Culture & Travel

23 November 2020
3 Important Facts about South Korea

South Korea gets popular by each day and increases its visitor number. Its sisterhood with Turkey, world culture, Korean TV series, and K-Pop music all introduced South Korea to us and triggered us for a visit there. If you wish to or will travel to South Korea in the near future, here are some important facts to remember. 

1-Mass Transportation

As a crucial point in every trip, mass transportation is convenient, safe, and have a wide network in South Korea. Subways are the most used mass transportation method. Ferries, busses, and trains also have a wide network. 

Their system about taxis are a little different though. There are two different colors for taxis. White or greyish taxis are driven by new drivers with a standard average pricing. On the other hand, there are black taxis regarded as VIP, which are driven by experienced drivers to reach your destination as fast as possible. They might be a little pricier than the white ones, but taxi fares are affordable overall. 

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2-Confucian Moral Values 

Korean community is devoted to their traditions and follow Confucian moral values in their daily lives. These values determine their social etiquette and actions towards family members, friends, lovers, colleagues, neighbors, and strangers. Long story short, they deeply respect their traditions. For example, they are always kind and respectful towards their elders, they don’t decline a beverage offered to them by their host, they buy valuable gifts, they open the gifts they receive with both hands, they give their seats to elders on the bus, etc.

Furthermore, the way they address each other is also clearly influenced by these values. For example, women should call older men “oppa” and older women “unnie” while men should call older men “hyun” and older women “noona”. This traditional structure and respectful values are what makes the Korean culture so well known around the world and what makes Korea one of the countries with the lowest crime rates. 

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3-Food Culture

Their cuisine is extensive and delicious. Grains, seeds, and flakes are mostly the main ingredients in any dish. Vegetables are a great part of their cuisine. They consume vegetables or kimchi (pickled cabbage) almost always with meat dishes. Meat dishes are also rather popular. So much so that Korean Barbeque, the famous Bulgogi, and several other meat specialties are very well known around the world. Their meats have a mildly sweet taste and served in thin slices. 

Their local beverage, Soju, is a must-try with barbeque. It is almost “cheaper than water” in Korea. 

Calling out to the waiters in restaurants is a pretty common method. You don’t need to wait until the waiter sees you. Also, leaving tips isn’t mandatory as in some other countries.

Some of their dinner table etiquettes include:

-Not starting your food before the elders on your table start,

-Not sticking your chopsticks into your food, 

-Not refusing a meal you are offered, 

-Eating with your hands out of the bowl, and not thanking after the meal.