Interesting Things About South Korea That You Never Knew

It should come as a surprise to absolutely no one that if you travel to a country half-way around the world from where you live, there’s a good chance that they’re going to do things a little differently than you’re used to.

If you’re looking to travel to South Korea or possibly live there, you’ll learn that they have a different way of life than North America—a way of life that seems a lot more fun, honestly, thanks to all the interesting designs and strange flavors of chips.

Couples Wear Matching Outfits

south korean couple matching outfits
Photo Credit: Pinterest
Photo Credit: Pinterest

For couples in South Korea, wearing coordinated outfits serves a few purposes. Primarily, the matching outfits signify to anyone around you that you’re in a relationship, but they also serve as a way of feeling closer to one another when you’re apart.

Toilet Paper Is An Acceptable Housewarming Gift

toilet paper and detergent south korea
Photo Credit: Instagram / @irina_tian
Photo Credit: Instagram / @irina_tian

Beyond just acceptable, toilet paper or laundry detergent is considered to be a great housewarming gift to bring to someone. Cleaning supplies are thought to bring good luck and good fortune to the person who just moved into a new home.

Their Design Game Is On Point

door to cafe that looks like vending machine
Photo Credit: Instagram / @ndotinteriors
Photo Credit: Instagram / @ndotinteriors

Why would you have a plain door leading into your shop or cafe when you could instead design it to look like a vending machine and create something your customers will definitely remember?

Collectible Movie Tickets

amazing movie theatre tickets in south korea
Photo Credit: Reddit / SuperDeann
Photo Credit: Reddit / SuperDeann

Capitalizing on a market that is definitely lacking, movie theaters in South Korea will often provide collectible tickets for movie premieres so patrons have memorabilia to take home with them.

Make Date Night Easier, Too

straws for two people movie theater
Photo Credit: Reddit / BraydenSlayer
Photo Credit: Reddit / BraydenSlayer

When it comes to designs, the ideas aren’t just for architecture. Many of their products are designed with the consumer in mind, like their solution for sharing a drink at the movies on a date night. This, combined with the collectible movie tickets, points to a superior movie experience overall.

They Prepare Their Population

south korea relief goods station
Photo Credit: Reddit / dogmum214
Photo Credit: Reddit / dogmum214

If some sort of natural disaster or massive emergency were to happen, relief stations like this one can be found all over South Korea. The machines contain gas masks, bottled water, and first-aid kits for people to access in an emergency.

You Can Massage Your Feet In The Park

bare foot in south korea park
Photo Credit: Instagram / @dalgilove
Photo Credit: Instagram / @dalgilove

As a way to relax after a long day or as a nice mid-day break for your body, you can walk across these public stone footpaths that have varying terrain, meant to massage your feet as your walk.

You’ll Never Forget The Birthday Candles

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Photo Credit: Reddit / sptjasd
Photo Credit: Reddit / sptjasd

Further proving that their designs are meant to entertain the people, cakes sold in stores are typically sold with a cake knife that also has free candles and matches stored inside of it.

Dental Hygiene Is A Top Priority

korean bbq provides toothbrushes
Photo Credit: Reddit / DNAprototype
Photo Credit: Reddit / DNAprototype

South Koreans take their dental hygiene very seriously, to the point that restaurants like this Korean BBQ will provide free toothbrushes and mouthwash for customers to use in the bathroom. It’s also not uncommon to see people in the workplace brushing their teeth after lunch.

There Are Some Crazy Snack Foods

south korea food flavors
Photo Credit: Reddit / im_zw & / Sharktopus_
Photo Credit: Reddit / im_zw & / Sharktopus_

Some of their innovative designs have made it over to their food as well, which is why South Korea is known for having some particularly wacky snack flavors and interesting ways of preparing foods.

And They’ve Got Fun Products For Your Teeth, Too

super spicy chicken toothpaste south korea
Photo Credit: Reddit / tylorprime
Photo Credit: Reddit / tylorprime

Dental hygiene is important to Koreans, so naturally, they take the opportunity to spice up some of their dental-related products, literally, with things like super spicy chicken-flavored toothpaste. I can’t remember the last time I saw anything other than mint toothpaste here in America.

The Perks Of Pregnancy

south korea pregnant woman parking spot
Photo Credit: Reddit / nihilo503
Photo Credit: Reddit / nihilo503

There are a lot of perks for women in South Korea who are expecting, including getting a stipend from the government that mothers can use to pay for medical treatments or necessary medicine.

Public places like malls often have a designated nursing area for mothers of newborns, and there are larger parking spaces for expectant mothers to use that are close to the building.

There’s Always Space On The Train For Expectant Mothers

south korea pregnancy place holder on transportation
Photo Credit: Reddit / loverofpeace09
Photo Credit: Reddit / loverofpeace09

Beyond all the government benefits for pregnant women and the extra-wide parking spaces, it’s also common to see placeholders on public transportation to guarantee that pregnant women have a spot to sit.

Construction Workers Pay Attention To What’s Going On Around Them

painters with bags over cars
Photo Credit: Reddit / lonelady75
Photo Credit: Reddit / lonelady75

To protect all of the cars in the parking lot from paint splatters, the painters who were working on the building went to the effort of covering every car in plastic. Construction workers often do the same if there are cars close to where construction is happening.

Making Your Commute A Little More Enjoyable

south korea transport library
Photo Credit: Instagram / @exploring_southkorea
Photo Credit: Instagram / @exploring_southkorea

Public transportation is the most frequent way of commuting to work in South Korea, so to make that more enjoyable for everyone, you will often find libraries in subway stations or even small libraries in subway cars for anyone to use.

Trains Have Individual Karaoke Booths

train karaoke booths
Photo Credit: Reddit / MapleQueefs
Photo Credit: Reddit / MapleQueefs

If you’re taking a trip that’s a little farther than your commute to the office, you might even find yourself on a train that has individual karaoke booths for passengers to use!

Tasting Food In Grocery Stores Is Encouraged

food to taste in grocery store
Photo Credit: Pinterest
Photo Credit: Pinterest

While you may have got in trouble with your mother at the grocery store when you were a kid for sampling a few candies or snagging some grapes, many grocery stores in Korea have samples laid out for people to take.

Anti-Electrocution Pads At Gas Stations

south korean gas pump button for electrocution
Photo Credit: Reddit / kwonasty
Photo Credit: Reddit / kwonasty

In South Korea, you’ll find that many self-pump gas stations have buttons for patrons to press to “de-electrify” themselves, as a way of getting rid of any static electricity before you start pumping.

There’s Privacy In Men’s Bathrooms

south korea men's bathrooms
Photo Credit: Instagram / @esamoman
Photo Credit: Instagram / @esamoman

Men never want to use a urinal directly next to someone else, for obvious reasons. In order to be as efficient as possible and not waste space in the men’s bathroom, they solved the issue by adding simple dividers.

Tiny Cars > Bicycles

small electric cars in south korea
Photo Credit: Instagram / @bigbell78
Photo Credit: Instagram / @bigbell78

If you were to travel to Europe, you would quickly realize how many people ride their bicycles everywhere, and in Korea, these little electric cars are practically as common as riding a bike is in the Netherlands.