Things to Know About South Korea Before Visiting
You’ve probably sung along to a K-pop song, or danced to many of their greatest hits – we know Gangnam Style comes to mind – but visiting South Korea is a whole different thing.
There are a lot of things that even the most ardent of K-pop fans don’t know about the small yet incredibly progressive country known as South Korea.
Having said that, we’ve taken the time to list down some of the most important things first-time travellers should know about South Korea before hopping on a plane and going there for business or for leisure.
1. Transportation is Fast and Cheap
South Korea is a relatively cheap country to visit because of how easy and cheap public transportation is.
Using a T-Money card (you should pick one up as soon as you arrive), you can hop on to public buses and subways and go to pretty much everywhere you want to go without much of a problem. Also, taxis aren’t that expensive either, and the fares are fair, especially when you take into consideration the time spent and the distance travelled. Not only that but walking around is also safe and the sidewalks are rather spacious so you can take your sweet time walking around.
2. You Don’t Need to Tip
You’ll find good service just about everywhere in Korea, but even so, it’s not really part of their culture to tip. You’re neither required nor expected to give tips for good service.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. Cab drivers, servers, bellboys, and the likes will be incredibly grateful for your tips, but they really don’t expect you to give any. So, if you do decide to tip, the amount is completely up to you.
3. Things Can Get Crowded
With more than 25 million living on the small peninsula, personal space is very much a myth in most big cities in Korea.
Because of this, expect a lot of pushing and shoving while walking around. But, don’t worry, the cities are relatively safe, so no one is probably going to steal your wallet, although it probably shouldn’t hurt to keep it secured. Either way, don’t take it too personally if you get elbowed or pushed around, especially in the subway.
Just smile and do as the locals do.
If you really want to make the most out of your trip to Korea, you may want to enrol in Korean language courses. There are a lot of institutions that offer private Korean class in Singapore or group-setting Korean courses in Singapore. While you probably won’t master the language in a short period of time, you’ll have passable knowledge of Korean in a few short weeks to help make sure that you can fully enjoy your time in Korea.