Things that may be surprising about life in south korea

A few things in South Korea that might

Sweet food

If you do not like sweet food and desserts, South Korean food may be a strange surprise for your palate. A lot of food items here may leave you astonished at the unique combination of flavours, especially pizza and pasta. You will find that most of the cheese in Korea is sweet, and they usually have sweet potato pizza and potato pizza which is not salty. If your country depends more on salt, you should be prepared to face a lot of sugar in stuff that you never expected.

Street food

In some countries, street food is not a trustworthy food source and people may be afraid of eating it or may blame eating street food if they get sick. But in Korea, you can find street food everywhere, in markets, in front of schools and even in tourist places. And most probably you would feel that the food quality is not as you expected as it is considered street food.

Kakao talk

Koreans use the Kakao talk application as the main chatting app in the country and literally for almost everything else. They have kakao pay. Kakao Bank and even shop and many utilities using this app. Therefore, Koreans don’t often use WhatsApp or other well-known apps. Kakao talk is also connected with a lot of memberships and reservations, so if you live in Korea, you will obviously be using it a lot.

Kakao talk's ecosystem
Bus driver

Buses in Korea have a designated time to arrive at every station and finish the bus round. That is why you will be sometimes surprised by the bus driver’s speed. As soon as the doors close, the entire bus accelerates in a fraction of a second, leaving you very little time to find seats. Grabbing on while the bus sways and lurches and turns all while navigating through traffic, we can assure you that you will have some fun riding these buses.

English speaking level

Although most Koreans study English at school and universities and they also need to take the IELTS exam to graduate, it is not easy to talk to Koreans in English. Surely this is not a general case, you can find a lot of youth talking in English. However, in markets, while shopping in some local places, and while dealing with old generation vendors would be difficult in English. That is why you should know some basic Korean before coming to Korea. Life would be a lot easier.


Cafe culture has seen a boom in the recent few years. There are plenty of coffee shops. It feels as though coffee is just as important to Koreans as it is to Americans back home. They might not all be Starbucks or franchise, but you can find them on every corner often with cute or sophisticated interiors.


Written by Yomna Mostafa

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