Have you ever wondered what the secret is behind having the most enjoyable trip? Well, if your next travel destination is South Korea, we present before you the ultimate guide for how you can avert making yourself look like a tourist and enjoy the place like a local. This is going to give you a guaranteed boost to your travel experience and make it memorable.
The locals from the cities of South Korea have been bursting with several helpful tricks and tips and it is from their knowledge that we’re going to share with you few ways in which travellers to South Korea can become ‘invisible’ while visiting the place and feel and roam around like a local.
So, if you’re done with your South Korea visa application and you’re all set for the trip, read on to know the vital travel tips.
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Get a clear idea of the stereotypes
When you’re a foreigner travelling to South Korea, you have to be alert about the foreigner stereotypes and be active about acting against them. Few such established ideas include (but are not limited to) facts like all foreigners happen to be loud on roads, they are scantily dressed, they speak only English or even worse, they don’t even know English and have several tattoos all over their bodies. There are a bunch of other stereotypes but these are the most vital ones that demarcate you as a tourist.
Avoid disputes and conflicts in public
As already mentioned, Koreans have a strong idea that foreigners are always loud simply because they speak foreign languages. While there are countries where yelling in public is acceptable, yet when you’re in Korea, it is vital to maintain a good reputation that includes neither shouting nor being shouted at on the roadside. Yelling, according to Koreans, shows disrespect.
Hang out at places where there are locals
Do you want your Korean itinerary to take you on an offbeat path? If yes, walk around the neighbourhoods near the most famous destinations. For instance, if you want cheap food and youthful energy at the university area of Hongdae, visit the place, Mangwon. Few other places include Hangangjin (rather than Itaewon), Apgujeong (rather than Gangnam Station), and Dongdaemun (rather than Myeongdong).
Wear conservative tops instead of revealing ones
If you don’t know much about the dressing and styling beliefs of people in South Korea, you should know that their expectations are opposite from most other North American or European countries. For women, shirts and shorts are a rage and for men, it's slacks or jeans rather than sweatpants or shorts. Showing the cleavage or in that case, your collarbones is a big no-no! So, in order to look like a local, avoid tight clothes and wear tops with sleeves.
You may yell and shout in restaurants
The only place where yelling and shouting are accepted is at restaurants. If you’ve visited with your meal mates, don’t hesitate to yell. You can do that even with a server. However, you have to make sure that yelling is only encouraged when you’re trying to grab the attention of someone. On the contrary, if you have an issue with the food or their service, you’re not supposed to shout at the concerned people.
Avoid using forks in restaurants
In any place you visit in East Asia, chopsticks are more popular than forks. However, Korean chopsticks are made of heavy metal which may feel slippery and tough to use, especially if you’ve learned using wooden chopsticks. If you’re at a local restaurant, avoid using forks as they’re sort of rude to be used in South Korea.
Korea is well known for its shopping destinations and for its happening nightlife. Even at metro stations, you will see aged people covered in blankets selling something and quoting prices that are at least double of the actual price. So, you know what you have to do while buying things! You have to bargain!
Now that you’re familiar with the secrets of becoming ‘invisible’ as a tourist and becoming a part of the locals, why not look for the best destinations in Seoul?