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Basic Info

Climate: Temperate with a rainy season in the summer. Summer is still a good time to visit. The clouds come and go quickly. Embrace the sweltering heat and visit the bathhouses frequently.

Population: 48,846,823 with one-third living in Seoul and almost as many in Pusan.

Language: Korean

Government: Republic

Religion: Buddhist Confusion ancestor worship, and Christian.

When to go: Fall is the best, very pleasant. Spring is also good, with the cherry blossoms blooming in April. The summers though hot wet and humid, still guarantee plenty of fun. If you would like to meet other expatriates, keep in mind that summer and winter are vacation periods for many schools so teachers are likely to be traveling other parts of Asia.

 

Visas

Most nationalities get a 3 month tourist visa on arrival but as South Korea is an island they might well ask to see a return ticket.

 

What to bring:

Deodorant is a must. Koreans, although they eat plenty of pork, beef, chicken and garlic, simply do not get the stinky pits us westerners do.

If your hair is curly it’s best to get a haircut somewhere else. Koreans don’t usually have curls so their barbers will destroy yours.

Condoms. Korean condoms are a tad bit tiny. If you’re a size large then bring all the clothes and shoes you’ll need.

In the winter bring plenty of sweaters and light long underwear. Indoor heating is not so hot in Korea and occasionally nonexistent.

Many western women complain about the size of Korean maxi-pads, so you might want to stock up on your favorite brand.

Mike Best