Korea General

The Republic of Korea (herein after South Korea) is a country visited by approximately ten million international travelers every year. With its long history in culture and tradition, the country has a lot to offer to travelers.

National Symbols

Country Name: Republic of Korea (South Korea)
National Flag: Taegeukgi
National Flower: Mugunghwa (Rose of Sharon)
Capital: Seoul
Official Language: Korean

BASIC INFORMATION

Location: Northeast Asia
Area: 100,033km2
Population: Approx. 51 million
Time Zone: GMT + 9 hrs (3 hrs 30 min. ahead of Indian Standard Time)
Climate: Continental climate Winter (Dec~Feb) I Spring(Mar~May) I Summer (June~Aug) I Autumn (Sept~Nov)
Electricity: : 220V (60 Hertz, the outlet has two round holes)
Country Dial Code : +82

Currency & Credit Cards

  • The Korean Won is the currency in South Korea (Republic of Korea, KR, KOR). The currency notes come in the denominations of 1,000, 5,000, 10,000 and 50,000 won bills and 10, 50, 100, 500 won coins. All leading credit cards are accepted at all merchant establishments but some small shops, restaurants and traditional markets only accept cash. To withdraw or exchange the currency, visitors can visit banks and ATMs available throughout Korea. Currency can also be exchanged at leading hotels or private tellers in major tourist areas.

    Exchanging money

    Indian Rupees cannot be directly converted into Korean Won. It is suggested to carry US Dollars which can be then converted into local currency.

    Approx. Conversion Rate:
    US$ 1 = KRW 1100
    INR 1 = KRW 17

International Calls

How to make an international call to Korea

To make a phone call to Korea from abroad, first dial 82 (country code for Korea), then the area code (except for the first number 0). Now, dial the phone number you wish to call.

For example: Calling Seoul (area code 02) with 777-7777 as the phone number, dial +82-2-777-7777.

How to make an international call from Korea

  • First, dial any of the following international call company numbers, followed by the country code, area code and eventually the number you are calling.
  • Pre-paid Phone Cards: Pre-paid phone cards are available at convenience stores, major drug store chains, bookstores and newspaper stands.

Public Holiday 2018

New Year's Day (January 1)

As in other countries, the first day of the New Year is celebrated.

Seollal (February 15-18)

Lunar New Year's Day (Seollal) is one of the most important traditional holidays of the year

Independence Movement Day (March 1)

This day commemorates the Declaration of Independence proclaimed on March 1, 1919, while under Japanese colonization.

Buddha's Birthday (May 22)

Falling on the eighth day of the fourth lunar month

Children's Day (May 5, substitute holiday May 7)

This day celebrates children and their parents' hopes for them to grow healthy and become good citizens.

Memorial Day (June 6)

Memorial Day is set aside to honor the soldiers and civilians who have given their lives for their country.

Local Election Day (June 13)

On this day, citizens throughout the nation will vote for the election of officials at the local government level.

Liberation Day (August 15)

This day commemorates Japan's acceptance of the Allies' terms of surrender in 1945 and the resulting liberation of Korea.

National Foundation Day (October 3)

This day commemorates the founding of the Korean nation by the legendary god-king Dangun.

Chuseok (September 23-25, substitute holiday September 26)

Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving) is one of the year’s most important traditional holidays. It is celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month.

Hangeul Day (October 9)

Hangeul Day is a commemoration held to remember the creation of Hangeul (Korean Alphabet)

Christmas (December 25)

Christmas is observed as a national holiday in Korea as in many other countries.

Weather


Warm and sunny days with big daily temperature range. Recommended to have light jacket handy.


Temperatures range from the upper 20s to lower 30ºC (80~85ºF). Mid-June to early July falls into the rainy season, so be sure to pack an umbrella.


Although a bit dry and breezy, it is one of the best times to visit in Korea. Due to major daily temperature variations, it is recommended to pack a light jacket.


With average temperatures dropping below 0ºC, winters are very cold, dry and snowy. Heavy coats and gloves are a must.

click here to view the current weather in Korea

History

  • 2000 BCE

    Gojoseon
    (2333BCE~108BCE)

  • 500

    Three Kingdoms Period (57BCE~668CE)
    Silla (57BCE~935CE)

  • CE

    Goguryo (37BCE~668CE)
    Baekje (18BCE~660CE)
    Gaya (42~562)

  • 500

    Unified Silla Period (676~935)
    Balhae Kingdom (698~926)

  • 1000

    Goryeo Dynasty (918~1392))

  • 1500

    Joseon Dynasty (1392~1910)

  • 2000

    Japanese Colonial Period (1910 ~ 1945)
    Establishment of the Republic of Korea (1948)
    The Korean War (1950-1953)

Traditional Culture

  • Korean Language: Hangeul

    Hangeul was discovered by great King Sejong in 1446 by seeking the assistance of some scholars to give the common people an alphabet that was easy to read and write. Among the 3,000 spoken languages and 100 alphabets available throughout the world, only Hangeul was analytically invented without influence from any other language. A scientifically progressive alphabet, this brilliant writing system is the only one in the world for which the name of its creator and date of founding are known. Of all Korea's cultural assets, the citizens are most proud of Hangeul and thus designated every October 9th as Hangeul Day, to memorialize and celebrate the invention of the alphabet. In addition, UNESCO inscribed Hunminjeongeum Haerye; The Hangeul Manuscript, on the Memory of the World Register in 1997.

  • Korean Traditional Clothes: Hanbok

    Hanbok is a traditional clothing of Korea. Worn daily up until a century ago, it remains a major symbol of Korea, and is still featured on special occasions and holidays. Having its roots in northern Asia, Hanbok was actually designed to facilitate ease of movement. The basic structure of Hanbok, precisely the jeogori (jacket), baji (pants) and the chima (skirt), was established during the Goguryeo Kingdom (37 BCE- 668 CE), and the design features have remained comparatively untouched to this day.

    Hanbok can be categorized into ceremonial and everyday dress, and then further categorized by gender, age and season. Regardless of the differences in these classifications, the basic aesthetic framework of all Hanbok is based around the Korean affection towards openness, need for supernatural protection and blessings, and the Confucian style dress code.

  • Korean Traditional Food: Hansik

    Hansik means traditional Korean food, centred on rice, served together with a bowl of soup and a range of side dishes. Most foods include meat and vegetables as primary ingredients and are soaked in a brine or water rather than fried in oil, making hansik wonderful from health perspective. Hansik's most remarkable feature is the amount of fermented foods, which are found to be wonderful in improving digestion, as well as preventing cancer. The most eminent fermented foods are kimchi (fermented cabbage), ganjang (soy sauce), doenjang (soybean paste) and gochujang (Korean chili paste). Popular dishes among international eaters include bulgogi, bibimbap. Bulgogi is a marinated beef or sometimes pork dish that is sweet and tender in texture. The soy sauce seasoning is not spicy, thus making it a fabulous starter dish to hansik. Bibimbap, on the other hand, is a full-fledged meal in and of itself, mixing rice with all types of condiments of one's choice, topped with gochujang for that extra kick.

  • Korean Traditional Houses: Hanok

    First designed and built in the 14th century during the Joseon Dynasty, Hanok refers to a traditional Korean house. There are two main attractions of hanoks. The first is one-of-its kind of heating system of 'ondol.' A layer of stone is placed down above the flooring and when heated, the heat spreads up into every room throughout the house, keeping both the floor and the air amazingly warm in winter. Another great feature of hanok houses is their environment-friendliness. The materials needed to build a hanok house are free from chemicals, making it good for health. The columns, rafters, doors, windows and floor are wooden, while the walls are a combination of straw and dirt. The paper to shelter the frames of doors and windows were made from tree pulp. As the building materials used are all natural, hanok houses boast of amazing breathability, deal for escaping the summer heat. It is also said to help in the treatment of atopic dermatitis and other modern skin diseases.

    Experience the true culture for yourself through various hanok villages in Korea, including Jeonju Hanok Village, Andong Hahoe Folk Village, Bukchon Hanok Village, Namsangol Hanok Village and Naganeupseong Folk Village.