South Korea is one of those places that we may visit just once in a life time because well… It’s in a bit of a troubled area. (Pic: Kim Jong Un) But, if you do, remember these things not to do so you can enjoy your trip to the fullest.
1. Don’t Speak Loudly
This is considered very rude, and you won’t be making any friends like this, especially on public transportation. Try to be polite and speak in a normal tone of voice. Nobody wants to have to listen to your comments.
2. Don’t Leave Your Chopsticks Stuck in Rice
Sometimes we do things without thinking. Wash the dishes, lay the table, stick the chopsticks in the rice. No! In South Korea, this is offensive as it resembles the incense sticks burnt at funerals. They don’t like it at all.
3. Don’t Focus Just on Seoul
Of course it’s very important that you don’t miss this city. But bear in mind that there are more places to see, such as Suwon in Gyeonggi Province or go all the way to Busan. It will be worth it.
4. Don’t Think That Everyone Speaks English
No, not everybody speaks English, get used to it. You could either learn some polite words in Korean, use Google Translate or just use your hands to point. However you do it, be patient and comprehensive!
5. Don’t Refuse Drinks From Your Elders
We usually respect our elders, but Koreans take it to another level. So if an elder offers you a drink you are expected to take it whether you want it or not. Don’t even think about refusing it, just hold it and you will make him happy.
6. Don’t Wear Revealing Clothes
You will attract some stares if you go with an exposed back or shoulders. But only the upper side of your body! You can show as much leg as you want!
7. Don’t Forget to Try New Food
Some people don’t dare to try new food and go straight to a McDonald’s. But you’ll regret it if you don’t try at least some hotteok fresh from a street stall, kimchi or chicken feet. They have excellent food that you won’t find in any other place.
8. Don’t Be The First to Eat Your Meal
Here, it’s also a sign of respect to wait for the elders to start eating. Even if you’re starving, just be patient and wait for them, and afterwards wait for them again to leave the table.
9. Don’t Forget to Take Off Your Shoes
In restaurants or people’s homes, it is customary to take off your shoes. So, just do as they do and take them off. Bear this in mind when choosing your socks!
10. Don’t Give Things With Just One Hand
It doesn’t matter if you’re giving or receiving something, in South Korea, they do it with both hands. Even if you don’t understand this tradition, just do as they do. You wouldn’t want to offend them, right?
Where do you want to know what not to do in next?