1/ NO TIPPING!
I love this about traveling to Asia. No tipping anywhere. The closest to tipping was when taxi drivers would round up the fare if the change was just 10 cents.
2/ WEAR SHOES THAT CAN BE TAKEN OFF EASILY
You never know when you’ll need to take off your shoes. At a few restaurants and cafes where we sat on the floor, I had to take off my boots to enter the dining area. I wore tall boots so they were a bit of a hassle to slip on and off.
3/ PAY AT THE REGISTER
At restaurants and cafes with table service, take the check to the register to pay as you’re leaving. The servers won’t pick up your check at your table.
4/ DON’T LITTER
This one is difficult since it’s almost impossible to find trash cans, but you can be fined if you litter. There have been a few times where I carried my trash all the way back to the hotel.
5/ GET A WIFI EGG AT THE AIRPORT
I didn’t get one on this trip, but Robyn told me about it when I met up with her for afternoon tea in Seoul. Pick one up it at the airport when you arrive and you can carry this small router with you to get wifi everywhere. With this, you can avoid paying for an international plan on your cell phone. There’s a deposit and it costs roughly $10 a day. Make sure you leave time to return it on your flight back.
6/ TAKE TAXIS
Taxi rides were fairly inexpensive costing about $5 – $8. BUT DO NOT take one during rush hour since it’ll take you three times as long to get somewhere. Best to take the subway between 5PM – 8PM.
7/ WRITE YOUR DESTINATIONS IN KOREAN
After my taxi driver didn’t understand my accented Korean when giving him the name of my hotel, I made sure to have the hotel concierge write down every place I was planning on taking a taxi — including the name and address of the hotel. When getting in a taxi, I would show the driver the piece of paper and they would type in the name into the GPS, which was something all drivers did.
8/ CARRY CASH
Credit cards are accepted almost everywhere, including taxis, but if you need to shop the market or get street food, they’ll only take cash. When exchanging money, best to get small bills.
9/ TAKE THE AIRPORT BUS
I did research on how to get to my hotel from the airport and I decided to take the bus — KAL Limousine Bus for $16, which was a bargain since the ride took about an hour and a half! There are signs at the airport in English and when buying a ticket at the booth outside, you tell them which hotel you’re going to. I picked a fairly large hotel and the bus took me right outside the hotel entrance. Easy. The limousine bus seats were huge and comfortable.
10/ GET IN LINE
This is a tip I tell everyone when traveling. If you see a line anywhere that serves food, get on it! I discovered the amazing hodduk at Insadong that way on my last trip to Seoul.