Traveling to South Korea for Medical Care
From snow capped mountains to tranquil ponds surrounded by quaint pagodas, the country of South Korea offers natives and visitors alike a wealth of beauty, ancient culture, traditions and foods. From a past host of the 1988 Summer Olympics and a potential host of the 2010 Winter Olympics to offering some of the best entertainment, dining and accommodations in Asia, Korea is a country that has struggled from a past of conflict to one that meets and leads 21st century competition in finance, IT, space, medical and health technologies.
Home of the first cloned dog, South Korea is on the cutting edge of technological advances in medicine and health care. Excellent and skilled physicians, state-of-the-art technology and some of the most advanced healthcare facilities in the world continue to draw medical travelers to South Korea for medical treatments and procedures in organ transplantation, cancer therapy treatments, dental care, plastic and cosmetic surgery and many others. Medical care costs in South Korea are generally ten times less than costs found in the U.S.
South Korea Basics
- Currency: Won
- Language: Korean
- Climate: Summers are rainy and wet, with average temperatures of 75° F, while winters can be quite cold, with averages of 19°F to 33°F.
- Capital: Seoul
South Korea operates on a 220 volt system, with Type C electrical outlets. Travelers are advised to purchase adaptors or converters for small electrical appliances or laptop computers before traveling to the country.
According to the State Department, Americans traveling to South Korea don’t need a visa as long as travelers have a valid U.S. Passport, for stays up to 90 days. If you plan on staying more than 90 days, you’ll need a visa. Passports must be valid for 90 days following planned departure, but you may want to make sure you have at least 6 months duration on the validity of your passport before traveling to a foreign country. Have at least two unused pages in your passport before you travel to international destinations.
Travelers from other countries should check with the South Korean embassy or consulate office in their country of origin to determine up-to-date requirements regarding travel to the country.
The won is the main currency of South Korea. Travelers will find a multitude of easy-access ATMs in convenient locations but many are not open 24 hours a day. It is recommended that travelers exchange their currency at large multinational banks for better exchange rates and lower fees.
Airlines Serving South Korea
One of the largest international airports in South Korea is the Incheon International Airport, located in Incheon, less than 50 miles west of the capital of Seoul. Some of the most popular airlines flying to South Korea include but are not limited to:
- Air Canada
- Air France
- All Nippon
- Asiana Airlines
- Cathay Pacific
South Korea Country Dialing Code
[exit country code] + 82 + telephone number
Embassies in South Korea
U.S. Embassy in Seoul, Korea
32 Sejongno, Jongno-gu
Republic of Korea
Web Site: http://seoul.usembassy.gov/
Office Hours: Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm
Embassy of the United Kingdom in Seoul, Korea
Seoul 100-120 Republic of Korea
Phone: ++ (82) (2) 3210 5500
Web Site: http://ukinkorea.fco.gov.uk
Embassy of Sweden in Seoul, The Republic of Korea
Seoul Central Building, 12th floor,
Chongro-gu, Seoul 110-611
The Republic of Korea
Phone: +82 (2) 738 08 46
Fax: +82 (2) 733 13 17
Web Site: http://www.swedenabroad.com/seoul
Office Hours: Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 12 noon Visa (applications and processing): Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 12 noon Phone hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Embassy of Italy in Seoul, Korea
1 – 398, Hannam-Dong Yongsan – Ku
Seoul 140 – 884
Phone: 82.2.796-04-91 ~ 94
Web Site: http://www.ambseoul.esteri.it
Office Hours: Monday ~ Thursday 09.00 -17.00; Friday 09.00 -14.00
Embassy of India in South Korea
Phone: 00-82-2-7984257, 7984268
Web Site: http://www.indembassy.or.kr/
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in South Korea
Yongsan-Gu, Tongbingo-Dong 308-5, Seoul 140-816
P.O Box 1289, Seoul 100-612, South Korea
Phone: (0082 2) 748 41 14
Fax: (0082 2) 748 41 61
Web Site: http://www.seoul.diplo.de
10 Fun Things to do in South Korea
- Shop ’til you drop in downtown Seoul
- Go clubbing at some of Seoul’s exciting and classy nightclubs
- Visit the beaches at Busan
- Stroll through ancient temples in Daegu City
- Hike Seoraksan National Park
- Visit the Korean War Museum
- Enjoy the fish market in downtown Seoul
- Visit Buddhist temples in the mountains
- Visit Jeju Island
- Visit the Jakwansa religious site in Daejeon
South Korea is fast becoming a well-traveled tourist location, thanks to her ability to provide a wide range of activities and entertainment to visitors from around the globe. From her outlying islands to her downtown big-city ambience, South Korea offers young or old alike something to do.