City of Seoul, Korea

City of Seoul, Korea

Seoul has been the capital of Korea for about 600 years since the time of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). Seoul was referred to as "Han Yang" during the Joseon Dynasty, but after the liberation from Japan in 1945, the newly founded Republic of Korea officially changed its capital city's name to Seoul.  Seoul has developed into a bustling metropolis, acting as the hub for political, economic, social and cultural matters. The Han River runs through the heart of the city. The river divides the city into two; the northern part of the city is a focal point for culture and history, while the southern part is well known for its business district. Seoul has hosted many international events including: 1986 Asian Games, 1988 Olympic Games and the 2002 Korea/Japan FIFA World Cup!

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 (9) provinces with 77 small cities and 88 counties. 


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Language:

The Korean language, like Hungarian, Turkish, Mongolian and Finnish, is classified into the Ural-Altaic language group. Hangeul (한글), the Korean alphabet, is composed of 10 simple vowels and 14 consonants. A group of scholars under the patronage of King Sejong the Great developed this systematic rendition of spoken sound in 1443. It is widely acclaimed by linguists as an ingenious invention. In 2009, the town of Bau Bau in Sulawesi, Indonesia adopted Hangeul as their official written language. 

Click here for some basic expressions you can use during your stay!  OR even take a chance and learn easy Korean with this beginner class

Weather:
Summers in Korea are generally warm but often see monsoon rains from July to August. By June the average temperature is 22°C (celsius) with July and August experiencing the highest rainfall of the year. Don't forget your umbrella! 
2E09E4F200000578-3300242-Raining_whales_and_fish_The_streets_of_Seoul_were_transformed_by-a-71_1446469831435.jpgDesigners paint streets of South Korea during monsoon season with incredible vibrant murals that are only visible when it's RAINING. Via: Daily Mail


Time Difference:
When indicating Korea Time: Present Time (GMT+9) / No daylight savings time. 
WorldClock.png     *https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/south-korea/seoul

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


Currency & Exchange:
The South Korean won or the Korean Republic won (KRW) is the official currency of South Korea. 

1.000 won (cheon won)
5.000 won (ocheon won)
10.000 won (man won)
50.000 (oman won)
WON.pngTip & 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 refunds on receipts of minimum purchases of KRW 50,000 (around USD $43). To receive your refund, present receipts with the purchased goods at the customs clearance desk at Incheon International Airport when departing. 


USEFUL WEBSITES

Korea Tourism Organization
Seoul Tourism Organization
Seoul Metropolitan Government
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Incheon International Airport