Cellular Seoul
October 25, 2008 11:23 PM   Subscribe

s. korea filter: in seoul for two weeks and wondering about pay-as-you-go phones. existent? procurable? where? how? i sure could use one while i'm there...
posted by artof.mulata to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total)
You can rent a phone at the airport with your passport. Last time I did so (when my brother visited a couple years ago, maybe?), prices were very reasonable.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 2:12 AM on October 26, 2008

Response by poster: cool. thanks joseph. i'll look into that.
posted by artof.mulata at 3:51 AM on October 26, 2008

If you're in Seoul, take a quick subway ride down to Itaewon (line 6, near the center of town). It's one of the biggest touristy areas in the city, and the Koreans will be quick to sell you a pre-paid cell phone and minutes. They're not terribly expensive, and it'll be your phone - keep it or resell it to another traveler before you leave :)

Your other alternative is to get phone cards - the same kind of pre-paid phone cards you can buy anywhere else in the world. To be honest, if you only plan to make calls instead of receive them, put Skype on a USB flash drive, carry a headset with you, and make calls from your nearest PC bang. It'll be the cheapest option, especially if your calls are mainly international.

BTW, when I first arrived I had hoped my USA cell phone would work here. Don't waste your money - only a handful of very-high-end American phones run on the spectrum they use here in Korea...
posted by chrisinseoul at 9:23 AM on October 26, 2008

Response by poster: thank you chris... my options are increasing.
i'd hoped to avoid itaewon as it sounds kind of, you know, blecch.
but maybe i'll have to bounce through there this time.
posted by artof.mulata at 12:38 PM on October 26, 2008

Best answer: just got back from korea.
the best way, and the quickest, that i found for nabbing a temporary cell was right at the airport. just like joseph gurl said in the first response.
lg, sk and a host of other carriers all have little booths that are right outside the arrival area.

as soon as you leave from immigration and enter the airport proper look around. you'll find a booth. they all charge roughly the same price so it doesn't matter which you choose.

be aware that they charge a small up front fee to rent the phone then you are charged both by the week and per call/text. at the end of your stay you'll be charged for all your usage so don't spend all your money before you go! you'll have the opetion of paying either by card or cash...
posted by artof.mulata at 2:09 AM on November 25, 2008

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