With the sudden rise of Korean cultures such as the Shincheonji, Korean pop groups and Korean dramas all over the globe, many people desire to travel to South Korea. As exciting as it sounds, a trip to South Korea might need a little bit of adjustment.
The idea of adventure and fun can be achieved by planning and preparing well. What makes it challenging? The fact that you don’t have any clue about what is in the “Land of the Morning Calm” makes the trip more thrilling. If you’re a first-time traveler, here are some things you need to know before your trip to South Korea:
- Hangul is the official Language in Korea. The first challenge that you are likely to face when travelling to Korea is communication with the locals. Although some locals can understand a bit of English, some of the vendors do not speak nor understand the English language. Hence, you might need to learn some basic Korean language before you head to Korea.
- In South Korea, there are no majority religious groups. Almost half of the population doesn’t have a religious connection, while the rest are a portion of Christians and Buddhists. However, in recent surveys, Christianity in South Korea has become widespread over the years. This is important to know, to avoid any political or religious comments when talking to the locals.
- Travelling gives you the opportunity to taste and experience other place’s food and cuisine. In South Korean cuisine, it is known for being spicy. If you have a low tolerance for spicy foods, you better be careful when eating food in South Korea- especially their street foods. While most of the food in Korean restaurants are hot and spicy, there are also some delicious Korean staples that you can enjoy without the spice. This includes foods such as gimbap, japchae, bulgogi, or the non-spicy, plain Korean fried chicken.
- South Korean transportation system has been receiving good reviews because of its efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Get yourself a T-money card, which serves as your access to certain public buses and trains in South Korea’s different cities. Another incredible thing about their transportation system is the clear marks and signs all over the country’s subway station. Plus, taxis can get you whenever you need to at a cheap price.
- Public Toilets and Bathrooms. Even if some places in South Korea are already equipped with Western-style toilets, some public bathrooms are still very traditional. You might need to adjust on flushing after using it as not to clog the toilet and cause a mishap. With toilets with button functions, be careful in using them since they are marked in the Korean language.
Tipping. In South Korea, regardless of the excellent service that you will be receiving from your hotels, restaurants, or even transportation services, you don’t need to give tips. While it may be good to show gratitude in a form of money; it is not expected from you. You can just instead say ‘Thank You.’