A simple guide to visiting Korea part 1

seoul-imageWith Korea being the e-sports mecca of the world, gamers are taking trips from all over to get a taste of what life is like in the city of Seoul. While living in Seoul for over five years I’ve met countless tourists passing through here whether it be at the Gom studio, chatting with them in a bar or playing against them in a PC bang. For those of you who haven’t managed to come visit this part of the world I’ve decided to start writing a series of guides to help you better adjust and enjoy you’re time when you finally do manage to visit this awesome city.

3 basic cultural guide lines you’ll need to adapt to.

Lack of personal space. Seoul is one of the most densely populated cities in the world. You may find yourself crammed around people in the streets where you’re constantly bumping into others. The key is to not view someone bumping into your shoulder or side as a form of aggression. There’s also rarely the need to verbally apologize to the individual you’ve brushed up against or bumped into but a simple polite bow will always do.

Always use two hands. Whether it’s pouring a beer for someone or handing over money ALWAYS use two hands. When it comes to drinking etiquette in Korea there are many more rules to this (which I may make another blog about later) but for now the basic rules are always use two hands for everything. Also always hand over money, NEVER drop it on the counter or table

No need for small talk. If you don’t know someone and you’re in the same elevator or standing in the same line at the movie theater with them don’t feel pressure to chat them up. It can be viewed as aggressive or bizarre. Most introductions are made formally through family/friends/work etc. That doesn’t mean you won’t meet Koreans and make friends out here, it just means you’re most likely not going to make them in situations that aren’t the proper place. In Korea proper introductions through the proper channels are key.

If you guys like this I can write a lot more about Seoul and life out here. Just let me know <3

by Nick Plott, on August 28, 2013