[OP-ED] 5 Things About Korea That You Should Know
Sandy In , April 14, 2017, 9:47 a.m.
If you’re looking for a new adventure, then South Korea is the place to be. South Korea is one of the most safest and best places to live in the world. If you’re planning to move to Korea or visit the country, here are some things you should know!
Korea is quite safe. According to their 2016 crime and safety report, it was concluded that their crime rates were fairly low. Kidnappings are very rare, however, they do occur. For the most part, many teenagers can safely walk home during the late hours of the night. Although it may be safe, it’s always good to be aware of your surroundings in order to ensure your maximum safety. Although it is a safe, I recommend you to take extra precautions in order to avoid the few crimes that do occur. When in crowded areas like Myeongdong, Hongdae, Itaewon, and Gangnam, do not carry valuables and instead carry a small pouch or crossbody. These areas are commonly targeted for pickpocketing and purse snatching. Walking in well lit areas are also helpful to prevent any confrontations or assault.
The transportation system in Korea is very cheap, easy, and convenient. If you’re traveling in the big city, then it is important that you take the subway. Cars are usually jammed packed on the streets. So to avoid traffic, utilizing their public transportation system is the way to go!
Some companies pay for your housing, if not, rent is about 300,000 won for a small studio depending on the area that you live in. Going around Seoul is also cheap as long as you acquire the t-money card in order to get around quicker. The t-money card is a like a reloadable transportation card. If you’re familiar with using the public transportation in LA, it’s very similar to the TAP card. Except, you can use your T-money card in Korea to also pay for your taxi fares.
“Do you have wifi?” The common question that we are usually shy to ask others will not be a problem in Korea. The internet in Korea is insanely fast and you can pretty much get wifi from anywhere! They also have ‘wifi eggs’ which is a portable device that you can carry around with you as you go around and explore. Taxis also have wifi and even their SUBWAYS! You’re literally deep underground when riding the subway, but you will also be able to receive a great connection for your phone.
Korea is definitely rich in culture and history. If you dress up in a hanbok(Korean traditional clothing) and visit the one of many palaces in Korea, you can enter with free admission and take fun photos with your friends or significant other. The food culture is one of the favorite things that I enjoy about Korea. You can have food delivered right at your doorstep at any time of the day. Chicken at 12AM? No problem! The only catch is that you must have a Korean phone number in order to use the app.
From my experience, the citizens of Korea are also very nice and helpful. During my first week there, I was a bit lost and confused regarding which subway to take and another person took notice and came to help direct me. The music culture is also nice. During the afternoons and night, there are street performers known as ‘Buskers’ showcasing their talent.
It’s always scary yet exciting to take the risk and travel to a new country. However, actually stepping forward and doing so is the biggest step that you can take. My three weeks in Korea was very pleasant and I cannot wait to go back! Make sure to research about what their seasonal weathers are like before you pack! These 5 things were based on my experiences as well as some research, so I hope they were able to help you out!
If you need help figuring out where to go in South Korea, you can check out my other op-ed on that here~!