Most of our lives being filled with everything about Korea. From the Korean legend pop group – Super Junior to the latest uprising star – Wanna One. From our face beauty products, makeup products, fashion or even our hairstyles. Everyone is being crazy about Korea. Hence, they tried to make their dreams came true and travelled to Korea. There were tons of people visited Korea every year and I’m pretty sure everyone is grabbing the chance to make themselves look more like a local. I’ve visited Korea- Busan, Jeju Island and Busan back in 2017, so here, I’m going to share some tips on how to be more like a local while you’re travelling to Korea.
1. Be Trendy
First thing first, if you want to be like a local, you have to mix yourself among them and don’t let people catch you as a total foreigner. What I mean is you have to wear like you were a Korean regardless you are a guy or girl. Korean care a lot about their outlooks and they always trying to look the best whenever they left home. So, remember to do some research on how they dress up. Do check the weather when you plan to travel to Korea and dress up according to the weather. Don’t wear a huge fluffy jacket while you are going in the summertime.
2. Be Manners
Most of the Korean (girls or guys) have good manners. They won’t laugh loudly inside a public transport either eating ferociously in any restaurant. I’m not saying ALL of them but MOST of them have good manners. They will give up their seats for eldest in public places such as bus and LRT. If you want to be like a local, please do so. And, always greet “annyeong haseyo” (Hi or Hello) when you enter a store and “kamsahamnida” (thank you) when you are done purchasing your item or when someone hands you something – especially when the waiter/waitress hands you food in a restaurant or worker hands you an item in a store.
3. Eat what a Korean will eat
Korean like to drink alcohol. They can drink a lot and never get drunk. So, if you really want to be like a local, you should try some of their famous alcohol beverage.
If you’ve watched Korean movie, you will definitely know what is Soju. Soju is a colourless alcohol beverage which contents about 16.8% of alcohol. Some foreigner gets drunk easily within a bottle of Soju. Still, it is a worth of try. Korean like to drink Soju while eating Jokbal (pig’s trotters cooked with soy sauce and spices). Pig’s trotters might look gross for some people but they don’t serve it like a foot. The staff in the restaurant or shop will cut it into thin slices and it is delicious to eat. It tastes a little bit salty and sweet which perfectly matched with the burning taste of Soju. You can also replace Jokbal with Dakbal (Korean spicy chicken feet). Dakbal comes with the different level of spiciness. You can find some shop made it super spicy that can burn your lips while some are just the right taste of spiciness. So, try to explore and find the perfect spiciness that you like. If you can’t except both Jokbal and Dakbal, then just stick to the basic which is Samgyeopsal (Korean grilled pork belly). It is the most basic way to match with Soju. Just wrap the meat and some side dishes with lettuce. And lastly, drink a shot of Soju.
Just like Soju, Korean also like to drink beer. The best partner for beer is fried chicken. “Chimaek” is a combination of fried chicken and beer – Chikin (fried chicken) and Maekju (beer). You will be able to find fried chicken shop or restaurant anywhere just around the corner. You can choose original fried chicken, the Yangnyeom chicken (Korean style seasoned fried chicken) or mixes of both. For the first trial, I would recommend mixing both so that you can have more choices. Korean like to hang out with mates at night. And, chimaek is the best choice to end your day perfectly after long hard work.
4. Wear makeup
Good news for girls! Korean girls just like the other girls in the world- they like to wear makeup too! But, different countries got the different style of makeup. Western girls like to wear brownish to the dark colour of makeup while Korean tend to choose a natural colour of makeup such as light pink, orange, and light red. Korean girls like to dap the lipstick on their lips and make it really natural to “No makeup” makeup looks while western like to draw their lips with darker colour. During my trip to Korea last year, I realized all of the girls in Korea put on makeup regardless of their age. You can even find them reapplied their makeup at public places. I once found a student (around 13-15 years old) put on her super red lipstick and another middle-aged woman applied her makeup really thick while I’m taking a subway. Everyone in the subway was looking at them. So, choose a natural colour of makeup if you are planning to visit Korea. For girls who don’t like to wear makeup, maybe you should try to put on some light foundation, blush, and lipstick to look more like a local.
1) Most of the Korean girls have a nice body shape and look really slim to the point “skinny” but they can eat and drink a lot of alcohol. Hence, try not to stare at them too obviously.
2) Korean can be REALLY LOUD when they get to hang out together with their mates. They talk and laugh really loud like everyone in the shop/ restaurant can hear them. So, you have to be prepared not to freak out at their voices.
3) Some restaurant (very less) in Korea doesn’t serve foreigners in the way they serve locals. They might raise their voices at you. Just don’t bother them and enjoy your foods.