1. Do not leave tips or any extra money in South Korea. Staff at hotels, cafes, or restaurants will not understand this and will try to return the money even if they need to go outside and run to the tourist that has already left. Leaving tips can be offensive in Korea.
2. Do not take pictures of unknown people in public places. This is a law in the country. Because of this, it can be hard to take pictures of local attractions because there are always many people nearby. Violators are subject to fines, and the photos will be deleted.
3. Each country has gestures that have some meaning and help in communication, but the same gestures in the Western World and Asia can have a different meaning. In order not to get yourself into trouble, it is better to refrain from gestures at all.
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5. Women do not wear clothes with bare shoulders and décolleté in Korean culture as this is considered vulgar. Female tourists from other countries are better to follow this tradition too otherwise they can catch judgmental glances.
6. When visiting a local café or restaurant, don’t be scared when you hear multiple people shout “wihayeo”. This is simply a group of Korean colleagues that has a party, and wihayeo is a popular drinking toast.
8. Tourists are not obliged to have a passport with them when they are taking a stroll in the city. A hotel card can easily replace it. However, it is a good idea to have a copy of your passport and insurance with you.
9. Korea is a safe country and crimes are rare here. That being said, do not attract pickpockets (they exist in public places in any country) – do not take large sums of cash when heading outside, and do not keep money in a bag.
10. Many tourists feel lost when they see a map of the Seoul metro and the names of stations written in Korean. Don’t forget that all stations are numbered. Simply search the information using the number of the station on interactive maps. It is possible to get around without any knowledge of Korean and English.
11. Inside a metro coach, do not occupy seats for elderly people. These seats usually have a red fabric cover. Otherwise, you risk getting many judgmental glances.
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13. To save on metro and bus tickets, consider buying the T-money card. The remaining card balance can be withdrawn at any terminal that sells these cards.