Korean handphone : Is it a must?

It is an option; for me at least.

Jang Geun Suk or Samsung Corby? You can only choose one! ^^
The red or the blue pill..hehe.


1. The process of buying/renting is tedious
2. You have cheaper option; Skype!
3. Wi-Fi is FREE almost everywhere in Korea.
4. Try to be WIRE - less for a while folks! ^^

Handphone buying/renting process in Korea

1. At the Airport
Check online -> book -> pick up handphone in Korea -> use

Once you reach Incheon Airport, you could rent a phone. After you pick up your luggage, just walk towards the airport limousine pick up area and you will see the phone rental counter right before the exit. Check KNTO site for Incheon Airport layout here.

List of rental phone services which might help you:
SRoaming - Phone rental 1,400 won to 2,700 won per day.
SKTelecom - Phone rental 2,000 won to 3,000 won per day.
KT Show - Phone rental 1,800 won to 2,700 won per day.

2.At the Guesthouse/Motel/Hotel
Some guesthouses/motels/hotels have the phone rental facilities. Namsan Guesthouse offers one time fee 5,000 won per rental and you return after you use. You need to pay the consumption based on your usage.
Say if you stay for 7 days: 5,000 won/7 ~715won per day!
Cheaper than the airport rental.

3.At Mobile shop
I bought a Samsung flip phone for 15,000won and credit 10,000won. It lasted for 3 months. Just walk into any mobile shop/center and inquire for used handphone. Some are FREE phone and you just need to pay the credit; if you don't mind about NOT having a fancy/up-to-date gadget.
However, you may need to show your alien registration card before you can purchase one OR like me, I just tried my luck and showed my passport.

Samsung Corby anyone? I want pink!!

Those who have Wi-Fi enhanced handphone, make full use of Skype. In Korea, Wi-Fi service is FREE almost everywhere. Just login to Skype to make a call/sms back home. When I was in Korea, the internet speed for home was 100Mbps. Talk about downloading HD Movie of 4Gb in less than 15 minutes! OMG! You can't compare with that measly throttled speed UNIFI promotion which only caters maximum 20Mbps. Malaysia still has a longgggggggggg way to go.

What I did was a call or two in a day to my friends/family members via Skype. Check Skype rates here.
A minute call to land line in Malaysia costs about 20.119won ~ 5 cents
A minute call to mobile line in Malaysia costs about 75.815won ~ 20 cents
One sms/text to Malaysia is 91.443won ~ 25 cents.
For Maxis/Celcom/Digi roaming, international sms/text cost about RM2 if I'm not mistaken.

I'd rather do calls because it's cheaper than sending text. ^^
Note: Rates may change.

I know that you want to be reachable anywhere and anytime but unless you are a businessman or you are a VVIP and your presence is needed every single second, then try to be wire-less at least for your trip/holiday. It doesn't hurt to be wire-less for a while. Life is all about bonding more with what you are presented with in front of you rather than frequently updating your tweets or facebook's wall posts. Hehehe..no hard feeling to those twitter or FB addicts out there. ^^

Post a Comment


Sethx Ramani said…
Great post zarina-chan!!
Zarina BT2K said…
Hi Sethu,
Thanks for checking out the blog. ^^
Ricky said…
With the growing capabilites to communicate using a cell phone to work by VoIP phone services, these hand phones are becoming the new work computer for people!
Zarina BT2K said…
Absolutely! I love the term 'new work computer' you're refering to ^^
Samson Looi said…
Hey, there...is the WIFI totally free?! or I need to subsribe sth like Netspot... Thanks.
Zarina BT2K said…
Hi Samson,
Thanks for dropping by.
WIFI is free for selected coffee shop like Cafe Bene, Hollys but like Starbuck, Angel in Us - you might need to have Korean ID, then only you can access.

Guesthouses, airports have free WIFI.

You don't need to subscribe to Netspot
Samson Looi said…
Thanks you so much~ Your blog is very useful for those who wanna have their own trip to Korea. I'm going to backpack over there 2 more weeks :D
Zarina BT2K said…
Hi Samson,
Glad that it has helped you like it has to myself. ^^

Wish you all the best and enjoy your trip!!
Fadzlin said…
I too have thought about using SkypeOut. Glad to hear the confirmation that it is certainly much more cheaper. :D
Zarina BT2K said…
Hi Fadzlin,
Yeap..much cheaper than roaming for sure.
Hana_nana said…
mahal x handphone nie ? n boleh guna dkat malaysia x ?
faiz said…
Hi there...how to get the alien registration card?
faiz said…
Hi there...just want to know if Malaysia can buy phone from Korea with subscription & take back home?
Zarina BT2K said…
Hi Faiz,
If you want to know how to apply for alien registration card you can go to

but if you are only coming to Korea as a tourist, I'm afraid you won't be able to apply for it.

If you want to buy subscription phone you must have ARC.
Jack said…
I have a samsung phone, will it work in Korea if Just get the prepaid card? Or... Should I get roaming? I need to at least be able to text my family of my whereabouts LOL
Anonymous said…
i always rent smartphone in korea cox it's cheap! try sroaming and advance booking for 50% discount. recurring customer will have 20% discount.

roughly for a week stay, you will be charged total of below myr150. this rate inclusive daily unlimited data charges.

it's good to be wireless because i can google anything anywhere anytime without worry about free wifi. in korea, almost 99% of people around u, if they are not talking to each other, they are attached to their gadget. and it feels good to blend with the culture. haha.
Budak Makmal said…
Salam akak.. Sy nk tanya.. Leh x guna galaxy note kat sn? N leh x klu.kte beli samsung kat sn n guna kat malaysia? Fon apa yg klu kte beli kat sn n leh guna kat malaysia?