Small note for travel to Seoul


1)              How to get to the Hotel Shilla



Ø       By KAL Limousine Bus: It takes about 90 minutes from the airport to the hotel. (Bus Fare: KRW 13,000)


– Get on at the airport’s KAL limousine bus stop:
Located at Exit No. 4B or Exit No. 11A on the 1st floor.

– Bus Ticket: Available at both the airport’s KAL desk and hotel’s bell desk


Ø       By Taxi: It takes about one hour from the airport to the hotel.

(Taxi fare: approx. KRW 75,000)


Ø       The Shilla Seoul’s Pick-up/Sending Service


– From-Airport-to-Hotel Pick-up Service: Available for KRW 120,000
– From-Hotel-to-Airport Sending Service: Available for KRW 110,000
– For service reservation: Request the service on your room reservation or   

by contacting the car service counter for more information,









Korea, “Land of the Morning Calm,” is a land of opposites existing in conjunction with each other. It combines ancient Oriental tradition with modern technology. In downtown Seoul, one can find traces of its 5,000 year history in its palaces, city gates, and temples, yet the country is also a rapidly developing nation in terms of industry, trade, and commerce.


1) History


Korea claims a 5,000+ year history, dating from the country’s foundation by

Tangun. Its history is full of foreign invaders and various factions vying for power.

Korean history is broken down into the following periods:

    Three Kingdoms (57 B.C. – A.D. 668)

Silla (668 – 935)

Goryeo (918 – 1392)

Joseon (1392 – 1910)

Japanese Occupation (1910 – 1945

Republic of Korea (1945 – present)


2) National Flag


After an incident with a Japanese boat in 1872 and increased contact with other

countries, the Korean government realized the need for a national symbol. The first

flag was created in 1882 and over the years the design has varied. Banned during the

Japanese occupation (1910-45), the present flag was created in 1948 for use by the

South Korean government.


The T’aegukki depicts the balancing philosophies of Yin/Yang and the concept of

Ohaengsol (five directions). In the central circle, the red portion represents positive

Yang, while the blue portion represents negative Yin. It is an ancient symbol

representing balance and harmony. The combination of bars in each corner also

symbolizes opposites and balance. The set in the upper left corner symbolizes

heaven, spring, east, and gentility. The lower right corner symbolizes the earth,

summer, west, and justice. The upper right corner symbolizes the moon, winter,

north, and wisdom. The lower left corner symbolizes the sun, autumn, south, and



3) Geography


Over 70% of the land is mountainous with the eastern regions consisting of mainly

rugged mountain ranges and deep valleys. Many people enjoy hiking in the

foothills and mountains. Most of the larger rivers and forests are located in the

west. The coastline is dotted with bays and it has some of the highest tides in the

world. The eastern coastline has many sandy beaches, while the western side

consists mainly of mud flats and rocky shores.


4) Language


The Korean language belongs to the Ural-Altic family of languages which also

includes Turkish and Mongolian. Although the language contains many words

derived from Chinese and printed media still use Chinese ideographs to represent

many of those words, structurally the two languages are very different. Korean is

closer to the Japanese language linguistically. Visit Life in Korea’s language








    Korea’s currency is the won (W). In some tourist areas, merchants may be willing

to accept U.S. dollars or Japanese yen, but the exchange rate will be worse than the

official rate. Most banks and hotels can exchange money, and most will also take

travelers checks. Cash advances on non-Korean credit cards can be made in most

subway stations and banks. Many international banks have offices in Seoul, and a

few have branches in Pusan.


Food and Drink


   Rice is the staple of the Korean diet and appears at almost all meals. A typical meal

includes rice, some type of soup, sometimes a main dish of meat or pork or poultry,

and various side dishes. Kimchi, the most common group of side dishes, includes

various vegetables (cabbage, radishes, and various roots) fermented with spices

(garlic, red pepper, and ginger). Korea produces several types of grain alcohol, most

notably soju. Nowadays, many people eat more and more Western, Japanese, and

Chinese food, with pizza becoming more popular than kimchi among the younger







1) Shopping





Insadong and the surrounding area were the residences of Joseon Dynasty (1392-

1910) officials, extended royal families, and the yangbanaristocratic class.

41% of Korea’s antique shops. These shops display and sell

quality antiques such as old paintings, ceramics,woodenware,

metalware, old furniture and many other items. Tongmungwan for old documents, Haedonggodoja Research Institute for ceramics, Godosa for daily utensils of the past, Dongmundang and Gonghwarang for calligraphy supplies, and Naraksil and Gayajae are famous for old furniture. 

                  Art galleries began to settle in Insadong from the 1970’s and

presently account for more than 70 shops. Galleries in

Insadong display and sell modern art pieces as well as

antiques. Exhibitions are held frequently in these galleries and give good chances

for  Korean artists to gather. Insa Art Center and Gyeongin Art Gallery are famous

in Insadong. 

 Most hanbok shops in Insadong sell a simplified version of

 hanbok. hanbok usually costs about two hundred U.S. dollars,

but the price of high-quality hanbok could go up to a few

thousand U.S. dollars. Jilgyeongyi Wuriot is a famous hanbok shop.

Ceramics is another popular shopping item in Insadong. Good quality ceramics have

a clean color and make a pure sound when tapping it with a finger. Bakyeongsukyo

is a prominent ceramics shop which even was visited by Queen  Elizabeth of

England. Gana Art Shop inside of Insa Art Center offers traditional high quality

items. Awon Gongbang is a good shop for metal crafted products and the National

Souvenir Center and Seoul Souvenir Shop are specialized souvenir shops in


[ Transportation & Map ]

 – Seoul Subway Line 1, Jonggak Station, 5 minute walk

– Seoul Subway Line 1, Jongno 3-ga Station, 5 minute walk

– Seoul Subway Line 3, Anguk Station, 5 minute walk   





Dondaemun Market 

Ever since its opening in 1905,

Dongdaemun Market has been one of the major markets in Korea. Specializing in wholesale clothing, the market has grown large, having more than 20 shopping malls. A full range of fashion

items that cover from head to toe, are found in Dongdaemun Market at inexpensive

prices. Just name it and you shall find it! No wonder that the market is always

crowded with retailers, foreigners, customers and tourists. The main street divides

Dongdaemun Market into two sections. Section 1 is on the side where Doosan

Tower is found, and Section 2 is the side of Dongdaemun Stadium.

[ Transportation & Map ]

    Transportation: Seoul Subway Line 2 Dongdaemun Stadium Station, or Line 1 or 4

Dongdaemun Station 



Itaewon is the most exotic place in Seoul representing fusion culture with a

distinctive atmosphere. Many people say, “You may not know Seoul, but you

should know Itaewon,” showing how renowned of a shopping district Itaewon is

The Itaewon shopping area covers a 1.4 km long street, stretching from Itaewon

1-dong eastwards to Hannam 2-dong. The area has a vibrant ambience with shops,

restaurants, bars and street vendors. Most signboards are written in English, and

often seen are English speaking people on the street. 


Clothing shops of hip hop style, casual wear, formal suit are clustered in Itaewon.

Unlike other shopping districts, big & tall sizes and exotic clothing are well

prepared. Good quality leather goods are abundant, and even personal orders are

accepted. Most tailors have been established for over fifteen to thirty years. 


A variety of bags from suitcases, to casual backpacks are available.

Chungnamsanghoe’ is a good shop for suitcases and briefcases and Samsonite for

high quality suitcases. There are bunch of other shops dealing with leather bags. 


Various options are offered from world-class brands to unique no name brand

goods. Nike and Adidas in Itaewon provide large size shoes and many designs.

There are also a bunch of leather shoes stores 

    Antique Furniture

Antique Street in Itaewon is especially popular among non-Koreans. Shops carry

small interior items as well as expensive antique furniture. Most antiques are from

the Goryo and Joseon Dynasties. Personal orders of reproduction products are

accepted. Small antique goods make good gift items.  Ever since its opening in









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