If you have a phone in Korea that operates to make calls (not just for selfies and Candy Crush, people!), the most important number to know (besides 119) is 1330. Get it in your head! 1330. One. Three. Three. Zero. 일. 삼. 삼. 공.
1330 is a hotline sponsored by the Korean Tourism Office. When you dial, you must first choose your language (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese). Almost immediately, you will be talking to a live person.
This hotline has helped me in many situations. For example, we were wandering around looking for accommodation. A call to 1330 helped us locate a nearby jjimjilbang. We were stuck at a temple in the nighttime in the mountains. A representative from 1330 called a taxi to pick us up. I needed to know the timetable for the buses back home after a hike took longer than expected. A sweet woman from 1330 texted me the schedule. The list goes on. Heck, if you even wanted to call and ask how’s the weather or what the time is, I bet they’ll happily answer. Best of all? Their services are free AND operate 24/7. The only charge is based on your phone plan.
Check out the official Korea Tourism website for more details.
I’ll just leave you with this music video called Yoboseyo or 여보세요, which is how you answer a telephone call. A funny commentary on modern Korean culture.