You may be planning a trip to South Korea soon and there are a few things that you must absolutely NOT do when visiting. Visiting includes going for vacation, business, study abroad, teaching, ect.
Don’t Wear Your Shoes Inside the House, School and Some Restaurants
This is a habit that I have taken with me back to the States. The streets are disgusting and you don’t want to carry the outside in. Wearing your shoes inside the house is rude and disgusting. There are usually slippers for you to wear. If you go to a restaurant and you see people wearing their shoes, then you can too. If you see people have taken their shoes off and left them outside of the room, then you should follow suit.
Refrain From Hugging
Hugging is not part of Korea’s culture. If you try to hug them, they will either dodge you or give you a weird pat on the back or shoulder. It will be uncomfortable for both parties involved. Bowing, waving, and shaking hands are the acceptable standards.
Don’t Compare Every Guy or Girl You See to a K-pop Idol or Actor
This has been a weird one that I have come across. There are those that love k-pop and kdramas, but they disregard everything else when it comes to Korean culture. It puts you and the culture you are representing in a negative light when all you want to do is meet a Korean person because of idols and actors, thinking they will look and act the same way. Even worse, comparing them to these celebrities and only wanting to date a Korean person in order to fulfill a fantasy.
Avoid Speaking Loudly in Public, Especially in Public Transportation
Frankly, it is just rude and disruptive towards the people around you. This also will include playing music or videos out loud as well. Plug in your headphones and speak quietly or with your indoor voice.
Do NOT Sit in Marked Areas on Public Transportation
In continuation of the above, there are certain reserved areas on the bus and subway that are for pregnant women, mothers with small children, the elderly, and the disabled. You will get yelled at, dirty looks or even hit if you try to sit in these areas and you do not follow any of these categories. Also, if you are sitting in a regular seat and you see someone from one of the groups and the designated areas are full, it is best that you give up your seat for that person out of respect and common courtesy.
There are number of other things that you should not do, but here are five just to start you off. Enjoy your trip and feel free to ask me any questions!