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Location & Time
IAUGA 2022 will be held in Busan, the second largest city in Korea. Busan has been one of the primary seaports in Korea since the ancient times. Busan is one of the most popular summer holiday destinations in Korea boasting of endless beaches, rivers, mountains, and hot springs.
Korea is located between 33 degrees and 43 degrees in the North Latitude and 124 degrees and 132 degrees in the East Longitude. China, Russia and Japan are the neighboring countries of Korea. Since the 1950s, Korea has been divided into two, having the Republic of Korea in the South and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in the North in the Korean Peninsula accordingly.
Time Zone: KST = GMT+9 nationwide
Korea enjoys four distinctive seasons of spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Summers in the Republic of Korea are generally hot and humid. The rainy season in Korea is typically between June and July. We expect some squall-like rain and/or typhoon(s) in August. An umbrella would be handy during the IAUGA2022. In August, the average temperatures in Busan is around 25 Celsius degrees or 78 Fahrenheit (It may feel like up to 35 °C or so due to high humidity!).
Local currency is the South Korean won (KRW, 원 in Korean, pronounced like “won”). There are four bill denominations of 1,000, 5,000, 10,000, and 50,000 “won”s. Apart from the respective denominations, notes are easily discernible by distinct colors and different portraits of historical figures on each note. As of July 18, 2022, 1 US Dollar is equivalent to about 1,317 Korean Won (KRW) and 1 Euro is equivalent to about 1,328 KRW. There are banks and foreign exchange booths at international airports (e.g. ICN). Major hotels and banks provide foreign currency exchange services.
Fast Facts about Korea
Time Zone: GMT+9
Four distinct seasons of spring, summer, fall, and winter
Currency: South Korean Won (KRW)
US$1=about KRW1,317 / €1=about KRW1,328 as of 18 July 2022
Population: 51.8 millions
Official Language: Hangul (Korean language)
GDP per capita USD 31,246 / IMF as of 2019
World’s No.11th and Asia’s 4th largest economy
16 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and 16 UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritages of Humanity
Korea Tourism Organization : http://english.visitkorea.or.kr
Masks and Social Distancing
Social distancing restrictions in Korea have been loosened since the mid of this year. You are allowed to take off your mask when outdoors. Still, when you are indoors or at an crowded outdoor public facility with more than 50 people, you must wear a mask. Nowadays, with the increasing number of cases, you need to take care of yourself by wearing a mask at all times. Masks for adults and children can be easily found at local convenient stores, supermarkets, drug stores, or pharmacies. KF-94 quality masks are recommended (KF stands for "Korean filter”). More detailed social distancing policies and COVID-19 briefing will be available for participants during the IAUGA 2022.
Government office hours are from 09:00 to 18:00 from Monday to Friday. Shops, restaurants, and shopping malls are generally open from 09:00 till 22:00. Banks are open from 09:00 to 16:00 on weekdays only.
Major credit cards including Visa, American Express, Diners Club, Master Card, and JCB are broadly accepted in most shops, hotels, department stores, and restaurants. Credit card surcharges for uses in overseas may be incurred.
Tipping & Tax
Tipping is not a customary practice in Korea. Generally, 10% Value Added Tax (VAT) is levied in the total payable. Some upscale restaurants and hotel facilities may charge another 10% Service Charges. Foreigners may take a benefit of reclaiming VATs at the airport for purchases made at shops but purchased goods must be taken out of the country within three months from the purchase date to be eligible for a tax refund. Visitors can receive a refund on a receipt for a minimum purchase of KRW 30,000.
Electricity & Power Plug
The standard voltage in Korea is 220 volts. The outlet has two round holes and is the same type used in France, Germany, Austria, Greece, Turkey, and many other countries. Always check the power supply before using your equipment.
If you plan a trip before/after GA
The first week of August is normally the hottest period (in temperature) in South Korea and most people take summer holidays during this period. If you plan to do sightseeing and/or traveling inside Korea, we recommend post-conference tours (after the GA is over) in order to avoid crowds and to save money.
1. Kakao Taxi App (similar to Uber/Lyft service)
Easiest way to call a taxi is to use an App.
2. Express trains (KTX = Korean Train express)
Good introduction on KTX: https://www.seoulinspired.com/ktx-guide/
How to purchase/book train tickets on KTX?
If you plan to travel from Seoul to Busan on KTX, you are advised to buy train tickets in advance, especially during the weekend (Friday-Sunday). Seats are quickly sold out during busy holiday periods as well. You can buy KTX tickets from the Korail homepage (www.letskorail.com). Mobile tickets can be purchased from the Korailtalk App. At the train station, there are ticket machines as well as booths (with personal assistants).