Re-appearing on the world's travel radars, South Korea has emerged from history as a dynamic destination full of spirit and surprises. Enchanting travellers with temples full of mystique, markets brimming with divine handicrafts and some of the most underrated cuisine in the world - isn't it about time you surrendered to South Korea's charms?
South Korea Tours & Travel
All our South Korea trips
About South Korea
At a glance
|Time zone:||(GMT+09:00) Seoul|
|Electricity:||Type C (European 2-pin) Type E (French 2-pin, female earth) Type F (German 2-pin, side clip earth)|
Best time to visit South Korea
Autumn and spring are considered the optimal times to visit South Korea, as the extreme temperatures that are present during summer and winter can make travel uncomfortable at times. During autumn and spring expect moderate temperatures, a mild climate and less rain and humidity than at other times.
Geography and environment
Top Five Culinary Delicacies of Korea
As one of Korea's standout dishes, bibimbap is a tasty concoction of meat, vegetables, egg and rice. Soy sauce, chilli paste, garlic and sesame oil all add flavour to this amazingly colourful dish found everywhere in Korea.
Kimchi is hailed as a nutritional powerhouse - packing a healthy punch of nutrients, vitamins and beneficial bacteria that makes it one of the world's healthiest superfoods. But most people don't eat these fermented vegetables for health reasons - it's the uniquely, tasty flavour and versatility that makes kimchi so popular in Korean cooking.
These delicious, savoury pancakes are a standard of Korean cuisine. With hundreds of different varieties, jeon can be served with red meat, chicken, seafood, vegetables, tofu and even edible flowers.
Similar to sushi, these highly popular rice-based morsels feature fish, beef or crab, wrapped in seaweed with pickled or fresh vegetables. Available all over Korea, they are the perfect snack on the run or quick, cheap lunch to enjoy between sightseeing.
Arriving in Korea by the way of Mongolia, mandu are essentially boiled, steamed or pan fried dumplings. A cheap, street food favourite, mandu can be filled with everything from pheasant to tofu, cucumber, beef and beyond.
FAQs on South Korea
Australia: No - not required
Belgium: No - not required
Canada: No - not required
Germany: No - not required
Ireland: No - not required
Netherlands: No - not required
New Zealand: No - not required
South Africa: No - not required
Switzerland: No - not required
United Kingdom: No - not required
USA: No - not required
Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into South Korea. . Most travellers do not need visas for Korea for stays of up to 30 days. You must also have an onward or return ticket.
If you are a male of Korean origin whose name appears on the Korean family register, you may be liable for military service even if you are travelling on your foreign passport.
Bottle of local beer = 3,000 Won
Street food meal = 2000-4000 Won
Basic restaurant meal (soup, noodles etc.) = 6000-10,000 Won
Bottle of mid-range wine = 15,000 Won
Sit-down dinner at a nice restaurant = 20,000-40,000 Won
For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
Jan 23 Sollal (Lunar New Year)
Mar 1 Independence Movement Day
May 1 Labour Day
May 5 Buddha's Birthday
May 5 Children's Day
Jun 6 Memorial Day
Aug 15 Liberation Day
Sep 30 Chuseok (Harvest Moon Festival)
Oct 3 National Foundation Day
Dec 25 Christmas Day
Please note these dates are for 2012. For a current list of Public holidays go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/south-korea/public-holidays
Health and Safety
Intrepid takes the health and safety of its travellers seriously, and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. We recommend that all travellers check with their government or national travel advisory organisation for the latest information before departure:
From New Zealand?
Go to: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/
Go to: http://travel.state.gov/
Go to: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/
The World Health Organisation
also provides useful health information:
Go to: http://www.who.int/en/
South Korea Travel Tips
Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.
Top responsible travel tips for South Korea
1. Be considerate of South Korea’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.
2. Dress modestly and respectfully. Shoulders to knees should be covered, especially when entering places of worship.
3. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water.
4. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.
5. When bargaining at markets, stay calm, be reasonable and keep a smile on your face. It's meant to be fun!
6. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.
7. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.
8. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.
9. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.
10. When on community visits or homestays, refrain from giving gifts or money to locals.
|The Calligrapher's Daughter||Eugenia Kim|
|Everlasting Empire||Yi In-hwa|
|Peace Under Heaven||Chae Man-Sik|
|Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea||Barbara Demick|
|To the Last Round||Andrew Salmon|