Traveling is a hobby that most people enjoy doing. Apart from being a hobby, some other reasons make people go to various places around the world. However, when traveling alone to a particular destination, you have to gather enough information about the area.
Have you ever wanted to travel to Korea alone but wondering how to do so? You came to the right place. We shall give you every important detail of what you need to know about Korea while traveling.
Let’s find out what you need to know while traveling to Korea alone. Here are the six things to always be aware of Korea.
Communication is essential when going to a place for the first time as a loner. However, different people around the world use different styles when communicating.
How will you interact with people from Korea after arriving? The official language for both North and South Korea is Korean. However, one thing you need to know about the Korean language is that they borrow most of their vocabularies from the Chinese language. This means a Chinese and a Korean can communicate effectively.
Hangul is the official alphabet of the Korean language. The Korean language is phonetic.
You may choose to take lessons to learn the Korean language. It is quite simple to learn. Alternatively, you can choose to interact with Koreans for easy learning.
The key to all this is to learn Hangul. This is an effortless task due to the phonetic nature of the Hangul. Build an essential vocabulary for quicker learning. Know the names of foods and places as these are the basic things you will require during your trip to Korea.
Adapting to the environment of a new place can be daunting at times. The climate varies in different locations due to various reasons. Some of the things that affect climate include ocean currents, the proximity to enormous water bodies, seasonal and prevailing winds, topography and altitude.
The climate in Korea is temperate meaning it is not very extreme. It also experiences the four seasons, which are summer, winter, spring and autumn.
While traveling to Korea, be ready to carry things like your heavy jackets, gloves to keep you warm. This is because winters in Korea are usually very long.
A combination of wet and cold air coming from the sea of Okhotsk and humid/hot air coming from the Pacific Ocean results into rains heavy rains during the summer.
Do not just walk to Korea. Get full knowledge of their climate. Know when it rains and when it shines. Know when to carry an umbrella and when to wear light clothes. Get used to their weather.
Know where the country is located on the world map. These at times, affect the weather conditions of a nation. You can tell from a world map weather a country is located near a large water body or a mountain. Some of us don’t even know where Korea is located.
Different countries have various ways of lives. How you live in your country is not the same a person from Ney York or China. Certain things influence the means of living in a particular country. Some of them are religions and superstitions, business customs and practices, attitudes and values, aesthetics, education, among others.
However, some countries may share the same culture. For our case, the most influencers of the Korean culture are Japanese and Chinese cultures. Confucianism is the leading indicator of Korean culture.
Koreans value and respect their elders. Do not expect to abuse or disrespect one of their elders, while in Korea. It will be against their culture.
The main types of religion in Korea are Buddhism, Christianity and Confucianism. Be ready to choose one of them if you like to worship. However, there is freedom of worship in Korea, so you are free to choose any religion you love.
Also, it is good to know that Korea has two main National holidays. The basis for celebrating these holidays revolves around family, ancestors, games etc.
Also, most of the Koreans consider themselves or are regarded as middle class. They use hierarchical language while communicating. This shows how they respect their elders or superiors.
How will you greet someone from Korea? If you do, will it be in the right manner? Different countries have different ways of passing greetings to people. The traditional way to pass greetings in Korea is bowing. However, that does not mean you can never shake hands while greeting someone. You should do it right. There is a way to shake hands. When shaking hands, your right hand should always be supported by your left one. This is a sign of respect.
Also, expect to prolong some of your conversations while in Korea. Do you know why? Korea regards a “NO” as poor etiquette. They will try as much as possible to avoid saying the word.
Food and Dining
When traveling to a particular place, you will be expected to eat something at least. There is no way you are carrying food enough to serve you while away. However, it is good to know some of the foods to expect and some of the eating habits.
Different countries eat different foods. Korea is one of the countries with very healthy meals. Some of the foods to expect while in Korea are kimchi (fermented vegetables), Buggy, Apache, Bibimbap and Hoeddeok, among others. The foods are very spicy. They use less oil. So be ready to consume little fats when choosing Korean food.
It is also good to know that Koreans take most of their foods with chopsticks. You should probably train yourself on how to choose a chopstick. Don’t expect a spoon.
Also, do not be in a hurry to seat down when invited for a meal. You should wait for your host to seat you. Additionally, serving starts from the elders. Do not feel bad when an elder is served first.
While dining in Korea, there is always prolonged silence. They talk after everyone has feasted. It is also good to receive food using both hands in Korea. It is also not good to point with your chopstick. Neither is it right to leave them sticking out of your bowl.
Taboos in Korea
It is good to know the Dos and don’ts of a particular country before going there. Countries have different bans. Korea is one of the countries that have many taboos.
You are probably used to having your shoes or sandals everywhere. This might be a problem for you once you land in Korea. There are certain places you can’t wear your shoes.
It is prohibited or a taboo to wear your shoes/sandals at places of worship or in people’s homes. Also, for those who like putting their legs on furniture, know that it is a taboo in Korea. You will have to avoid it for some time.
Additionally, we are used to eating ice creams and biscuits while taking a walk on the streets. Do you know this is regarded as a taboo in Korea? Eating or drinking anything, especially in public places, is a taboo in Korea.
If you are in love with red colors, Korea isn’t the perfect place for you. The red color in Korea is regarded as a symbol of death. It is used to write the names of deceased persons. According to them, you will wish someone bad luck if you used a red color.
Are you aware that letter four is regarded as bad luck in Korea? If you intend to give something, say a gift to someone, avoid giving four of something at all costs.
Legal Jurisdictions of the Land
Every country has its own rules and regulations. Some of the rules are similar, while others have massive variations. Also, some states have different rules and regulations for foreigners or first-time visitors.
To avoid being caught on the wrong side of the law, try to understand some of the rules. You might be arrested on your first day to Korea. Familiarize yourself with most of the common standards. If you are on a business trip, find out about the rules governing businesses.
Since the rules are too many to govern a particular country, you may not be able to know all of them due to limited time. You can learn some by interacting with some Koreans before you travel to Korea. At least have a glimpse of what takes place in Korea before you decide to take a flight to Korea.
Final Word on Things to Know Before Traveling to Korea Alone
With the above tips, your trip to Korea will be awesome. However, note that these are just some of them. There are a lot more you need to know about Korea before traveling there. Do not be confused with how people conduct themselves when in Korea. Do not start asking people on how things are done.
You can make your stay in Korea perfect after you read this article intensively. No one will know you are a foreigner in Korea when you have knowledge of the things above.