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Useful Information

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

Climate

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!).

Currency

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 December 1, 2021, 1 US Dollar is equivalent to 1,180 Korean Won (KRW) and 1 Euro is equivalent to 1,330 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=KRW1,180 / €1=KRW1,330 as of 1 December 2021

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

Korea has typically 1,000 confirmations of COVID-19 per day. Strict social distancing policies are kept in big cities like Busan and this includes wearing a face mask in public. 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.

Business Hours

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.

Credit Card

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.

Local transportation

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).

https://www.letskorail.com/ebizbf/EbizbfForeign_pr16100.do?gubun=1
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