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COMMENTS

Planning on coming to Korea? What are you going to bring with you in your suitcase? Surely by now you’ve heard stories, about what Korea has or does not have, but as we discovered, a lot of those were just rumors. Since we’ve been in Korea for well over a year now, we can squash those rumors. After visiting Canada for summer vacation, we prepared “a what to pack” and “what not to bother packing” video. Unfortunately, the video could not cover everything, because it would be far too long, so this post will serve as the exclusive extras list of things you must pack to Korea.

Not mentioned in the video are the following:

ELECTRONICS: Simon packed his Wii and PS3, and has had no issue with them whatsoever. Nothing has fried after many hours of usage. The secret? Read your cables! If they say anywhere on them “Input: 100-240v” you’re safe! You can plug in your electronics from anywhere in the world so long as you have a little plug adapter to pop on the top of it. If you don’t have that cable, it’s ok! You can still buy a power converter. Go to any supermarket and in the lighting section (usually), you’ll find a thick, ugly, clunky metal box that will plug into your Korean outlet and let you plug in two of your North American plugs. It ain’t pretty, but it works.

BOARD GAMES: If you’re geeky and like board games like us, we had a hard time finding reasonably priced English games (ie: Scrabble was double the price) and the newer games (ie: Cranium, Apples to Apples) were impossible to find. Playing cards are also expensive. Pack any games you find necessary.
COMFORT FOODS: Fruit teas, chai tea, and your favorite black tea brands are impossible to find or are otherwise really, really expensive. Starbucks does offer a small selection of TAZO brand teas, though.

COOKING FOOD: Dried spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, oregeno, and basil are available in speciality import sections but crazy expensive, and Martina was unable to find liquid vanilla extract anywhere.

COSMETICS: If your skin tone isn’t similar to a Korean person’s skin tone, it can be hard to find pressed power or liquid foundation to match your skin, so come prepared. If you wear contacts and can only use a specific brand of solution, pack a few bottles to be safe.

GIFTS: It’s nice to bring your new employer a gift to thank them for hiring you. If you’re at a public school, get a small gift for your Principal, Vice Principal, and the co-teacher who will be taking care of you when you first arrive. We suggest a product that is only availble in your country. For example, a specific food (we brought organic maple syrup), hand cream/soap (Bath and Body Works is not available in Korea yet, and it’s sought after) or even alchohol (rum, ice wine, or rum filled candy).

Feel free to contact us or leave a comment about anything you’re worried about Korea not having. We might not know all of the answers, mind you, but we might be able to tell you if you should pack it or not.

ToFebruary
Gmarket
  1. Masterfruufruu

    So I have an interesting question, and am not sure if you guys can answer it. T.T I am of Mexican descent and cook tons of Mexican cuisine, I am wondering if you guys have seen corn tortillas there or maize (big white kind to make corn tortillas with)?

  2. Thank you! I’m about to move to Seoul and I found this very helpful! I heard that you weren’t able to buy peanut butter in South Korea. Is it true?

  3. Madisen Kleinschmit

    soda stream makes a&w root beer! you could add t to seltzer

  4. Kristin

    Hello! I love your blog! I am very excited to visit Seoul next week for the first time ever. I’ve never left my continent – I live in Minnesota. Any who, we are going to be attending my brother’s Traditional Korean Wedding and meeting his future in-laws for the first time. I want to make a good impression and bring some fun American gifts. What do you recommend? Can you get M&M’s in Korea? Do you think they would want pancake mix and syrup? Or maybe some bagels? They seems to be very traditional and no zero English. Thank you so much for any advice!!!

  5. So so sooo helpful!!!
    Thanks guys :D

  6. Tiara Kikyo Giles

    This is a late comment but I really like your blog and I trust you guys judgement. I heard from a Korean friend of mine that they have TONS of hair products but I have ethnic hair (or should I say mixed with five different cultures hair?) and I rarely use chemicals. Do they have products for that? Thank you!

  7. SimplyLiyah31

    HI im coming to korea for college i would like to know what to pack and paper work if you can help

  8. Luggage brands that can withstand international travel???

  9. Hi! I just want to say ahead of time I am so sorry if this has already been asked and answered. Okay, so I currently have an iPhone and plan on taking it with me when I move to Korea but I know that I won’t be able to use it. I noticed that you guys (or just Simon I’m not sure) have an iPhone and I was wondering if you just bought a new iPhone once you got there and how much it costs. Like, is it a hassle to get an iPhone? Do you think that it would be a good idea to take my deactivated iPhone and use it as an iPod then just get a cheap cell phone with plan?

    • blue3nvy

      My boyfriend moved there because he’s in the army. He didn’t get an iPhone, but someone he knows did. It’s a lot more expensive there, and the one his friend got didn’t have a plan with unlimited data. My boyfriend got a Sky (Korean brand) phone, which he likes decently. He has his iPhone from America still, which he can use with wifi (since he suspended his mobile account). I am going to move there, and plan to get a Korean phone. They have really good phone options, and the plans are really affordable. You can even get unlimited data.

      This thread might help you as well about iPhones and getting it to work there, as well as other phone questions.
      https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4290525?start=45&tstart=0

  10. tiger789

    This might be a really silly question, but do they sell hair dryers there that come with a diffuser attachment? You know, the kind for girls with curly hair where it’s like flat with spikes?

  11. Is there a bath and body works there now?? Today was my first day at the store and I plan to go live in korea for a while. I heard there’s the body shop, but they don’t have that similar products.

  12. Can you get coconut oil for a reasonable price in Seoul? I’m sure it is somewhere.

  13. Britney McSweeney

    Vanilla extract is sold all over- but its powered and sold in small bags.

  14. lies203

    Hello everyone~ This is a very important(for me) and girly question…. Well, what about waxing? I’m not used to shave, is there some place where I could do it, seems koreans don’t have that amount of hair on their body :$ and another thing, I do use to straightening my hair with permanent, my hair is not curled hard is just frizzed, anyways…. Hair shops do it right? Thanks in advance! :DDDD Fighting~

    • Waxing is expensive here (in Daegu, at least). I wax my eyebrows and it typically costs around $20 here. It may also be harder to find a place if you’re living in a more rural area. Hair shops DO do magic straightening here and it typically is cheaper than what it would cost in the States. Most hair shops offer it and they call it “magic perm.”

  15. Popcorn and Ranch dressing is soo good. I grossed my cousin out by eating it. Have you tried it Simon?

  16. Monique Pereira

    Hello! Thanks for the video! Super helpful.
    I know you said it’s easy to find shampoo and conditioner, but do they have gel for curly hair? Should I pack a year supply?

  17. Agnes Tran

    lol its like the total opposite for me, im almost 5 foot and i can never find skinny jeans my size in canada……. they’re always too long…. and since i keep on getting skinnier TT^TT, its pretty hard to find jeans smaller then double 0…… TT^TT so i always buy like a year’s worth of jeans and shorts when i go to vietnam….

  18. We have the same Doggy Kennel box cage thing!

  19. Is it because that if we badmouth SuJu in Korea meaning that we’ll be doomed, and get bad-mouthed by the ELFs there cuz like almost over half of South Krea r SJ fans? (I noe this is stupid but i’m just asking. And i’m only goin to Korea for 8 days! N i have a tour guide, so will he/she review us bout the manners all these stuff?)

  20. I’ve been browsing the internet for videos and blogs like this. Thanks!  My packing list would probably be much smaller since I’m a very short girl with little feet. Didn’t know that much about beauty products though. Probably would have done the same as you did the first time. And A&W! That’s the best root beer ever!

  21. Hello! This question is more for Martina and it’s about what is standard to wear as a woman teaching in a public school in Korea, specifically where the line is with what is too causal or too much like street clothes. Is there any way you could do a video on this? I know that showing skin around the neck and shoulders is bad, but does that mean you should wear turtlenecks to school? Are sundresses okay to teach in? 

    • Way late to answer, but….
      What you can get away with wearing depends on the school. If you want to make a good impression, wear tops that have at least a cap sleeve (not a tank top or spaghetti straps). A cap sleeve covers to the edge of the shoulder. Another option is to invest in a couple of lightweight shrugs that you can use to hide your too sexy shoulders. Make sure shirts are long enough that your tummy doesn’t show when you write on the board. (not even a little bit of it).
      Pick skirts or dresses that are knee length. A little shorter is also ok if you have nice legs.
      In many schools, nice jeans or pants are also ok. Nice is defined by not too tight, no rips, neat hems, etc. Basically you won’t go wrong with a clean-cut/preppy look.
      It’s also worth noting that some schools (esp kindergartens) require a pair of indoor-only shoes. If you are a larger size (above 8 US women’s) buy them before you go — otherwise you’ll end up in a pair of men’s loaners for the year. They need to be slip-on, you should be able to wear them with socks, and they should have soft enough soles that they will not damage the floors.

  22. ewww ranch and marshmallow? lol  eewk!
    aww simon & martina.:’( i’m big too 5’10 and my shoes are 10 so i have to shop before gwangju? :/ booo! so unfair! I’m going to to feel like chubaka there T_T
    haha! Koreans have small boobs!
    How can I bring my pet iguana? Are there iguana’s in SK?

    • unfortunately, korean shops don’t sell shoe sizes above size 8 for women. if you’re lucky you might find a scarce 8 and a half. Even korean websites generally don’t go larger than size 9. so if you want cute shoes, i suggest bringing them from home.

      As for your iguana…you might be able to bring it, but you’ll probably have to jump through some hoops to get it through customs.

  23. teniya marie

     How many suitcases do you guys have each? No, seriously, how many? I’m afraid of not having enough room but don’t want to be hauling six different bags/suitcases by myself.

  24. Your information is great! I have a couple items to ask about:
    1. Sunscreen
    2. Neutrogena and/or Cetaphil products
    3. Bath towels– I have heard they only use smaller towels versus our larger towels.
    Thank you for your videos and articles!

    • 1. sunscreen can be found, they call it ‘sun cream’
      2. They sell some neutrogena products, but they can be quite expensive.
      3. Large towels are available at some markets, but i would suggest bringing one of your own to be safe.

  25. Hey Simon and Martina! Greeeeeeeeat blog. I’m loving it and it’s making me get so excited about living in Korea.

    My question is:
    Will I be able to bring my iPhone 4 and simply buy a sim card?

  26. Nani Chun

    What about glasses and contact lenses? Is it better to buy them in Korea?

  27. Anonymous

    Hi Simon and Martina ^_^!!!,
    Your videos and blogs are really helpful (and always hilarious) ^_^ Thanks so much!!!
    I do have a couple questions though:
    1. Should I buy a winter coat here(California) or buy there? I’m pretty sure I can fit the sizes but I’m thinking price wise, would it be cheaper? (I’m studying abroad at Yonsei Univerity during Feb-June and they said feb and march is really cold).

    2.Since I’m only going to be there for 4 months internet articles have said to pack like two weeks of clothing…Do you guys think that’s really enough as a student?
    Thanks for any reply ^_^ (감사합니다!!!♥♡)

  28. Iris Rios

    Wait, so does the airport allow you to pack food? I’ve never traveled before (except in car) so I’m not sure what your allowed to pack, because don’t they confiscate things, the airport people that is.

    •  depends on what you pack. If you pack 50 of the same thing, they may confiscate it. Really, they’re looking for people who are bringing stuff over in bulk in order to sell it for jacked up prices and avoid paying import taxes.

      Packing a few snacks, and even a bottle or two of alcohol is okay, just be sure to claim it on the customs form to avoid getting fined for it.

    • So long as it is in your bag and NOT a liquid/semi-liqui item, you should have no problem with food. Any toothpaste’s or water’s (anything liquid) over however-many oz. cannot be brought on board (as they’ve been used to hide bombs).

  29. The only position you can get in Korea is as a teacher? Can you work on a finance section or scientific? Because the only thing I hear is that foreigners can only be English teachers.

  30. Hey, have you thought of buying the dried packets of ranch, and making it back in Korea? I think you need sour cream or mayo to mix it. If that’s available in Korea you can pack WAY more ranch packets in your suitcase, or at least have the mix to make Ranch dukkboki :)

  31. Abby Beach

    I don’t know if you know this trick or not, but if you put a piece of bread in to a container with hard cookies, the cookies become soft and the bread turns in to a rock.  

  32. Abby Beach

    I don’t know if you know this trick or not, but if you put a piece of bread in to a container with hard cookies, the cookies become soft and the bread turns in to a rock.  

  33. Abby Beach

    I don’t know if you know this trick or not, but if you put a piece of bread in to a container with hard cookies, the cookies become soft and the bread turns in to a rock.  

  34. Abby Beach

    I don’t know if you know this trick or not, but if you put a piece of bread in to a container with hard cookies, the cookies become soft and the bread turns in to a rock.  

  35. Hi! I was wondering if you guys know if it would be easy to find and/or inexpensive to buy sunscreen and Off! Bug Spray (particularly the deep woods kind) in Korea? I have quite sensitive skin so sunscreen is a must and I’m awfully allergic to mosquitoes which is a hassle even at home. I had another question regarding other products, but I can’t remember what they are right now because it’s 3am *Fellow Torontonian* :) Thanks in advance for your help! I’m so happy that I chanced upon your video on youtube.

  36. Hi! I’ve watched your video and it’s been very helpful in packing. I will be teaching in Korea next week (I got the position at last minute) and I’m wondering about gifts to employer. My state is famous for berries and Jam so I was wondering if it’s appropriate to give my superiors something like that? Is that something cheap in Korea or is it expensive?  I can always get Bath and Body Works lotions/soap but if my superiors/co-teachers are male, it would be weird. Thank you in advance!

  37. thanks for metioning the ps3!! problem i think i would of die!! without my PS3!!! haha nah
    but all this info is great.

    thank you!!

  38. OMG! Martina, you and I have the same shoe size. My friend and I were looking into visiting Korea and buying their clothes and other merch. Thank goodness for telling me about the shoe sizes. I would’ve been so disappointed. 

  39. I’ve been wondering… Martina, exactly how tall are you? 

  40. Just a little stupid comment: since you get to interview people like 2pm or t.o.p from big bang, you should ask them where they buy their pants ;) I mean you met nichkhun and isn’t he supposed to have longer legs than normal people? (if we can believe what variety shows say haha) Also taecyeon is kinda tall AND he could answer you in english :P

  41. My mom said you can make your own A&W Rootbeer from a mix. She says it’s really easy.

  42. Did you guys ever make that “how to bring your pet to korea” video? I tried searching for it, but couldn’t find it ^_^ Do you give Spudgy a sleeping/anti anxiety pill? Do you keep him under your seat or in cargo? Thanks!

  43. Did you guys ever make that “how to bring your pet to korea” video? I tried searching for it, but couldn’t find it ^_^ Do you give Spudgy a sleeping/anti anxiety pill? Do you keep him under your seat or in cargo? Thanks!

  44. I have a question!!! I’m going to Korea in about roughly 11 days! Is there anything special I need to bring Because I’m 13 and I’m going to be living with my aunt, cousin, mom, brother and my uncle for about 1 month. They own a gas station so I could just by some convenient stuff from there. Yeah this is long… SORRY!! So is there anything special other than the ones you mentioned in the video?

  45. Marjorie_g

    Hi!
    I’m going to Korea for a month this summer and I can’t wait!

    I have a question: is it true that they use a lot of MSG in their food?

    I’m kinda intolerant to that stuff and I don’t want to be sick. Have you ever been sick from eating at street stands?

     I’ll bring medications for sure!

  46. Marjorie_g

    Hi!
    I’m going to Korea for a month this summer and I can’t wait!

    I have a question: is it true that they use a lot of MSG in their food?

    I’m kinda intolerant to that stuff and I don’t want to be sick. Have you ever been sick from eating at street stands?

     I’ll bring medications for sure!

  47. Felicia

    Hello! I absolutely love your blog ;D

    I’ll be going to Seoul in a few weeks to attend Korea University’s summer program, and I was wondering if it would be alright if I brought my hair straightener and favorite candies like kit kats and reese cups. A lot of people have been telling me I couldn’t, but they’ve never gone. Will I have to pay to bring them into Korea? I don’t know much about customs since this will be my very 1st time traveling outside of my country^^ Also how far is that Costco from Seoul?

    Thanks for the help!

    • They’ve got hair straighteners here.  I don’t think you need to bring yours.  And, no, you don’t have to pay to bring kit cats and reese cups here.  You bring them.  No one will stop you.  As for Costco, they’ve got a couple in Seoul.

  48. Hahahahahaha…. lalalalalla SHOULDER CHOP!!!! 

  49. 사랑이

    This helped me so much! I live in the USA but I’m becoming an exchange student in South Korea to study Korean. I am really really really worried about one particular item Korea might not have. Its embarrassing but I have to know. I’m a girl and I have to bleach my upper lip hair.
    *I can just hear the “ewwwws” now.* I don’t have super dark hair or thick but it still shows. So I was wondering if they had a hair bleaching kit? Or should I just pack tons of extra? And also I’m not a big Western girl. I usually range in clothing to a size small or medium in shirts and shoe size is only 8 to 9. Would it be difficult to find clothing there?
    Love love love your videos and so I’m grateful for them!

  50. Thank you guys for your help when I was moving; the deodorant tip really saved me. The only regret i have is that I could not bring my dog along. He’s a German Shepherd and there was no place that worked for both me and him but I left him with my trusted ex-boyfriend. I really wish I could find a place that would let me keep him.

  51. I’ve been living in Korea for years & really recommend finding a bakery supply shop in your area if you want to find things like liquid vanilla extract (or various flours, equipment, etc.) Although it’s getting easier to find these kind of things in the supermarket, I’ve found they’re often in ‘hobby’ sized packages (100 chocolate chips? for $3?? wth!?).

  52. Hello! I LOVE your blog. It’s been so helpful and entertaining!

    I was wondering if you could tell me about the, erm, feminine needs situation in Korea. Tampons, pads, etc. And also razors. I’m making a list of things I should take, and I leave in three months to teach English in Gwangju. Thanks!

  53. Heather Lucas

    Let me first say: I recently started watching your videos and now I just can't get enough! Your video's are always so informative, funny, and interesting to watch! I appreciate both of you making these videos! This video in particular is super helpful! I was always wondering what to bring when I go to Korea. However, I still have to finish my Bachelor's degree so I still have pleeeeeenty of time, but it's nice to think ahead! ^^

  54. Coco Bwana

    You guys are cute but you sound as though you have not lived abroad much. Is Korea the first overseas country you have lived in? I have so many comments and questions that I am anxious that I will not have enough room to say all I need to say and ask but here goes nothing. In terms of what to bring to Korea I would do what the American and Canadian missionaries that I grew up with did. They would ship a whole bunch of stuff over (to Africa) and go and pick up their many boxes from the seaport themselves. They did not lack for anything. Walking into one of their homes one felt that you had stepped into an American/Canadian home. Is there an age limit on teaching in Korea? I ask because I am on the other side of 30. Just wondering? I found it hard to follow the different classes of teachers on your blog but finally made it out. Your apartment seems so small. I have an elliptical machine that I use to exercise with that I would hate to leave behind because I hate gyms. But would it fit? I saw a cross on your apartment wall. I know that Korea has many Christians and some of the largest Christian congregations in the world. What are the worship opportunities like there? I am anxious about the drinking habits as I do not drink as I am on medication and I am a dry Methodist. Can one receive the same medication as in the States? How is the health care system there? I believe that you two have a blast because you have each other. What would it be like for a single lady? I hear that Korea is a very male chauvinistic country. i.e., Why do all the females cover their mouths and giggle whenever they say anything? The public toilet situation does not sound good. Having to carry toilet paper around… eeeh. Do they have Kleenex there? In all their dramas people cry a lot but never have any tissue and use their hands to wipe away snot and tears. It is gross! Last, but not least, are all Korean guys as cute as the Korean actors on the dramas? I have about 10-12 that I really like. Cheers, Coco.

    • I'll throw in my two cents (I've been here for just under 2 years now)! I hope it's not totally inappropriate that I'm taking over your comments section! :)

      Bringing stuff over/living in an American home: Yeah, foreigners don't live the same as Koreans, but it's not like living in an American home either. We shop at many of the same stores as Koreans and use a lot of the same stuff. Unlike Africa, Koreans live in a similar level of comfort as westerners, though in many ways, it's a really different way of living. Yeah, you might only be here for a year, but you're also here for *a year*, and it's nice to have some of the comforts at home to make your life here more pleasant. I don't think that in denying yourself ranch dressing you're therefore denying yourself the "full-living-in-Korea-experience". Many foreigners pick up bits of Korean culture and adapt bits of it into their lives, just as the Korean culture as a whole is doing with American culture :)

      I've met a few older teachers in Korea. It shouldn't be too much of a problem finding peers either, the older teachers tend to have their own communities and hang out together.

      Eliptical: Teacher apartments tend to be one-room apartment, with a huge variation in size, but you'd likely have a huge problem fitting it in. It also might be an issue for creating a lot of noise for the person living below you. There's a lot of small gyms though (the size of small workout rooms), and you might want to reaaaaaaally consider doing that instead.

      Church: I'm not religious, but most of the teachers in my school are, and I know there's a bunch of foreigner-friendly congregations (there's one in Miegum in Bundang for sure).

      Medication: Some from home you can get, some you can't… If it's a specific brand you need, best to pack some to be safe. Otherwise, it's really cheap and accessible here. You might want to contact the Korean international clinic: http://www.internationalclinic.co.kr/

      Health care: It's really awesome. You pay a minimal amount for your health insurance each month (your school legally has to pay half) so it's a really reasonable fee (especially if you're an American). I know compared to Canadian prices that medication is much cheaper because of insurance, and the over-the-counter stuff is really really reasonable. The health care system is great though. Super accessible and super awesome.

      Single: I'd say at least half of the foreigners here are single. And *a lot* of them find partners here too (usually other foreigners, sometimes Koreans… perhaps you could find yourself a look-alike of your Korean drama actors you like?). Either way, I've met miserable couples and happy singles. Whether or not you have a good time here is mostly dependent on what you make of your time here :)

      Chauvanistic: Sometimes. Keep in mind that this society/economy exploded out of an agrarian society really really recently. A lot of it though, is perspective and just a different way of seeing the same thing. If anything someones does bothers you though, it's okay to say something to them about it.

      Giggling: "Saving face" (not embarrassing the person you're with) is a huge thing in all Asian cultures. They cover their mouths so they're not laughing directly at the person.

      TP: You can get packs of tissues in vending machines, convenience stores, free when you buy random things etc. Yeah, it's sometimes annoying, but really it's just a small portion of your purse that gets taken up.

      Kleenex: It's here. I'm guessing the dramas wipe it away with their hands because they're just so distraught they can't remember where they put it? I'm not sure, but in my experience Koreans are way more germ conscious and clean than I am.

      Korean dudes: They're not all as cute, just as not every American looks the same as the ones in the films. But there's definitely a lot of cute ones!

      Hope that helps!

  55. :D Nice to know if I ever get a chance to live there. :D
    Lucky Koreans … I can't survive without deodorant.

  56. Hello,
    I am looking at teaching English in Korea next summer through the TALK program. Although I love Korean food, I am guessing that I am going to miss food from home. I saw that you brought some food from Candida to Korea. Did you have any problems with Customs? I am hoping to bring a few things like cheese, maple syrup, honey, vanilla extract, candies, coffee,tortilla chips, and corn tortillas. (I would also want to bring flour if it is not easily accessible there). Would you happen to know what I should expect with customs in regards to these items, or if any of these items are actually relatively easy to find in Korea? Also, if you have heard anything about the TALK program I would love to hear about it.

    I love your blog! Thank you for your help :)

    • I think you'll get nabbed at customs. Can't bring food like chips and cheese over, I think, but the rest of the list seems fine…(maybe? I'm not sure). You can find all of that stuff here, but it's not common. You'll have to go to specialty stores to get it.

      • Ji In Kim

         My great aunt stuffed the jjut-gals (like three different kinds, three shoe boxes worth) into my uncle’s baggage when he was visiting us like three years ago from korea. I know he didn’t check those in with him on to the plane as a carry-on but the into the storage thing.

    • if you go to any big store like homeplus or lottemart, tortilla chips and flour shouldn't be a problem. esp not flour. maple syrup, honey, and coffee are also easy to find, just a bit more expensive.. so don't pay more to bring them over (like charges for over the limit baggage weight) cause it would be the same as just paying a little more for it here. for example, i paid about 12,000 won for like… 10 fl oz of maple syrup, which is about 10 usd. so its worth it to bring if you have the space for it. have fun in Korea!

  57. SummerVacation

    Hello :)
    I am planning on going to both Korea this summer and I am staying with a good friend's family in Pusan; the friend will be staying in America though. I will be staying with her family for about three weeks and was wondering, what would be some appropriate gifts for me to bring? They are a couple in their 60's with a son in his early 30's (I do not know if the son lives with them). Do you have any ideas about presents? I was also thinking about giving them money, but I can not afford more then maybe one or two-hundred dollars. Do you think it would be more insulting to give them this sum of money then not? I just want to show how grateful I am and make a good impression.

    Thank you so much for your help

  58. Hey guys! First of all, your blog is awesome! Best blog on Korea I have found! Anyway, what about hair appliances? Blow dryers in particular…is it safe to use a North America model or do they blow out the fuse there?

  59. One of the major concerns my husband and I have about traveling with our dog Hana is that she will come out covered in poop, starving and traumatized. When traveling with Spudgy- the flight is so long and he can't possibly hold off going potty…how have your experiences traveling with Spudgy been and do they take care of him in Cargo?

    • Well, we let him relieve himself right before we put him into cargo. When we take him out of cargo (after the 13-14 hour flight, plus couple of hours to clear customs), he's totally chill and relaxed. We also thought he'd be covered in crap and vomit, but he turned out to be just fine :D

      • how long does it take to clear Customs in Korea with your pet (provided you have all the proper paperwork)?  we are moving from Canada to Pusan & bringing our cat.  our concern is our connecting flight from Seoul to Pusan & how much time we should allow to have our cat cleared thru Customs.  any advice would be appreciated!!  

  60. Samantha

    I am only 15 years of age but looking forward to teaching in the same school Martina is teaching in :)
    I am currently taking Korean lessons so I will be able to understand people there.
    Martina can you please give me a site to where I am see how I can apply for the job
    I am just going to look into it

    And ohh yea I am From Canada :)
    Woot woot
    Happy Valentinees day!

  61. One last thing. How did Simon pack a PS3 AND a Wii? Did he have to contact the airport ahead of time too? I'm asking because someone recently gave me an Xbox and I want to take it with me. I'm flying with either Korean Air or Asiana (I won't receive the e-ticket until Jan 24th). So how did you guys pack 2 game consoles AND your laptop AND your video equipment? LOL

    • We packed the Wii first. Then we got a PS3 in Canada for our first trip there on vacation and packed it with us. We didn't pack both at the same time.

      • Sarah S

        I've got a related question; I'd like to pack a Nintendo Wii plus a laptop when I go to Korea. Would you recommend taking both in my carry-on or do you think it's safe to put both/either in my checked luggage? Usually I carry a purse too, and I think that would be my freebie "personal item" carry-on that either device could count towards otherwise, so I'd have to cram both the laptop and Wii into the carry-on bag or ditch the purse, right? I've heard plenty of items have been known to "disappear" from checked luggage, so even though checking my electronic items would save space, I dunno…

        Any recommendations or suggestions about this? (I know there aren't guarantees with anything, of course!) Did you have to pack Wii and/or laptop cords in carry-on to show security people that the device(s) turned on and wasn't an explosive? I'll probably check with the airline too when I get closer to the time. Thanks in advance for the help!

        • Hamid Mahdi

          I ended up just packing my xbox into my carry-on along with my netbook and I got through security with no problem after the checkout point. If you travel with Korean Air they recommend doing that because it's too dangerous to leave it in your checked luggage

        • Sorry for the delayed response. Didn't see this pop up in my inbox. Anyhow, I'd recommend taking both in your carry on. Don't put anything in your luggage that can break. When we packed our gaming gear, we didn't have to turn it on or anything. People just scanned it and let it through.

  62. Brandon

    What do you have to do to be able to bring pets with you? My wife and I are planning on bringing our two small dogs.

    • First, take them to your vet and ask for all the necessary vaccines and paperwork to bring your dog overseas. Then, call your airport and reserve two spots for your dogs on the plane (which will cost you extra). Take your pets to the airport with you and, voila, that should be it. At least, that was enough for us to bring Spudgy back with us to Korea.

      • Brandon

        Thank you so much, that is a big relief. We love your site and you three have been extremely helpful. Were there any problems getting placed in your home with Spudgy? Also, what kind of accomodations do the dogs need to ride the bus/subway? We heard that there can be serious problems if the neighbors don't like dogs.

  63. Hey how easy it to find hand sanitizer in Korea? I will be moving there to teach English thanks to the TaLK programme and I'll be stationed in Gyeongsangbuk-do province.

    Also do you remember seeing Colgate over there? If not what are some good brands of toothpaste to use while I'm living there?

  64. oh! it is amazing to me do you pack a lot of deodorants!
    (actually.. deodorant is expensive in korea ㅜ.ㅜ)
    and it's beneficial to foreigners coming to korea !
    i have a question!!! Koreans should take when you go to Canada, what is it??
    i will go to canada maybe.. April 2011
    (Please understand false expression ^^: )

  65. Another girly question~ What about feminine hygiene products? Are they easily found….and even if they are, are they insanely expensive (Not like that'd be any different from the U.S. >>)? What about like…Tylenol/OTC pain medication? Okay! No more awkward questions~ OTL
    Thank you all for being super duper awesome.

    • Ok awkward answers: Feminine hygiene products can be found here, pads specifically. And Tylenol can be found under its medical name, Acetaminophen. Yeah!

      • What about the other lady products? i heard those can be difficult and really expensive…

        • Tampons can also  be found, but there isn’t much of a variety. You can get the daily’s type pads (the really thin ones for very light days)  in a very wide variety as well as regular pads, and night time pads. For me, tylenol never works for my cramps so i use motrin, the equivalent of which in korea is called Geborin (pronounced kind of like kay-bow-lean)

          Also, they sell something in korea i’d never seen before, called lady cleanser. It’s exactly like it sounds: cleanser for the lady parts LOL i really love the stuff because i have sensitive skin, and regular soap is harsh enough on the rest of my body, much less the delicate parts lol

          Birth control can also be bought over-the-counter at most pharmacies

          The prices for all of the things aren’t exactly cheap but i wouldn’t consider them expensive, either, especially since they usually have crazy 1+1 sales at the big shopping centers like home plus, lotte mart and e-mart.

  66. francis

    can i ask where in nandaemun did you buy the tokina 11 16.I visit it once and ask some store and they do not have.

  67. Jason Jones

    being a fat large man, I know you can also find shirts and pants in Itaewan; you can find shoes but they are like 125k won so i have them mailed from the states.. Sometimes you can get lucky in Itaewan with shirts. Shirts have ranged from 10k to 30k usually 30k. Pants are around 40 to 50k

    my wife can also find bras in Itaewan

    • Jason Jones

      my last post is to suggest that you try out http://www.nicedeli.com

      On that website you can get a TON of foreign friendly items and some that you would never expect to find (one time they had ostrich meat)
      They will deliver to your house. I have used it before, don't expect it to be ultra fast. I think the guy that does it is a foreigner and gathers the items to mail to you so it can take a week to arrive but it is so worth it if your in a rural community or you want to make lasagna and can't find ricotta cheese. OK, I am done bothering you ^_^

      P.S. – Vanilla Extract can be found also in one of the three foreign stores in Itaewan.

  68. Jason Jones

    you can find ranch in Itaewan foreign market but its expensive. I have spent 7 to 9k won for a regular american sized bottle

  69. Simon and Martina, you actually can find liquid vanilla extracts in Korea because i was able to.. :)
    but it could be a little hard for you guys to find because a lot of people in korea working at a store dont really know what liquid vanilla extract is. :)

  70. I was shocked at the deodorant thing. Wow. I thought everyone wore that! For female's and under garments do they not have a clothing store like Victoria's Secret? Their line has all sizes. Oh and yes Simon ranch dressing rocks.

  71. lol 스퍼지~. so cute

  72. Michael

    I forgot to ask… Did you ever find where to get vanilla extract? I want to make chocolate chip cookies.

  73. Michael

    Actually, if you live in Seoul there is a giant electronics market right behind the Ipark Mall/Yongsan station. You can actually barter for all things electronic. I live in Samgakji and I've been there quite a few times. They have a lot of stuff; however, you will want to make 100% sure you are getting a "new" item and not something refurbished. Unless that's okay with you. Personally I like the new stuff because I can trust it. But when you want a good deal…..

  74. Thanks for sharing your experiences in Korea. I am a huge fan of eatyourkimchi.com
    Talking about cameras. How do camera prices in Korea compare to let's say amazon.ca? and where in Seoul would you go for shopping electronics?

  75. jongheehee

    how about Kraft Dinners? my friends said she should totally pack them before leaving Canada. did you guys find them somewhere? maybe at Namdaemun market? =)

  76. Wow, You guys packed a lot~

    Me and my fiance, we both had only 1 back pack and 1 suit… And got the package of cloth later though. ;)

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