10 Things Tourists Need to Know Before Visiting Korea

Posted on by Pacific Holidays


Korea is a very exciting tourist destination from visitors across the globe, but there are some cultural nuances that are important to learn prior to visiting. The Korean people are very welcoming and hospitable but there are certain differences that can give Western visitors the wrong idea; for example, it is not typical for Korean people to smile in public. Don’t worry, once you familiarize yourself with these cultural norms you will be good to go!

  • Do not expect smiles in the street – Korean people are quite guarded and do not smile or use many facial expressions while out in public.
  • Remove shoes! – it is customary and expected that everyone takes off their shoes before coming into a home; ignoring this tradition is considered very rude and disrespectful.
  • Learn a few Konglish words before you go – this mash up of Korean and English is helpful for many Western visitors as it provides a common language of sorts.
  • Learn a little bit about Confucius – the Korean society is based on these teachings, and there are several traditions that all visitors should know. Most importantly is the reverence with which they treat their elders.
  • Soju will accompany just about every meal and activity – this vodka-based drink is included with nearly every meal and is a big part of socializing in South Korea.
  • Korea does not tip – all service is included in the price of the meal and tipping is not a part of the dining experience in this country.
  • Stay far away from the DMZ – it goes without saying that tourists are smart to avoid one of the planets most dangerous locations!
  • It is best to avoid all discussion of Japan – to say that Korea and Japan have a rocky and uncomfortable history is a huge understatement.
  • Intermarriage and dating are not the norms – If you approach a member of the opposite sex and they hold up their arms in an X formation, it is best to keep moving along.
  • Go take a hike – filled with mountains, this country is one that loves to escape crowded cities and get out into nature. Bring your hiking boots and get out there with them!

Now you know enough to visit Korea with confidence!  Pacific Holidays offers many wonderful packages for travelers to visit South Korea and explore this exciting land!

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