Electrical current is 110 or 220 volts, 60Hz. Most
hotels operate on 220 volts.
The official language is Korean.
Tipping is not customary in Korea. Sometimes, expensive
restaurants and luxury hotels may add a service charge of 10%. Taxi
drivers are usually tipped if they assist with baggage.
Most visits to South Korea are trouble-free. The crime rate
against foreigners is low, but it is still advisable to use
sensible precautions particularly in safeguarding passports, money
and credit cards in crowded areas. There has been an increased
number of rapes reported in the nightlife areas of Seoul, as well
as in private homes and travellers should be cautious, particularly
at night, travelling only in legitimate taxis or public transport.
The political situation is generally stable but since the Korean
peninsula was divided by a demilitarised zone in 1953, tensions
have risen and fallen on occasion. It is wise to be informed about
current conditions. You should carry some form of identification at
all times and ensure your next-of-kin details have been entered
into the back of your passport.
English is not widely spoken or understood, so if you plan to
use taxis or other local services it is wise to have instructions
written down in Korean. It is advisable to carry some form of
identification at all times. Social harmony is crucial, and public
anger or criticism that causes an individual to 'lose face' or
dignity is a serious breach of etiquette. Koreans will go out of
their way to maintain a comfortable situation.
The increase in trade with Western countries has meant that
Koreans do not expect visitors to understand all the nuances of
their culture, however they are appreciated. Koreans dress
conservatively and formally and it is important to do the same.
Koreans like to do business with people whom they know and often
introductions via a third known party are necess