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Korea enjoys four distinctive seasons of spring, summer, fall, and winter. Fall is from early September through late-November. The weather is nice and cool at this time because of the continental high atmospheric pressure. Tourists can enjoy Busan throughout all seasons because of the nice weather and beautiful scenery.
Local currency is the South Korean won (KRW, 원 in Korean, pronounced like “won”). There are four bill denominations of 1,000, 5,000, 10,000, and 50,000 “won”s. Apart from the respective denominations, notes are easily discernible by distinct colors and different portraits of historical figures on each note. As of May 31, 2022, 1 US Dollar is equivalent to 1,236 Korean Won (KRW) and 1 Euro is equivalent to 1,335 KRW. There are banks and foreign exchange booths at international airports (e.g. ICN). Major hotels and banks provide foreign currency exchange services.
ATM (Automated Teller Machines)
Travelers who carry internationally recognized credit cards can get a cash advance in Korea Won from Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) installed at airports, major hotels, department stores, subway stations and tourist attractions. ATMs are in operation 24 hours a day. Most large stores, hotels and restaurants in Korea accept major international credit cards. However it is advisable to carry some cash, since many smaller establishments and stores are unlikely to accept credit cards.
Government office hours are from 09:00 to 18:00 from Monday to Friday. Shops, restaurants, and shopping malls are generally open from 09:00 till 22:00. Banks are open from 09:00 to 16:00 on weekdays only.
Major credit cards including Visa, American Express, Diners Club, Master Card, and JCB are broadly accepted in most shops, hotels, department stores, and restaurants. Credit card surcharges for uses in overseas may be incurred.
Tipping & Tax
Tipping is not a customary practice in Korea. Generally, 10% Value Added Tax (VAT) is levied in the total payable. Some upscale restaurants and hotel facilities may charge another 10% Service Charges. Foreigners may take a benefit of reclaiming VATs at the airport for purchases made at shops but purchased goods must be taken out of the country within three months from the purchase date to be eligible for a tax refund. Visitors can receive a refund on a receipt for a minimum purchase of KRW 30,000.
Korea’s standard time zone is GMT +9 hours.
Electricity & Power Plug
The standard voltage in Korea is 220 volts. The outlet has two round holes and is the same type used in France, Germany, Austria, Greece, Turkey, and many other countries. Always check the power supply before using your equipment.
Wifi is widely available. If you want to have continuous access without using roaming, you can either rent a phone, sim card of Pocket Wifi. These items are for rental and can be picked up upon arrival at the Incheon Airport & Gimpo Airport.