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Most people are at a total loss at what to bring on an extended stay in a foreign country. There are many thing that you simply can not get in Korea (Eg. deodorant & tampons). I need not tell you to bring your clothing and toiletries; but here are some items I suggest you consider before leaving your home country:


#1. Vitamins - a years supply: This is very important due to the fact you will be experiencing germs your immune system has never encountered.

#2. Deodorant - a years supply.

#3. (Girls) - tampons, any hair dye thingies, leg wax stuff (if you use)

#4. Radio, CD, Tape player - Most people think they can pick up a portable system in Korea for next to nothing - WRONG! Very expensive. I suggest a portable CD player and some external speakers.

#5. CD soft case - Saves tons of room.

#6. Camera equipment; little flashlight; small clock; compass; day planner with address book & phone numbers

#7. If you're transporting a musical instrument (Eg. Guitar) make sure you have a hard case. The airport is notorious for smashing up items.

#8. Bring a few dried soup or noodle mixes. Every now and then you'll get a hankering for home. If you don't want to spend the cash at a western restaurant, mixes are the answer.

#9. Mosquito repellent

#10. Sun block (You can find it but it's hard to come by, and the UV protection is pretty low)

#11. It's always nice to present your hosts with a little souveigner from your home country. Also, a safe, cheap gift is cigarettes from home. 90% of Korean men smoke, and they love to try various brands.

#12. Pick up a copy of 'Lonely Planet's guide to Korea'. It is an excellent resource for experiencing the Korean culture right down to what bus to take, and good 'Yogwans' (rooming houses) to stay in.

#13. Shaving cream - Is also hard to find. Remember when flying, pressurized cans are prohibited. So either smuggle them on, or buy a shaving concentrate (Gillette makes one in a plastic tube - it looks like a deodorant stick).

#14. [Optional] - Many foreigners bring over VCR's. The videos stores stock the latest Hollywood and European films. Again, VCR's or any electronic product is extremely expensive.

#15. Good pair of hiking shoes - You will probably be doing a lot of hiking during your stay in Korea. 70% of the peninsula is mountainous, and part of the Korean "experience" is to hike them. There is no need for winter boots - South Korea sees very little snow.

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Douglas Thompson