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Driving in Suwon

Driving in a new country can be daunting. These tips offer insight into what to expect when driving in Suwon.

1. Understanding the Driving Culture

Driving in Suwon, like many parts of Korea, can be a bit chaotic for those not used to it. Korean drivers are known for their aggressive driving style, often not signaling when changing lanes or turning. It’s important to always be alert and aware of your surroundings when driving.

2. Car Recommendation

Compact cars are recommended for driving in Suwon due to the narrow roads and heavy traffic. They are easier to maneuver and park. However, if you have a family or need more space, consider a mid-size car.

3. Parking in Suwon

Finding parking in Suwon can be challenging, especially in the city center. Most parking lots are small and spaces are tight. Parking fees vary depending on the location, but generally, it can be quite expensive. Some residential areas offer free street parking, but spaces are limited.

4. Driving with an International License

Foreigners can drive in Korea with an International Driving Permit (IDP) for up to one year. After that, you will need to obtain a Korean driver’s license. It’s important to note that not all countries’ IDPs are recognized in Korea, so check beforehand.

5. Obtaining a Korean Driver’s License

To get a Korean driver’s license, you will need to pass a written test, a practical driving test, and a physical examination. The written test is available in multiple languages, including English. You can take the practical test with an English-speaking examiner. If you already have a driver’s license from your home country, you may be able to exchange it for a Korean license without taking the tests.

6. Familiarize Yourself with Road Signs

While many road signs in Korea have English translations, some do not. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with Korean road signs and symbols before you start driving.

7. Use Navigation Apps

Navigation apps like Naver Maps or KakaoMap are very useful for driving in Suwon. They provide real-time traffic updates and accurate directions. However, they are primarily in Korean, so you may need to learn some basic Korean or have a Korean-speaking friend help you set them up.

8. Be Prepared for Traffic Jams

Traffic jams are common in Suwon, especially during rush hour. Always allow extra time for your journey, especially if you have an important appointment.

Joshua WoodJoshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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