Before you make the trip to South Korea, here’s what I observe during my 8 day trip to Seoul and Jeju.
1. Beware of spits
Be careful where you put your bags or sit. It was surprising for me at how many people spit in South Korea.
2. They are “pushy”
Not the sales pushy type, but in general, they like to push people. It’s just a way of life over there, whether you are on the busy streets of Myeongdong or in the subway, they have a tendency to push past you. So don’t be surprised when you visit. They seemed to be always in a rush. Also on escalators, the general guide is to keep to the right if you are not rushing up – but this “rule” is rarely observed.
3. No bags
Because of the high awareness of being environmentally friendly, most of the shops in Korea do not offer bags, but of course you can pay for them. But I think it’s a great initiative to encourage people to bring their own bags.
4. Where are the trash bins?
I think living in the comforts of Singapore, where you can almost always find a trash bin has spoiled me. Not only in Korea, but in other cities, it’s hard to find a bin. Which can be troublesome, especially when you are eating the street food, and realising you have no where to dump your trash. Despite this, Korea is still reasonably clean!
Our theory is that because the Koreans segregate their trash into categories when disposing them, (I saw a station with 6 trash bins for different categories like food waste, plastic, can, etc), therefore it might be a little impractical to have 6 bins available everywhere.
5. Watch out for vehicles on walking streets
Is it a street or road? It’s both! Whether it’s Namdaemun or Myeongdong shopping districts, they have vehicles zipping past these streets. So do look out for them; but usually they move slowly as they navigate through the hordes of shoppers. These vehicles transport goods to these stalls. Some of them transport yummy food…