There are many duty free shops for foreigners. Some common electronic devices like TVs, cellular phones, computers, telephones, cassette recorders, and VCRs are expensive than abroad normally. Luckily, membership warehouses offering reasonable prices are increasing.
If you are interested in traditional markets where you can buy cheap and exotic goods as well as all daily necessities, you are recommended to visit Tongdaemoon Market or Namdaemoon Market, which has become very popular places among foreigners.
When it comes to clothes, be prepared for problems if your size is very large. It is not easy to find large sizes in Korea. You can find some in Itaewon (a special place for foreigner shoppers) or shops near the U.S. army base; but do not expect much of a variety.
You don't have to pay sales tax when you shop at stores. All taxes are already included in the retail price. If you dine at a restaurant, you pay only menu price which also includes taxes. However, at some fancy and expensive restaurants and at hotels, value added tax (10%) and a service charge will be added on your check. Also, you do not need to pay tips separately in most restaurants and shops.
Government offices are open between the hours of 9:00 and 18:00 form March to October and between 09:00 and 17:00 from November to February. Saturday hours are always from 09:00 and 13:00. Banks open at 9:30 and close at 16:30 on the weekdays. On Saturday, they are open from 09:00 to 13:30.
Most general businesses open at 9:00 and close around 18:30. Foreign based companies and diplomatic missions open from 09:00 to 17:00 on weekdays and are closed Saturdays.
Shops and markets usually open between 10:30 and 11:00 and close at between 20:00 and 21:00.
Public pay phones are available in banks, nearby public transportation stations, and on main streets. There are three types of public payphones in Korea. Some phones accept only a telephone card. There are other types which accept both coins and credit cards. Coin telephones indicate what type of coins they accept. You can not get change from coin telephones. A local call costs 50 won for three minutes. For English speaking operators, dial 080-211-0114 (toll-free).