Depending on what country you are sitting down in right now this article may come off in one of two ways. Informative or reaffirming. Just in case you were wondering, Korea is a great country to live in! The cost of living is relatively cheap, public transportation is amazing, and Korean food is plentiful and when shared between friends can cost next to nothing. However, there are a few things that people who have never lived here would never know. Here are 8 things you discover while living in Korea.

1. Koreans LOVE Fried Chicken

Seriously who would have thought there would be SO many different kinds of fried chicken joints all over the place. These establishments serve up crispy fried chicken with various options such as a spicy sauce, garlic, or onion. All these institutions also carry large amounts of beer to wash down the greasy delights.  All of the top Kpop stars advertise for various fried chicken companies too; imagine that, a beyond skinny idol singing and dancing in a rain of fried deliciousness.

<3 Chicken

2. Super Delivery Service

To be perfectly honest, you could probably survive in Korea without actually having to go outside, well except to take out the trash. Delivery service is a such a staple of Korean consumerism that you can have almost anything delivered. Take out food is a given, but then there are things like McDonalds and other global chains that offer this service as well. You can go online shopping at E-Mart or Homeplus (Walmart-esque Supermarkets) and have them deliver anything to your doorstep. Plus with the addition of sites like G-Market selling everything from clothes, appliances, make up, to fresh produce and groceries, shopping is a near afterthought.

24 Hour Mcdonald Delivery? Nice.

24 Hour Mcdonald Delivery? Nice.

3. Crazy Ass Pizza

Speaking of delivery foods, the most common delivery item back home was pizza, and for many Americans, I am sure that it is the first thing that comes to mind. Well in Korea many of the pizza toppings are not the same as back home, which is understandable due to a lack of ingredients or taste preferences. However, their spin on the pizza is a bit confusing at times to say the least. A plethora of toppings, sauces, and crusts make the meal an emotional rollercoaster. Then there’s the price! Ordering from a name brand chain is not cheap at all. For example here is Domino’s new  special. The Double Crust Blooming Pizza. 34,000 for a large. That’s around $30.00.

Dominos pizza Korea

Left to right, Top to bottom: Sweet Mini-Chilli, Merguez Ball, Sweet Potato Paz, Bacon Chips, Hollandaise Mouuse, Blue Bell peppers, Foccacia Cube Edge, Double Crust. (Not labeled) Onion, Mango Habanero Sauce, Mushroom, Parsley

4. Lack of Public Trash Cans

This part is rather annoying to be honest. When you are out on the town there are seldom any trash cans outside to be used, so either you hold onto whatever you want to toss or you litter. It just feels somewhat inappropriate that a place ranked globally on the economic scale and is home to some of the largest tech companies in the world would have a problem having appropriate trash receptacles. Then the streets end up looking like this happened, but without the trashcans.


5. Koreans Do Things to the Max

Those that live in Korea will understand what I am talking about if you have ever gone hiking. These older men and women look like power ranger stunt doubles. They are dress head to toe in fluorescent name brand hiking clothes complete with matching towel, sunglasses, and walking sticks. Bike riding? It is like the Tour de France in the park.

What they think they look like…

What they think they look like.

What they actually look like…

Korea hiking reality

6. Fruit, The Rich Man’s Food

I get it, having four distinct seasons makes it difficult to have a multitude of fruits available for a cheap price. In all honesty this probably is not as bad as I make it seem, most fruits and vegetables found in the street markets are pretty cheap. However, coming from California where fresh fruits are available for under $1.00, paying $4.00-$5.00 for bananas in a supermarket seems a bit much. They also have large fruit gift sets that generally start from $20, but can get quite pricey.

7. Blackout Country

Korea is known to have quite the drinking culture. Soju is the number one selling alcohol in the world. It also costs about $1.50 a bottle, so you can see how people may go overboard, repeatedly. In any case you would be surprised as to how many businessmen and party goers alike are simply passed out on a bench or inside a subway entrance. For more check out “blackoutkorea

8. Instant Coffee Addiction

Maxim, Kanu, French Cafe the list goes on, but people in Korea love their individually packaged coffee. The kind with about gram of coffee and the rest being made of sugar and creamer. Oh and speaking of coffee, you would be surprised at how hard it is to find a decent drip coffee, outside of the major chains like Starbucks. Americanos are the dark caffeinated drink of choice here. There are probably even more coffee shops than fried chicken places, not to mention that songs have been popularized thanks to the coffee addiction in Korea.


Source: DominosBigBang, SauteedHappyFamily, Blackoutkorea, Imgur, beautifulkoreanartists, JT

About The Author

A California native with a passion for travel, JT has been living in Korea for the past two years. A health fanatic and a seeker of knowledge, JT co-founded SeoulSync because of a desire to create something larger than he could ever become alone.