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Kimchi. Photo: Nagyman

Whether you’re thinking of coming to Korea for work, or just want to stop by on a greater sweep through East Asia, knowing the following ten customs is essential for getting by in this unique culture.

Korean culture has survived for 5,000 years, despite the best efforts by hostile neighbors to stomp it out. If you know and respect Korean culture you will get much more out of your time in Korea.

1. Kimchi is culture

Kimchi is sliced cabbage, fermented with red chili sauce and anchovy paste. It is pungent, spicy, and sour. Koreans love it and eat it with every meal – usually on the side – though they also use it as an ingredient in countless other dishes.

Kimchi is symbolic of Korean culture: it’s strong, distinctive, and defiant. Some foreigners can’t stomach it, but if you can, you will earn the locals’ heartfelt respect.

2. Shoes off

When entering a Korean home, you must remove your shoes. To do any less is a sign of great disrespect.

Photo: ilya_ktsn

Koreans have a special relationship with their floor, on which they sit and often sleep. A dirty floor is intolerable in a Korean home, and they view Westerners as backward savages for remaining shod in our living rooms.

3. Soju

Korea is a drinking culture, and their national booze is soju, a clear, vodka-like drink.

Soju is drunk out of shot glasses, and like all liquor in Korea, it’s always served with food. Koreans drink in boisterous groups, regularly clinking glasses, while shouting geonbae! (cheers) and one shot-uh!

At night you will see men coming out of norae bang (karaoke rooms) and staggering through the streets, laughing, singing and arguing. Just be sure to avoid the puddles of reddish-vomit often left behind, which are also known as kimchi flowers.

Koreans have strict drinking etiquette: never pour your own drink, and when pouring for someone older than you, put one hand to your heart or your pouring arm as a sign of respect.

4. Rice

Like the Japanese, the Koreans eat rice with almost every meal. It’s so ingrained in their culture that one of their most common greetings is Bap meogeosseoyo?, or ‘Have you eaten rice?”

Unlike the Japanese, Koreans usually eat their rice with a spoon, and they never raise the rice bowl off of the table towards their mouths.

Also, chopsticks must never be left sticking out of the rice bowl, as this resembles the way rice is offered to the dead.

Photo: aplomb

5. Do not smile

Koreans are a warm and generous people, but you would never know it from the sourpusses they paste on in public.

Sometimes, the chaotic streets of the peninsula resemble a sea of scowls, with everyone literally putting their most stern faces forward. This is NOT true of the children however, who will invariably grin and laugh while shouting “Hello! Hello!”

6. Beware of elbows

Korea is a crowded country. It’s a cluster of stony mountains with only a few valleys and plains on which to build.

The result is a lot of people in small spaces, and folks will not think twice about pushing and jostling in order to get onto a bus, into an elevator, or to those perfect onions at the market.

Don’t even bother with “excuse me,” and beware of the older women, known as ajumma. They’re deadly.

7. Protests

South Koreans fought hard to achieve the democratic society they now enjoy, and are among the top in the world when it comes to exercising their right to protest.

Dissent is alive and well. Koreans protest with frequency and they protest with fervor – on all sides of the political spectrum.

Photo: rabble

Protesters employ a variety of methods, from the violent (angry students regularly attack riot police with huge metal rods), to the absurd (cutting off fingers, throwing animal dung, covering themselves in bees).

8. Hiking

As Korea is mountainous, it should come as no surprise that hiking is the national pastime.

Even the most crowded of cities have mountains that offer a relative haven from the kinetic madness of the streets below.

Koreans are at their best on the mountain. They smile and greet you and will often insist on sharing their food and drink. Make sure to stop at a mountain hut restaurant for pajeon (fritter) and dong dong ju (rice wine).

9. Bow-wow

Yes, some Koreans do eat dog meat, despite some sporadic attempts by the government to shut down the boshingtang (dog meat soup) restaurants, in order to improve the country’s “international image.”

Dog meat is mainly consumed during the summer and by men, who claim that it does wonders for stamina.

10. Nationalism

Koreans are an extremely proud people, and sometimes this pride transforms into white-hot nationalism.

You see this nationalism displayed at sporting events, where thousands of Korean fans cheer their national teams on in unison, banging on drums and waving massive flags.

This nationalism especially comes to a boil whenever Japan is mentioned, as Japan has invaded them several times, and occupied Korea as a colony for almost the first half of the 20th century, decimating the country’s resources and conscripting thousands of their women as sex slaves.

Finally, please remember the two following things:

To a Korean, there is no such thing as The Sea of Japan. The body of water between Korea and Japan is known only as the East Sea.

Also, Koreans fervently believe that Dokdo – the disputed islets between Korea and Japan (known in Japan as Takeshima) – belong only to Korea.

It would be most unwise to attempt to disagree with either of these points, as Koreans don’t consider them up for debate.

Culture + Religion


 

About The Author

Chris Tharp

Chris Tharp lives in Busan, South Korea, where he teaches English at a college. His award-winning writing has appeared on various travel sites around the web. He hates mayonnaise and any of its sister sauces.

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  • Hal

    Great list! I spent two years in Seoul, and I´d say you´ve covered all the bases, from kimchi to Dokdo. Definitely a good primer for any visitor…and a heap of nostalgia for folks like me who miss it so.

  • http://www.bravenewtraveler.com Ian

    Great roundup Chris! Your bit on protests sounds wild. Robin wrote a piece last year on surviving the beef riots

    http://www.bravenewtraveler.com/2008/07/24/surviving-the-beef-riots-in-south-korea/

  • http://thelonglayover.blogspot.com Carlo

    Very interesting read! I would love to visit Korea – I’ll keep this page bookmarked!

    As a side note, it should be so in all cultures that you remove your shoes in another person’s house. It shocks me that people will come in and walk around with their shoes on. At the very least, ask!

  • http://matadortravel.com/travel-community/rsw Tim Patterson

    I love kim chi – keeping a big jar of the stuff in the fridge is great. That and a rice cooker means you’ll never go hungry.

  • http://www.livejournal.com/users/tharp42 tharp42

    Yeah, the shoes off thing is hardly unique to Korea, but some Westerners must be reminded of it.

  • Nick

    Don’r forget! When someone sneezes, don’t say “Bless You” you should just turn away and pretend nothing happened. Haha old ladies are deadly xD

  • Isa

    Man, I’m Canadian and the idea of wearing shoes into someone’s house without permission is just horrifying to me. XD

  • http://www.funhighway.com spellathon

    Nice information chris ! especially about the deadly old ladies :)
    I would say that keeping shoes outside is a great custom they have.

  • http://abruckart.blogspot.com Aaron

    Hey Chris. Nice article. Here’s just a small tip for any newcomers to Korea. Bap is the word for rice, but is also commonly used as a general word for food or a meal. If some asks you, “Bap meogeosseoyo?”, they’re not asking if you’ve eaten rice that day. They’re simply asking if you’ve eaten. This is the case because food is such a big part of the culture.

    So if someone asks you that question, and you HAVEN’T had rice that day but HAVE had a meal, make sure you answer yes. Otherwise, you may find yourself joining a group for another meal. And if you’re at a group meal, Koreans don’t like it if you’re not eating.

    I really enjoyed the column!

  • http://matadortravel.com/travel-community/rsw Tim Patterson

    Thanks for the tip, Aaron. Seems like the word for rice doubles as the word for meal in lots of Asian languages – Japanese, Khmer, Lao and Thai, in my experience.

  • http://www.livejournal.com tharp42

    Yeah, I know that they’re not specifically asking if you’ve eaten rice, but it’s telling how important rice is to their culture that it is basically another word for food.

  • http://www.livejournal.com tharp42

    Also, “Bap meogeosseoyo?” is more an inquiry into your well-being than a literal concern with whether you’ve eaten or not. As we can imagine, it comes from leaner days, when asking if you’ve eaten was the same to asking if you are well.

    When I first moved here and spoke no Korean, I would often get Koreans asking me if I’d eaten in English (they obviously translated it themselves). I always expected a dinner invitation to follow (often not wanting one), since in America, “Have you eaten?” is almost always the lead-in question to an invitation.

    Fascintating stuff, anyway. Thanks for reading and commenting, Aaron. Are you living in Korea?

    • http://abruckart.blogspot.com Aaron

      Chris,
      I am in Incheon, South Korea right now. I’ve been here for 9 months. I always enjoy finding new tidbits of information on the country.

  • http://www.travelblog.org/bloggers/joncasssouthkorea Jon Wick

    Chris! Where were you about 9 months ago? No worries… great article I wish I had the heads up before jumping both feet into this interesting and wonderful place. Might I add, even with the swine flu concerns, don’t be surprised if find yourself party to the unwanted end of a hacking cough. Again… just take it in stride (or grin and bear it).
    Viva ajumma!

  • http://jonnyontheroad.blogspot.com Jonny

    Great list, Chris. I think your point about Dokdo and the East Sea not being up for debate could be applied to many of these items. Koreans feel such a strong sense of national pride that they’ll fiercely defend almost anything Korean.

    I love kimchi. I couldn’t imagine eating a Korean meal without it. Technically, though, kimchi refers to any fermented spiced vegetable – not just cabbage. I’ve heard that the Kimchi Field Museum in Seoul has over 80 varieties on display.

    Gotta say – I think ajummas deserve their own category! They are a culture unto themselves, with their giant sparkly visors, face masks, and tight perms. And, of course, their sharpened elbows.

    Thanks for the Korea highlight. How long have you been in Busan? I’m just up the road here in Pohang.

    • http://www.livejournal.com tharp42

      Pohang? I was recently up there on a motorcycle trip. There’s some serious industry going on up there.

  • wan

    I have traveled extensively across Asia with 35 trips to Japan and lived 9 years in Southeast Asia, a repeat offender of sorts. Stereotypically speaking, Korea is the only country in Asia I dislike. Regrettably, I finds this as a reflection of the people, admittedly this is a narrow minded view, but unfortunately it mirrors my experiences.

    • http://matadortravel.com/travel-community/rsw Tim Patterson

      I’m curious why Korea isn’t one of your favorites, Wan. It seems to me that Korea has a blend of extreme consumerism, technological modernity and patriotic, proud people. Interesting combo, but somewhat off-putting, perhaps.

      • http://www.livejournal.com tharp42

        I enjoy living in Korea, but I can understand why it isn’t among the favorites in Asia for a lot of people. The place does lack the charm that you can find in other countries – especially SE Asia. It’s crowded and developed with shockingly awful architecture. And the people can be brusk and even xenophobic at times, along with being incredibly naive about foreigners and foreign perceptions of Korea. A lot of Koreans think anything Korean is always the best, and they often harp on about this, which can be grating, needless to say.

        That said, they’re generally a warm and welcoming people, but given their history of being shat on by stronger neighbors, they can be bristly, to say the least. There’s none of the laid back all smiles attitude that you find in Thailand. And while the Korean landscape can be beautiful, it lacks the jaw-dropping splendor to be found in other parts of Asia.

        The best thing about Korea is the food and drinking culture, which is rich, delicious, and fun. There are more restaurants and drinking joints here than I’ve seen anywhere. The city I live in is stuffed with tens of thousands of restaurants. Everywere you look someones sitting and eating or drinking – or more likely doing both. Koreans are hearty eaters and love nothing more than to share in a meal or a bottle.

        I chose to come to Korea because I was offered a decent job here. I came and immediately dug it and have established a nice life here. It’s worked well for here, but I know my share of people who’ve come here and hated it. It’s not the easiest place to live as a foreigner.

    • Jan

      Wan,
      I feel like you missed an opportunity. I found Koreans to be very kind, helpful, and I made many friends in Korea. The Ahjimas in the outdoor markets were delightful. Sometimes one needs to look beyond the stoicism to experpience the people.

  • http://matadortravel.com/travel-community/gypsynoir Shreya

    Good one Chris, thanks. Kim chi looks yum. I was in an international high school here in India and had many Korean classmates. I agree about the nationalism part, but I guess you can say that about most places, isn’t it?

  • http://matadortravel.com/travel-community/michelles Michelle

    Kimchi flowers….ew! That’s exactly right! :)

  • http://www.elkhorninnwv.com Elisse J Goldstein

    Enjoyed the article much. Spent part of a very belated & glorious honeymoon in Korea last spring, loved every single second of it & can’t WAIT to go back! Gimmie Summer Kimchi 3X day + Soju & Makgoli in those little wooden bowls!! :-D I put on 25 lbs but it was worth it!

  • Jan

    You left out one very serious “don’t”: don’t ever play “got your nose” with those smiling children. The thumb between the index and ring finger of a fisted hand is considered very vulger and very insulting. Also, there are a several public dont’s for women, such as smoking in public, you could get fined.
    Whatever you do, don’t miss a chance to climb a mountain and visit a monostary; don’t shy away from trying as much of the food as you can. You’ll be suprised about what you might love! Bebembop was my favorite, absolutely. The food in the little restaurants you might be inclined to shy away from is fantastic.

    • JY

      just looking through old comments– yes, i know its more than 2 years old, but I just had to point it out. No one fines you if you’re a female and you smoke in public in korea. There’s no policy or law indicating such– that woud be absurd! But it’s just a bad image to some, especially to the older generation. 
      Also, the finger thing is equivalent to giving the middle finger– it supposedly represents sexual intercourse or a man’s privates in a very private way

  • Manish

    I would agree with Koreans coming across very self absorbed and quick to be rude in even the most ordinary situations.

    My personal experience spanned two trips that I made down there. The incidents involving Tourism guides, drivers and even front desk left me with the sense that Koreans in general are on the edge – not quite sure why?

  • jamesyb0i

    good read thanks, especially about the eating mannerisms

  • http://www.thailand-cheap.com Jim Jones

    Good reading, and great pics, sadly Korea has never been on my to go list.

  • Korean

    I’m not surprised that people leave Korea with a bad taste in their mouth.
    Koreans are brutally honest.
    They’re not going to smile and bow because you’re visiting their country.
    They just go on with their day.
    You have to remember that Koreans warm up to people once they get to know them.
    I think most people expect them to be like the Japanese.
    You have to remember that Asians are all very different.

    I was born in Korea, but I grew up in the States.
    I love Korea and the US.
    I think you have to always have an open mind when going to a different country.
    I have visited several countries in the world, and although some countries were not as friendly, I had to remember that maybe it’s their culture.

    Try not to take things to heart. There are wonderful and awful people in every country.
    Koreans are just trying to get from point A to point B.
    They can come across as rude, but I KNOW they would be very kind if you asked for help.
    Also, you really shouldn’t expect to be treated like a “god” because you’re visiting another country.
    I only expect the hotel staff, restaurant staff, etc to treat me with respect.
    I would never expect a person in that country to bow down to me.

    I actually prefer brutal honesty/rudeness to fake/smiling.
    I know people who will smile and talk about you behind your back.

    Take a trip to Korea with a grain of salt.
    If you can survive a day in NYC, you can survive Korea.

    • boba

      dear lord korean!
      who said anything about expecting “to be treated like a “god””?
      how very korean of you to tell us what we should do and how we should feel.
      and you expect hotel and restaurant staff to treat you with respect? why?
      you expect people to treat you like a god because your staying at their hotel?
      the staff is just trying to get from A to B. i would never expect a service worker to bow down to me. your silly ideas are the reason koreans leave a bad taste in many mouths.

      • kelly

        Lol, I’m Korean and I can see what you mean. In a lot of ways, Seoul reminds me of NY. I wouldn’t say the people are mean or cruel but you do have to be thick-skinned when you deal with them because they do not sugar coat anything. If you have gained weight, your relatives will definitely point it out, and not think twice about it. A lot of the time, Koreans are convinced they know best, but I think this is also true of a lot of Americans, and of other nationalities, but nobody really wants to admit it. And, in general, the women can be supremely overbearing. And yet, maybe it is because I am a Korean, I find that once you get to know a Korean relatively well, they are very warm and familial. The lady at the grocery store will show a lot of interest in how you’re doing, and give you free items etc. But I think Korea is really one of those countries where you have to stay a while to start to like it, because it takes a lot of thawing.

        • President Chris

          Hi what do i need to know about Korea and what do i need to do there

      • Corwarren

        I would expect people to show me.respect if they are working as staff of a hotel. I dont pay them to be rude and condescending to me either. I don’t need to be treated as a good but beong respected is a must no matter what country you go too. If you don’t then you might as well stay home. I don’t think anyone would expect people walking down the street to stop and bow to you but people such as in a hotel that’s party of their job. Hello customer service duhhh!

      • mimi

        And boba what do YOU know about Korea? All that Korean said is true because I am Korean. Bowing in Korea is a custom. It is polite. Like in America you have manners, well same with Korea. When Korean said “to be treated like a “god”” he was comparing god to you since god is treated very high in respect.

    • President Chris

      what do know when i go to Korea??

  • keziah_X

    I think you could have phrased this paragraph better:

    “This nationalism especially comes to a boil whenever Japan is mentioned, as Japan has invaded them several times, and occupied Korea as a colony for almost the first half of the 20th century, decimating the country’s resources and conscripting thousands of their women as sex slaves.”

    couldn’t you have put “conscripting thousands of korean women as sex slaves” ? or even just put “women”? why use a possessive pronoun?

  • ashish

    Hey can u tell me what is the best way to travel when u are having lots(>20 kgs) of baggage. How much can one carry on trains?

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  • Doug

    Hey Korean, you got all the points about travelling in foreign countries…

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  • http://www.tourandtravelagentindia.com/ Travel Agent India

    Even if you don’t plan of going to Korea any time soon, this is an amusing glimpse into traditions and customs. Funny and still respectful. How’d he do that?

  • 헤바

    two thumbs up for this accurate and informative article :)
    I laughed so hard at the elbows bit, it’s so true !

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  • Henry Field

    Wouldn’t it be great if all airlines and cruise ships etc. screened such a list of national customs, which are most commonly transgressed by foreigners, before landing in the country of destination. A lot of tricky situations, often created through ignorance, could such be avoided.

  • http://-notapplicable- Pocholo

    This one’s great!. I am going to teach Koreans as my new career since I will have finished my training this week! I will be effective enough since I got some basics about Koreans culture and/and tradition! I wish I could tour Korea! Thanks

  • D Tyler

    This is a good read, Chris. I was hiking in Bukhansan this last weekend, and your points about elbows and mountains could be intertwined. It’s a different experience from Appalachia. Also, I received three pieces of fruit of this hiking trip, all from ajummas. Since I brought kimbap, I received praise from all of the elders at the top.

    I was on a train from Namwon, sitting in a four-person table with three ajummas. They gave me one orange, I ate it because I was hungry. When I finished, she gave me another orange. I ate it to be polite. I put the third in my bag.

    I must add, Koreans are can be extremely friendly, and non-judgmental about their customst. My older Korean drinking buddies will scoff when I pour with two hands (“We are brothers, just get drunk. You don’t have to do that for me, I’m your brother-albeit in broken English, I think this is the message).” The owner of my hagwon finds things innocently humorous when I tell him of funny misadventures. (He tells embarrassing stories about living in North America.) There is a taint of xenophobia, but I’m sure patience is required to all foreign workers of any country.

  • Danny

    What about the bowing? I think it’s very big here in Korea.

  • http://asianlanguagelovers.com Michael

    This is so true! Even going to a Korean church, one can see a lot of these things engrained in the culture!

  • Shirley Lin

     Clarifications: 1) the greeting about asking people “have you eaten rice?” is a standard Chinese greeting, Korean picked that up earlier on; 2) about the calling the strait b/w Korea and Japan as the Eastern Sea, of course, there is no debate! Chinese has been called it the Eastern Sea for thousands of years, Korean followed the standard. Japanese is the only one who changed the name and forcefully claimed it’s their calling to be the Japan Sea. So there is no debate, Japanese is just being Japanese.

  • LadeC

    Im leaving this Saturday Aug 27th, for a tour in Seoul. It’s my vacation so I want to get the most out of it.  I am sooo excited over seeing Korea for the first time (after years of addiction to korean romance comedy & drama films).

  • Hutchcat1

    I don’t give a monkey’s about doing the right thing so as not to offend Koreans. 
    My approach would be “how dare you subhuman vermin hang and torture man’s best friend the dog to death, so that his meat will taste more fragrant” I’ll tell you, I’d love to take a baseball bat to one of those little morons who commit these atrocities.

    • International Citizen

      If you eat any meat at all your statement is hypocritical. 

  • Rufa Salvacion

    korean are lier!

    • Youna Kim

      Aren’t there any liars in your country?

    • Y.Choi

      it might be true, but the thing is, that there are more liers in japan and around the world than in korea. just think about it.

      • Bludfeathr

        Accccctually, not to defend Rufa, BUT, I think on the basis of pure numbers, there actually may possibly be more liars (who spells it “liers?” – I am looking at you Rufa!)in Korea (both North and South). Seoul is the second largest city on the planet by population. On this alone, one may hypothesize that the actual count of liars may outnumber on the side of  S. Korea and N. Korea. Of course, I am just speaking to the literal sense of the words. To Rufa – what the hell are you talking about? 

    • Y.Choi

      Oh, and what reasons do you have to claim that us Koreans are liars? I would like to know.

    • Ella090385

      why? and about what?

    • sally

      Koreans are not liars. Not all Koreans are liars, you probably are one for your self because you just told a lie: korean are lier!

      You spelled “lier” wrong by the way.

  • Rufa Salvacion

    koreans are liers!

  • Y.Choi

    along my comment to Rufa Salvacion, I would like to point out some things to be corrected. One, Dokdo, is clearly Korean property. REASONS: there are several historical evidences pointing out that Dokdo was found and ruled by Koreans since the 17th century, about 1648. Plus, military maps drawn by Japanese military personal during the Japanese occupation indicated Dokdo as Korean island. Two, the title of East Sea was titled since ancient times and was used widely between Korea, China, and Japan, as Shirley Lin pointed out. Three, those drunk Koreans that the author of this article pointed out are the truce. However, I would like to point out that most of those drunk people are drunk because of their stresses from their various social activities including their company affairs.

  • Tlqkfshadkwnrdjqhffo

    I don’t like what u said in final. 
    First of all, I have to say, I like japan, and i like japanese people too. Korean believe it bcuz it’s true. Korean know that Dokdo belongs to Korea becuz history says so. Japanese don’t know what’s the truth bcuz they change the truth. Japan changes their school text book to brainwash teenagers, so that teenagers would believe Dokdo and East sea is theirs. They were always trying to steal something from Korea. For a long time. 

  • Ashley

    :) Hates mayo and any of its sister sauces – HAHAHAHAHA – better than the article

  • http://jawaab.blogspot.com Manu Stanley

    Thanks for the tip! 

  • FON_d

    As foreigners it’s always wise to err on the side of polite/caution. When giving anything to anyone who isn’t obviously younger than you, always put your hand on your body or your arm. And when receiving anything, take it with two hands. 

    And the thing I’ve noticed with Koreans is that they treat you just like anyone else. You may get some staring, but you generally get left alone. I have noticed that in restaurants and such people are generally nice and very friendly, service is great, and if you’re in a pinch people are more than willing to help you out. In America, you walk around and if you make eye-contact with someone you usually nod or smile to acknowledge them, but in Korea you don’t. It’s not anything rude, it’s just how it is. 

  • Jake…I guess

    Proud people?? Definitely! A while back didn’t Korea play in a soccer match against Switzerland, and after losing they protested in the streets and supposedly some people even called up a Swiss embassy and gave threats???

  • Anonymous

    I think you missed one big point-bowing. Alway bow as you leave, greet or thank someone- especially if they’re older than you. It’s a sign of respect.

  • Tailungroxursox

    =( I didn’t like the info I got from this at all, I was looking good things not rotin horrible stuff? I never been to korea so I can’t say it’s full of liers, but I can say is this who ever wrote this is not right maybe at some parts, but you can’t call people liers….you can’t call a man a lier unless you know he’s lying and what I read it’s
    ‘s wrong to me. U_U

  • letsplaay

    Very interesting and entertaining piece of article to read as a Korean myself.

  • Anonymous

    I flew from SF to China/Hong Kong with appx. 20 hour layover in Seoul’s Incheon International Airport. Being my first time in Korea/Seoul, I didn’t expect this kind of experience at all but let me just say, it was just awesome, so go Seoul or Korea, whatever! This airport, man….the facilities are just spotless (made me almost think if anyone ever used them before), very fancy, oh…yeah….it felt more like some kind of high-end hotel lobby areas, this airport had a spa facility, a 72-hole golf course, supermarket, of course, 30-40 some plus (sorry didn’t exactly count them…could be wrong on the number) duty-free shops, shower rooms, napping areas, media/computer rooms…. many more…totally unexpected. Free Wi-Fi everywhere you go even outside the airport, this city is completely WIRED, man. Easy connection to/from downtown Seoul via AREX (airport railroad), had a fabulous time just walking around the streets filled with seemingly endless shopping and dining options (sorry forgot the names of the places/streets…they were hard to pronounce.)

    Oh, I learned that this airport is number one World’s best airport 2012 (http://www.worldairportawards.com/), yeah…# 1….who would have thought it! But now, I’m a total believer.

    I am definitely planning on going back to Korea, hopefully I can convince some of my Korean friends to go with me!

  • Amrisha Sridharan

    learning..and..doing..part-time..jobs.is..it..good..in..korea?
    I..am..an..INDIAN

  • Johnny Webb

    I’m in Korea at this time and even thou I tried to learn some of the language before getting here (not much learned). I have found that they are very patient with us as long as you try and are polite. The same with every culture I’m sure. Here for work but having fun between Shifts.

    • Tiffany Nicole Webb

      I miss you!

    • Johnny Webb

      i miss you all also. see you Saturday.

  • Anonymous

    좋으신분이내 ㅎㅎ

  • Anonymous

    이런분들이있기에 더더욱 우리 대한민국이 번성합니다.감사합니다.

  • Benjamin Gyubum Lee

    Some of contents need explanations, but I think this article reflects Korean culture.
    Oh yeah, be Aware of Ajummas when coming to Korea, even Koreans cannot understand them and their own culture.

  • Mark Pegar

    tnx a lot for these..

  • anonymous

    racist much? where are your facts? btw, you can’t base it off of just one person who told a lie…..newsflash: everyone tells lies! including YOU. so don’t be hating on koreans cause they are just as awesome as everyone else in this world…..minus you

  • Emily

    This really helped with my friend and mine project (sorry for the improper grammar).
    -Emily and Ji-A

    • bill

      cmon u now how to do grammar rite/

      • Rey Moreno

        rite???

    • bill

      stupd

  • jason

    Lik my but go to skool and lern to spel

    • bill

      u shud go to skool and “learn” to spel

    • bob

      who are you talking to

  • Mary Joy Jamisola

    share to all… the koreas traditional food kimchi…

  • Seoulcomp

    You are incorrect about Smiling. Koreans smilie all the time. Compared to nearly every other East and South East Asian countries, Koreans smilie at people all the time, especially foreigners. Compare this to China, Singapore, or Hong Kong, where people are much more austere. Only in Taiwan do they also smilie a lot. I live in Korea, and I always miss the smilies when I leave the country–even in the US they don’t smile as much!

    • Rey Moreno

      my boss always tells me “DON’T SMILE” I am living here for more 6 months, and Koreans are snob, aloof, distant to foreigners, maybe because of language barrier. but once they learn to talk to you they can be reliable and will help you if you have problems.

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