South Korea Business Travel Guide

South Korea Flag

The South Korea Business Travel Guide contains a range of valuable travel information and useful travel tools to assist business travellers. The guide contains facts on South Korea, visa information, business customs, useful tips and other resources. A good understanding of other cultures, languages, customs and traditions can be of great importance to business travellers and give a real advantage to ensuring a successful business trip.

South Korea is located in east Asia on the southern part of the Korean peninsula; the country has an advanced and developed economy with a number of business opportunities. It is one of the world's highest ranked countries in education, healthcare and has a high Human Development Index ranking. It is a member of the OECD, Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Major trading partners include China, Japan, Hong Kong, USA and Saudi Arabia. South Korea shares borders with North Korea in the north, to the east is the Sea of Japan and Japan, to the west is the East China Sea and China.

The country has a variety of landscapes including mountains, lowlands, lakes, valleys, coastal plains and coastline and a range of flora and fauna. Famous attractions include Gyeongbokgung, N Seoul Tower, National Museum of Korea, Myeongdong, Seoraksan and Namsan mountains, Bulguksa, Jongmyo, Haeundae Beach, Lotte World, Seoraksan National Park, Hallasan National Park, Bulguksa Temple and Jongmyo Shrine.

South Korea Guide

Quick Facts on South Korea
South Korea Travel Advice
Visa Requirements
Business Customs and Etiquette
Travel Advice and Tips
Public Holidays
South Korea Map
South Korea Weather & Climate

Quick Facts on South Korea

Country: South Korea (Republic of Korea)

Capital: Seoul

Currency: Korean Won (1 won = 100 jeon)

Population: 48.6 Million (UN, 2012)

Area total: 99,373 sq km

Languages: Korean

Time Zone: GMT +9

Electricity: 220V 60Hz

Dialling Code: 82

GDP: USD 1.305 trillion (World Bank, 2013)

Religion: Christianity, Confucianism, Buddhism, Shamanism.

Political System: Republic

Internet Domain: .kr

South Korea Travel Advice

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office offers travellers useful advice when travelling to South Korea. You can find further information on entry requirements for South Korea, advice on local laws and customs, health considerations, tips on safety and security and the address and contact details of the British Embassy in South Korea. The information is updated on an on going basis making it a useful reference point for both business and leisure travellers looking for the latest travel advice and information on South Korea. For more information please see: South Korea Travel Advice

Visa Requirements

No visa requirement for nationals of UK, European states, Canada, USA and many others for tourist and short stays of up to 30 to 90 days. Visa requirements are subject to change with changes in requirements and rules for further information please see: South Korea Embassy UK

Business Customs and Etiquette

Business meetings should be arranged in advance, business dress is conservative and the usual greeting is either with a small bow and/or accompanied with a handshake, it is customary to maintain eye contact when shaking hands. Business cards are extremely important as is the case for much of South East Asia and you will need plentiful supply to pass round. It is polite to look at the business card with interest before putting it away, it is seen as potentially rude to just put the business card away immediately.

Punctuality is important for meetings, trust and establishing personal business relationships are important here. It can take time for this to be established as can decisions, there is a tradition of consensual decision making that can take some time. In the business and commercial world English is widely spoken, however interpreters are available should they be required.

Travel Advice and Tips

Most trips to South Korea for both business visitors and tourists go ahead without incident each year. South Korea has a relatively low level of crime, however there are incidents of bag snatching and pick pocketing and it is wise to remain vigilant and alert to your surroundings and environment. Valuables should not be displayed in public.

Travel Checklist: See our Holiday & Packing Checklist containing useful tips and reminders to ensure you have everything you will need on your trip.

Travel Vaccinations: It is recommended you check with your GP on the latest advice regarding any travel vaccinations you may need up to eight weeks before you travel. For more information and advice on travel vaccinations please see the NHS Fit for Travel website.

Tipping: Is not widely practised in South Korea, hotels and restaurants may add a service charge to your bill. It is customary to take a small bow to say thank you for services provided. Taxi drivers do not normally expect a tip.

Hours of Business:

For Businesses:
09.00 to 12.00 then 13.00 to 19.00 Monday to Friday
09.00 to 13.00 Saturdays

For Banks:
09.00 to 16.30 Monday to Friday

NOTE: Hours may vary for businesses in different industries.

Public Holidays

Public Holidays (2015):

January 1: New Year's Day
February 19: Sollal (New Year)
March 1: Independence Declaration Day
May 1: Labour Day
May 5: Children’s Day
May 25: Buddha's Birthday
May 25: Memorial Day
August 15: Liberation Day
September 27: Harvest Moon Festival
October 3: National Foundation Day
December 25: Christmas Day

South Korea Map

Seoul Map, South Korea

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South Korea Weather & Climate

South Korea's is located in East Asia and has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. The weather can be extremely hot in summer with temperatures exceeding 40°C degrees Celsius and high levels of humidity; summer time is also during the rainy season in July and August. Winter time is the coldest time of year lasting from November to February; spring time and autumn are usually dry with pleasant temperatures providing an ideal time to visit South Korea. Much of South Korea enjoys a pleasant climate for most of the year ensuring it is a destination that can be visited throughout the year.

Lightweight cotton and linen clothing can be warn in the summer months; can get very hot in summer, plenty of hydration, sunscreen and sun hat are needed. Medium weight clothing with a few layers are needed in spring and autumn. Additional layers and warmer clothing is required during the autumn and winter months.

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Disclaimer: The information given in on this website is given in good faith and to the best of our knowledge. If there are any discrepancies in no way do we intend to mislead. Important travel details and arrangements should be confirmed and verified with the relevant authorities.
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