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First visit to South Korea - advice / info needed

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efeilliaid
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Joined: 06/07/2012
First visit to South Korea - advice / info needed
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Hi All,

If anyone has the patience to answer any of my questions below, I would appreciate it sooo greatly... I will be visiting South Korea for the first time, having lived in Japan for 1.5 years, and all the stuff I will carry with me has been acquired in Japan. My brain now only knows what it's like to live in Japan and needs to prepare for a visit elsewhere.

So here I go:

1) I have a Shinsei Bank debit card (not a credit card) that works like a charm at 7eleven ATMs and post office ATMs in Japan. Will I be able to withdraw money using this card at ATMs in Busan? Which ATMs would you recommend for Japanese debit cards, which banks/ATMs should I avoid?

2) Where should I get some Korean money - what is cheaper: exchange in Japan or in Busan?

3) Any tips on mobile phone rental?

4) Has anyone had any problems bringing stuff from South Korea to Japan? Are there any unusual/surprising restrictions? (electronics, alcohol, cosmetics, food - all for personal use)

5) Is it easy to buy a laptop with Windows in English in Busan? Please bear with me and don't ask why I need Windows and why in English smile

6) Hidden gems to discover that are left out in tourist guides and are generally unknown to the outside world but worth seeing? Any category is OK.

7) Any areas in the city no one should go to? smile

8) Are taxis expensive compared to those in Japanese cities such as Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Okayama?

9) Do I need to be careful with taxi drivers, street sellers? I simply have no clue what it's like in places like Busan and I do not mean to offend anyone. I expect no trouble but prefer to ask, just in case - do they cheat/try to take advantage of foreigners?

10) How about wi-fi? Is it easier to get online on the go?


Many thanks in advance for any relevant answers to any of the above questions!

Cheers
efeilliaid

Anonymous
Re: First visit to South Korea - advice / info needed

I have never been to Japan so I can't help with many questions but from my point of view taxis are fairly cheap and safe. You may get a very unlucky experience but overall you can travel with confidence. Most of Busan is also safe to visit although some places are nicer to be than others. As a general rule stick to the major areas of haeundae, gwangan, kyungsung, seomyeon, pnu, sajik and nampo. These are the most foreigner friendly.

Wifi is everywhere but buying a laptop with windows in English can be tricky. Not impossible but you would have to find a salesman who knows a little about computers and can speak English.

John Venerikson
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Joined: 08/13/2009
Re: First visit to South Korea - advice / info needed

1) I have a Shinsei Bank debit card (not a credit card) that works like a charm at 7eleven ATMs and post office ATMs in Japan. Will I be able to withdraw money using this card at ATMs in Busan? Which ATMs would you recommend for Japanese debit cards, which banks/ATMs should I avoid?

-Ask your bank there.Somtimes Korean bank cards do not work overseas.


2) Where should I get some Korean money - what is cheaper: exchange in Japan or in Busan?

-The rate will be about the same but I would change it there. Sometimes Banks here seem to have their own exchange rate-especially for foreigners.

3) Any tips on mobile phone rental?

-You can get rentals across from Busan Station (train station) or at least you used to.

4) Has anyone had any problems bringing stuff from South Korea to Japan? Are there any unusual/surprising restrictions? (electronics, alcohol, cosmetics, food - all for personal use)

-no problems but i doubt you will be able to food or liquids, especially if you are flying.

5) Is it easy to buy a laptop with Windows in English in Busan? Please bear with me and don't ask why I need Windows and why in English smile

-Very easy. I have bought a few-all with english Windows. Just ask for it, they will put it on. Go to a Emart or Megamart. They always have sales on good computers.

6) Hidden gems to discover that are left out in tourist guides and are generally unknown to the outside world but worth seeing? Any category is OK.

-Too many to mention. And do you mean just around BUsan? Soraksan National park is beautiful but this is east of Seoul. There is a cable car in Dongnae that goes up the mountain and from there you can walk along the top all the way to Beomosa temple if you like exercise. Very nice.

7) Any areas in the city no one should go to? smile

-Safest place I have ever been. No need to worry about anything.

8) Are taxis expensive compared to those in Japanese cities such as Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Okayama?

Very cheap. You will be surprised.

9) Do I need to be careful with taxi drivers, street sellers? I simply have no clue what it's like in places like Busan and I do not mean to offend anyone. I expect no trouble but prefer to ask, just in case - do they cheat/try to take advantage of foreigners?

-Yes, some will take you for rides. I have had a few bad experiences. But after being here for a while and being able to talk to them in Korean a little, all was good. Taxis are so cheap though that even being taken the long way it wont seem to bad.

10) How about wi-fi? Is it easier to get online on the go?

-Very easy.


 

Anonymous
Re: First visit to South Korea - advice / info needed

I just recently bought a laptop in Korea and I have windows in English. If you purchased a new computer you can just choose to load it in English, if not, you have to have them switch it for you. If the service man is in that day you can have it done then, if not you may have to wait a day.

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