SUMMER has arrived! And you know what that means: bikinis, pool parties and fun in the sun. Perhaps the cherry on this particular cake is summer break and, by extension, a good excuse to go on vacation abroad. So if you’re pondering over what this summer’s holiday destination will be, then why not the stunning, serene and stimulating South Korea? Well, if you do decide on the land of fabulous hair and insanely gorgeous people, here’s some helpful tips for you before you go:
1 . DEODORANT: First of all, Koreans just don’t use deodorant. It is not commonly used, but to dispel a common misconception, deodorant can be easily bought in supermarkets and convenience stores. So if you just hop on down to an E-mart or Lotte mart, you’d probably find the supposedly elusive deodorant, with consummate ease.
2 . TOWELS: Following on from the previous point, the Koreans don’t really do large towels either. Instead they seem to prefer to provide guests with a seemingly nonsensical collection of miniature hand towels. So if you were hoping to leave out your own plush full body towel from your suitcase in order to make room for beauty products, K-Pop merch and other souvenirs, then you may want to think again.
3 . T -MONEYCARD: Another absolute essential if you’re visiting is a TMoney card. Much like London’s own Oyster card, but so much more comprehensive, it allows you to travel on buses, taxis and the national railway system at a much cheaper rate than if you bought an ordinary ticket with cash so make sure you buy one as soon as you touch down on South Korean soil.
4 . MONEY EXCHANGE: If you’re worried about exchanging your money, rest assured. It is very convenient to exchange money, especially on the streets of Myeongdong and Itaewon as these are tourist areas, money exchange booths are open around the clock and even on weekends! The rates tend to be higher when exchanging in Korea rather than abroad, so we recommend you don’t exchange it all in one go before heading to Korea.
5 . PHRASEBOOK: And finally, a small phrasebook (or all the issues of IMK ㅋㅋㅋ) is going to be your Bible while you’re in South Korea. It is one of the few countries in the world where everyone and their 할머니 (halmeoni – grandmother) speaks only Korean, so you will find your holiday so much more difficult than it needs to be if you don’t learn at least a few basic phrases! Don’t forget to take lots of pictures, relax, and most importantly: have fun!