Sunday, October 3, 2021

Tips for traveling in South Korea

In our previous post "Where to visit in Seoul, South Korea?" we talked about the best places to visit in Seoul. In this post we give general tips and info about traveling in Korea.

Seoul, South Korea

1. Download Naver map in your phone! 
Google maps doesn't work in Korea properly so by using Naver map you can make sure you will find your way to the right place. It is better to copy paste the addresses in Korean letters to find the correct locations!

2. Get a T-money card!
It costs 2500-4000krw You can purchase this travel card anywhere in convenience stores like 7-Eleven, CU or GS25. After buying the card you can recharge money in it and travel more conveniently all around Seoul with travel card. T-money also works in Busan or when going to Everland by bus.  By T-money travel card you can transfer for free from metro to bus or vice versa within 30 minutes and the tickets are slightly cheaper as well.

3. In Korea you don't have to worry about pickpockets as much as in other countries
In Seoul you can easily leave your bag to reserve a seat in a cafe or leave your phone on a table while visiting the bathroom. Koreans are very reliable people and almost everywhere you can find CCTV so it is safe to walk alone even in the middle of the night without worrying about your safety too much. In more international areas like Itaewon it is better to pay more attention to your belongings.

4. Try these Korean foods
Korean barbecue ์‚ผ๊ฒน์‚ด, bulgogi ๋ถˆ๊ณ ๊ธฐ, cold noodles ๋ƒ‰๋ฉด, kimbab ๊น€๋ฐฅ kimchi jigae ๊น€์น˜์ฐŒ๊ฐœ or bibimbab! ๋น„๋น”๋ฐฅ. Food in Korea is often very spicy so if you can't handle spicy food remember to tell the waiter to make the food less spicy! Don't forget to try some local soju ์†Œ์ฃผ (drink) as well!

5. Learn a few words of Korean!
That makes Korean people feel more comfortable, it is polite and often is a good conversation starter to make new local friends!

์•ˆ๋…•ํ•˜์„ธ์š”                 Annyeonghaseyo         =      Hello!
์•ˆ๋…•ํžˆ ๊ณ„์„ธ์š”            Annyeonghi kyeseyo   =      Good bye (when you leave)
์•ˆ๋…•ํžˆ ๊ฐ€์„ธ์š”            Annyeonghi kaseyo     =      Good bye (when somebody leaves)
๊ฐ์‚ฌํ•ฉ๋‹ˆ๋‹ค                 Kamsahabnida             =      Thank you
์ €๋Š” *name* ์ž…๋‹ˆ๋‹ค Jeoneun *name* imnida =   I am *name*
๋ง›์žˆ์–ด์š”                     Masisseoyo!                 =     It is delicious!
๋ฐ˜๊ฐ‘์Šต๋‹ˆ๋‹ค                 Bangabseumnida         =      Nice to meet you!

6. Have some cash with you!
Even though almost everywhere in South Korea you can pay by card, it is good to have some cash with you because many local vendors sell some street food which you can't buy by card. Also there are some small fashion stores where by paying by cash you get a cheaper price for the products.

7. Try a photo booth
In South Korea it is easy to find photo booths in every corner with only 5000krw! It is a fun way to make memories with your loved ones and you can wear some funny accessories and choose the theme for your pictures. At the end of the photo booth the machine will print you the pictures!

8. In Korea you pay at the cafes first and in the restaurants it depends on the place.

Generally speaking you always pay your coffee and cake while ordering. In restaurants it is case by case: Sometimes you pay the meal when you order it and sometimes after you are done with eating. Tipping is not necessary in Korea.

9. Tap water is safe to drink...
...but most people don't do it because it doesn't taste good.

10. Don't be surprised if your new Korean friends are too busy to meet you...
...because many of them do long working days until late evenings. Try to catch up on the weekends or during their spare time!

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