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ginaphan
12-07-2006, 02:59 PM
I will be needing to go to Seoul at the end of August. This is the first time I am goinbg to South Korea. Anyone can give me some tips? I don't read/write/speak Korean and am quite worried of what to do when I arrive at the airport.

Do the signs at the airport have English directions? I will need to travel from the airport to the Gangnam area. My hotel is walking distance from the Conference Centre there.

Would it be better if I write down some phrases in Korean? Anyone here knows how to write Korean?

Would also love to go on a city tour. Any tips there? What about the weather?

BTW, I saw this in the hotel website:

"The Korean Government has passed a law banning providing bathroom amenities.
Therefore, the hotel prepares vending machines for guest's convenience.
If you need bathroom amenities or soft drinks, vending machines are available on each floor from 3 F to 15 F. "

Luckily I saw this: now I know I either have to bring my own or have enough change for the vending machines.

Sentinel
12-07-2006, 04:20 PM
Hey Ginaphan, its a friendly city. August is fine too, not too cold yet. I used to travel to Seould every 3 months for my quarterly review meetings but not anymore. Really liked Seoul and even miss it a little now and then.

There is one word in Korean I memorise because its made up of 2 Malay names i.e. Hamzah & Hamida becoming Hamza Hamida which means Thank You. The rest of the Korean words have been long forgotten.

Do visit Itaewon (pronounced Ee Tai Won which means 1 million Wons). It is a stretch of at least 100-200 stalls selling good-quality leather goods. They are not branded stuff but really good-quality. If you looking for real good leather briefcases or those legal bags for auditors or lawyers type with good brass etc, go look for them at Itaewon. Oh, bargain like you bargain at the Pasar Malam here, don't be shy about it. Make sure you let them know you're Malaysians because somehow they are more lenient with us, dunno why, maybe we are the poor cousins of South-East Asia.... :D

libra
12-07-2006, 04:25 PM
English are seldom use there..not in conversation neither in road sign etc etc. Do bring a phrase book.

Yes their hotel practice recycling so they don't want to use too many plastic containers (to store shampoo or foam bath)

layman
12-07-2006, 06:18 PM
seoul inchon airport is about 75 km from the city
it cost 15000won for the airport bus to kangnam area(line 2 i think),stops in most hotels in the district.the underground is superb-covers most areas in downtown seoul and the surrounding suburbs.

little english is spoken,however many signages are in english-hassle free train rides in one of the cheapest underground in asia.taxis are plentiful in seoul,people are not terribly friendly though

itaewon is an area design to rip off tourist -english speaking enclave next to a major american army base.best buy will be in the deaprtment stores found all over seoul particularly those in the kangnam area.make sure u try the ginseng chicken -really delicious -the adulterated ones in KL is really 'appalling'

casinos in walker hill and the newly opened ones in coex centre is a must.u get free liquor and food.

summer is not a good time to visit seoul-hot and sultry not unlike KL

sinleong
12-07-2006, 07:31 PM
All I remember about Seoul is it is a very expensive city, especially when it comes to taxis and hotels. Hardly anyone speaks English. So it helps to have a little pocket dictionary. And Koreans are extremely calculative people. Expect to go Dutch at meals and if your local colleagues offer you a ride anywhere, it's such a big deal.

tupai
13-07-2006, 02:14 AM
do not miss their bulbogi and the ginseng chicken...yummy!

Where possible, go to any hypermarket: carrefour or whatever the big ones...sample the free food and buy the kim chi, bulbogi...freeze them and brign 'em home..u won;t regret it one itsy bits.

Watch out for the beautiful 'parking guide' girls at the supermarts...they are a sight to behold and their actions guiding you into the car park is worth the visit :D

yang amat bercinta dgn gadis korean lato tupai

evecyanide
13-07-2006, 07:48 AM
Do visit Itaewon (pronounced Ee Tai Won which means 1 million Wons). It is a stretch of at least 100-200 stalls selling good-quality leather goods. They are not branded stuff but really good-quality.

The A class LV there is as close as the original ;) Yeah, Itaewon is definitely the place to buy stuff. I remember buying loads of individually packed salted seaweed from there... yum yum... Cosmetics are pretty cheap there too, korean brand but boleh tahan one lah :)

lonewolf8
13-07-2006, 01:32 PM
If you are looking for food, do go to the shop which has menu in pictures. At least you know what you have ordered. If not, you may ordered some dog meat or some exotic food which may not be you liking :D

ginaphan
13-07-2006, 05:54 PM
eeek! Dog meat - I would probably scream if they served that.

Thanks, everyone for all the tips. I hope I have the time to go shopping since I will be working on most days. including Sunday :-( Besides, shopping alone is not very much fun.

Anyway, does anyone know of a Halal restaurant there - esp one around the conference centre?

tupai
13-07-2006, 06:04 PM
eeek! Dog meat - I would probably scream if they served that.

Thanks, everyone for all the tips. I hope I have the time to go shopping since I will be working on most days. including Sunday :-( Besides, shopping alone is not very much fun.

Anyway, does anyone know of a Halal restaurant there - esp one around the conference centre?

G, there are also many shopping outlets open 24hrs lah...imagine a whole floor of 10,000sq ft selling nothing but costume jewelleries or shoes or apparel or you name it lah
:D You can really shop till you drop...put on your jogging shoes girl.

No lah dogmeat is actually now rather rare...public sentiments drove it kinda underground...that bizz literally went to the dogs...Doggone it for the dogmeat lovers!

halal restoran susah lah mahu cari...closest would be indian restaurant and that too is rare...better ask yr friends to bring sambal belachan and a small electric cook pot to cook the various kind of instant korean noodles (available thru out every nooks and corner)...

enjoy seoul...its a great place and i luvvvvv it.

Yang Amat bercinta dgn korea...esp gals lato tupai :p

layman
13-07-2006, 06:06 PM
i dont think dog stew is served in the summers
most reataurants offering dog delicacies or snake soup are closed in the summer

i think there is a indian/pakistani restaurant in itaewon which may served halal food.