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Arrival by Air
Korea is connected by air to every major capital in
the world, either through direct flights or by connecting
flights from major international airports in East Asia.
About 37 international airlines maintain regular flight
services, with over 1,500 flights into and out of Korea
every week. Korea has eight international airports: Incheon
International Airport in Incheon, which began its operation
on March 29, 2001, plus Gimhae, Jeju, Cheongju, Gimpo,
Yangyang, Daegu and Gwangju International Airports. Gimpo,
Gimhae and Jeju operate direct flights to and from Tokyo,
Fukuoka, Nagoya and Osaka in Japan.
Korean Air (KAL), the largest of Korea's two national
flag carriers, has opened new routes between Seoul and
destinations in Europe, America and the Middle East. The
Korea City Air Terminal (KCAT), located next to the Korea
World Trade Center in Samseong-dong, provides check-in
service, passport clearance and airport departure tax
tickets. Nonstop limousine buses make round trips between
Incheon International Airport and KCAT every 10 to 20
minutes. Another KCAT opened recently at Gimpo International
Special airport buses and city buses leave from various
points in Seoul every 15 minutes from 5:00 a.m. to 10:30
p.m., as less expensive alternatives to the KAL Limousine
Bus line which connects Incheon International Airport
with 19 major hotels in Seoul.
Since 1963, Seoul has been included in the round-the-world
air schedule approved by the International Air Transport
Association (IATA). This enables any passenger on a round-the-world
ticket to visit Korea at no additional charge.
Arrival by Ferry
Various steamship lines provide passenger service to Korea.
Among those from the American West Coast are Waterman
Steamship, American Pioneer, Pacific Far East, Pacific
Orient Express, State Marine and United States Lines.
Several companies, such as the BuGwan Ferry, Korea Ferry
and Korea Marine Express, provide regular ferry services
linking Busan and Jeju-do Island with the Japanese ports
of Shimonoseki, Kobe and Hokada. Another ferry line plies
between Incheon and the Chinese ports of Tianjin and Weihai.
Temporary entry for private cars is allowed for passengers
arriving by ferry, providing that drivers obtain the proper
Tourist information and assistance are available at
all major tourist sites and airports including KNTO's
(Korea National Tourism Organization) Tourist Information
Centers. KNTO is also running a tourist information site
on the web. (www.tour2korea.com) Since around a quarter
of the Republic of Korea's resident population may be
on the move to visit hometown and family during traditional
national holidays, it is advisable to make travel and
accommodation arrangements at least three months in advance
for those periods. The busiest holidays are Lunar New
Year's Day, summer vacation (the last week of July through
the third week of August), and Chuseok (The 15th day of
the Eighth Month by the lunar calendar).
During national holidays offices and banks are closed,
whereas palaces, museums, most restaurants, markets, department
stores, cinemas and amusement facilities are usually open.
A variety of local events, festivals and special performances
such as sandaenori (mask dance) and nongak (farmers' music)
are held in many locations all year-round, welcoming foreign
Reservations for hotels in any part of the country can
be made in Seoul through travel agencies. Foreign tourists
can get an instant assistance by dialing 1330 anywhere
Guided Tour Services
Guided tours around Seoul's scenic attractions and historic
sites are offered regularly by various travel agents.
A wide variety of tours are available, including morning,
afternoon and night tours as well as nationwide tours
of a week or more in duration.