A ride on the subway costs a mere 1,050 won and gets you all around Seoul. Transferring to another line runs roughly 500 won so it’s very easy to get around. The subway stops running before 1am, but there are buses that still run after that for a similar price. Best of all if you take the bus, you also earn a free subway ride. If you’re looking to get home quick, taxis are the way to go. With a starting rate of 2,300 won, a 35 minute ride on the subway will cost about 10,000 in a comfortable cab. The black (deluxe) cabs are more expensive but provide a more comfortable ride. Better yet, just grab a bike and save some money while burning some calories.
A liter of gas in Korea costs about 2,000 won. That’s roughly 8,000 won for a gallon of gas to put that into perspective for those of you scratching your heads. There are multiple traffic jams in Seoul, depending on your route. Considering the extremely efficient and cheap transportation options in Korea, it’s much better to put off on buying a car in Korea if you aren’t planning on being a long term resident.
The dreaded three letters themselves. Fortunately in Korea, for many foreign workers in Korea, tax deducted from paychecks is limited to a residence tax, which amounts to a very reasonable 3.3% of income. That way, you don’t have half your money deducted from that monthly paycheck and can have fun exploring and living it up out here. Citizens from certain countries including the U.S. and U.K. are also eligible for an income tax exemption for the first 2 years. If you work here as a teacher, a portion of your earnings will go towards a pension which can be collected in a lump sum once you leave the country.
Sales tax is included in almost all prices listed, so you won’t have that psychological effect of seeing final price tag numbers suddenly go up. But hidden in each price tag in Korea is an approximate 8% sales tax on goods and services.
Check Up at the Doctors
If you’re covered by insurance, a visit to the doctor to alleviate that winter cold will cost about 5,000 won. Prescription medication can range from as cheap as 3,000 won to about 10,000 won for more expensive items. But even without insurance, visits are still quite cheap and can start as low as 10,000 won. So feel free to play basketball in the pouring rain or go snowboarding in your birthday suit. Feel free to get that flu shot during the winter if you’re flu prone.
Cheap Enough for Medical Tourism
South Korea is also a popular medical tourism destination for more expensive procedures. That’s because it has first world medical technology and education without exorbitant prices. That means you can get life-saving surgeries, important medical treatments and procedures, and medical care at very reasonable prices. For a general reference, chest x-rays cost approximately 20,000 won, CT Scans cost 125,000 won and MRIs cost 450,000 won (all insured prices).
Find this in our post: 4 Quality Things to Get on the Cheap in Korea.
Check out the next page to see if it’s how much it costs to party, go on a one day trip and shop in Seoul!