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Location

The Korean Peninsula extends about 1,000 km from the Asian continent into the Pacific Ocean with more than 3,000 islands dotting the coastline. Mountains cover almost 70 percent of the land mass, making the country one of the most mountainous regions in the world and offering abundant forest resources. Administratively, Korea consists of nine provinces with 77 small cities and 88 counties.

Weather

Language

Hangeul (한글), Korea’s official alphabet, was first invented by King Sejong during the Joseon Dynasty. Originally called Hunminjeongeum (훈민정음), the language was conceived in 1443, and further promulgated by the King in 1446. At the time of its inception, the language consisted of 17 consonants and 11 vowels however, since then, 3 of the originally established consonants and 1 vowel have fallen into disuse bringing the total number of characters to 24. Syllables are formed by the selective combination of vowels and consonants to create words.

  
Time Difference

When Indicating Korea Time: Present Time (GMT+9) / No daylight savings time

City Time
Seoul, Tokyo (Korea Time) 1:00 4:00 7:00 10:00 13:00 16:00 19:00 22:00
Taipei, Manila, Hong Kong, 
Kulala Lumpur, Singapore
24:00 3:00 6:00 9:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Bangkok, Jakarta 23:00 2:00 5:00 8:00 11:00 14:00 17:00 20:00
New Delhi, Calcutta 22:00 1:00 4:00 7:00 10:00 13:00 16:00 19:00
Teheran, Kuwait, Jeddah 19:00 22:00 1:00 4:00 7:00 10:00 13:00 16:00
Hamburg, Rome, Paris, Amsterdam 17:00 20:00 23:00 2:00 5:00 8:00 11:00 14:00
London, Madrid 16:00 19:00 22:00 1:00 4:00 7:00 10:00 13:00
Rio de Janeiro, S`ao Paulo 13:00 16:00 19:00 22:00 1:00 4:00 7:00 11:00
New York, Montreal, Bogota, Toronto 11:00 14:00 17:00 20:00 23:00 2:00 5:00 8:00
Chicago, Houston 10:00 13:00 16:00 19:00 22:00 1:00 4:00 7:00
Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco, 
Los Angeles
8:00 11:00 14:00 17:00 20:00 23:00 2:00 5:00
Sydney, Melbourne 2:00 5:00 8:00 11:00 14:00 17:00 20:00 23:00
Business Hours

Government office hours are usually from 9:00 to 18:00 on weekdays. Banks are open from 9:00 to 16:00 on weekdays. Most stores are open every day from 10:30 to 20:00, including Sundays.

Currency & Exchange
Old Bills
 
10,000 won (man won) 5,000 won (ocheon won) 1,000 won (cheon won)  
New Bills
 
10,000 won (man won) 5,000 won (ocheon won) 1,000 won (cheon won) 50,000 won (oman won)  
Coins
 
500 won (obaek won) 100 won (baek won) 50 won (osip won) 10 won (sip won)  
Tip & Tax

Service charges are included in your bill for rooms, meals, and other services at hotels and upscale restaurants. Koreans occasionally do tip when they are especially pleased with the service they receive. Foreign tourists can receive nearly 10 % VAT refunds for purchases at Duty Free shops. Goods must be taken out of Korea within three months of purchase to be eligible for a tax refund. Visitors can receive a refund on a receipt for a minimum purchase of KRW 50,000 (around USD 43). To receive this refund, present receipts with the purchased goods at the customs clearance desk at Incheon International Airport when departing.

Electricity

The standard electricity supply is 220 volts AC/60 cycles. Most hotels may provide outlet converters for 110 and 220 volts. Participants are advised to check with the hotel beforehand.

Emergency Phone number

1339: Medical Emergency
119: Emergencies for Fire, Rescue & Hospital Services
112: Police
129: First Aid Services

Useful Websites

Last Updated November 29, 2013