Your Questions About Seoul

Thomas asks…

What is the weather in Seoul Korea from January to May?

Hello, I am going to Seoul this coming January and I have no idea what type of clothes to bring. Can you tell me how hot or cold Seoul is from January to May? Also, I would appreciate any general tips you could give me regarding the place and anything Korean. Thanks.

Valerie answers:

It’s bitter cold in January, so you will need a heavy winter coat, a scarf, gloves and some kind of hat. It’s possible that you will see some snow. By May, it will be sunny and warm so you could be in shorts and a T-shirt at that time.

For general tips I would recommend the following:

1) Try to adapt to Korean culture, don’t expect Koreans to adapt to yours.

2) Try to learn some basic Korean language expressions. Never say to a Korean, “Don’t you speak English?”

3) Be open-minded.

4) Avoid conversations about Japan.

5) Bring lots of money —- Seoul’s expensive.

Laura asks…

How to get to ICH airport from Seoul Station?

I’m planning a trip to my home country, and I’ll be taking a train up to Seoul from Daegu. I’m not familiar with how to use buses or subways, as I have a car, or use a taxi. I was wondering how much a taxi would be from Seoul Station, and if buses run from Seoul station to ICH airport. How long does the transit usually take?

Thanks !

Valerie answers:

Do you mean from Seoul station to Incheon airport?
I wouldn’t suggest taking a taxi. There are a bunch of gates to pass in the freeways and a fee (can be costly). So it would turn out to be the cost of the ride + the fees.

I recommend taking the subway. It’s the easiest in my opinion.
-You’re going to have to take line number 1 (dark blue)
-Get off at Singil and transfer to line number 5 (purple)
-Get off at Gimpo Airport and transfer to Jungang Line. (lightest blue) keep taking this until Incheon Airport.
It’s actually quite simple because the signs and maps and everything are color coordinated in the stations. But make sure you’re going in the right direction. In every line, there’s a side with a train going left and another train going right. So make sure you’re taking the right line AND going in the right direction. Ask people around just to make sure. I’m sure most people will be happy to help you, just say you want to go to Incheon Airport.

However if all these directions confuse you, you can also take the Airport Bus (or “City Air Limousine”). I’ve taken this once before and it was quite a pain…probably because I was traveling alone with two HUGE bags. It’s 13,000 won, but may be more expensive if you’re an adult (not sure). These buses have certain stops, so you’ll have to find the one closest to you. They also have a certain time frame. I had to wait about an hour when I took it.

Mary asks…

What is the school education expense in Seoul?

I am planning to take a job in Seoul, Korea. My daughter is 8 yr old and is in grade 3. I want to know what are the english medium school expenses there.

Valerie answers:

There are several English-medium schools in Seoul but the tuition is outrageous! As far as I know, the annual tuition there is over $ 20,000.
The English-medium schools are called an international school or a foreign school.
The websites of the schools are below:

There are a couple of private schools that have English immersion programs – the schools are more like bilingual schools. The annual tuition is about $ 5,000~ 6,000 which is much cheaper than international schools.
Http:// (Young-Hoon Elementary School) (I believe this school is cheaper than Young-Hoon)

If you think the private schools are still out of your budget, you can always send your child to a public school(It’s free but teaches almost every subject in Korean) or homeschool your child.

Helen asks…

How cold is it in Seoul city and does it snow in early December?

Hi, I’m from Singapore and I’m planning to go to Seoul around late Nov – early Dec. This is my first time there. I understand it will be winter in Seoul but I’m just wondering how cold it will be? Also will there be snow? (this question is on behalf of my kids, I’ve got my fair share of the thing but they love ‘em).


Valerie answers:

I’m pretty sure it will snow by the 18th of December. You might find snow as early as late November. It gets real cold. I live in S. Cali too and I froze my a$$ off when I visited last February. My cousin from Korea visited us here just last week and she mentioned that the weather has been real weird lately, probably due to all the pollution from Chinese industries. The farmers harvested their crops a month early this year, which means that winter will most likely arrive sooner too.

If you’re stopping by at Inchon Airport, it might be difficult to go site seeing unless you have at least 5 hours to kill. It’s in an island and you must drive across the bridge and continue driving for little less than an hour before you reach Seoul. So if you’re just there for a couple of hours, don’t even try it.

If you’re stopping at Kimpo Airport, you’ll have better chance since there is less traffic and closer to what you might want to see.

If you do decide to go sight seeing, you’ll definitely need more than just a sweater. Take a cab. It’s fast and cheap. Go check out Gangnam “South River” since most of the good stuff is south of the Han river. Enjoy your trip and good luck.

Betty asks…

What districts in Seoul have the biggest problems with narcotics?

Research turn paper: have a thesis with the comparison of crimes, and would like to know what districts in Seoul, if any, have the highest narcotic related crimes.

Valerie answers:

Due to very flexible laws in the country the whole Korea is having problems with norcotics:
All citizens can enjoy personal liberty. No person is to be arrested, detained, seized, searched or interrogated except as provided by law. No person shall be punished, placed under preventive restrictions or subject to involuntary labor except as provided by law and through lawful procedures.
No citizen shall be tortured or be compelled to testify against him or herself in a criminal case

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