Now you do, and here are 5 more things to know about South Korea compiled from our friends in adventure travel to help you land safely fully prepared to enjoy your trip!
1. Bundle up.
It gets cold! I was there in December and it dropped to well below freezing. While I’m used to cold weather, I hadn’t packed the right clothing with me, so I didn’t enjoy South Korea as much as I could have, so carefully think through your packing list.
Gary Arndt, Everything-Everywhere
2. Try the tube.
Korea has a very good public transport system, so grab a bus or subway map and ride with the locals for a day!
Sspark from Answers.
WorldNomads: Good advice, because driving can be stressful. You even need to watch out while you’re on the footpath!
3. Check the weather.
Peak summer, from late June to late August, starts off with the monsoon season, when the country receives some 60% of its annual rainfall, and is followed by unpleasantly hot and humid weather. Although air-conditioning makes summers much more bearable these days, many locals flee the muggy cities for the mountains, beaches and islands, which become crowded, and accommodation prices double. There is also the chance of a typhoon or two.
WorldNomads: Hot, wet and humid weather means you need to take precautions to avoid these tropical diseases and illnesses.
4. Follow the local news.
News listings about demonstrations should be checked, especially near US Military bases. Demonstrations do tend to turn more violent then not.
Keith from GeckoGo.com
WorldNomads: Overall the crime rate is very low, but it can get a bit tense in towns close to military bases, so it’s best to know where they are.
5. Hold on tight.
If on a crowded bus and standing, don’t be surprised if a passenger seated under you tugs at your bag. They are typically just offering to have you rest your bag on their lap. Politely decline or if feeling it’s safe, place the bag on their lap, but keep the strap around your arm/wrist.
Did you know that in South Korea you should never leave chopsticks in your rice? That you should never beckon anyone with palm up using one finger? It’s the way Koreans call their dogs! That writing someone’s name in red symbolizes death?