Random Comments, Observations, and Generalizations About Korea

In Travel by Simmie1 Comment

Over the course of our time in Korea, we both observed and learned a number of things and made a few grand broad generalizations:

  • The Korean Tourism Organization has done an amazing job making Korea more accessible for tourists from all over the world. Their app is great. We used it all over the country to find our way around and it was great. 
  • The Korean metro is great. It’s nationalized, so the metro card you use in Seoul also works in Busan. The subway also has an app which is everything I want in a metro app. It give station information, trip planning, timetables, etc. The subway station exits are all numbered which makes it so much easier to figure out where you are supposed to go. I love it.
  • Public toilets are prevalent, especially at tourist attractions. Plus, the signs are hilarious.

Korea - Day 7

  • It’s apparently a trend for couples to wear matching outfits. We saw numerous couples walking around in matching his and hers shirts. I tried to get Andrew to wear a matching outfit with me but he refused.
  • Driving is very aggressive, but still courteous. If you want to get over a lane, you signal and go for it, but the people behind you will generally comply and let you in. This is different than DC where signaling that you want to get over means the people behind you speed up so as to not let you in.
  • Koreans don’t get hot. Andrew and I would be dripping in sweat while walking around and we would see Koreans in long sleeves and coats. Also, AC would often be available, but it would be on very low so the temperature difference was not as refreshing as we wanted it to be.
  • Korean women don’t seem to wear their hair in a high ponytail. I felt like that hairstyle alone gave me away the most as an American.
  • Korean women are serious about their heels. They wear heels everywhere, even hiking. I don’t know how they do it.


  • Koreans don’t get thirsty. Andrew and I would be guzzling bottles of water. At meals we would regularly go through the pitchers of water. Everyone else was politely sipping their tiny cups of water or not drinking anything at all. Often water wasn’t even served with the meal. Instead afterwards there would be water fountains and cups for you to get a drink as you were walking out.
  • The girl squad is a real thing. Andrew had a fascination with them. He wanted to do an anthropological study on the Korean squad. Girl squads had personalities, most easily shown by what they were wearing. There was the Sports Hat Girl Squad, the Fashionista Girl Squad, the Middle Aged Lady Girl Squad, the Relatable Girl Squad, the Gossipy Elderly Lady Girl Squad…so many.
  • There are no public trash cans. We walked around many evenings with our trash in our hands, futilely looking for a trash can to throw it away in. Sometimes we just took it back to the hotel with us and tossed it there. The weird thing is that even though there are no public trash cans, there’s also no trash littering the streets. So I guess everyone just carries it with them? Or there are secret trash cans tourists aren’t privy to?


  1. Pingback: I'm Korean and I'm Jewish - It's an Unusual Combo - simmiecakes

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