Welcome to CYB| Chea-Yee's Blog.

This blog captures the musings and anecdotes of the daily life of a Malaysian who is now living in Melbourne, Australia.


Korea: Phone crazy....

I am kind of in a grumpy mood now... Optus doesn't offer roaming services for those who are on their pre-paid services. Well, that is what they say. I have been on the internet trying to find a way to rent a phone, but phone rental charges aren't cheap either. I have read about the nightmares for foreigners in trying to acquire a pre-paid phone service in Korea, and its better to be aware than not be.

Rental fees from Skype Roaming (and 2 other telcos) in Korea charges up to as much as 2,700W p/day, which works out to about AUD46 for 27 days.

Another one is Travel SIM which is sold by Australia Post for about 50AUD, and charges about AUD0.50 per SMS sent. The good thing about that is that I get to keep the SIM for 6 months (inactive, that is) and go to any country without worrying about roaming charges. The only deal about that is my friends will probably be calling me on my Australian number... which doesn't work out cheap for locally based friends.

Of course, my third option is to get a Public Phone Card, which retails for about 3,000, 5,000 and 10,000Won, and forget all about getting a rental phone.
- Local: 70 won/3 minutes
- Domestic Long - Distance: 8:00AM~9:00PM – 70 won per 43 seconds / 12:00AM~8:00AM + 9:00PM~12:00AM – 70 won per 61 seconds
- Cellular phone: 70 won per 38 seconds

Do it like those high school years, copy all the numbers onto a phonebook, and just use a public phone to make calls. LOL.

Did you know that the SAMSUNG LG760 from Australia does not have the capability to read Hangul language? A pretty useless phone, says my korean friend, Jo. Being that she can't even text in Hangul on her LG phone to her family members in Korea. Useless stupid Korean manufacturers.. and you dare to put your Korean brand on the phones... PABO!!


InMySeoul said...


Just buy phone cards. You can buy them at any local convenience store in Korea (GS25 or 7-11). They come in 10,000 won cards, and last a long time for phone to phone calls. I think I remember 10000 won would last like almost 200 minutes of calling to the US! They don't last long when calling cell phones! Its expensive to use phone cards to call other cell phones.

But it not worth renting a phone (at least in my opinion). How many people in Korea do you know are going to be calling your cell phone? It would be handy the one or two times, but besides that its pretty much useless. Your not going to make an international call on it, and your friends are going to call you internationally. Tell your friends to write emails (There are internet cafes all over the place) and otherwise, they'll have to wait to hear from you via email!

As for the Hangul thing. Its a matter of options on the phone. If you provide ability for foreign language support that is resources being taken up on the phone which would slow it down. Same with hangul typing, thats space that is being used up. These two factors are the most important factors in handipones (Konglish, what Koreans call cell phones).

I agree though, I'm so jealous because my Korean tutor here has a phone that does both English and Hangul!!! Apparently there is some wierd Korean company provider in St. Louis, that subcontracts the coverage area from a bigger US company (like Verizon or ATT?)

I am so jealous that you are going to Korea!! I need to plan a trip back!

I hope that you will continue blogging while in Korea, taking lots of pictures of things and food! :)

cheayee said...

In my seoul:
Good suggestion about the telphone. I just relly hope that there is an abundance of public phones. Its hard to ask locals about this sort of thing cos they don't necessarily "notice" the lack of public phones.
Normally one does not till one has to rely on something.

As for the resources of the hangul language, yeah, one of my friends was telling me the same thing. However, he managed to download some program off the internet to enable his mobile to read chinese. I won't try that though, coz it will be playing with the scripts.

Downloading independent programs like gmail, skype, browsers, or misc. stuff is still safe though.
When i called my customer service for my mobile network (and phone- it was sim-locked for some assistance), they always gave me the standard answer which was very offputting, but i will leave that to another post....

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