Writing addresses in Korea: How to write an address to someone in Korea

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korean-addressIt would seem quite obvious that when you address things from the West that you start with a person’s name, then the street address, moving then onto their city, state and zip code.  In Canada, there may be a Province and in many countries, the larger entities like the city or the state are towards the bottom.

However, in Korea, it’s the reverse.  I was reminded of it when I asked a Korean recently to create an address for me of the branch she manages so I could send the address to a future instructor who would be coming soon.  The teacher wanted to know where to send her goods, if she wanted to.  It looked like this:

Busan Bukgu Hwamyeongdong 2271-5 Bunji MokYang(목양) plaza 301

So, as you can see, the city of Busan is first, then the area which is called a “Gu.” A “Gu” is a “territory” or “an area” of a city.  In Korean, it’s “구.”   The “Dong” (동) is next.  A “dong” is I believe a “district”, but I can’t confirm that with my “normal translating sources.”  Usually a similar reading like a street address called “bunji” which would equate to the “lot” or “street” number follows.  In Korean, it’s “번지.”

However, if you structure it to the Western standards, it would like the following:

Mokyang Tower 3rd Floor (301)
2271-5 Bunji
Hwamyeong-3-dong, Buk-gu
Busan, SOUTH KOREA 616-123

Also, one thing that’s interesting is that Koreans will also sometimes place it all on one line  whereas people from the west would throw different parts of the address going from the individual or organization you’re addressing it to larger and larger entities moving to the country & zip in the end.


Filed under Expat, Globalization, Interesting..., Korea life, Learning Korean, Real Estate

7 responses to “Writing addresses in Korea: How to write an address to someone in Korea

  1. Yix

    This was really helpful! thanks! 🙂

  2. Great to hear Yix. I aim to please…and help…and improve. 🙂

  3. Jackie

    would it be wise to write in both hangul and romanized?

  4. It should be about 90% fine if you don’t, but if you’re very worried it won’t get there and the Hangul part gives you the extra sense of security, my recommendation would be this:

    Write on the package for your audiences. Basically, it will be U.S. Postal officials first and so you’ll want to place the Romanized version first in the “Recipient” section of the package/letter. Below that, you could write the Hangul version. I guess that would be the best way, but I can’t recall ever seeing an example of it done. Give it a try with a lower priority letter/package. 🙂

    Good luck either way!

  5. Elizabeth


    I have a pen pal from South Korea and i really don’t know how to write the adress, even with this awesome explination. Is there any way i can mail you the adress because i don’t want everyone to know the adress :O

  6. Kyla

    thank you, you answered my question. Very helpful information 🙂

  7. Manzoor Khan

    Hi friends!
    I also agree, Korean are writing first the Country then the city or the state then town with postal code then street address and at the end recipient name.
    My friend is living in South Korea when she gave her address to send the letter on her street address, I was wonder since Korean write the address totally opposite to western style.

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