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Seoul Money and Costs

Currency and Travellers Cheques

Currency: Won (W). Notes are in denominations of W10,000, 5000 and 1000. W1000 is called Chon Won in Korean (chon means one thousand). Coins are in denominations of W500, 100, 50 and 10.

Currency exchange: Foreign banknotes and travellers cheques can be exchanged at foreign exchange banks and other authorised money changers. ATMs are available in all major cities, but all instructions are in Korean.

Credit & debit cards: Diners Club, Visa, American Express and MasterCard are widely accepted at major hotels, shops and restaurants in the larger cities. Check with your credit and debit card company for details of merchant acceptability and other services which may be available.

Travellers cheques: Accepted, but may be difficult to change in smaller towns. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take travellers cheques in US Dollars.

Exchange rate indicators

The following figures are included as a guide to the movements of the Won against Sterling and the US Dollar:

Date May 01 Aug 01 Nov 01 Feb 02
£1.00= 1841.74 1854.28 1791.02 1890.52
$1.00= 1297.00 1282.00 1271.85 1321.95

Korea Pass Card: A multipurpose bank card for foreign visitors organised in conjunction with the Visit Korea Year 2001 committee and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. The card can be purchased in denominations of 100,000, 200,000 or 500,000 Won at Incehon International Airport. It offers discounts on Seoul and Incheon buses and subway trains, where it is accepted as a ticket. It can also be used as a credit card in a number of shops, hotels and markets. For further information view the website: (http://www.koreapasscard.com/).

Currency restrictions: The import and export of local currency is allowed up to W8,000,000. Foreign currency amounts greater than US$10,000 (including travellers cheques), must be declared on arrival. Export of foreign currency is limited to the amount declared on arrival.

Banking hours: Mon-Fri 0930-1630; Sat 0930-1330.