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  • Overview

    South Korea is a country of natural wonders, teemingmetropolises, and romantic legends. Tourist discover the hiddentreasures of the mountainous Korean peninsula, poking southwardsfrom the eastern end of the Asian continent.

    South Korea has been separated from North Korea by ademilitarised zone since 1953, flourishing to become a stable andmature democracy. Its 50 million people inhabit nine provinces andare concentrated in seven megacities.

    Ringed by mountains, the capital of Seoul is the largest andmost frequented city. The world's tenth largest city, its ancientshrines nestle beneath soaring skyscrapers in an urban sprawl ofvibrant nightlife, unforgettable dining, and uniqueattractions.

    Another area rich in tourist attractions is the southeasternregion, with its wealth of archaeological treasures. Gyeongju,ancient capital of the Silla Kingdom, is an open-air museumboasting tombs, temples, pagodas, and ruins dating from as early as57 BC.

    With its luxury hotels, the Bomun Lake Resort is a fine basefrom which to explore the area. New resort complexes are currentlyunder construction to open up this fascinating area to even moretourist opportunities.

    The least populated area of the country is Gangwon-do Province,on the eastern side of the peninsula. Here, remote forestedmountains and valleys are studded with small towns. This area,which played host to the Asian Winter Games in 1999, is fastbecoming one of the world's most sought after skiing destinations.For the rest of the year, visitors are drawn to the province'smagnificent beaches and scenic hiking trails.

    Those seeking a romantic getaway should head for South Korea'sresort island, Jejudo, known as 'Little Hawaii' because of itssubtropical vegetation, volcanic landscape, sandy beaches, andsparkling waterfalls. The island is dominated by the towering MountHalla volcano. But visitors need not fear a natural disaster as thevolcano was last active in 1007.

    Centuries of relative isolation has allowed SouthKorea to develop and maintain a distinct and unique culture. Thepast few decades have seen the country transform into a globalpowerhouse, with a combination of ancient history and cutting-edgemodernity proving a huge pull for travellers.

    Despite being a small country, South Korea is home to11 UNESCO-listed sites. 10 of these are cultural and one isnatural. The sites include the Changdeokgung Palace Complex; theancient dolmen structures found at various sites; the GyeongjuHistoric Areas; the Haeinsa Temple; the historic villages of Hahoeand Yangdong; Hwaseong Fortress; Jeju Island; the Jongmyo Shrine;Namhansanseong; the Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty; and theBulguksa Temple.

    The Korean Wave has seen a massive appreciationgrowing internationally for Korean pop culture, with K-pop andfashion hitting the mainstream. The biggest urban attractions arethus often booming entertainment, buzzing nightlife, andrestaurants.

    Visitors exploring South Korea should considerpurchasing passes tailored to their experience or location. Theseexclusive tourist cards can be used for transport, accommodation,entrance fees, and even shopping.

    Gyeongbokgung

    The jewel of Seoul's five historic palaces, Gyeongbokgung wasbuilt in 1395 by Lee Seong-Gye. Founder of the Joseon Dynasty, heestablished the city as the capital of Korea. The magnificentrectangular palace now contains the National Museum of Korea andNational Folk Museum of Korea, featuring royal apartments andstaterooms, gardens, and elegant lotus ponds.

    The pavilion features on the 10,000 South Korean won note. Thepalace is in a process of continual restoration as newarchaeological treasures are uncovered and restored to their formerglory. This historic palace complex consistently ranks as one ofthe best loved tourist attractions in Seoul.

    Address: 1 Sejong-no, Jongno-gu
    Transport: Five-minute walk from exit 5 of Gyeongbokgung station(Seoul Subway Line 3)
    Opening time: The palace's operating hours are generally 9am to 6pmbut these times can change depending on the season. Check websitefor details.
    Gyeongbokgung Gyeongbokgung Joon-Young, Kim
    Jeju Island

    Jeju Island is one of the most popular holidaydestinations in South Korea and can be reached by ferry from Busan.Found off the southern tip of the Korean Peninsula, it enjoysrelatively warm weather throughout the year. Visitors generallyflock to its beaches, as well as the volcanic Mount Hallasan.

    The island is home to a number of interestingmuseums, including the Folklore and History Museum, theIndependence Museum, and the fascinating Haenyeo Museum whichprovides valuable insight into the tradition of the Haenyeo womendivers of the island.

    Jeju Island has many fascinating natural wonders,including the Gimyeong Maze, the Manjanggul lava tube cave, thehexagonal-shaped Jusangjeolli cliff, and Cheonjiyeon Waterfall. IhoBeach is made up of both yellow and dark grey volcanic sand,creating beautiful patterns in the tidal waters.

    Visitors to Jeju Island can go on numerous tours ofthe island or they can relax on the beaches or at hot springresorts. There are many hiking trails and going scuba diving isdefinitely one of the top things to do on Jeju Island.

    The island has a broad range of hotels andaccommodation options and there are many small restaurants servingup regional delicacies ranging from live squid to mandarin oranges,mushrooms, abalone, and wild boar.

    Address: Jeju-do
    Jeju Island Jeju Island Martin Chen
    Lotte World

    Fun and thrills are the order of the day at Seoul's main themepark, drawing about six million annual visitors. According to theGuinness Book of World Records, Lotte World is the largest indoortheme park in the world.

    The park is divided into an indoor and outdoor section. Inside,Adventure Land covers acres of streets representing differentcountries filled with hundreds of activities, entertainmentactivities, shops, restaurants, and ongoing parades.

    Outdoors, Magic Island offers thrilling high-altitude rides,laser shows, and pleasant walking trails around a lake, all set inthe shadow of a fairytale castle. There is also an indoor ice rinkand a fascinating Folk Museum, complete with miniaturevillages.

    Address: 240 Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu
    Transport: Jamsil Subway Station (Line 2 and 8). Take exit 4directly to Lotte World
    Opening time: Operating hours are 9.30am to 10pm.
    Lotte World Lotte World Jeremy Thompson
    Insadong

    No visit to Seoul is complete without exploring the capital'sheart and artistic soul. Known colloquially as Mary's Alley, thealleyways of the Insa-dong District contain antique shops andcountless art galleries that delight collectors and casual browsersalike.

    From ancient Chinese pottery to yellowed books and delicatejewellery, most visitors manage to find a treasured souvenir orspecial gift among the quaint stores. There are plenty ofrestaurants, taverns, and traditional teahouses in the area too,ensuring shoppers stay refreshed while seeking out treasures.

    Address: Insadong Junction, Jongro-gu
    Transport: Subway to Anguk Station (Seoul Subway LineNo.3)
    Insadong Insadong Katie Haugland
    Namsan Park

    Namsan is the mountain that stands as a sentinel in the centreof Seoul, proving to be a popular recreational feature in the city.The route through to the top is not extremely high and hikingthrough the park isn't too challenging.

    A cable car and stairway take visitors to the summit, wherethere are several attractions such as the Maritime Aquarium,botanical gardens, and fountains. Seoul Tower, at 1,575ft (480m),offers a fantastic view of the city and surrounds, as does itsrevolving restaurant.

    Also set within the park, the Namsangol Hanok Village centres onfive restored historical Korean homes. Depicting the environmentsof various social classes from the Joseon Dynasty, the village is atime capsule with a peaceful pond and pavilion set in the midst ofthe city.

    Visitors can not only explore the houses, but also enjoytraditional tea, shop for souvenirs, browse traditional crafts, ortry their hand at ancient games like neolttwigi (jumping on asee-saw) or arrow throwing. On weekends in summer, traditionalwedding ceremonies are held at midday.

    Address: 100-177 Hoehyeon-dong 1-ga Jung-gu
    Transport: A 10-minute walk in the direction of Lila ElementarySchool from Myeong-dong Station on Seoul Subway Line 4 (Exit 2 or3)
    Opening time: The park's operating hours are generally 10am to 11pmbut these times can change depending on the season and weatherconditions. Check website for details.
    Namsan Park Namsan Park Jordi Sanchez Teruel
    Changdeokgung

    One of the Five Grand Palaces built by the kings of the JoseonDynasty, Changdeokgung is set within a large park in Jongno-gu andthe whole complex has been included on the UNESCO World Heritagelist. Located east of Gyeongbok, Changdeokgung is also referred toas the East Palace.

    It was the favoured palace of many kings of the Joseon Dynastyand in accordance with the Three Kingdoms of Korea period, itsbuildings blend harmoniously with the natural landscape. At least600-years-old, this historic site is one of Seoul's touristic gems.The colourful and intricate architecture is set in expansivegardens, a peaceful green place which is ideal for a meditativestroll.

    Address: Jongno-gu
    Transport: Subway line 3, Anguk Station, Exit 3. Subway lines 1, 3or 5, Jongno 3-ga Station, Exit 6.
    Opening time: The Palace's operating hours are generally 9am to 6pmbut these times can change depending on the season. Check websitefor details.
    Changdeokgung Changdeokgung Daderot
    Jogyesa

    Jogyesa serves as the primary temple of the Jogye Order ofKorean Buddhism. First established in 1395, Jogyesa is located inthe district of Jongno-gu in central Seoul. In 1998, Jogyesa madeinternational news when several monks occupied the temple for morethan 40 days in a power struggle between factions of the JogyeOrder.

    A highlight of this attraction is a lacebark pine, an ancientwhite tree within its grounds said to be around 500 years old. Theprinciples of Buddhism have been taught at this temple for morethan a century and visitors keen to interact with the monks andlearn something about their faith can join one of the temple'steaching programmes.

    Address: Gyeonji-dong, Jongno-gu.
    Website: www.jogyesa.org
    Jogyesa Jogyesa parhessiastes
    Jongmyo Shrine

    Jongmyo Shrine is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and celebrated asone of Korea's foremost cultural treasures. Built in 1394, it's theoldest Confucian shine in the world and often holds ceremonies,rituals, and traditional dance performances. Jongmyo is theofficial shrine of Korea's Joseon Dynasty, with it serving as thechief place of worship for the royalty of this line.

    The shrine is made up of a number of halls as well as a smallcloister, with its interior, roofs, and ceilings exquisitelypainted and decorated. Jongmyo is the term used for a place wherememorial services are performed and it's therefore unsurprisingthat the shrine is home to more than 40 memorial tablets of pastkings and queens of Korea. Tourists visiting Seoul will find thatJongmyo is situated within walking distance of the ChangdoekgangPalace and the two attractions can be conveniently combined whilesightseeing.

    Address: 157 Jong-ro, Jongno-gu
    Transport: Take subway lines 1, 3 or 5 to Jongno-3-ga subwaystation.
    Opening time: The Shrine's operating hours are generally 9am to 6pmbut these times can change depending on the season. Check websitefor details.
    Jongmyo Shrine Jongmyo Shrine Oskar Alexanderson
    Seoraksan National Park

    The mountain of Seoraksan in Gangwan Province is one of the mostscenic settings in South Korea and is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.Seoraksan National Park is home to the country's third highestpeak, reached by means of a variety of trails up the mountain. Forthe less physically inclined, there is a cable car that runs someof the way up the mountain.

    The most popular time to visit Seoraksan is during autumn, whenthe surrounding foliage creates a visual feast with the leaveschanging from green to the colours of auburn, red, yellow, brown,and gold before dropping. Seoraksan is best accessed from the smallseaside city of Sokcho on Korea's east coast.

    Aside from the gorgeous flora, there is also a host of wildfauna to spot in the reserve. Together with rare plants such asEdelweiss and diamond bluebell, endangered animals like the Amurgoral, Korean musk deer, and Tristram's woodpecker are also foundwithin its borders. A total of around 2,000 animal species exist inthe park.

    Address: Gangwan-do, Sokcho-si, Seorak-dong San 16
    Fall in Seoraksan National Park Fall in Seoraksan National Park Phil Venditti
    Beaches in Busan

    Busan is home to a number of excellent tourist sites.Yet its standout attractions must be its beaches, which are famousthroughout Korea and draw tens of thousands of vacationers annuallyto the busy port city.

    Busan's beaches are best experienced in spring,autumn, and winter, as between mid-June and the end of August(Korea's official beach season) they can become unpleasantlyovercrowded. Busan's main beach is Haeundae, which sports a goodamount of fine golden sand and good swimming conditions.

    The area surrounding Haeundae Beach is also full oftrendy bars and restaurants, a wealth of shopping opportunities,and lots of accommodation options, making it the perfect base for aweekend getaway in Busan. The next beach down the pecking order isGwangalli, which has a great view of the Gwangan Grand Bridge, andon any given day will play host to a number of informal volleyballgames.

    Slightly more remote beaches, which might not suffertoo much from overcrowding, include Songjeong with its cleanerwaters and bigger waves (ideal for surfing) and Dadaepo, located ina river estuary about five miles (8km) from downtown Busan whichfeatures shallow waters and outstanding natural scenery.

    Haeundae Beach Haeundae Beach TravelingOtter
    Busan Aquarium

    Korea's largest aquarium and one of its most talked abouttourist attractions, the Busan Aquarium is a sure-fire winnerguaranteed to delight visitors of all ages. The aquarium is a majoroperation and spread over three levels, with its main tankcontaining an astounding three million litres of water.

    The Busan Aquarium is home to roughly 35,000 marine animals frommore than 250 species, and features special exhibitions to showcaserare and exotic creatures such as jackass penguins, clawed otters,electric eels, sharks, piranhas, giant turtles, and an assortmentof colourful sea jellies.

    Visitors largely view the sea life from the confines of animpressive 260-foot (80m) underground tunnel, through enormousacrylic windows that allow for photography. Of particular interestto younger visitors is the aquarium's 3D simulator located on thefirst floor, a cutting-edge piece of technology that gives you ataste of what it must be like to explore the ocean floor onfoot.

    One of the best things to see in Busan and a must for familyvacationers, the Busan Aquarium is a delightful way to spend a fewhours marvelling at the ocean's riches before heading upstairs andout onto Haeundae Beach to catch some sun.

    Address: Haeundae Station, Busan
    Busan Aquarium Busan Aquarium Kaede
    Galbi Restaurants

    A quintessential Korean pastime and a good everyday option forbudget-conscious travellers, galbi restaurants are immenselypopular places which are full every night of the week with locals,expatriate workers in Korea, and tourists.

    The basic concept of galbi is simple: patrons sit around aprivate barbecue grill and order portions of raw, succulent pork,which they then cook themselves at their own leisure. Of course,over the course of the evening, the waiter will bring a seeminglyunending selection of complimentary side dishes (banchan) to thetable, including the ubiquitous national dish kimchi (spicyfermented cabbage), a variety of jjigaes (soups), pajeon(pancakes), bean sprout salad (kongnamul), spicy soy bean paste(doenjang) and more.

    Over and above the culinary experience of eating in a galbirestaurant, tourists will love the laidback atmosphere and uniquesocial dynamic of cooking food with friends in a restaurantsetting. Alternatively, solo travellers or newly-arrived expatswill find that galbi restaurants are the perfect places to meetpeople and establish new friendships. Alcohol (usually consistingof soju or maekju, a type of beer) is always served at theseestablishments and is generally quite cheap.

    Dak Galbi Dak Galbi tomcensani
    Itaewon

    Without doubt the most popular area of Seoul for foreignvisitors, the gritty neighbourhood of Itaewon is one of Korea'scoolest and most cosmopolitan urban enclaves. Located near the USarmy base in Seoul, Itaewon is full of great bars, restaurants,clubs, and shops.

    Shopping in Itaewon is a unique experience, selling anythingfrom fine tailored suits to cheap plastic jewellery and extremelyrare vintage records to American football jerseys. The area is alsocelebrated for its wide range of restaurants. Aside from fast foodjoints and galbi restaurants, people can tuck into French cuisine,fine Indian and Pakistani curries, and thick steaks and racks ofbarbecue ribs.

    As wonderful as Itaewon is during the day, it comes alive atnight. Travellers will find an inexhaustible selection of clubs,bars, discos, karaoke rooms, and live music venues. Some of theseare very upmarket and feature international DJs, while others arepretty seedy. An exciting and edgy neighbourhood, Itaewon is theperfect base for young visitors looking for an unforgettable bigcity experience in Seoul.

    Address: Yongsan-gu, Seoul
    Itaewon at night Itaewon at night S/Sgt Stull

    Phrase Book

    English Pronounciation

    The climate in Korea is temperate, with four very distinctseasons. South Korea has a continental climate characterised byvery cold, dry winters and very hot, humid summers. Spring andautumn are relatively short and temperatures are mild and generallyquite pleasant, making these the most comfortable seasons to visitSouth Korea.

    Spring is generally quite short and occurs in late March andearly April. South Korean summers arrive suddenly in late April andare warmed by moist prevailing winds from the Pacific Ocean.Typhoon season is from June to September, and while South Koreadoesn't experience typhoons like those in Southeast Asia, thesouthern parts of the peninsula do experience a lot of rain. Infact, most of the rain falls in summer during a monsoon seasonknown as jangma.

    Autumn passes through the peninsula from late September throughOctober, with winter setting in sooner in northern areas such asSeoul, and autumn lasting longer for the southern cities, such asBusan.

    South Korean winters are harsh with temperatures dropping belowfreezing and icy winds blowing in from Siberia. Mountainous areasas well as the northern areas of the country experience somesnowfall but the southern parts and coastal regions experiencelittle to no winter snowfall.

    Sanchon

    Don't miss the experience of dining at Sanchon or sipping tea intheir attached teahouse. Run by a former Buddhist monk, thisrestaurant specialises in vegetarian dishes prepared withingredients from the mountain valleys and flavoured with subtleherbs and roots. The menu features a perilla seed soup, radishmushroom and red pepper wraps, Goso-namul (seasoned goso, a wildvegetable favoured by monks), as well as a tofu stew andtraditional Korean pastries. Traditional folk dancing every eveningis made more colourful by Nong Ju rice beer or a glass of fruitwine. Reservations recommended.

    Address: 14 Gwanghun Dong, Jongno-gu, Insadong
    Website: www.sanchon.com
    Myeongdong Hamheung Myeonok

    Myeongdong Hamheung Myeonok is one of the best Seoul restaurantsto go to for a relaxed naengmyeon (cold noodle) meal. Their sweetpotato noodles can be enjoyed in a delicious oxtail broth orperhaps with spicy hwae (raw fish). Open daily from 9.30am to 10pm,reservations not required.

    Address: 26-1 Myeongdong 2-ga
    Doore Yoo

    Tony Yoo is a Michelin-starred chef who aims to celebrate Koreanfood at his restaurant Doore Yoo. A fine dining experience set in abeautiful interior of wooden beams and stone walls, the surroundingneighbourhood with its many traditional Korean houses only add tothe atmosphere. As one can expect from such a talented craftsman,the menu can vary. However, it is mostly centred on vegetable-heavycuisine originating from the country's Buddhist temples, as well asmodern reimaginings of traditional Korean cuisine using onlyauthentic fermented sauces and pastes. There's also a foraging menufor those who ask a few days in advance. Open Monday to Sunday,11h00 to 15h00 and 17h00 to 22h30.

    Address: 5-24, Insadong 4-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, SouthKorea
    Dugahun

    Dugahun is found in the backyard of the Hyundai Gallery. Itsname meaning 'very beautiful house', the premises have a wonderfulold-fashioned style while its lovely outdoors area is ideal foralfresco dining. Menu favourites include the king crab, grapefruitand avocado salad, and the glazed beef tenderloin. Open Tuesday toSunday for lunch and Monday to Saturday for dinner, reservationsrecommended.

    Address: 109 Sagan-dong
    Wan Chai

    Chinese cuisine is popular in Seoul, as evidenced by the largenumber of Chinese restaurants. One of the tried and trustedrestaurants is Wan Chai, with its vast menu covering all thetraditional favourites. Named after Hong Kong's nightlife district,Wan Chai is popular with young Koreans and serves tasty Chinesefood in a relaxed environment. Highly recommended are the spicynoodles and spicy Hong Kong shellfish.

    Address: 5-35 Jangchun-dong, Seodaemun-gu
    Baekje Samgyetang

    Opened more than 40 years ago, Baekje Samgyetang sits in thecrowded Myeong-dong shopping area. Diners are seated on comfortablefloor cushions around the restaurant's polished wooden tables andserved traditional Korean cuisine, soups, and stews. Its samgyetang(ginseng chicken soup) is best accompanied by a glass of insamju(ginseng wine), while other options include ogolgye tang (silkiesoup) and dakbokkeum tang (spicy chicken stew). Open daily from 9amto 10pm. Reservations are accepted but not required.

    Address: 50-11 Myeongdong 2-ga
    The Flying Pan Blue

    The Flying Pan Blue is located in a quiet Itaewon alleyway,serving as a popular café set in a lofty building charminglyfurnished with mismatched chairs and furniture. The menu includesmany western favourites, like chicken curry sandwiches, Saturdaybrunch pancakes, bagels with cream cheese, poached eggs, and thedelicious chocolate mud (brownies with wine sauce). Open frombreakfast till 9.30pm Monday to Saturday, reservationsrecommended.

    Address: 123-7 Itaewon-Dong
    Seoul Incheon International Airport
    Location: The airport is located 30 miles (50km) from central Seoulat Incheon.
    Time: GMT +9.
    Transfer Between Terminals The two terminals are connected by inter-terminal shuttles.
    Getting to the city: An express railway connection operates between Seoul station,Gimpo Airport, and Incheon International. There are bus routestravelling from Seoul to Gyeongsang, with a late-night bus serviceas well as free shuttles between terminals and the garage. Tickets and information can be obtained from the Bus TicketingOffice at Exits 4 and 9 indoors and Exits 3B to 6B and 10A to 13Aoutdoors. There is also a ferry service from Incheon Port, whiletaxi companies are present at the terminals.
    Car Rental: Europcar, Avis, and Sixt operate from kiosks at airportarrivals.
    Airport Taxis: To catch a taxi into Seoul, exit Arrivals via Gates 4 through 8,cross the street, and make your way to the taxi stands located atplatforms 4C to 7C. The taxi ride to Seoul central will costbetween KRW 55,000 and KRW 110,000 during the day, and take aroundone hour. Road tolls and surcharges may be added to the fare.Drivers seldom speak English so write down your destination inKorean on a piece of paper.
    Fascilities: This well-equipped airport has bureaux de change and banks, alarge variety of restaurants and other eateries, numerous duty-freeshops and a basement supermarket. There is a mobile phone rentaloutlet and internet kiosks, pharmacies, saunas, hair salons, a postoffice and luggage storage facilities.
    Parking There is short and long-term parking located within walkingdistance of the main terminal. Short-term parking rates start atKRW 1,200 for the first 30 minutes, to a daily maximum of KRW24,000, but prices vary according to parking lot. Long-termparking, connected to the terminal building via shuttle, is startsat KRW 9,000 per day.
    Website: www.airport.kr
    Gimhae International Airport
    Location: The airport is on the western side of Busan, about tenmiles (16km) away.
    Time: Local time is GMT +9
    Transfer Between Terminals The terminals and parking facilities are linked via ashuttle.
    Getting to the city: There are three bus routes going from the airport to variouspoints within the city. Many intercity buses are also available.The airport also connects to Busan's subway system and light rail,and connections can be made to most parts of the city.
    Car Rental: The car rental desk is located on the ground floor of theDomestic Terminal. Seven different rental agencies operate out ofGimhae, including Samsung and Kumho Rent-A-Car.
    Airport Taxis: Taxis and limousines are available outside both terminals.
    Fascilities: Airport facilities include banks, currency exchange services,payphones, luggage storage facilities, shoe shine, conveniencestores, duty-free shopping, and various dining options.
    Parking Short-term parking is charged at KRW 900 for the first 30minutes, and KRW 300 every 10 minutes thereafter, up to a dailyrate of KRW 10,000 from Monday to Thursday for any period exceedingfive and a half hours. From Friday to Sunday and on publicholidays, daily parking is KRW 15,000 for between eight and 24hours. Long-term parking is KRW 7,000 per day and KRW 10,000 perday over weekends.
    Gwangju Airport
    Location: The airport is located 7 miles (11km) from downtownGwangju.
    Time: Local time is GMT +9.
    Transfer Between Terminals Only one terminal handles passengers, while the second terminalis for cargo only. No transfers should be necessary.
    Getting to the city: Buses, taxes, and limousine buses are available to the citycentre. There is also a subway station at the airport, whichconnects to central Gwangju along a single route.
    Car Rental: Lotte Rent-A-Car and AJ Rent-A-Car offer car hire services atthe airport.
    Airport Taxis: Taxis are available outside the terminal building.
    Fascilities: Airport facilities include shops, cafes, and a touristinformation desk.
    Parking There are two parking lots at the airport. Parking in Lot 1costs KRW 500 for 30 minutes and KRW 200 for every 30 minutesthereafter. Daily parking is KRW 6,000 during the week and KRW7,000 over the weekend. Fares in Parking Lot 2 are marginallycheaper.
    Jeju International Airport
    Location: The airport is located just over two miles (4km) fromJeju city centre.
    Time: Local time is GMT +9.
    Getting to the city: A number of buses link the airport to new Jeju and old Jeju.There are also limousine and city tour bus options available.
    Car Rental: Car rental companies represented at the airport include AJ,Lotte, Jeju Car Rental, and Jeju Island Car Rental. Car rentaloffices are located next to Gate 2 on the first floor of theterminal.
    Airport Taxis: Taxis are available in either regular or deluxe options. A farein a regular taxi to Jeju City Hall is KRW 9,000 and the journeywill take around 30 minutes.
    Fascilities: Airport facilities include a bank, currency exchange facilities,ATMs, a tourism help desk, luggage storage, shopping (includingduty-free shops), coffee shops, restaurants, a pharmacy, and a foodcourt.
    Parking There are parking lots in front of the passenger terminal.Parking costs KRW 600 for the first 30 minutes and KRW 200 forevery 10 minutes thereafter. Long-term parking costs KRW 10,000 perweekday and 15,000 per day on weekends and holidays.
    Pohang Airport
    Location: The airport is located six miles (10km) east ofPohang.
    Time: Local time is GMT +9.
    Getting to the city: City Bus 200 links the airport to the city. Travel time isbetween 20 and 25 minutes. Taxis are also available.
    Car Rental: Cheonma Rent-A-Car offers car hire facilities at theairport.
    Airport Taxis: Taxis are available to transport passengers to various stops inand around the city of Pohang.
    Fascilities: Airport facilities include banking, a restaurant, a snack bar, alibrary, a business room, shops, and a smoking area.
    Parking Parking is free of use and is located directly in front of thepassenger terminal.
    Ulsan Airport
    Location: The airport is located four and a half miles (7km) fromUlsan city centre.
    Time: Local time is GMT +9.
    Car Rental: Car rental is available and companies represented include Avis,Kumho, and Korea Express.
    Airport Taxis: Taxis are available outside the airport. An average fare to CityHall is around KRW 6,000 and takes 30 minutes; Ulsan Station is KRW19,000 and takes 40 minutes.
    Fascilities: Airport facilities include ATMs, restaurants, an information andtourism desk, and a convenience store.
    Parking Parking is available opposite the terminal building and is freefor the first 15 minutes. Thereafter costs are KRW 600 for thefirst 30 minutes and KRW 200 for each additional 10 minutes up tofour hours and 15 minutes. Thereafter parking is charged at a flatrate of KRW 5,000 per day.
    Money:

    The official currency is the South Korean Won (KRW). Currencycan be exchanged at most banks and at casinos. Most merchants inthe cities accept major credit cards but Koreans traditionallyprefer cash.

    ATMs at banks are usually accessible only during banking hoursand instructions on the machines are generally only in Korean. Mostpublic ATMs at convenience stores and subway stations are available24 hours. Dollars are accepted in a limited number of majorlocations and hotels.

    Language:

    The official language is Korean.

    Electricity:

    Electric current is 220 volts, 60Hz. Two-pin, roundplugs are standard.

    Entry Requirements:

    A valid passport is required for entry. A visa is not requiredfor stays of up to 90 days.

    A valid passport is required for entry. A visa is not requiredfor stays of up to 90 days.

    A valid passport is required for entry. A visa is not requiredfor stays of up to six months.

    A valid passport is required. A visa is not required for staysof up to 90 days.

    A valid passport is required. A visa is not required for staysof up to 30 days.

    A valid passport is required. A visa is not required for staysof up to 90 days.

    A valid passport is required for entry. A visa is not requiredfor stays of up to 90 days.

    A valid passport is required. A visa is not required for staysof up to 90 days.

    Passport/Visa Note:Visa:

    All visitors require a valid passport, a return or onwardticket, sufficient funds, all documents for the next destinationand a contact address in South Korea. Those requiring a visa shouldobtain one from a Korean Embassy or Consulate before entering thecountry or, if they qualify, apply for an e-visa and carry theirElectronic Visa Issuance Confirmation. Visas are not required forpassengers holding APEC Business Travel Cards, provided the back ofthe card states validity for travel to South Korea. It is highlyrecommended that passports have at least six months validityremaining after your intended date of departure from your traveldestination. Immigration officials often apply different rules tothose stated by travel agents and official sources.

    Travel Health:

    There are no required vaccinations for entry to South Korea andstandards of medical care are high. Payment for treatment isusually expected in advance. Travel insurance with provision forrepatriation is recommended.

    Typhoid inoculations are recommended for those who plan to spendprolonged periods in rural areas. There is a small risk of malariais rural areas. Tap water is chlorinated but may cause stomachupsets, therefore it is preferable to drink bottled water.

    Tipping:

    Tipping is not customary in Korea. Sometimes, expensiverestaurants and luxury hotels may add a service charge of 10percent. Taxi drivers are usually tipped small amounts if theyassist with baggage.

    Safety Information:

    Most visits to South Korea are trouble-free. The crime rateagainst foreigners is low, but it is still advisable to usesensible precautions, particularly in safeguarding passports, moneyand credit cards in crowded areas, and travellers should becautious, particularly at night, travelling only in legitimatetaxis or public transport. The political situation is generallystable but since the Korean peninsula was divided by ademilitarised zone in 1953, tensions have risen and fallen onoccasion. It is wise to be informed about current conditions. Youshould carry some form of identification at all times.

    Local Customs:

    English is not widely spoken or understood, so if you plan touse taxis or other local services it is wise to have instructionswritten down in Korean. It is advisable to carry some form ofidentification at all times. Social harmony is crucial, and publicanger or criticism that causes an individual to 'lose face' ordignity is a serious breach of etiquette. Koreans will go out oftheir way to maintain a comfortable situation.

    Business:

    The increase in trade with Western countries has meant thatKoreans do not expect visitors to understand all the nuances oftheir culture; however, attempts to respect traditions areappreciated. Koreans dress conservatively and formally and it isimportant to do the same. Koreans like to do business with peoplewhom they know and often introductions via a third known party arenecessary. Greetings often consist of a bow, followed by ahandshake. Introductions are very important and ascertain thehierarchy, often according to age, which is to be observed andrespected. Usually the most important person will be introducedfirst. Greetings and pleasantries in Korean will be appreciated,including 'an-yong-ha-say-yo' (hello), and 'kam-sa-ham-ni-da'(thank you). Business card etiquette is vital: cards should begiven and received with both hands, with the details translatedfrom English into Korean or Chinese on the alternate side, and mustbe treated with the utmost respect. Each one is to be readcarefully and the name acknowledged. It is important, when issuingcards, not to stack them or keep them in one's wallet or purse.Koreans are referred to by their surnames or family names first andthen their given names second and it is best to ask in advance howto address the person. The giving of gifts is appreciated and oftenreciprocated. Business hours are generally 9am to 6pm Monday toFriday.

    Communications:

    The international dialling code for South Korea is +82.Telecommunications are well developed.

    Duty Free:

    Travellers (over the age of 19) arriving in South Korea maybring in the following items free of customs duty: 200 cigarettesor 50 cigars or 250g tobacco products; 57g perfume; 1 litre ofalcohol (only those over 20 years old); and gifts valued at notmore than 400,000 won. Products from communist countries areprohibited, as are fruit, seeds and any published or recordedmaterial deemed to be subversive or obscene.

    Useful Contacts:

    Korea National Tourism Organisation, Seoul: +82 (0)2 729 9600 orwww.knto.or.kr

    South Korea Embassies:

    South Korea Embassy, Washington DC, United States: +1 202 9395600.

    South Korea Embassy, London, United Kingdom: +44 (0)20 72275500.

    South Korea Embassy, Ottawa, Canada: +1 613 244 5010.

    South Korea Embassy, Pretoria, South Africa: +27 (0)12 4602508.

    South Korea Embassy, Canberra, Australia: +61 (0)2 62704100.

    South Korea Embassy, Dublin, Ireland: +353 (0)1 660 8800.

    South Korea Embassy, Wellington, New Zealand: +64 (0)4 4739073/4.

    Foreign Embassies in South Korea :

    United States Embassy, Seoul: +82 (0)2 397 4114.

    British Embassy, Seoul: +82 (0)2 3210 5500.

    Canadian Embassy, Seoul: +82 (0)2 3783 6000.

    South African Embassy, Seoul: +82 (0)2 792 4855.

    Australian Embassy, Seoul: +82 (0)2 2003 0100.

    Irish Embassy, Seoul: +82 (0)2 721 7200.

    New Zealand Embassy, Seoul: +82 (0)2 3701 7700.

    South Korea Emergency Numbers : 112 (Police); 119 (Ambulance and Fire).
    South Korea
    Korean DMZ

    The Korean Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) is a roughly two mile (4km)stretch of demilitarised land that divides the Korean peninsula intwo. The DMZ was established in 1953 at the end of the Korean War,remaining not only as one of the most heavily-armed and guardedterritories on the planet but also as the last surviving relic ofthe Cold War.

    Daytrips which leave from downtown Seoul include guided tours ofNorth Korean infiltration tunnels and the site of negotiationsbetween the warring countries called the Joint Security Area(Panmunjeon).

    Upon entry, visitors are required to put their signature on anindemnity form acknowledging that they are entering a hostile area,where they face 'the possibility of injury or death as a directresult of enemy action'.

    Another interesting aspect of the DMZ is that, due to the totalabsence of development in the area for nearly 65 years, the widerarea has become the site of what must be the world's most unlikelywildlife sanctuary.

    An area of serene and unspoiled beauty, the sanctuary is home toseveral rare and endangered species, such as Asiatic black bears,Siberian tigers, Amur leopards, and beautiful migratory birds.There are some hotels and hostels in the area for those who wantmore than just a tour.

    Address: Korean peninsula region
    Transport: Since tours of the DMZ are strictly by reservation only,visitors will need to engage the services of a tour company tovisit the site.
    Opening time: The DMZ is closed on Mondays and Korean nationalholidays
    Korean DMZ Korean DMZ Driedprawns
    Incheon

    Hop on a bus and visit Incheon, a major Korean port city on theWest Sea. About an hour from Seoul, the surrounding irregularcoastline and mountainous inland terrain provide a popular outdoorplayground. While Incheon is home to an international airport, thisdoesn't stop it from being a charming little city surround by ricefields.

    Since the days of the Joseon Dynasty, the city has been famedfor its therapeutic hot springs and the downtown hotels all operatepublic bath facilities and swimming pools. Visitors bathe in thespa waters, hoping to enjoy relief from skin ailments, eyeproblems, neuralgia, and gynaecological disease. In the IncheonCeramics Village, there are hundreds of studios and shops withkilns producing traditional porcelain.

    Transport: Buses depart for Incheon from Dongseoul Express BusTerminal and from Gangnam Express Bus Terminal.
    Incheon Incheon travel oriented
    Hwaseong Fortress

    Hwaseong Fortress is yet another of South Korea's UNESCO WorldHeritage Sites. The fortress is situated in Suwon, south of Seoulcentral but still within the greater Seoul area. Hwaseong Fortresswas completed in 1796 in order to protect the capital from Japaneseinvasions.

    The three-and-a-half-mile (5.7km) fortress wall weaves in andout of the modern buildings and roads of Suwon. Visitors to Suwoncan climb parts of the fortress wall and marvel at the intricateand often colourful architecture that makes this extraordinarystone edifice blend in to its surroundings in a typically Korean,harmonious fashion.

    The Hwaseong fortress includes 41 watchtowers, the Great SouthGate, Paldalmun, and Seobuk Gongsimdon. There are also sometraditional teahouses in the vicinity of the most popular sectionsof the wall where visitors can stop for a refreshing cup of icedtea.

    Address: 910, Jeongjo-ro, Paldal-gu, Suwon-si,Gyeonggi-do
    Transport: Take Seoul Subway line 5 to the Suwonstation.
    Opening time: Operating hours in the summer season are 9am to 6pmand in the winter season 9am to 5pm
    Hwaseong Fortress in Suwon Hwaseong Fortress in Suwon dnc
    Everland

    Everland is South Korea's version of Disney Land. This massiveamusement park is situated on the outskirts of Seoul and is theperfect daytrip for visitors travelling with kids. Everland has aselection of rides ranging from heart stopping to sedate.

    The amusement park hosts a variety of restaurants, a safarisection, and a snow sledding area for winter visitors. There isalso a fantastic water park called Caribbean Bay, a racing track, agolf course, and flower display gardens, as well as a twice-dailyprocession of cartoon characters and trapeze artists through thepark.

    Address: 199 Everland-ro, Pogog-eup, Cheoin-gu, Yongin-si,Gyeonggi-do
    Transport: Take bus number 6000 to Yongin from Suwon Station, thereis a free shuttle bus from Yongin to Everland.
    Opening time: Operating hours are 10am to 10pm
    Beautiful flowers on display atEverland Beautiful flowers on display atEverland mhambleton