It was not too long ago that South Korea was underestimated as a travel destination – especially compared to its neighboring East Asian countries. However, now that Korean media, fashion, food, and technology have swept the globe, people can’t get there fast enough.
Not to forget South Korea’s natural resources and gorgeous sights, which is a significant lure in and of itself. With the country being so safe, friendly, and cutting-edge, it’s relatively simple to navigate. But having some extra tips for exploring South Korea can only be a good thing. Read on to learn more.
1. Time your visit properly
We advise scheduling your trip to South Korea for the spring or autumn months when the region has its most agreeable weather. If you can schedule it to align with one of the nation’s two arboreal magic seasons, your trip will be even more magical. Jeju-do Island is where Korea’s cherry blossoms begin to bloom in mid-March, and Seoul normally sees them in early April. The numerous old ginkgo trees in Korea change their leaves into magnificent golden torches in late October and early November, providing Seoul, as well as the other cities, with a particularly royal appearance for a few weeks.
2. Greet people appropriately
The standard welcome in South Korea is a brief bow, which would involve simply nodding deep enough to ensure your gaze meets the ground. However, you might also be given the option of a handshake. If so, anticipate a gentler grasp as opposed to the standard squeeze and pump.
Somebody you just met will probably ask you more intimate questions than you’re used to, your age being near the top of the list. For Koreans, this piece of information is crucial since it guides how they speak to one another, including how formal to be when ending their verbs and when to use honorifics. Getting questions about your marital status, profession, and thoughts on Korea is typical. Respond thoughtfully to the question, and feel free to pose one for yourself.
3. Keep an eye out for air pollution
It’s smart to always have a mask on hand because air quality can periodically drop to really bad levels. This is particularly true in the spring when the combination of local pollutants and dust carried from the Mongolian and Chinese deserts creates unhealthy air. To keep track of the present conditions and the impending forecast across the nation, use an app like IQAir Air Visual.
4. Learn some basic Korean
Signage in Korea is usually written in both Korean and English, and most people under 50 can understand basic English. Nevertheless, learning a little bit of the language is a wise (and respectable) idea.
Understanding hangul, also known as the Korean alphabet, is like unlocking a new level of Korean travel beyond just remembering a few essential Korean words and phrases. Hangul was created for the purpose of being easy to learn, so picking it up should be easy with the right guidance.
South Korea is a vibrant country filled with sights and sounds, unlike anything you’ve seen before. It’s no wonder this place is now a hotbed for vacationers everywhere. If you plan to take your next holiday there, utilise the tips above for the best possible trip. For those looking to brush up on their Korean before taking the plunge, visit Sejong, one of Singapore’s top Korean language schools. Contact us today to learn more.