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What you Cannot do in South Korea?

Introduction

South Korea is a beautiful country that has a rich culture and a strong sense of national identity. With its unique customs, traditions, and laws, it’s important to understand what you can and cannot do in this country. In this article, we will explore some of the things that are prohibited in South Korea.

No Jaywalking

One of the most important things to keep in mind when visiting South Korea is that jaywalking is illegal. Pedestrians must wait for the traffic light to turn green before crossing the street. Even if there are no cars in sight, it’s important to follow this rule to avoid getting fined.

No Smoking Indoors

South Korea has strict anti-smoking laws, and smoking indoors is prohibited in most public places. This includes restaurants, cafes, bars, and clubs. There are designated outdoor smoking areas where smokers can light up.

No Vandalism

Vandalism is taken very seriously in South Korea, and those caught defacing public property can face severe penalties. This includes graffiti and other forms of damage to buildings or infrastructure.

No Littering

Littering is also prohibited in South Korea. The country takes great pride in its cleanliness, and there are strict penalties for those who fail to dispose of their trash properly. This includes fines and even community service.

No Public Displays of Affection

South Korea has conservative values, and public displays of affection are not socially acceptable. Couples who engage in kissing or other forms of affection in public may receive disapproving looks or comments from passersby.

No Gambling

Gambling is illegal in South Korea except for one casino located in Incheon. Those caught participating in illegal gambling activities can face significant fines and even jail time.

No Drug Use

Drug use is strictly prohibited in South Korea. Those caught using drugs can face severe penalties, including lengthy prison sentences. It’s important to stay away from any kind of illegal substances while in the country.

No Disrespecting the Flag

In South Korea, the national flag is a symbol of pride and patriotism. It is illegal to disrespect or damage the flag in any way, including burning or defacing it.

No Talking Loudly on Public Transportation

South Koreans value quietness and respect for others’ personal space. Talking loudly on public transportation is generally frowned upon and may receive disapproving looks from other passengers.

No Tipping

Tipping is not practiced in South Korea. Instead, prices are set and there is no expectation of additional payment. Attempting to tip may be seen as rude or offensive.

No Taking Pictures Without Permission

It’s important to ask for permission before taking pictures of people or in certain locations in South Korea. This includes religious sites, museums, and areas where people are working.

Conclusion

South Korea is a unique and fascinating country with its own set of customs and laws. It’s important to understand what you can and cannot do while visiting to avoid any misunderstandings or legal trouble. By following these guidelines, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable trip to this vibrant destination.

What things are not allowed in South Korea?

The list of illegal drugs includes opium, marijuana, and cocaine, among others. This also includes various items made from animals such as elephants, leopards, and alligators, such as medicines, handbags, wallets, stoles, taxidermy, and ivory. Other prohibited items include cashier’s checks, overdraft checks, and postal money orders.

Are tattoos allowed in South Korea?

In South Korea, only licensed medical professionals are allowed to open tattoo shops, and having a tattoo is not against the law except for in the military. While those without medical degrees cannot legally open a tattoo parlor, people are allowed to get tattoos after their military service is completed.

What is illegal to bring into Korea?

Korea has banned the entry of firearms, drugs, pornographic content, material that promotes subversive activities, seditious material, and counterfeit goods. This ban has been in effect since August 2, 2022.

Is it illegal to wear jeans in Korea?

Wearing blue jeans and other Western clothing items, including T-shirts, skirts, and suits, is banned in North Korea because they are considered symbols of American imperialism. Instead, traditional Korean clothing like hanboks must be worn by citizens.

What social media is allowed in South Korea?

South Korea has the second-highest number of people actively using social media platforms in the world. Users frequently switch between various platforms, including KakaoTalk, Meta, Instagram, Naver LINE, and TikTok.

Is it common to shave in Korea?

A survey of South Korean men conducted in 2022 found that just over half, 51.8%, reported shaving or grooming their beards once a day. On average, these men shaved about five times per month.

No Speaking Loudly on Cellphones

In addition to avoiding talking loudly on public transportation, it’s also important to avoid speaking loudly on cellphones in public places. South Koreans value politeness and considerate behavior, so it’s best to keep conversations private or use a lower volume when in public.

No Using Chopsticks Improperly

South Korea has a strong dining culture, and chopsticks are an essential tool for eating. However, it’s important to use them properly and avoid sticking them upright in the rice bowl or passing food with them. These actions are considered bad luck or rude in Korean tradition.

No Skipping the Line

South Koreans value fairness and respecting others’ time, so it’s important to wait in line for services or products. Cutting in line is considered rude and may receive disapproving looks or comments from others waiting.

No Wearing Shoes Inside

It’s customary to remove shoes before entering a Korean home or temple. This is a sign of respect and cleanliness, as shoes are considered dirty from outdoor activities. Always check for signs or ask if it’s appropriate to wear shoes inside a certain building.

No Driving Under the Influence

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is strictly prohibited in South Korea. The penalties for DUI are severe and can result in fines, license suspension, or imprisonment. It’s always best to arrange alternative transportation after consuming alcohol.

No Using Selfie Sticks in Crowded Areas

Selfie sticks have become popular among tourists, but it’s important to use them responsibly. In crowded areas such as markets or public transportation, using selfie sticks can be dangerous and may inconvenience others around you. It’s best to avoid using them in these situations.

No Feeding Stray Animals

While it may seem kind to feed stray animals, it’s actually illegal in South Korea. Stray animals are often carriers of diseases and may pose a risk to the public. Instead, consider donating to animal shelters or organizations that work to care for these animals.

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