The Korean wave has taken the world by storm, and it looks like it’s here to stay. Also known as Hallyu, it’s that cultural force beyond K-pop songs and dances. Even in a Western supermarket, you’ll see Korean goods on the Asian aisle, including ramyeon and gochujang. The obsession with its culture, food, traditions, and even the country as a whole is evident in people of all ages globally.
Thus, it’s not surprising how many travelers have now included South Korea on their bucket list of countries to visit. Once you’re in Seoul, the country’s capital, you’ll meet visitors of different races. Like elsewhere, you may try to fit in by doing what the locals do. Immersing yourself fully in the South Korean culture will be one of the best ways to get to know the country as a tourist.
Let this article be your travel guide as it provides you with some tried-and-tested tips. Then, supplement your information and planning process by heading to this helpful site.
- No Tipping
Unlike some parts of the world, tipping isn’t customary in South Korea. There is no exact reason for this, but know that you are not required or obligated to do so even after an excellent service. Thus, in restaurants, you only have to pay for the price you see on the menu.
- Eat Like A Local
Before navigating your way toward their South Korean dishes, get yourself accustomed to some of their staples. You’ll find these almost anywhere, from street markets to hole-in-the-wall restaurants and fancier and more expensive places.
Some of the most well-loved Korean dishes by locals and tourists are Korean BBQ, kimchi, bibimbap, dak galbi, and tteokbokki. Be ready to try a wide selection of side dishes, too, as Koreans never go for a meal without these delightful extras.
- Change Currency In Myeongdong
Myeongdong is one of South Korea’s shopping districts, so it follows that it’s also where you’ll find the best rates for currency exchange.
You may change your money for some wons (Korean currency) at the airport if you need some for transport fare or a snack. Then, go straight to Myeongdong to exchange the rest of your money. While you’re there, you may also check out shops for some of your favorites, like skincare products and K-pop merchandise items.
- Explore Your Way Around Wearing A Hanbok
For those into K-dramas, you’d recognize hanboks worn by women from the Joseon period. In modern times, it’s a formal wear generally worn during celebrations and traditional festivals.
You can rent a hanbok for a few hours and explore the grand Gyeongbokgung Palace in Jongno-gu. You may also try the hanbok cultural experience offered at Namsan Seoul Tower. Either way, this is a memorable experience for women who used to adore this fine piece of clothing only from their screens.
- Take The Train Or Bus
The train system in South Korea is efficient, easy to navigate, and reasonably priced. You can find bullet trains that service one town from the next. Hence, it’s pretty easy to get from the southernmost tip to the northernmost point in as quick as three hours.
However, don’t overlook the buses as they’re good, too, and they are a cheaper transport alternative. Local commuters often take the buses to and from work and school as they’re best to get around cities or towns.
- Learn A Few Korean Phrases
While they don’t expect tourists to be fluent in Korean, knowing a few phrases would work to your advantage. These include ‘Annyeonghaseyo’ (Hello), ‘Kamsahamnida’ (Thank you), and ‘Jeogiyo’ (Excuse me).
Some older South Koreans are shop owners of small food stalls where you’ll get the best and most authentic taste of South Korean dishes. Yet most of them don’t speak English, so there’d be language issues to get your message across to them. Therefore, you can interact better with many locals when you at least know a few phrases.
Plan That Trip To South Korea
South Korea is a melting pot of different cultures, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see locals interacting with other nationalities. Its booming tourist industry has opened many possibilities for tourists and K-pop enthusiasts worldwide. Besides, its transportation system has made traveling from one place to another a breeze for tourists who wish to explore its beauty and culture.
Most people travel to Korea for good reasons, particularly regarding surrounding culture, scenery, food, and even medical treatments. When you’re ready to immerse yourself in its beauty and excitement, tick that destination off your list by booking your travel arrangements.