Korea Trip


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exhibitj

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#1
Just like to ask seasoned travellers to Korea: Is it advisable to change US$ in addition to Korean Won for shopping in the tourist belts in Seoul? Tour operator says change US$ better but I just want another opinion.

Also, anyone could enlighten me if it's easy to get a room for a night at backpackers lodge/guesthouse (budget accomodation) in Seoul on New Year's Eve? Considering extending trip to participate in festivities there!
 

shojibake

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Dec 7, 2004
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#2
It's better to have won in hand than 2 in the bush. I found finding proper money changers to be a real pain in the butt.
 

k3nn3th03

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Jan 6, 2005
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#3
shojibake said:
It's better to have won in hand than 2 in the bush. I found finding proper money changers to be a real pain in the butt.
i agree..

was told also to change in US$... but lucky i did change the korean money.. it work around better..
 

eric69

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Dec 22, 2003
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#4
It's good to have some greenbacks on hand, but I personally don't think it's necessary.
 

jsbn

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Jul 24, 2002
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#5
Personally I prefer to deal in the nationality's currency whenever I travel.

Korean for Won
Japan for Yen
Malaysia in Ringgit
Yadda-yadda-yadda

I don't carry greenbacks unless its a trip to US of A. Dun see any reason to do so.
 

rebbot

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Mar 24, 2005
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#6
I just went to korea last December and unless the system has changed, I do not see a need for greenbacks. :)
 

scanner

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Jan 24, 2002
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#7
exhibitj said:
Just like to ask seasoned travellers to Korea: Is it advisable to change US$ in addition to Korean Won for shopping in the tourist belts in Seoul? Tour operator says change US$ better but I just want another opinion.

Also, anyone could enlighten me if it's easy to get a room for a night at backpackers lodge/guesthouse (budget accomodation) in Seoul on New Year's Eve? Considering extending trip to participate in festivities there!
The other alternative is to bring credit cards, especially Visa.

Most retail shops in Korea accept credit card and it is very popular to use it for almost every payments except public transport, purchase of items from street hawker, flea market (such as those at Damdaemun market), etc...

For accomodation, it is best that you could make reservation in advance.
Some hotel and motels in Korea have their own website, you could drop them a call or email them for enquiries.

You may bring US dollar to Korea and change it at their Airport, be it at Incheon Internatonal Airport or Gimpo Airport.

Be prepared, the living standard there is in general as expensive as Tokyo.

BTW, what is your travel itinerary be like? :think:
Remember to go to Jeju island. ;)

My 2 cents of inputs.
 

jsbn

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Jul 24, 2002
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#14
Goodness, gracious me. :bigeyes:

This is one reason why I'll never go for package tours. They show u what they want to show u and not what is really there. And not to mention, this kinda compulsory tipping thing. :(
 

#15
catseye said:
Yup .... was in Seoul a few months back for two days ..... definitely WON!
I triple that statement! ;) No need for US$... they accepted korean won for the tipping as well. ;) Think tour agencies recommend bringing US$ just in case your won runs out and singapore dollars are not easily exchangeable for won.

Was there less than a month ago on a packaged tour as well. For those on packaged tour, well... there will be a photographer from the tourism board (I think) attached to the group who will take photos... the photos are not cheap (5000 Won per photo) so do remember to leave some extra money for that.
 

exhibitj

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Sep 25, 2005
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#16
scanner said:
The other alternative is to bring credit cards, especially Visa.

Most retail shops in Korea accept credit card and it is very popular to use it for almost every payments except public transport, purchase of items from street hawker, flea market (such as those at Damdaemun market), etc...

For accomodation, it is best that you could make reservation in advance.
Some hotel and motels in Korea have their own website, you could drop them a call or email them for enquiries.

You may bring US dollar to Korea and change it at their Airport, be it at Incheon Internatonal Airport or Gimpo Airport.

Be prepared, the living standard there is in general as expensive as Tokyo.

BTW, what is your travel itinerary be like? :think:
Remember to go to Jeju island. ;)

My 2 cents of inputs.
Thanks for your input scanner!
I will be visiting Jeju for a day then to Mt Sorak and a ski resort for 2 days. I'm actually on a tour package so, can expect the touristy places all in. Last day in Seoul though! Looking forward to the trip, especially the cold!
 

tOGGY

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Oct 18, 2004
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#17
jsbn said:
Goodness, gracious me. :bigeyes:

This is one reason why I'll never go for package tours. They show u what they want to show u and not what is really there. And not to mention, this kinda compulsory tipping thing. :(
and pester you to buy the photographs they took of you during lunch....
 

Big Kahuna

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Dec 15, 2004
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#18
I just came back from Korea 3 weeks ago....erm.....if you bring won, you are safe....but most likely you have difficulty in calculating how much cash you actually need to exchange....and the largest notes in won is 10,000 bill which is equivalent to about SG$16.5....so imagine you carry 100 pieces of that which equivalent to SG$1650 :think:

My advice is bring adequate Won and some USD$ as backup...the advantage is US$ is more portable(a few pieces of $100 is easier to hide) and well accepted in Korea.....if you run out of won...you can get it exchange in any major tourism spot or shopping mall(though the rates is a little unfavorable compared to money changer here)....also you will not stuck with a lot of loose change or excess if you do not spend all....at least those US$ can keep for you next trip:lovegrin:

Btw if you are looking for cheap hotel....try www.asiarooms.com :thumbsup:
 

1Ds

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Jan 4, 2003
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#19
exhibitj said:
Just like to ask seasoned travellers to Korea: Is it advisable to change US$ in addition to Korean Won for shopping in the tourist belts in Seoul? Tour operator says change US$ better but I just want another opinion.

Also, anyone could enlighten me if it's easy to get a room for a night at backpackers lodge/guesthouse (budget accomodation) in Seoul on New Year's Eve? Considering extending trip to participate in festivities there!
Won prefer, not easy to locate a money changer there. Hotel is as high as in Japan and the airport tax is over S$200.00 !
 

dnd8008

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Feb 25, 2005
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#20
Just back from Korea last week.

Easier to have won. Brought US as a backup. Not easy to change US to won except at the airport.

As for the calculation of won - S$, as mentioned, not easy. I used a 2 -step method.

10,000 won = US$10 = S$17 (approx).

Another thing - they dont speak much english, much gesturing and patience helps.

Hope it helps.
 

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