No such thing as a dead cell phone in South Korea

magine this: you travel to Korea, rent a cell phone at Incheon airport, and meet a few local Korean friends. You’re going out to meet them the next day, but your cell phone is dead! Don’t let your visit to Korea be ruined. Read this Korea travel tip to find out where to charge your cell phone and/or smart phone in Korea! (Of course, useful for those living in Korea too;) )

Convenience Stores 

This one many people who live in Korea already know. But all convenience stores in Korea offer cell phone charging for a minor fee (sometimes free!). Keep this one in mind because convenience stores are on nearly every block in Korea. That means you can leave your dead cell phone with the attendant, get a bite to eat, and pick up your fully charged phone when you’re done!


This is a Korea travel tip that many local Koreans take advantage of. Whenever Koreans have a dead cell phone, they simply ask the restaurant that they’re at to charge their cell phones for them. And this is not limited to restaurants. Most businesses in Korea will be more than happy to charge your dead cell phone for you free of charge as long as you’re a customer. Wherever you are in Korea  — a bar, restaurant, pc bang, jjimjil bang, etc — most likely they’ll have a cell phone charger. Don’t be afraid. Just ask!

Subway Stations

Subway stations in Korea are great places to go if you have to charge your Korean cell phone in an emergency. Most major Korean subway stations will have cell phone charging services for you poor folks with no batteries. Head over to the station office or look for digital stations. Most of the time, they just ask for you to write a short thank you note. Absolutely free and found all over Korea, these subway stations are places to keep in mind when your Korean cell phone is dead!

Cell Phone Company Stores

Korea has three major telecom networks: SK, KT and LG. Chances are if you’ve rented a cell phone at Incheon or you’re living in Korea and opened your own account, you’re with one of these three Korean cell phone companies. Find the company you’re with and head into any of their stores to drop off your dead cell phone. They’ll definitely have the correct charger, whether you have an iPhone or a Galaxy in Korea. And of course, the cell phone charging service is free of charge. (Hey, you’re already paying them!)

Electronic Stores (i.e. Frisbee, a#, Concierge, etc.) [for iPhones]

This last innovative Korea travel tip is provided by Korean Blogger meshel for those with an iPhone or iPod touch in Korea. Drop into one of Korea’s many electronic stores and find one of those iPhone/iPod stereos. If you have a dead cell phone, just pop it right in and pretend like you’re testing out the stereo. Sneak in a game of Draw Something while you’re at it, just long enough till you’re satisfied with your iPhone or iPod battery level. Here’s to mooching!

Tip: Currently, there are no official Apple stores in Korea. Frisbee and a# are apple focused retailers that will have all your Apple needs.

Language tip: 충전하다 (chungjeonhada) – to charge


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1 Comment

  1. Reblogged this on Kimchi Wench and commented:
    Check out for more wonderful posts about living in SK.


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