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20 interesting facts about south Korea

Have you ever wondered what makes South Korea such a fascinating country?

Well, get ready to be blown away because I’ve got not just one, but 20 mind-blowing facts about South Korea that will leave you wanting to know more!

From their obsession with skincare to impressive technology, South Korea is a country of endless surprises.

So, get ready to dive into the world of K-pop, delicious street food, and rich cultural heritage, greetings as we uncover these 20 fascinating facts about South Korea.

Are you excited? Well, let’s get started!

Kimchi is Korea’s true love

facts about south Korea
image credit: wikipedia

One of the interesting facts about South Korea is kimchi. Kimchi is perfect for a meal of more than one dish, and it’s made from cabbage that’s been fermented for months.

There are more than 200 different types of kimchi in Korea. Kimchi is used as a side dish, or banchan, in South Korea. In fact, you’ll see kimchi in burgers, pizza, and even pancakes!

The average Korean eats 18 to 25 pounds of fermented cabbage per year. 

You can get kimchi for free at the restaurant.

It’s believed that many Koreans have separate refrigerators for kimchi alone. Since the 18th century, red kimchi has become popular.

Kimchi is also popular around the world. Koreans even say “kimchi” in front of the camera instead of “cheese.”

Kimchi can also help you improve your digestion, fight bacteria, strengthen your immune system, and prevent cancer because it has lactic acid bacteria. Cabbage, radish, water, and cucumber are the most popular types of kimchi in Korea.

Next time when you are in Korea, Try them out!

facts about south Korea

In Korean culture, Red ink is considered bad luck. Writing a person’s name in red ink means the person is dead or will die soon.

if you write their names in red ink on birthday cards by mistake, Koreans will think you want them to be dead rather than wishing them a happy birthday.

how to describe different colors in Korean?

Do you know how to describe different colors in Korean? Here’s a beginner’s guide to Korean colors and their meanings.

So next time you went to Korea, don’t forget to pack a  black or blue pen in your backpack.

The Fear of 4: Bad Omen

facts about south Korea

One of the interesting facts about South Korea is that there is a fear of using the number, 4.

The number 4 is an unlucky number and is considered bad luck in Korea.

Can’t read Korean numbers?

Here’s a complete free guide to counting any numbers in Korean from zero to billions with examples and exercises. 

Well, that’s because it sounds quite similar to the word for death

In South Korea, you will notice that the number 4 is rarely used.

In fact,  you will have a hard time finding a 4 in an elevator or finding an accommodation that has a 4 in its address.

 So, do not get surprised if you find 1, 2, 3, and F buttons in elevators.

Valentine’s day is for guys

facts about south Korea

Here’s another fun fact about South Korea is that Valentine’s Day is for males only. 

The males receive chocolate from females not the other way around like in the west. 

It’s a special day for girls to express their feelings to their crush. 

If the guy accepts the gifts, the girls will even more expensive receive sweets and gifts from the guy on White Day.

facts about south Korea
image credit: CNN Travel

White Day is essentially another Valentine’s Day, held a month later, on March 14th.

Mark your calendars if you have a crush on someone in Korea.

Recommended Korean lesson for you

Want to brush up on your Valentine’s language, here’s the complete guide to saying I love you in Korean like natives.

Couples at Christmas, families at New Year

facts about south Korea

Christmas is a time to return to your hometown and spend quality time with family, but on the other hand, New Year’s Eve is a day to party with friends at a pub, club, or house party. 

In many countries, both holidays are well-celebrated. But when it comes to Korea, things aren’t the same.

Koreans spend their Christmas with their significant other rather than family.

how to say merry christmas in korean

New Year’s is celebrated in South Korea but it’s not a huge celebration. 

Korea has another day as the new year called 설날 (seollal | Lunar New Year). It is an important holiday and is celebrated in the first two months of the year depending on the lunar calendar).

HAPPY NEW YEAR IN KOREAN

A lot of Koreans travel to their hometowns to visit family during the lunar new year. You’ll find huge traffic at that time in Seoul. 

If you’re planning to do any road trips around the lunar new year, make sure to buy the ticket early and expect extra hours of road time.

facts about south Korea

Korean age: you are older in Korea

age in korean

In Korea, people measure a person’s age differently than in other countries.

In Finland, age starts on the day of birth. In Korea, children turn one on the New Year.

The so-called Korean “age” is 1-2 years longer than most other countries are used to thinking.

Calculate your Korean age:

If your birthday has already been this year: your own age + 1 = Korean age

If your birthday has not yet been this year: your own age + 2 = Korean age

How to Calculate your age in Korean?

Want to learn How to Calculate your age in Korean and Talk About It? here’s a free beginners guide to the Korean age system and how to calculate it like natives

Cake Cafes and Theme Parks

You can learn the toilet fact above at the Poopoo Land theme park, located in the capital, Seoul, and in the southern seaside city of Busan.

It is possible to go to theme parks that feature large, open-mouth holes in the ground so you can step inside the mouth and experience the sensation of walking through your own stomach.

In the Insadong area of ​​Seoul, there is a Poo Cafe in the Ssamzigil Shopping Mall. You can buy there coffee or tea.

toilet coffee or waffles from the urinal. The Ssamzigil shopping center itself is already worth a visit, as there are many small boutiques, e.g.

In addition to cosmetics and coffee, Seoul also has a lot of interesting shops and art galleries.

Poopoo land IG andrea_trgovcevic

Image via Instagram: @andrea_trgovcevic .

One’s Blood Type is a Big Deal

facts about south Korea
image credit: trazy

If you meet a Korean, he or she might ask about your blood type just to check if you are ‘blood type A’ or ‘B’. And if you are, they may ask why you are that way.

it’s because they believe it affects personality. Blood type A is sensitive and stubborn, while blood type B is optimistic and creative.

Blood types are similar to Western astrology and in Korean culture are compared as much as compatibility in terms of marriages and family issues.

Men’s cosmetics

facts about south Korea
image credit: channelnewsasia

It is normal for men to care about their skin, and it is not considered “less masculine” to care about your looks.

BB creams are most often used to cover pimples and pores. 20% of Korean men make up even daily.

It is only a matter of time before men’s BB creams become mainstream in the cosmetics industry.

In a society with a focus on appearance, it’s useful to look good because it’s one way to stand out in the labor market.

A lot of sweet potatoes are eaten in Korea

facts about south Korea

Sweet potatoes are considered a good source of carbs and nutrients.

Because they have a low glycemic index, they can be used as part of diets for people with diabetes.

A whole, unpeeled sweet potato is baked along the street in Korea and eaten by hand.

.

Alcohol

facts about south Korea

There’s no doubt about it – Koreans drink quite a bit more strong alcoholic beverages.

Shochu is a type of distilled spirit made from barley and other grains.

It’s enjoyed as shots, but also mixed together with beer. Many nightclubs are open until eight in the morning.

Hangovers are one of the worst things that could happen to you, so be prepared with some kind of hangover preventative or cure.

Hangovers are annoying, but you can minimize the effects of your next morning drink with spicy hangover soup, and medicated ice cream.

South Korea doesn’t like beards

facts about south Korea
image credit: Why Koreans Don’t Have Beard?

Having beards is a popular beauty standard for men in many countries. But in Korea, it’s a no-no.

Korean don’t like any kind of facial hair because growing a beard and chest hair in South Korea is perceived as barbaric.

 So many Koreans don’t grow a lot of facial hair to start with. 

A  shaven, clean, smooth youthful complexion is preferred by women in Korea and became the beauty standard for men. 

 I know this sounds Bizarre 

but the truth is, having facial hair can even hinder Koreans from landing a job!

So, go get a clean shave before going to your interview if you have any.

Korea’s Gangnam Style was a record breaker

facts about south Korea
image credit: imdb

Did you hear the K-pop song “Gangnam Style by Psy?

I bet, you do

“Gangnam Style” was a global sensation and rightfully earned Psy international fame.

K-Pop due to its catchy lyrics and its viral exposure on YouTube.

“Gangnam Style” was so popular that it was the first song to hit one billion views on YouTube, due to its catchy lyrics.

Even if people love to sing its beats, they don’t know that it is about the Gangnam District, an affluent district in Seoul, South Korea.

The world’s fastest Internet

Are you a social media addict? Korea is just the country for you?

Here’s why 

South Korea has the fastest Internet connection in the world.

The data transfer rate is up to a whopping 113-121 megabytes.

In fact, you can connect to WiFi basically everywhere in Seoul and sometimes for free.

Speaking from my own experience in Seoul, I saw that I could connect to the WiFi of random places in the city while our tour bus was moving.

Amazing, isn’t it?

facts about south Korea

Source: Statista & Speedtest Global Index

20% of Koreans have the same surname

About 20% of the population in Korea has the same last name, Kim.

facts about south Korea
image credit: wikipedia- korean name

You can learn about that from Korean history.

The surname Kim was once used by the ruling family of the kingdom

And later ordinary Koreans began to use significant clan surnames for themselves such as the royal name Kim.

Deodorants are a no-no in Korea

Korean men don’t have a gene that causes them to smell like sweat. Indeed, when visiting South Korea, many foreigners find it difficult to find deodorants and antiperspirants that they are accustomed to using daily.

when you sweat through your clothes and the smell of your armpit is in your clothes.

More than 97% of people with European and African genetic backgrounds have this genetic variation, which causes their skin to have a bad smell.

The same gene is also associated with earwax. In Finland, earwax is almost invariably “wet” and sticky, while in South Korea it is a dry crumb.

You can find a wide variety of “ear rakes” in Korean stores. These tools are useful for removing dried-up ears when traveling in Korea. 

The World’s Largest Department Store Is Located In South Korea

facts about south Korea
Image Credit: Shinsegae Dept. Store Main

Did you know that South Koreans are shopping addicts? 

Well, Koreans think shopping is their pastime. 

You might find that restaurants and bars are already closing around 11:00 pm, but some shopping malls usually open later. 

 It’s no surprise that Korea has the biggest department store in the world, called Shinsegae. 

They also accept big credit card users. Even if you’re not from South Korea, there’s nothing to worry.

The electric fans can kill you

 

facts about south Korea

Many people believe in the urban legend that sleeping with windows stuck in the same room with an electric fan can kill.

It’s believed that the fan makes your body colder during sleep, which can lead to hypothermia.

It is believed that after a certain time, fans that automatically shut down are seen as a life-saving feature in South Korea.

The Korean government itself has spread rumors in an attempt to reduce Korea’s electricity consumption during the hot summer months.

The world’s busiest flight route is in Korea

facts about south Korea
image credit:corporatetravelcommunity

Korea’s Busan-Seoul Air Route is the busiest in the world.

It is a 450-kilometer journey of more than an hour’s domestic flight from the capital, Seoul, to the island of Jeju, south of the country.

During the pandemic, even as international travel declined, Koreans have left the cities and traveled back to their family homes in Jeju.

 Korean beauty industry

facts about south Korea

Image source:alamy

One of the world’s top countries in the beauty industry in South Korea.

The Korean skincare philosophy emphasizes caring for the skin, preventing aging, and strengthening it.

Korea’s plastic surgeries and beauty treatments are well known and common for people to go for surgery.

In the West plastic surgery is mostly about boobs and butts, in Korea, it’s all about the face.

In fact, boys are getting plastic faces too, and more and more guys are trying to resemble the male beauty models imposed by K-Pop and Korean Dramas.

A more recent survey from Gallup Korea in 2015 determined that approximately one-third of South Korean women between 19 and 29 have claimed to have had plastic surgery, while some say as much as 50%.

Upper eyelid surgeries are the most frequently performed surgery for women.

A more recent survey from Gallup Korea in 2015 shows that nearly one-third of South Korean women between 19 and 29 had had plastic surgery.

While in the West plastic surgery is mostly about boobs and butts, in Korea, it’s all about the face.

Double-eyelid surgery to make the eye look bigger, facial bone contouring (V-Face), V-line surgery, and cheekbone reduction surgeries are the most popular ones.

Many celebrities and K-pop stars are required to undergo these surgeries to trim their cheekbones, jaw, and chin to create an oval-shaped face. 

This kind of surgery can leave permanent damage.

Food and goods on your doorstep in minutes

facts about south Korea

Whether it’s fast food, grocery shopping, or furniture, home delivery is infinitely fast and mostly free.

It is easy to order takeaway food from the comfort of your house using apps and websites without giving out a physical address. 

Sometimes, however, it’s enough to provide the restaurant with clear signs. 

In other places, there is a separate landmark to serve as the food pick-up location.

Mopeds and scooters are a common sight on the streets of most towns.

Because the price of the product is reflected in the driver’s salary, drivers often break the law by driving at speeding or turning red.

Black Day: A Special Day for Singles

facts about south Korea

One of the interesting facts about South Korea is that it has a special day for singles called black day. 

 This special day is known by the name of Black Day which is celebrated every year on the 14th of April.

On this day, single Koreans dressed up in black and eat jjajangmyeon(a dish of noodles with black bean paste). 

Cafes on this day witness a surge in the sale of black coffee and even companies offering matching-making services use this opportunity to their advantage.

At several places, competitions are held where singles participate with great zeal to drown their sorrows. 

If you are single, you may want to experience this event in South Korea.

Couple clothing and accessories

facts about south Korea
image credit: soompi

The typical Korean couple dresses similarly and shows off their socializing with the same types of clothes and accessories, but young couples in particular show off their socializing with compatible clothing and accessories

There are a lot of different matching mobile phone cases, jackets, and everything else you can think of.

Married couples can also celebrate their anniversaries in the day instead of entire years.

It’s common to celebrate a hundredth, a two-hundredth, and a three-hundredth birthday at the same time.

To celebrate your anniversary, maybe you’ll even get a free night at a hotel and free breakfast in a fancy restaurant.

Reusable containers

Home delivery of Korean food is unique in that, after eating, you can leave the dishes outside the door for collection by the service team.

The next driver will pick up the utensils so that the restaurant can use them again.

Military service and its duration

Korean men must serve in the military for two years at the age of 18 or 19 at the latest.

There’s no such thing as an “exception” for celebrities on Amazon Prime. The service often lasts 18-22 months.

If you’re planning on being an actor or singer in Hollywood, then it’s important that you don’t delay until the age of 30.

Music genre Trot

The traditional trot is made up of traditional folk music, jazz, and blues, and it’s a bit like Japanese enka (Japanese traditional music).

It is a century-old genre of Korean music that began to rise in popularity during the Korean War (1950-53).

In the 2000s, trot music started to rise, thanks to younger trot singers and new genres, like EDM, that combine it with other genres.

Now, more and more artists are starting to mix the traditional genre with other genres.

Many foreign people living in Korea have said that trot music is the easiest type of music for them to learn how to sing in Korean, for example, at karaoke (norebang).

You can listen to some of the hottest new trot music here at TrotRadio.com. Check out some of the latest songs by Bearel and get in touch with us for more information.

 Kpop and Idolsysteemi

BTS instagram-kuva bts.bighitofficial

Image via Instagram: @bts.bighitofficial.

The goal of the program is to attract and retain talented young people and give them a head start in their careers.

They are trained in singing, dancing, and performing.

They are actually not only the same label’s trainees, but they are all living together and attending the same school.

To become a successful K-pop idol you need to put in the time, energy, and money, but there’s no guarantee that your efforts will pay off.

During the internship, the record companies pay for the interns’ housing (and food), and the intern gets to owe the record company money.

a k-pop trainee becomes a member of a k-pop band. He or she begins paying back the money that he or she has accumulated.

The band will be the band until it has a hit. At that point, the band may stop being an idol and go to “regular jobs” in order to repay the record company.

BTS started out as a small record company, with limited funds, but quickly surfaced as one of the most successful K-pop bands. 

At the beginning of April, the acquisition of the U.S. by Big Hit Entertainment is known as the record label BTS.

Black Pink official

Image via Instagram: @blackpink_official.

Conclusion

Korea is a country full of surprises and fun facts. 

The more you learn about fun facts about Korea, the more you find Korea and the Korean language interesting.

Did you know any astonishing facts about South Korea that we didn’t talk about it here?

Feel free to leave a comment about your experiences, and we will add your ideas and name to our list.

We’d love to hear from you.

facts about south Korea

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