Korea is 9 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT +9) and does not observe daylight savings time.
Currency and Credit Cards
The Korean unit of currency is the won. Coin denominations are ￦10, ￦50, ￦100 and ￦500. Bank notes are ￦1,000, ￦5,000, ￦10,000 and ￦50,000. Bank checks are circulated in denominations of ￦100,000 and over. Foreign currency and traveler’s checks can be converted into Korean won at foreign exchange banks and other authorized money chargers. One U.S. dollar is equivalent to about KRW 1,129 as of January 2019. Credit cards including VISA, AMEX, Diner’s Club, Mastercard and JCB are accepted at major hotels, department stores and larger restaurants.
Automated Teller Machines (ATM)
Travelers who carry internationally recognized credit cards can get a cash advance in Korean won at ATMs installed at airports, major hotels, department stores and tourist attractions. Cards with the Plus and Cirrus logos are the easiest to use and most widely accepted in Korea. Some places also accept international cards such as China UnionPay, Maestro, Electron, and JCB cards.
Most government offices are open between the hours of 09:00 and 17:00 and closed on weekends. Most private businesses open anywhere from 08:30 to 10:00 and close late in the evening. Banks are open from 09:00 to 16:00 on weekdays and they are closed on weekends. Major department stores are usually open from 10:30 to 20:00 including Sundays.
Tipping is not customary. A 10% service charge may be added to your bill at most tourist hotels and some restaurants.
Value-added tax (VAT) is levied on most goods and services at a standard rate of 10% and is included in the retail price. At tourist hotels, this 10% tax applies to meals and other services and is added into the bill.
The standard electrical supply is 220 volts AC/60 cycles. Most hotels may provide outlet converters for 110 and 220 volts. Be careful and ask before plugging in a 110 volt appliance.
Telephone / Mobile Phone
To make international calls, please dial the international dialing code (001, 002, 00700) + country code + area code + phone number. Most convenience stores, hotels, and airports sell domestic and international phone cards. Mobile phones can be rented at the airport or at major hotels. You will need valid identification (passport) and a credit card to contract mobile phone rental services.
Participants are advised to get adequate travel and health insurance before leaving their respective countries.