South Korea offers a brilliant range of experiences, breathtaking landscapes, and 5000 years of culture and history. More and more tourists choose South Korea as a travel destination. They visit to experience nature or go shopping. What about you? Are you planning to go to South Korea anytime soon? The lack of know-how will translate into unforeseen hurdles during your trip. Take the stress out of your vacation with these travel tips. Your travel daydream will become a reality.
Know The Alphabet to Make Travel Easier for You
If you don’t know the Korean alphabet, it will be hard, if not impossible for you to do anything. You won’t be able to recognize destinations on street signs or food names on menus. Knowing the Hangul will make life a lot easier for you. Although it seems incomprehensible, the Korean alphabet is easy to learn. It’s nothing like the Japanese and Chinese writing systems. Hangul uses simple shapes such as lines and circles, which can be learned in a couple of hours. Practice makes perfect. Practice the ABCs to master reading and writing in Korean.
Korean isn’t too difficult, even if it’s ranked as one of the more difficult languages. In no time, you’ll be on your way to becoming fluent in Korean. If you don’t have time for it, at least learn a few key phrases to be able to communicate in everyday situations. You don’t have to be fluent or have the perfect pronunciation. Watch a YouTube video and do the same. Here are some words you’re likely to need from the very get-go:
Nice to meet you: 반갑습니다
Thank you: 감사합니다
I’m sorry: 미안해요
These key phrases will earn you a lot of respect from the locals, as it makes them feel they’re important to the visitors.
The Weather Is Best During Fall or Spring
The weather is best during fall and spring. If you want to see the landscapes come alive as the leaves change their foliage to vibrant reds, yellows, and purples, visit between September and November. Maybe you’re interested in attending the cherry blossom festival in Seoul. You should come between March and May. The cherry trees in South Korea are slightly different from those in Japan. Not only are the blooms huge, but also they bloom in full force for several days at a time. You might want to consider joining a tea ceremony.
Feel free to dress for the weather and comfort. You’ll fit in much better if you wear sharp clothes. While Koreans are pretty relaxed about attire, don’t go overboard. Women almost never wear low-cut tops. If you do, you’ll receive unwanted attention. You should practice modesty as much as possible. Attention must be paid to the fact that the weather can change in an instant. Make sure to carry the right gear for emergency situations. Wearing layers is a good way to pack for both warm and cold weather.
Seoul Is a Relatively Pricey Destination
Seoul is one of the most expensive countries in the world. Hotels are the highest-priced in Asia, but public transportation and street food are more than affordable. You can travel a bit more cheaply if you make some sacrifices. You should closely examine your finances before leaving on vacation. If you have several months before the trip, then you’re able to save. When it comes to tourist attractions, you can save money by doing your homework ahead of time. For example, some museums offer discounted tickets on certain days of the week.
Most of your costs will be accrued from eating, shopping, and fun activities. Simply walking around and discovering new places is not only free but also entertaining. Consider visiting Hanok villages. You can see what it was like to live in a traditional Korean house. The tiny, narrow streets are part of the culture. You don’t need years of studying urban anthropology or geography to understand street culture. Some homes offer accommodation, so you can connect to local residents. Be friendly, smile, and ask questions.
Don’t Rely Too Much on Google Maps
Google Maps helps you navigate a new place. It helps in a way it doesn’t at home. An Internet connection is necessary to download the apps. You can save several maps for use offline. Unfortunately, South Korea is one of the places where Google Maps doesn’t work. The app can’t offer you walking or driving directions because South Korea refuses to share mapping data with Google. South Korea has its own map and transport apps; it’s just that you need to be able to read Korean. You can use KakaoMap or Naver Map to get around.
Traveling around South Korea is pretty simple. If the train doesn’t take you where you want to go, there’s always the bus. If you use a transportation card, you get a discount when changing to the subway or another bus line. Taxis are surprisingly cheap, and you don’t have to wait too long for one. Very few drivers speak English, so have your destination written down. As a rule, taxis come in four colors, which represent different price settings. In Seoul, taxis are orange, just so you know.
Tipping Isn’t Necessary
With prices soaring, you might be dreading the idea of tipping. In the US, tipping is second nature. Keep in mind that it’s not the case for the rest of the world. In South Korea, tipping is unnecessary. The price you see at the bar or on a restaurant menu is exactly what you’ll pay. The service should be exceptional at all times and with no expectation of extra pay. Put simply, tipping is frowned upon. Servers won’t be insulted if there’s no tip after a meal. Trying to pay more will only cause confusion and embarrassment. Of course, if you buy a bottle of water, you can let the cashier keep the change.