Riding Pointers in Korea
We Koreans are one of the worst drivers in the world, I am shamed to say ,,
Our drivers test system is a farce.
For those, who are already in the country or arriving soon ,, please read following ,,,
1) At four way stop lights ,, always count 1,2,3 then take a good look left and right before taking off,, even though the light is green in your favor ,,,
2) If you are in the center lane always be aware of some schmuck making a U-Turn in front of you,,
3) Seoul or Busan ,, our streets are a nation of U-Turns ,, due to bad city planning,, Many times you have to make a U-Turn to go where you want to go ,, and it is clearly marked,,,
I have seen this in Poland,Spain and Croatia ,, sucks ,,
4) YOU can not ride on the national free ways , so call autobahn or motorway,,, there also are numerous car only local express ways ,, this you can ride with heart's content ,, cops will not bother ,, especially with foreign license...
5) Right after lunch hour and after 8PM, on rural roads,,, look for drunks ,, people drink and drive,, although it is getting better,, I too am guilty of this
6) Lock your bikes tight ,, young school kids think it is funny to rip off bikes, for a joy ride,, and all they get is a slap on the hand by police,,,, 14 year old son of my friend, who is a famous doctor stoled a scooter last year,, funny wealthier neighborhood ,, more frequent.
7) Always be aware of other bikes ,, making deliveries and couriers sneaking up right behind you ,,
8) Frigging taxis will cut right in front of you to rush for the passenger on the curb,, they are bike killers ,,
9) Bus ,, stay away from buses ,, they are under heavy time schedule and no idea, what they will do ,,
10) White lining is allowed in Korea for bikes ,, I also use bus lanes a lot, when there is a heavy traffic.
11) During rainy season ,, on the hills ,, gravel gets washed down and many of curves are covered with this ,, be careful ,,
12) On winding road ,, look for cars that cross the center lane ,, Recently riding in Croatia along the coast ,, I had many frightening experience ,,
For Those Travelling in Korea
Having met riders coming over from Vlad, recently,,, and others, who told me that they will be arriving soon,,, few pointers about Korea.
Times have changed,,,
1) 70% of age group 14 to 30 speaks English. 40% of age 30 - 60 speaks English. Even in the remotest villages, you will find native English speakers working as teachers. Usual compensation is USD 2,500 a month pus housing and once a year paid vacation to their home. Learning English is a government sponsored necessity for good colleges and jobs.
2) Almost 10% of Korean population are foreigners now. Gaining citizenship for Korea is very easy compare to EEC, USA and especially Japan. This is due to the shortage of labor force and fewer female populace in the country side.
3) Korea is 11th largest economy in the world,, cities are expensive. Seoul is 3 - 4Th most expensive cities,, due to recent FTA with EEC,,, European goods have come down 15% in prices, but still almost double the price of Europe,, country side is much cheaper and a decent Korean meal can be had for USD 5-10. But if you miss food from back home,, we have Italian,French, Mexican, German, US and many other chefs from different countries, with own restaurants in Seoul and Bu-San.
4) Motels are every where but depending on the area, many of these are love motels and you have to check out at 11AM and check in after 7PM for USD 30 - 60 a night,, The 5 star hotels in Seoul can be had between USD 180 - 260 a night ,,
Life in Korea: Korea hotels, travel, tours | culture, language, information, shopping, and communities in South Korea
5) High octane gas,,only in big cities, in the country side expect 87 all the way. But never had a problem with my EFI engine. BMW parts and labor are expensive, others much cheaper and can be fixed any where.
BMW Motorrad Seoul. The petrol is USD 1.6 - 2 a liter.
6) Cities I like the most, Seoul, Bu-San, Gyung-Ju and Jun-Ju. The most beautiful riding by mention is at Gang Won province, Junra Nam Do province, Gyung Sang Buk Do province. Try to stay away from Inchon,, go only when you have to ship your bike out by sea ,, the most polluted and most ugly city in Korea. The air port is great,, been voted best airport in the world for the last 4 years and you by-pass the city,,out to the sea, some 40KM.
7) Do not have accidents,, New law, many of the times the accident becomes a criminal/police matter not a civil matter. In case of personal injury, you have to compensate other party, even if you have insurance. Only insurance you can get is third party liability and your personal injury. No damage clause for your bikes.
Lastly, I will add more to this list as time goes on,, meanwhile, I have been an officer of Korean HOG group and currently member of other biker's group and we have bikers in every corner of Korea,, if any of you have an emergency, any where in Korea ,, let us know ,, we can send our members to assist you..
Useful Links About Korea
Notable Historical Attractions
Visitkorea | Official Korea Tourism Organization
Google Map of Korea
korean map in english - Google Maps
Temple Stays ,, a Buddhist Experience
Korea Temple Stay | Official Korea Tourism Organization
Insa Dong, in Seoul
Official Site of Korea Tourism Org.: Insa-dong
Sam Chung Dong Old Town
Hi Seoul, SOUL OF ASIA - Seoul Travel Guide, Bukchon Hanok Village, Samcheong-dong
Palaces of Seoul
Official Site of Korea Tourism Org.: Korean Palaces, Gyeongbokgung Palace, Deoksugung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace
This writer's recommendation of must see
Bulguksa Temple near Gyung-Ju, famous temple with grotto
Gyung Ju city proper with many cultural relics
Junju Traditional Village with great cuisine
Seorak Mountain on the way to Dong Hae
Secret Garden Palace in Seoul
O Dae San mountain with temple
Nam Hae region (Southern Coastal Road)
Dong Hae to Seoul via Yang Pyung ( Dae Gwan Ryung Pass or Jin Bu Ryung Pass)
Great information, Thank you! :thumbup:
Monsoon Season in Korea. Mid-June to Mid-July
Korea had three times more than normal rain fall this year. It is raining again this week, although the monsoon is officially over.
March - June ,,September-November is best time of the year for Korea.
So far this year,, that I know of ,,
Clyde and Robert came from Vlad, in June ,, An Aussie flew in and got on the DBS Ferry straight away, in July,,, A Yank came also from Vlad, with a BMW ,,,, did not meet him ,,just sent some info along ,, a Yank got on DBS in July, for Vlad,, Two German and an Austrian rider is due here soon but only by flight, since they are not allowed to drive German registered bike ,,
Eight Koreans left for Vlad in June and July ,,and are doing Siberia to Moscow and some to Kazak and Turkey ,, Two are in northern India on separate ride,, Six did Laos,, Another 7 did Tibet ,,, most of them bought or rented bikes from local shops or guide company. I understand that our Korean riders have met some of the HUBB riders, in Mongolia, India and Kazik. Five rode their Harleys to Ulan Ude and the lake and back, with a support truck,,,
I did the USA and Europe leaving from the Port of Inchon and returning by air freight from Frankfurt to ICN via DHL.
Most of the anglo riders are or were in contact with Wendy Choi.
Be safe and have a great ride ,, as we unwind 2011 ,,transiting through Korea, to where ever you may be heading.
Shipping Box in Korea
I have a new aluminium box with card board cover, which I've gotten from Harley Davidson dealer here in Korea. The box is free, but it costed me USD 150 to have it brought it to my cottage. If any one needs it let me know.
I don't need it,, but got it just in case.
A friend of mine went through Siberia from Korea in late August , snow and ice,,,, he says he almost froze to death ,, he is now in Barcelona ,,
thanks for the info. I have ridden across Korea twice, in 06 on an Indian & in 09 on an old Harley chopper.
Had a great time both trips, altho finding my way from Busan to Seoul on the chopper with no gps & not able to ride on the hiways took longer than planned (ok, I did cheat a couple times.... :)
It seems alot of people opt to ship their bike by truck to/from the port to Seoul, what a shame. Its a great country to ride in, many nice people, and great scenery. I will look forward to visiting again one day
this summer, I saw the group from KR when I was in Siberia, but they were going the other way, & didnt stop, so I didnt get to talk to them
Hey Doug ,,
Awesome job ,, of doing it on an Indian and a chopper ,, what's wrong with plain Harley?
Those guys from Korea ,, are friends of mine ,, some six with a passenger car in the front and a truck at the rear,,, they went as far as Ulan Ude and Baikal ,, one had a Springer Heritage ,, with monkey bar,,,
Well if you are in Korea ,, let me know ,, I will ride with you and will bring along HOG heads,,,
Yesterday was 27C here ,, the past two weeks have been unreal 23-26C every day.
Will end as of today,, down to the norm of 5-7s in the morning high of 14-16s ,,, ski resorts are open on the mountains.. water ski season over ,,I have been sailing my boat every day ,,
And this is in early November,, while New York had a blizzard.
Soon Christmas ,, then we will all wait for June-July again ,, jeiger
CNN pick of Seoul ,, with punt.
Work in Korea
There are no work, in Korea for those transiting,, period ,, not even a dish washing job.
Manual laborers make USD 80 a day with lunch ,, that is from 8AM to 6PM,, Gulag work,, but that too is on stand by basis, at a local manpower office.
By 2014 ,, the GOVT is getting rid of some 60% of 2,800,, native English teachers in the country,,, just too many fake university degrees,,, drugs,,,paedophiles,,, will replace with nationals.
If you are dire and need help ,, our bike club can make you a loan,until you get back home.
You should not have any problem ,, bringing in your bike, to Korea, on temporary permit,,, for transit. (Though German registered bikes had problem,in July. In my minds eye there are no problems, no matter, which country you bring it from)
Make sure to bring all your paper work for the bike and international driving license. Make several copies of all your documents (passports, photos, license, registration,, insurance,,) in advance as you will be asked at many points.
Find out what papers are needed from your side.
You will need to hire a customs agent,, HUBB uses Wendy Choi "wendychoi2(at)gmail.com" her mobile is +82 (0)17-213-3961.
She normally charges USD 100, for the clearance. She can also book a ferry for you,, but some how you have to pay her in advance,, as July - August ,, Russians are coming down en masse to enjoy Korean summer. So you need to make early booking. http://www.dbsferry.com/main/main.asp
You will be getting your bike out of ICN cargo terminal,, which case you will have to take a ferry from the airport terminal, which is an island,,to city of Inchon,, a real pain in the butt,, or break the law and make a run for the Gimpo airport, where you can get off the motorway...(Make sure you run through the HiPass auto pay gates not the manual pay window. The penalty is USD 300 and a police arrest, so you have to show up for a court date. Or you can play dumb and dumber,, I am on my way to Russia etc)
Korean cops and customs guys have a chip on their shoulder ,, English language,, cultural ,, if you Kow Tow well as a white man,, doors will open fast.
If you are coming by sea,, just drive off the docks to local road and ride at your leisure.
Getting visas for most of the Silk Road countries takes three days, in Korea and their respective embassies are all here,, for Russia ,, don't do it in Korea,, it takes a long time for the invitation to arrive. Get it organized in your country. Mongolia is visa free for most of the OECD nationals.
Just because you are arriving and embarking on a great trip ,, don't think you are Edmund Hilary ,, many have done this trip and so have many Korean riders,,, act humble and don't take advantage of peoples hospitality,, and you will be welcomed every where.
Inchon Airport Ferry
The small ferry from ICN ,, (Wol Jung Do) to Incheon (Wol Mi Do )
Is back on line. It was closed for lack of passenger for a while, due to the new bridge going to Incheon direct.
Boat leaves every 30 minutes ,, and the cost is minimal.
DBS Getting Crowded Already
Exciting,, booked DBS Ferry for Vlad on 17/06/2012 ,,
I am told already three Anglos booked,, four so far with me,, six more Korean HUBBers are leaving same time,, though they have not booked.
Two Korean scooter girls and Neo will leave UK heading other way ,, so we should all meet some where around UFA or Samara ,,
Time to ride folks! Yiiii Haaaa !
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