28 unusual facts/things about South Korea for a foreigner

Jonas CHK
Jonas CHK
Jan 10, 2020 · 8 min read

Every time I’m traveling abroad, I like to keep a note on my phone to write all the things uncommon (for me) that I discover. It increases the awareness that I’m living extraordinary moments while traveling, and I love to interacts with locals about that, exchange about how things can be either normal or surprising according to our point of view. This is one of the main reason why I love traveling, to discover other ways of life and broaden my openness…

I’ve just come back from my third time in South Korea, and I want to share with you several facts and things that I put in my note because they surprised and fascinated me.

Before starting the list, a quick disclaimer: All the points below are subjective, and they might seem usual for you. However, I assume that for Europeans (I’m French), most of the facts will be surprising. For all the Koreans readers, excuse me if I made some misunderstanding, feel free to correct me in the comments.

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Photo by rawkkim on Unsplash

There is a fridge” just” for Kimchi.

The buses leave ON TIME.

Roads CCTVs are available on the navigation apps (Google Maps like)

Smartphones camera sound is mandatory

It is not polite to drink by yourself, and you’re not supposed to fill your own glass.

Telecom Operators push system messages for alerts like pollution or fires.

Everything is open on Sunday

Fans rent billboards to wish happy birthday to K-pop stars.

You can choose the last 4 digits of your phone number.

The ground floor (or zero) is Floor 1

The 4th floor is called F because of Tetraphobia.

We can drive (or take bus/taxi) for more than 30 min to eat a particular dish…

There are restaurants everywhere, dedicated to one kind of food and open (almost) all the time.

People leave their bags above the seats in the metro or bus.

The Metro driver often speaks in the speakers to give advice, apologize, wake up the passengers, etc.

Banks allow splitting the amount spent in several times, after the purchase.

“Bar code gifts” are trendy

You make yourself the change in the markets

In some restaurants, they provide aprons and plastic bags for the coats.

You rarely order only drinks, you have to order food with it.

Almost all the dishes are shared and put in the middle of the table.

Each metro wagon is monitored, and a screen tells the passenger density.

The legal limit of alcohol consumption to drive is 0.03% (for blood alcohol content) but the “valet night services” are very popular and so convenient.

One of the main element while meeting with friends or family is to choose the right restaurant.

It is normal to let the “protection blue film” on the object

Doors have no keys but electronic codes or cards.

They are plenty of “Shopping Channels”, and you can order directly through your TV.

Cameras are monitoring the trash bins and a screen + speaker to tell people to throw waste in the right way.

I hope you enjoyed this list as much as I enjoyed collecting and writing it and I’m looking forward to hear from you in the comments.

What are the facts and things that surprised you in South Korea?

JNSCH

Jonas Cachau-Herreillat — Random stories, probably about…

Jonas CHK

Written by

Jonas CHK

Traveller, Crypto-enthusiast, Asia lover. Free as a bird!

JNSCH

JNSCH

Jonas Cachau-Herreillat — Random stories, probably about travelling in Asia

Jonas CHK

Written by

Jonas CHK

Traveller, Crypto-enthusiast, Asia lover. Free as a bird!

JNSCH

JNSCH

Jonas Cachau-Herreillat — Random stories, probably about travelling in Asia

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