Top 10 interesting facts about South Korea

South Korea is one of the top tourist destinations in the world. Foreigners used to overlook this country as a place for globetrotting. But the Hallyu (Korean wave), which refers to the huge popularity of Korean culture including K-pop, k-dramas, k-movies, cosmetics and electronics in global level, gains a huge attention on South Korea.

Not only Hallyu but also the traditional elements of South Korea from food to breath taking landscapes attains an immense amount of global recognition. Apart from that, South Korea is a popular destination for medical tourism, especially plastic and cosmetic surgeries.

South Korea has one of the most interesting and erratic cultures in the world. Since it has a long traditional history, many people in Korea respect their tradition and culture by preserving it. Although Seoul is a metropolitan city, you can still find traditional “hanok” houses that have been existence for centuries.

Korean people love to dress up and they have an intense fashion sense. Although they are modernistic, they often wear hanbok, which is considered as Korea’s traditional dress in order to show the respect for their culture.

While it’s a very open and capitalistic country where most things are accepted, Koreans are very superstitious people and you must be respectful of this before coming here. So here are the 10 interesting facts you need to know before stepping into South Korea.     

Top 10 interesting facts about South Korea

Top 10 interesting facts you need to know before stepping into South Korea.

10. Korean Age

interesting facts about South Korea

Korean age and international age is different. In Korean culture, your date of birth doesn’t defines your age. In Korea, you are one or two years older than your actual age. So, basically when a Korean baby is born, he is considered as one year old because, the time spent in mother’s womb is considered as one year. On January 1st(New year) he gets one more year older, that means turn of a calendar adds you a year.

Korean age is very important in their culture. People in Korea uses different language when speaking to people of different age. Paying respect to elders is a huge concern in Korea. Usually older people are expected to pay things.

9. Cosmetic surgery

Korean Cosmetic surgery

Worldwide, Korea is one of the top countries for popularity of cosmetic surgery. Why Koreans do that much of cosmetic surgery? It’s because of the Korean society pressure of being perfect.

Korea is well known for their standard plastic surgeries and has the fifth highest number of plastic surgeons in the world. The most common type of plastic surgery in Korea is blepharoplasty or double eye lid surgery.

Koreans give a huge importance to appearance and also they have the pressure of look well, dress and have a good image. In South Korea both man and woman wears makeup and it is one of the top beauty markets in the world.

8. Girl Clothing fashion

Korean Girl Clothing fashion

Korea is well known for their fashion culture. They always try to maintain up-to-date in fashion choices.  Since Korean culture is rooted in conservatism, it is expected of women to act and look pure or classy. Wearing revealing clothes are considered trashy in Korea.

In here, girl’s fashion rules are a little bit different from western countries. Here it is okay to show your legs. Shorts and mini skirts are often considered as cute but if you show your cleavage, it’s a big no. In other words, cover your top part, especially chest area.

7. Taking pictures in public

interesting facts about South Korea

You can’t take other people’s picture in public place without their permission. In fact all the phones that are sold in Korea has a feature that cannot silence the phone’s camera. This is because, whenever you take a photo, people around you should aware that you’re taking a picture.

Taking pictures of women without their consent is forbidden and often considered as sexual assault which is punishable for more than 10 million won and 5 years of imprisonment. This is mainly for safety and protecting the privacy of people.

6. Kimchi and Soju

Kimchi and Soju


Kimchi is considered as South Korea’s national dish. Kimchi is more than a traditional fermented vegetable side dish, it is considered as an emotion for Koreans. They consume it for nearly every meal.

There are different types of kimchi, cabbage kimchi is the commonest among them. It has the capacity of uniting people from generation to generation and it will continue through its social and historical framework.


Soju is a Korean alcohol which is considered as the most consumed alcoholic beverage in the world. South Korea is by far the world’s highest liquor consumption country.  This clear drink is about half as strong as vodka which makes it all the more dangerous because it is easy to drink. Whichever restaurant you go to in this country you’ll see the green bottle popping left and right.

5. Number 4 is unlucky

Number 4 is unlucky

As number 13 is considered as unlucky in some western countries, number four is considered as unlucky in Korea. Why number 4 is unlucky? 4 in Korean is “sa” which means as “death” or “deceased “in Chinese language. Because of this, people link the number 4 with death, hence considered as bad luck.

Because 4 is unlucky, often in tall buildings, the fourth floor is called “F” floor instead of “4″. Of course there are many people who don’t care about this superstition but there are people who go as far as, that they don’t want this number on their licence plate or in their cell phone number. Tetraphobia is common among Koreans.

As number 4 is considered as bad luck, number 3, 7, 8 are considered as lucky numbers believing that these numbers bring wealth and good fortune.

4. Don’t write names with Red ink

Don’t write names with Red ink

In Korea, you shouldn’t write a person’s name with a red ink. If you write a person’s name in red ink, that person will die soon. One of the origins of this superstition is from Korean War.

During the Korean war (25 July 1950), whenever the soldiers died during the fight, letters written in red ink were sent to their family to inform about the death of their loved ones in the war. So still, many Koreans think it’s a bad thing to write the name in red. So if you ever visit Korea, make sure not to use red pen to write someone’s name or prepare yourself to get a dead stare.

3. Shopping

South Korean people love shopping

South Korean people love shopping. In fact Shopping is a favourite pastime activity in South Korea, and Seoul boats some of the largest malls in the whole world. South Korea is also known for shoppers’ heaven.

In South Korea, restaurants, bars and cafes close at 11 pm but you can shop till 4 am in the morning. Koreans spent most of their money on shopping. Korean youth are obsessed with luxurious brands. As a result, luxurious brands like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel, Dior etc. bags a huge turnover in Korean market.

Also there are many underground markets, where you can buy cheap products. Most of the elderly and middle-classed people depend the underground market places for their shopping.

2. Love motel

South Korean Love motel

Although Koreans are considered as conservative, they also promote ‘love motels’. Love motels are special kind of hotels, where adults can rent a room by the hour. Main reason for the existence of love motels is due to the conservative Korean culture, as many people live with their parents, private time with the significant one is hard by.

You can find love motels in all over Korea, especially in Seoul. Love motels can found in different themes according to your preference and it is quite eye catchy and Instagram worth.

1. Korean law: reduced sentence in jail due to alcohol influence

interesting facts about South Korea

Even though, Korea is a pretty good and safe country, it doesn’t mean that bad things don’t happen there. As most of the countries, also in Korea murders, rapes, robberies happens. There is a law in Korea called “shim-shin-miyak” which dilutes the potential of the case as if you are mentally/physically weak or super drunk and commit a crime, you are not fully responsible for it. So the prison sentence will be drastically reduced.

There are many cases where people misuse this law. People commit crimes by consuming alcohol and got away with it by wrongfully using this law that protects mentally ill people.

K-pop and K-dramas are taking the world by storm and gains a huge attention on South Korea. But South Korea is not all about that. This small peninsula have a lot to offer apart from K-pop and K-dramas.  

Although some of the Korean are superstitious and some of their culture seems to be indigestible, it is what makes them a true Korean. Most important thing of all is that respecting other’s culture and believes without judging.

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