Korea Won Money

Ready to depart to South Korea?

Make sure you don’t forget your ticket, passport and yes.. money!

Money in Korean is don 돈

(read: ttun).

Does Korean accept dollar bill for payment? Of course not, you have to get Korean money currency which is called WonHangeul: 원  


International currency KRW.

Let’s learn more about these Korean money;

The Korean bank notes (paper money) consist of,

‎₩1,000 = Cheon Won 천원

₩5,000 = O Cheon Won 오천원

five thousand won
photo courtesy Korea Tourism Organization

**How on earth I don’t have ₩5,000 photo 😅 mianhaeyo

₩10,000 = Man Won 만원


₩50,000 = O Man Won 오만원

The coin: Dongjeon 동전 are:

‎₩10 = sip won

ten won

₩50 = o sip won

fifty won

₩100 = baek won

one hundred won

₩500 = woo baek won

Five hundred won
Coin photos all courtesy of  Korea Tourism Organization

If you curious because the highest notes is ₩50,000, wouldn’t it be uncomfortable if the amount is ₩10,000,000,000 for example, how many piles of ₩50,000 are those?  The answer is for bigger money, Korean use what it calls

자기앞수표 (ja gi ap su pyo) meaning Korea Banker’s Check

Related image

The holder of this Banker’s Check allows to cash in at bank.  If you happen to have this kind of check, be very careful not to loose it, as it has no owner name stated or typed like ordinary bank cheque. Usually the check’s owner will sign their name in the back of the paper with phone number, still~ if it yours, better keep it well with you.

As foreign tourist, some people will try to teach you how to say: “How much is this?” in Korean “Ee go eolmayeyo?”

But my opinion, you better not say it, when you don’t even know how to count money or even learn about Korean numbers. As the Korean on whom you asked, will answer you in Korean, and you will feel silly, because you likely won’t understand the amount of money they’re saying. Got it now?!

As tourist you probably going around in common tourist places, like Myeongdong or Hongdae where most of the shopkeeper or street vendor speak little English or at least they know how to say~ ten thousand won or five thousand won~ or granny vendor usually using their hands and fingers to show how much you have to pay.

Most of street foods, goes from ₩1,000 (Cheon Won) to ₩2,000 (Ee Cheon Won). Souvenirs are range from ₩5,000 to ₩10,000. Korean vendor is quite simple when it comes to sell goods, they never gave you difficult price like ₩2,590 (Ee Cheon O Baek Gu Sip Won) 😆

Of course when you are in minimart, big mart or shopping mall, they use that difficult price. In that case, you will want to use card 💳(debit/credit/visa/master) instead of cash. South Korea is a heaven for card users, why? because they accept card even though you only buy ₩2,100 in a small minimart, great isn’t it?!

The Cash, mostly you will use it for paying street vendors, sauna or buying subway or bus ticket. Or in emergency, you use coin to do local call from public phone booth.

If you travel on a budget, my personal tips when you plan to come to Korea, bring 💵US Dollars 💵(new, clean, unfolded bank notes) then exchange the money at Korea money changer inside Incheon airport, just buy ₩20,000-30,000 for you enough to pay subway or bus and get some snack or drink before you hit downtown Seoul city.  Then when you arrive downtown (assume you arrive on weekdays), find a Korean big bank, like Woori Bank or Shinhan Bank to change another dollar to Won Korea, as bank has less fees than money changer.

Bank = EunHaeng 은행 (read: eanaeng)

Now..have fun sight seeing and always be safe with your money!


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