However, if your preference is to stay connected ALL the time, here are a few options:
1. Rent a mobile phone. One-time rental fee and daily for the type of plan you opt for. May be used for phone and data network. Note that you may be required to pay a huge sum as a deposit. (http://www.skroaming.com/en/rent/rental.asp or http://roaming.kt.com/renewal/eng/rental/phone_rental.asp or http://www.sroaming.com/eng/Product/Product_PhoneRental.asp)
2. Rent a pocket wifi-modem. Rental fee, daily charge and deposit may be applicable. Since it is a wifi modem, you can access data whereas for phone call, you may do so via applications that allow data calling eg. Kakaotalk and Line. The advantage for this option is that multiple users may tap on the same modem. The downside is that with more users, battery may be drained more quickly. (http://www.skroaming.com/en/rent/modem.asp or http://roaming.kt.com/renewal/eng/wibro/rental.asp or http://www.sroaming.com/eng/Product/Product_PocketWiFi.asp)
3. Buy a prepard SIM card. This is a prepaid card and you simply draw down on the value based on your usage. May be used for data network and phone call. However, you need to have a spare phone to use this option. (http://roaming.kt.com/renewal/eng/rental/sim_card.asp or http://www.egsimcard.co.kr/ or http://www.sroaming.com/eng/Product/Product_DataSIMCard.asp or http://www.skroaming.com/en/rent/rental02.asp)
4. Buy an hourly or daily wifi. The usage is available for 60 minutes or 24 hours. The clock starts counting the moment the account is activated. You can purchase this at some convenient stores. You will be issued a receipt with a pin number. Account is activated by unlocking the pin. The downside is that you need to first get free wifi to log into the website in order to key in the pin. (http://first.wifi.olleh.com/en/prepaid_guide.html)
Using the EG SIM Card
My personal preference is to get a prepaid SIM card which provides data as well as phone call facilitates. It may be a little convenient to inform others of your new number, but hey, it is much much cheaper to receive and call out using the SIM card's number. For example, calls made to Singapore is at 215won (~ S$0.25) per minute. Way much cheaper than to use our local telco's roaming service! Data plan costs 16,500 won (~ S$19) for 1GB. Usually, for travellers who are there for 1 to 2 weeks, 1GB is way more than enough unless you are a super heavy user. One suggestion is to opt for the cheaper plan and top-up as and when necessary. Topping card can be done at various convenient stalls or via credit card.
What you need to do is to place an order for the SIM card 3 days before arriving Korea. They have recently enhanced their service and they are now able to deliver the SIM Card to hotels.
Upon arrival, collect the SIM card at Incheon Airport, Gimpo Airport, Gimhae Airport, Seoul Station, their Myeongdong agency or office at Gangnam.
[Updated on 30 Nov: I noticed that EG SIM Card has updated some policies recently, please visit their website for latest changes.]
Seoul Station is one of the stations with the highest traffic flow. Especially for first time travellers to Seoul and do not understand the Korean language, finding the Premium Travel Centre (that's the agent for EG SIM Card at Seoul Station) may not be so easy. Here's the direction to the shop at Seoul Station.
This is how Seoul Station looks like from the outside.
Walk up the flight of steps. At the end of the steps, walk towards the direction where you see the word "OUTLETS". That's the entrance to Lotte Outlets.
Walk along "Lotte Outlets" in the direction towards "Seoul Station" and "Airport Railroad" as indicated on the blue signboard.
When you enter the entrance, turn right.
As you walk, look out for blue signage that points you to "Airport Railroad".
The walk is about 5 mins when you walk from 1 end to the other. Again, look for the blue signage at the end of the building showing "Airport Railroad" and points to the doors at the left side.
Go through the entrance to KORAIL Airport Railroad Seoul Station and Terminal.
Take the elevator to Basement 2 level.
As you get out from the lift, turn right. The shop "Premium Travel Center" will be just around the corner. Note the opening hours of the centre which is from 9am to 9pm. Alternatively, a reader has shared that you can take the escalator down to Basement 2 and you will see the centre immediately when you get off the escalator.
The staff speaks pretty good English so no worries about communication issues. This is how the SIM Card cover and actual micro SIM looks like.
Before the staff assist to setup the SIM card, do inform the staff whether your phone is 3G or LTE-enabled. I had some problem with the initial setup for my 3G Samsung Galaxy S3 as they seemed to have programmed it to LTE-enabled. Other than this particular issues, I had no problem using EG SIM Card's service ^.^
Detailed information on EG SIM Card can be found here:
Location Map of Seoul Station
View Larger Map
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