About Korea
Officially the Republic of Korea, is the southern part of the Korean Peninsula surrounded by water on three sides. It is located at a geographically important position in Northeast Asia, neighboring Japan to the east and China to the west. Korea’s land space is 100,329km2 with a population of 50 million, a relatively high population density. Mountains cover 70% of Korea's land mass, making it one of the most mountainous regions in the world.
Weather
Korea has four distinct seasons and offers a varied natural beauty. Colorful flowers embroider the country in spring and mountains, and seas are lively during summer. Autumn is decorated with fall foliage, and winter sports are offered on white snow. Any season is the best season for your trip. For more details regarding weather, please visit here.
National Symbol of Korea
[National Flag]
  • Taegeukgi
    The current design of Taegeukgi was finalized on October 15, 1949. It symbolizes the principles of the yin and yang in oriental philosophy. The circle in the center is divided into two equal parts, where the upper red responds to the positive cosmic forces of the yang; conversely, the lower blue section represents the negative cosmic forces of the yin. The flag's background is white, representing peace and purity valued by the people of Korea. The circle is surrounded by four trigrams, one in each corner, characterizing continual movement, balance and harmony.
[National Flower]
  • Mugunghwa
    The national flower of Korea is mugunghwa, or rose of Sharon, which comes into bloom from July to October every year. A profusion of mugunghwa blossoms gracefully decorate the entire nation during blooming season, providing a view that has been loved by Koreans for many years. The flower’s symbolic significance stems from the Korean word mugung, which means immortal.
[National Anthem]
  • Aegukga
    Aegukga literally means “a song expressing love towards their country” in Korean, and it was originally meant to foster patriotism and raise awareness for the nation’s independence. The anthem had undergone several changes since it was first introduced until it took its current form. Maestro AhnEak-tai (1906-1965) rearranged the piece in 1935, which was then officially adopted by the Korean Government as the national anthem. Since then, the anthem began to be used at all schools and official functions.
Culture
  • Hanbok
    Hanbok is the traditional attire of the Korean people. Worn daily up until just 100 years ago, hanbok comes in various shapes and colors, reflecting the culture and lifestyle of the its time. Nowadays, it is only worn on special occasions or anniversaries. It is a formal wear and many Koreans keep a hanbok for such occasions. While the traditional hanbok was beautiful in its own right, the design has changed slowly but surely over the generations. The core of hanbok is its graceful shape and vibrant colors, which have had a major impact on the modern fashion industry. It is hard to think of hanbok as everyday wear but it is slowly being revolutionized through the changing of fabrics, colors and features, reflecting the latest trend. Many aspiring hanbok designers have altered hanbok for everyday wear with traditional elements at the base of the garment but having a distinct modern feel.
  • Hansik
    Hansik refers to traditional Korean food, centered on rice, served alongside a bowl of soup and a variety of side dishes. Most dishes use meat and vegetables as the main ingredients, and are boiled or steamed in brine or water rather than fried in oil, making hansik very healthy. More than anything else, hansik's most outstanding feature is the amount of fermented foods. The most well-known are kimchi (fermented cabbage), ganjang (soy sauce), doenjang (soybean paste), and gochujang (Korean chili paste).
  • Hallyu
    The Korean Wave, also known as Hallyu, refers to the Korean pop culture phenomenon that is gaining great popularity around the world. It began with Korean dramas and movies garnering popularity in Asia, but in recent years, Korean pop music has become popular around the World. If in Korea, be sure to visit filming locations or fantastic cultural performances and experience diverse aspects of the Korean pop culture.
Useful Information

  • Time Zone
  • Korea is 9 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT +9) and does not have daylight savings time.

  • International Call
  • International dialing code in Gwangju, Korea is +82-62(Area Code). Please omit (0) when dialing from overseas

  • Emergency Phone Number
  • 1339 : Medical Emergency
    119 : Emergencies for Fire, Rescue & Hospital Services
    112 : Police
    129 : First Aid Services

  • Tax
  • Value-added tax (VAT) is levied on most goods and services at a standard rate of 10% and is included in the retail price. In tourist hotels, this 10% tax applies to meals and other services and is added into the bill.

  • Tipping
  • Tipping is not a traditional custom in Korea. A 10% service charge will be added to your bill at all tourist restaurant and hotels. It is also not necessary to tip a taxi driver unless he assists you with luggage or provides an extra service.

  • Currency
  • The Korean local currency is the Won. Major foreign currencies that can be exchanged at banks, hotels, and the airport include the US Dollar, Japanese Yen, and UK Sterling. Most hotels, restaurants, and shops accept major international credit including Visa, American Express, Diners Club, Master Card, and JBC. Foreign-issued ATM cards may have limited use.

  • Electricity
  • The electricity supply commonly used in Korea is the 200-volt 60Hz system. Because most newly built hotels and houses have the 220-volt wiring installed, you are advised to check your electronic equipment beforehand