There are lots of blogs saying all about the things you should do in Korea. However, I noticed that people don’t tell you what you should NOT do in Korea. I want to write about it so newbies can be aware of the BIG NO NOS in Korea.
It’s timely because one of the members in Expat Women in Korea asked about it, I’m going to compile some comments there and elaborate it for you. So here I am writing about it.
1. If someone starts talking to you out of nowhere, don’t follow them.
They might invite you to eat something, or try something cultural. Most of them are members of cults. Check out: Cults in Korea.
The only people you can trust are the ones who are wearing red jackets, giving out some real maps of tourist places.
2. Don’t directly insult someone online or offline.
Even facts can be defamation. This means don’t post pictures. Don’t use names when talking about a specific issue if someone harmed or did something dangerous. It must all be anonymous. The defamation laws are strict in Korea.
3. Don’t sit in the special spot for the old, disabled, or pregnant on the subway.
Even if the subway is full of people, those seats aren’t being used. People will stare at you when you do that.
4. Don’t talk loudly on public transport.
…unless you’re speaking in Korean. I think it’s common etiquette in any place. However, when you speak English or any other language, there’s a higher chance that they will call you out.
5. Don’t smoke in public.
…unless you’re Korean. LOL. They have smoking rooms to contain all the smoke in one place. If can’t really control it, don’t smoke on the main streets. Choose the narrow streets.
6. Legs are okay to show off, cleavage is not.
Older Koreans are super sensitive to any cleavage & shoulders showing but if you leave home without your pants, they probably won’t even notice.
7. Do not go to DVD rooms.
They are not for watching DVD’s. They are for underage sexual experimentation or for those couples who cant afford a motel.
8. If someone says “Do you want to eat Ramen at my place?” Say no.
It’s the same as “Do you wanna go Netflix and Chill?”
For Korean Drama Fans: It’s the same as “Doing No. 4” (W-Two Wolds)
For momshies: It’s a booty call. It’s a euphemism for sex.
9. Walking with shoes indoors is a no no.
In all the Korean houses I’ve visited, there’s a place where you have to take off your shoes before you enter the house. It’s respecting ones property.
10. Eating before an elder is also a big no.
Korea has a seniority-based culture. The Korean words to describe the senior and junior parties are “sun-bae” and “hoo-bae”. The younger ones are expected to serve their seniors.
Did I miss something? Feel free to write about them in the comments.