraksan National Park.
- Gangneung: Known for its scenic coastline, coffee culture, and historical sites like Ojukheon House, the birthplace of Korean scholar.
Korea's official monetary unit is the ₩ (KRW) won. Notes come in denominations of ₩1,000, ₩5,000, ₩10,000 & ₩50,000. Coins come in ₩10, ₩50, ₩100 and ₩500.
Average air temperature in Pyeongchang (Gangwon) at the end of June (over the last three years)
- The highest air temperature: 28℃ (about 82℉)
- The minimum air temperature: 21℃ (about 70℉)
- The mean air[atmospheric] temperature: 25℃ (about 77℉)
What to wear: Lightweight and breathable fabrics like cotton and linen.
Beginning in June and ending in August, the Korean summer is hot and humid, with average mean temperatures peaking at 25.7 degrees Celsius in August. The Korean rainy season, or jangma, begins in mid-June and continues for about a month. Compared with some other countries that experience monsoon, however, the rains are not especially heavy, with monthly precipitation peaking at 383 millimetres in July. Green spaces in Pyeongchan g (Gangwon) such as parks and mountains become especially verdant due to the moisture. Popular summertime activities in South Korea include biking, swimming, in-line skating, and windsurfing.
Electricity & Voltage
The standard voltage in Korea is 220 volts at 60 Hertz, and the outlet has two round holes. The type of socket is F, which is the European type.
Seoul Korea’s time zone is UTC + 9.
*Time in South Korea (timeanddate.com)
Korea SIM Card Purchase
Travelers coming to Korea can purchase eSIM or a physical SIM card prior to their arrival. South Korea has three main mobile carriers: KT Olleh, SK Telecom, and LG U+. All of these have 3G and 4G, networks which include call, text, and data services.
- eSIM: If you have eSIM compatible phone, you don’t have to visit an offline counter in airport but just download a plan by scanning a QR code. You can keep your own phone number as well since you don’t have to remove your original SIM card.
- Physical SIM: If you prefer a physical SIM card, you can purchase it online prior to arrival or after arrival at telecom company counters in airports.
*Before replacing the SIM card, it is a good idea to download apps that require mobile phone authentication (taxi apps, portal web sites, etc.) in advance.
SIM Card may be purchase
Travelers are strongly encouraged to purchase an eSIM or a SIM card online prior to your arrival. For SIM cards, you can purchase them online in advance and simply pick them up at the airport counter after arrival. Before you make a purchase, please consider your travel period and usage and choose the one that fits your needs. The most reliable and commonly used online eSIM/SIM shopping malls are LGU+ and KT now. eSIM is highly recommended since you do not have to visit an offline counter in the airport.
- Offline Store
If you haven’t purchased the eSIM/SIM card online in advance, getting one from the airport convenience store is another great way to get one. You may refer to the below convenience stores located inside the airport.
Separate from purchase, you can activate the SIM card by yourself whenever you need. You just need to follow the written description on the SIM card package and upload your information to register and it will usually be activated within 15 minutes.
- Incheon International Airport: 1F Arrival Floor CU 1,2,3
- Gimpo International Airport: 3F 7-Eleven (You can also get from Domestic Terminal or Subway Station “Gimpo Airport”)
- Take your shoes off at the door when entering any residence, temple, or guesthouse.
- Greet people you meet with a short bow—essentially a nod—and soft handshake using both hands.
- Give and receive any object using both hands.
- Tipping is not customary in Korea, however, some people may receive it while some may refuse. Just go with the flow!
- Start your meal once the eldest at the table begins eating.
- Avoid touching food with your fingers, except when wrapping food in lettuce/cabbage.
- Refrain from leaving your chopsticks or spoon sticking up from your bowl of rice, and use a spoon to eat rice.
- Place chopsticks and spoon back in their original position at the end of the meal.
- Refrain from pointing.
- Wait until the person has finished speaking to understand the meaning, especially when speaking in Korean.
- Always remember to be respectful as you would anywhere else and have a good time!
Emergency Ready App
Emergency Ready App provides multilingual support in English, Chinese, and Japanese for 36 services, including disaster alerts, safety guides, and civil defense shelter locations.
IOS APP: https://url.kr/yo81pt
AOS APP: https://url.kr/zl463h
Emergency Medical Services
In the event of an emergency, please contact the relevant department listed below.
- Police Department: 112 (for theft, assault, and other crimes)
- Fire Department: 119 (for general accidents and ambulance)
- Emergency Medical Information Center: 1339 (medical assistance for international visitors)
- Tourist Information Center: 1330 (for any other tourism-related assistance)
Pyeongchang Public Medical Center
Pyeongchang-gun Health and Medical Center
Location: 11, Noseong-ro, Pyeongchang-eup, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do, Republic of Korea
Contact info: 033-332-4000
All pharmacies in Korea are marked with a “약” sign and are well-stocked with Western medicine. Most over-the-counter drugs are only available at pharmacies, but basic over-the-counter drugs, like Tylenol or aspirin, can be purchased at convenience stores. Pharmacies are usually closed on Sundays, but many near major transportation hubs and subway stations often stay open.