What to pack for South Korea

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  • jburron's Profile Photo

    Myth and Reality

    by jburron Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Luggage and bags: Bring everything in plastic bags, you can get some cheap luggage while you're here.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Sensibel shoes. Each subway station has about 100-150 stairs to navigate (and miles of underground passages between platforms and exits). As well, shopping mall elevators are ALWAYS busy, so you'll be on the escaltors or just walking and walking a lot of the time.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: I have NEVER found deoderant or anti-perspirant in Korea, although I do hear stories...just bring enough. Toothpaste here is pretty weird too...and ladies, there are feminine products here but if you have a particular brand maybe bring a supply (asking where to get a tampon may be tough without some language, too...imagine explaining it).


    Photo Equipment: As luggage, there is a large market here for cameras (especially digital cameras, called DiCa here). Largset is Yongsan Electronics Market--which is actually many stores and buildings in one area. Take subway to Yongsan Station (Line 1) and walk around (heard best deals are on the lower floors).

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Forget it. No one camps here. But there is day-hiking (Bukhansan Mountain). Beaches are only in Pusan and Jeju-do. Not many public pools, either, except an outdoor one in Hangang Park in Yeouido.

    Miscellaneous: Bring business cards even for new friends so they can contact you--Korean appreciate the more formal touch. If you're here for over a month think about getting a pay-as-you-go cellphone. You can also rent them at the airport, but the charges are pretty high (unless you're charging it to a company).

    Bon Voyage

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  • Hmmmm's Profile Photo

    Korea has Four Seasons: They are Quite Distinct

    by Hmmmm Written Dec 1, 2003

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    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: When you come here bear in Mind that Korea gets both a Siberian Winter and a Bangkok Summer...

    Bring REALLY warm Clothes in Winter and in the Summer bring the FLIMSIEST summer clothes you have. You have been warned :oP

    A Korean Winter Day. Pic: Aaron Irving

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  • GracesTrips's Profile Photo

    Essentials Coming from the USA

    by GracesTrips Updated Aug 21, 2014

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    Luggage and bags: I always make my luggage tags with home info, hotel stay and cell phone number.

    I'll bring a lock for my suitcase - I don't lock it during air travel but once in the hotel, I will lock up my valuables into the suitcase.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Bikini - you never know when you can use one!

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Nail Glue (seems to always happen to me that I break a nail on vaca).

    Antihistamine - I don't have allergies but I learned my lesson going to Greece, you just never know.

    Photo Equipment: Yes, of course!

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Umbrella

    Miscellaneous: A 220 Volt Converter with two round prongs from 110 for my curling iron and straight iron. I was told I don't need a converter for my laptop but I would need an adapter. The converter I bought is only good for up to 1600 watts.

    Starbucks instant coffee

    I like to bring music and candles for the hotel stay. Makes it cozy!

    I like to send postcards from my travel destinations. I make pre-printed adhesive address labels so I don't have to write that part out or look up the addresses.

    Related to:
    • Women's Travel

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  • jckim's Profile Photo

    Summary of Four Seasons

    by jckim Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: The Republic of Korea is located in the mid-latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere and the Temperate Zone with four distinct seasons. ographically, it lies on the east coast of the Eurasian Continent adjacent to the West Pacific. During the winter, from December to January, it is cold and dry under the dominant influence of the Siberian air mass. Meanwhile, the summer, from June to August, is hot and humid with frequent heavy rainfalls associated with the East-Asian Monsoon, locally called "Changma". The weather in korea is mild and serene during spring and fall, with fairly periodic passages of the transient high and low pressure systems.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel

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  • D_Shannon's Profile Photo

    Packing List

    by D_Shannon Written Sep 8, 2002

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    Miscellaneous: Dental floss and a bar of Sunlight soap are among the most useful things a traveler can have anywhere. Dental floss is surprisingly strong and can be substituted for string or as a disposable clothes line. Sunlight soap is the absolute best portable detergent for stain removal and light laundry.

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  • D_Shannon's Profile Photo

    Packing List

    by D_Shannon Written Sep 8, 2002

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    Luggage and bags: So, you're going to teach in South Korea?
    You need: one large backpack, as big as you can get and still meet carry-on requirements, and two very large suitcases. Remember, you aren't a backpacker. You are moving half way around the world. Trust me when I say you'll want your western comforts.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Korea is a land of 4 seasons, so you need everything. Don't count on buying clothes once you're here unless you're a perfect size 2.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Difficult to find items that you'll want to bring from home include: deoderant, tampons, vitamins

    Photo Equipment: Lots of photo equipment is available but be warned! It is difficult to get APS film developed - you often have to wait a week - and it is expensive. Worse, I have yet to find ANYWHERE in Korea where they can develop my panoramic shots.

    Miscellaneous: Stay tuned for packing tips from the pro...

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  • ant1606's Profile Photo

    Korea Weather

    by ant1606 Written May 26, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Weather in Korea spans from extreme cold in winter to extreme hot and humid days in summer. I frequently visit Korea and I experienced every season.
    January is the coldest month, bring warm clothes and shoes.
    Snowfalls are common up to March.
    July is warmest and most rainy month.

    Korea Weather Seoul - March snowfall
    Related to:
    • Business Travel

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  • genome408's Profile Photo

    Packing List

    by genome408 Written Sep 8, 2002

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: Depends on length of travel, but make sure theres extra room for all these little trinkets and gadgets and clothes you buy.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: I moved to Seoul in the begining of Summer, and I thought, hmm not bad at all. It was a bit warmer than what I was used to, but it wasn't bad at all. Then midsummer - my brief 15 minute walk to work in the morning became unbearable...800am and hot as freak. Then the monsoon season began - again my brief walk to work got completley farked...an umbrella was only good for not getting my face wet...imagine swimming to work and you will get the idea. Fall wasn't bad - actually, it was very enjoyable. Then winter - I love winter, but I realized one thing... I like winter as a tourist, ie driving to South Lake Tahoe for the weekend and then going back home to mild ass San Francisco. All this complaining means one thing, come during spring, fall or early summer, avoid the monsoon season (late July to mid Sept). If you're going to stay here for an extended period, bring everything from your g-string to expedition gear.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: I eventually tracked down everything I needed here, but its a bit of a hassle, especially if you are just visiting for a little while. Deodorant, medication, and floss were the three items i wished i brought from home. For those with weak stomachs, basically anyone who can't drink tabasco sauce or drink paint thinner, bring some Pepto.

    Photo Equipment: APS, what the hell is that? If you got one of these cameras, well, you're out of luck. You will have a very hard time locating film and/or a place to develop it.

    Miscellaneous: If you are planning to live here and you like big towels, bring a couple. It might take you some time to find a place that sells them. Almost exclusively, towels are about 12inches by 24inches.

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  • Packing List

    by Soon Written Sep 7, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: make some room for Kimchi when you come to korea!! that's all. ach!! and good plasticbags and papers for wrapping!! you have to wrap that or you will kill someone in the airport with the smell hehehe.

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  • pieter_jan_v's Profile Photo

    Packing List

    by pieter_jan_v Written Aug 26, 2002

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    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: When you are planning to go up the mountains, bring the right gear.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Be sure to bring diarea blockers.

    Photo Equipment: Don't forget to take pictures of small objects. Due to the many mountains and the beautiful views you easily forget the small things!

    Miscellaneous: A handheld GPS receiver is fine, because local detailed maps are in Korean.

    Kwagni Weed harvesting
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Mountain Climbing
    • Photography

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  • Elric's Profile Photo

    Packing List

    by Elric Updated Aug 26, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: Anything really, the baggage handlers don't jump all over your luggage here.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Spring and autumn are cool and clear, but the nights can get chilly so carry a few warm sweaters and a jacket. Summer is really hot and humid so stick to light stuff. Winter is siberian so loads of warm stuff.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Bring deodorant - it is almost impossible to get here. A medical kit with the usual travelling gear is a good idea even though the medical care is good.

    Photo Equipment: The power system here is 220V/110V, 60Hz so get an adaptor for your plugs if you need to.

    Miscellaneous: The tap water is dodgy with a very high metal content, but you can buy bottled water everywhere.

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  • paintbrother's Profile Photo

    Packing List

    by paintbrother Written Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: If you come to Korea in the Summer,so be prepaired of really warm and moisty weather and hard warm rain.
    In the winter time it's really cold and try in the north,in the south it's a little bit milder.

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  • JrSkymonkey's Profile Photo

    Packing List

    by JrSkymonkey Written Aug 26, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Cold in the winter (snow) and hot and humid (90F +) in the summer.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Unless you speak the language very well medical supplies may be iffy. Toiletries shouldnt be a problem although finding what you really want may be an adventure. Have fun!

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  • Packing List

    by Pete_Thera Written Aug 24, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Temperature in Korea is sub-zero for at least 4 months (December-March). It seems to be a cycle in which first 3-4 days of the week the temperature is lower then another 3-4 days higher. It's rather unpredictable. Be sure to prepare clothing which you need for the type of weather worse than the forecast (like preparing good sweather even for forcasted sunny days in Spring).

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  • bruingirl's Profile Photo

    Packing List

    by bruingirl Written Aug 24, 2002

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    Luggage and bags: Anything will do.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: RAIN gear! It rains all the time in Korea! Make sure that you are well prepared because you may well be caught in a sudden downpour.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: All the amenities of home (USA) can be found here, just in a Korean version! Many stores are open late, so no need to be frantic. Besides, they have 7-Elevens everywhere!

    Photo Equipment: They have pretty much everything you need.

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