South Korea — Visas and Vaccinations
Most North American and EU citizens can enter Korea without a visa and stay for 90 days. However, visa requirements are subject to change so visitors need to make sure they have the correct documentation prior to arriving in Korea. Visa requirements can be found at http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/GK/GKEN211.jsp.
No vaccinations are currently required to enter Korea. However, some parts of southern Korea are prone to malaria. Visitors should take care to not get bit by mosquitoes. Wear long pants and long sleeves during the early morning and evening hours, and use bug repellent.
Health and Safety
Korea is generally a safe place to travel with little known health risks and there are few cases of violent crime. However, petty theft and purse-snatchings do happen. Visitors should take simple safety precautions to avoid any problems. Walking around alone at night is not advisable and visitors should always use licensed taxis when traveling.
There are many counterfeit goods on sale and visitors should note that it is illegal to buy these or bring them into North America or Europe. Although the low prices may be tempting, it is best to resist such purchases to avoid breaking the law.
Common sense needs to be used when exploring Korea’s natural areas, such as when hiking. Always carry a map, water, and simple supplies. Winters can get very cold with the mountain areas getting a lot of snow, so visitors should dress accordingly to stay safe.