Government offices are open between 9 a.m and 6 p.m. from March to October, and between 9 a.m., and 5 p.m. from November to February. On Saturdays, they are open from 9 a.m.to 1 p.m. Most private businesses open from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. but some are open until late evening. Major department stores open from 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., seven days a week.
Visitors with confirmed outbound tickets may stay in Korea for up to 15 days without visas. Exceptions to this apply to visitors whose countries do not have diplomatic relations with Korea.
Upon arrival in Korea, all visitors are requested to fill out an embarkation/disembarkation card (E/D), along with a customs declaration card. An oral or written declaration must be made to the customs upon entry. Like any country, Korea prohibits the entry or exit of certain articles (e.g. weapons, drugs, and explosives) and places heavy restrictions on other articles. When departing, be sure to pay the airport tax of 8,000 Won.
Korea's currency unit is the Won. Coins are in denominations of 10, 50,100, and 500. Bank notes are of 1,000, 5,000, and 10,000. Foreign bank notes and traveler's checks can be converted into Korean Won at foreign exchange banks and other authorized moneychangers.
Value added tax (VAT) is levied on most goods and services at a standard rate of 10%. In hotels, tax is applied to rooms, meals, and other services, and is included in the bill.
Tipping is not a traditional Korean custom. A 10% service charge is added to the bill and tipping is not expected. It is also not necessary to tip a taxi driver unless extra services are provided.
Outlets for both 110 and 220 volts are usually available. However, newer hotels may only have 220-volt current. Always check the power supply before using equipment.
There are four types of public telephones: blue, gray, card, and credit card phones. All four can be used for both local and international calls. A local call costs 50 Won for three minutes, while inter-city calls are slightly more expensive.
There are many hospitals where some English is spoken.. However, it is always best to use the international clinics at larger hospitals.
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