South Korea is very rich in culture, Korean cult and scenery. The adventures you will experience there will be different from any other country you have ever visited.
However, before you go on vacation, here are a few things you must know. These tips will reduce the culture shock, and make your visit more enjoyable.
- Be Prepared for Weather Changes
South Korea experiences winter from November to March each year. The winter season can drop to temperatures that are below freezing.
The peak of summer is from June to August ending. It begins with monsoons and the country receives about 60% of the annual rainfall during those two months. Following the rain, the weather becomes hot and humid. There is air conditioning available almost everywhere during the summer, however, locals prefer to flee the cities and take refuge in the islands, beaches, and mountains. The price of the accommodation may increase during these months.
Be sure to double-check your flight dates and confirm the season it will be in South Korea, and then pack for your trip accordingly.
South Korea is beautiful in all seasons. Be well prepared, so you can make the most of your visit!
- Make Use of Public Transportation
The public transportation system in South Korea is amazing! Gear up with a subway map, catch a bus and go on an adventure with the locals.
- Take Safety Measures While Taking Public Transportation
Take safety measures while you’re on public transportation. Crowded buses are excellent hiding places for thieves.
South Korea is generally a very safe country, full of friendly locals. If you’re seen standing on a crowded bus, a sitting stranger may offer to carry your bag. Usually, this is a kind gesture. If it makes you nervous, you may decline politely. If you’re feeling confident, you may put your bag on their lap, with the strap around your wrist.
- Avoid Public Demonstrations Near Military Bases
Before you visit a new area, check if it is close to a US military base, and ensure that there are no public demonstrations scheduled around the area. These demonstrations are often violent and may upset your trip.
- Educate Yourself On Basic Language and Cultural Practices
Educate yourself about the basic language, cultural and religious practices in South Korea.
Some interesting facts to note are the following:
- Do not ever put your chopsticks straight inside your rice bowl – it is a rude gesture. It reminds South Koreans about a practice they do during their funerals, and it will spoil the appetite of everyone else at dinner!
- Never call a person’s attention by lifting your palm up and beckoning with one finger – Koreans use this mannerism to call their pet dogs. It is considered rude to call a human being this way.
- Never use a red pen to write a person’s name – this symbolizes death. It will cause shock and a general feeling of discomfort to the natives.
Christianity in South Korea is taken very seriously. Some churches are rather conservative. They may require that men and women sit in separate pews. Respect their culture, and be prepared to follow their religious practices – it is part of the adventure of traveling to South Korea!
Learn some Korean phrases – it will help you connect with the people, and make it easier to move around!