Travel Guide: South Korea

The Land of the Morning Calm as we know it, surely you will find the calmness of the Koreans even if the city is bustling. Everybody walks with a certainty in their aura that kinda tells you that they know that everything is going to be alright. It may be the most connected city in the world in terms of technological advances but it is also one of the most traditional and I am sure that as you experience South Korea you’ll never see how people live with technology and tradition the same way ever again. Hope this South Korea Travel Guide helps you on your next travel destination.

South Korea Visa Application

The Republic of South Korea is an OECD member state and provides special considerations for visitors who are either citizens of member countries or have valid OECD member state visas.  You can find below the countries with visa free entry to South Korea.

Continent Countries
Asia Japan (90 Days), Hong Kong (90 Days), Macao (90 Days), Taiwan (90 Days), Kuwait (90 Days), Brunei, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain
North America United States (90 Days), Canada (6 Months)
South America Argentina, Honduras, Paraguay, Ecuador (90 Days), Guyana
Europe Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, Cyprus, Albania, Croatia (90 Days), Slovenia (90 Days), Vatican, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia (90 Days), Montenegro
Oceania Australia (90 Days), Guam, Fiji, Nauru, Palau, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Micronesia, New Caledonia, Samoa, Tuvalu, Tonga
Africa Republic of South Africa, Mauritius, Seychelles, Swaziland, Egypt

Consequently, Filipinos with a visa from any OECD country (Expired visas can be used provided they are were valid at least 10 years from the date of return. This also gives applicants higher chances of being approved and has shorter processing time (if coursed through the Manila  office).

For Philippine Residents South Korean visas are provided free of charge for short visits and a minimal fee is charged for work and long/business visas. However, this may soon change as the Korean Embassy will tap travel agencies as a point of contact. Selected travel agencies will receive and release applications and visas to applicants. There will be no more need for you to travel all the way to Taguig city just to apply, Albeit a processing fee will now be asked upon submission of application.

Steps On How To Apply For A South Korean Visa

  1. Go to the South Korea Ministry on Foreign Affairs Korean Visa Portal
  2. Fill in the needed information Continent, Country, Purpose of Entry (Short term for tourism) and the intended length of stay then click on start.
  3. Once the results show up, you will see different visa categories. Find what is appropriate for you. If you are going to South Korea just for a simple sight seeing trip, you should be good in choosing the Ordinary Tourist (C-3-9) category.
  4. Download the Visa Application Form or click on the E-Form and follow the instructions.
  5. You will then need to present your documents at the South Korean Embassy where they will receive your documents.
  6. You will be given a return date of when you will get your passport back. Please note that acceptance of documents/application is not an assurance that your visa will be approved. You will only know the result on the day you get your passport back.

Notes:

  • Korean Visa application through travel agencies are not effective yet. You may, however ask for assistance from travel agencies to file your application in your behalf.
  • For visa requirements for other nationalities you may refer to the Ministry Of Foreign Affairs for more details

Points of Interest

Korean Drama Locations

NSeoul Tower

Gyeongbokgung Palace

Changdeokgung Palace

Changgyeonggung Palace

Deoksugung Palace

Ewha Women’s Univeristy

Everland

Lotte World

Nami Island

DMZ AND PANMUNJOM

Transportation

Going around South Korea is relatively easy as the government had made a good transport system not just going around cities but all throughout the country.

Upon arriving at the Incheon International Airport it is advisable to get as much information as you can at the tourist information counter at the left end of the arrival area. Before leaving the airport (if you can-lol) buy your selves a T-Card which will enable you to access the Subway and buses of Seoul and other major cities around South Korea. The T-Card is re-loadable and  if you are leaving South Korea already you can also refund the remaining credits of your card from the convenience stores in the airport.

A note though on Taxis, I was told that even though there are a lot of taxis around Seoul and that it is presumably convenient you would have to think twice first because they say that in Korea they really don’t find places with addresses but more of landmarks so make sure that you ask for landmarks before you hop on a taxi to your destination.

Accomodations

Here are accommodations that travel bloggers recommend

  • Bong House

Food

You can’t say that you’ve been to Korea if you never tasted Korean food! It’s part of who they are and their culture so it is a must try. Food can be tough to order in Korea as really not all of them speak English, but I must say that they somewhat understand the language. Good thing about Seoul is that most of the places/restaurants have menus that have pictures so you can just point the food that you like and order!

Don’t forget to try their street food! They are awesome!!!!

Itineraries

Day 1

12 PM Arrive at Incheon International Airport
2:30 Check in at hotel
3:30 Explore Area/Late lunch
4:00 Go to NSeoul Tower
6:00

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