As the fifth largest city in the world, the Seoul Metropolitan area has a population of almost 11 million and is the center for Korean economy, finance, arts and culture. It is both the capital and the heart of the Republic of Korea. It was a seat of government in the Paekche Kingdom more than 1,500 years ago, but the city's true birth occurred in 1394, when it became the capital during the Choson Dynasty (1392-1910). Visitors to modern Seoul can still experience the ancient Orient – old palaces, the imposing city gates and the serene temples in the midst of the skyscrapers and a thriving international community. It is quite amazing that during the Korean War, forty plus years ago, Seoul was almost totally destroyed and today it is one of the major cities in Asia and a world class financial center.
Flight times: Paris- 18 hrs., Los Angeles- 10 hrs., Sydney- 13 hrs., New York- 17 hrs.
South Korea has four seasons with a wide range of temperatures. The summers are very hot and humid, and the winters are cold and dry. Snow falls an average of 28 days a year. Most of the annual rainfall occurs between June and September. Spring and fall are the preferred seasons to visit Korea.
Average Daily High/Low Temperature:
- Spring: High 72F/22 C, Low 52F/11 C
- Summer: High 86F/30 C, Low 72F/22 C
- Fall: High 66F/19 C, Low 45F/7 C
- Winter: High 37F/3 C, Low 21F/-6 C
Most major international airlines use: Incheon International Airport (37 mi/60 km from Seoul) and Gimpo International Airport, the main gateway to Korea.
Incheon International Airport: http://www.airport.or.kr/Eng/home.jsp
Gimpo International Airport: http://www.airport.co.kr/eng/dba/airport/gimpo/index.asp
Taxi cabs in Seoul have proven to be honest, safe, clean, fast and quite inexpensive. There are two types of taxis in Seoul. One is deluxe taxi which is black with a yellow sign on the roof, named "Mobum Taxi". Deluxe taxis are more comfortable but more expensive; the regular taxis charge quite a bit less.
Express Buses connect all major cities of South Korea. Most of the express bus terminals are located near the city center. Two express bus terminals serve Seoul: the Seoul Express Bus Terminal and Dong Seoul Express Bus Terminal.
Local bus system cost from 400 to 800 South Korean Won. They are often crowded and seating is limited.