Here’s an idea of the availability and prices of your everyday groceries.
Price: 500 won (can) to 1,400 won (1.5 litre bottle)
Availability: At most supermarkets and specialty bakeries
Price: From 1,000 won. A half-loaf of sliced white bread will cost about 1,500 won. Be warned – the bread here tends to be sweeter than back home, and wholewheat can be difficult to find.
Price: 300 won for a small bottle. Up to 1,000 won for a 2 litre bottle.
Availability: At most mid-sized and large supermarkets. But you’ll struggle to find anything larger than a 125ml cup.
Price: From 1,800 won for a four-pack of 125ml cups.
Availability: Everywhere. However, coffee here tends to milder than back in SA. This makes it harder to get a decent caffeine fix. You can find instant coffee granules, single-serve sachets, filter coffee and coffee beans. Be prepared to pay quite a bit for decent coffee, though. Coffee shops are all over the place, but these can be pricey.
Price: From 2,500 won for a box of 25 single-serve sachets. 8,000 won for a 175gram bottle of instant coffee. At a coffee shop, prices start at around 2,500 won for a cup of filter coffee.
Price: From 1,300 won for a 1 litre box. Average price is about 2,000 won for 1 litre. The boxes are hell to open.
Availability: At most mid-to large-sized supermarkets.
Price: Varies depending on what you want. I eat cornflakes, and these cost from 4,500 won for a 600g box. You can find pretty much any cereal you want, though be prepared to pay.
Price: Expensive. The price varies a great deal depending on what you want, and where you are shopping. But in general fruit is very expensive in Korea. Recently I purchased a bunch of bananas for 3,000 won, and a pack of nectarines for 5,000 won. Fresh fruit can be a bit of a luxury.
Availability: At most supermarkets
Price: From 1,300 won for 500grams. There is a limited range of pasta available in Korea. Most Koreans equate pasta with spaghetti, so I’ve gone to a couple of “Italian” restaurants here where they say pasta on the menu, but all you ever get is spaghetti. In the supermarkets, all I’ve been able to find so far is spaghetti (of course) and elbow pasta.
Note: I’ll be adding more items. I haven’t noted the prices of all the items I normally purchase.
Electricity and plugs
The electrical voltage in Korea is 220v/230v, which is in the same range as South Africa. What this means is that you can plug your South African electrical items directly into a Korean electrical outlet without an adapter/transformer.
The electrical plugs in Korea are usually Type C or Type F, also known as European-style plugs. So the two-pin plugs that we usually use in South Africa fit into Korean electrical outlets with no problem whatsoever.
Below are some pictures of the electrical outlets in my Korean apartment, as well as the plugs that I use in these outlets.