30 Interesting And Fun Facts About South Korea [Explained]

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While South Korea is a small country, it is still one of the most diverse places you will find. That is because it has a lot to offer in terms of modern technology, pop culture, and much more. A good way to understand the country and what it has to offer is through the various facts about South Korea.

They help you better discover this small yet diverse country. Besides that, they will also offer you a glimpse into the Korean way of life, and much more.

Here are some interesting South Korean facts to understand what makes the country what it is today.

Facts About South Korea You Didn’t Know Before

There are some things about the country that most people are not familiar with. Here are the facts about Korea you may not know before.

Avoid Using Red Ink In South Korea

Avoid writing anything in red ink, particularly your name, in South Korea. That is because the traditional people used red ink to write the names of the dead. That said, people consider doing this to be life-threatening or bad luck.

Probably best to stay away from using red ink for signing or writing in the country where possible.

South Korea Has a Low Birth Rate

South Korea has the lowest birth rate in the world, with only 0.81 children born per woman of childbearing age. This is due to a variety of reasons, such as economic pressures, social issues, and the high cost of housing.

The National Animal Is The Siberian Tiger


The national animal of South Korea is the Siberian Tiger. It is an important symbol of South Korean culture. However, there are no more of these tigers left in the South Korean wilderness.

Weird Facts About South Korea

Weird facts about South Korea include things that you might not find in other regions. These facts make the country and its people unique. Some of the most intriguing ones include the following.

People Believe That Blood Type Is Related To Personality

Just like the zodiac signs, people believe that the blood type of a person also impacts their personality and characteristics. For example, people believe that people with O-type blood have extroverted personalities and very few character flaws. In the same way, people associate certain traits and characteristics with each blood type.

It is good to do your research before telling anyone your blood type. Yes, this is a common question in South Korea as it helps people understand what your personality might be like.

Fan Death Is A Common Misconception

Perhaps the most common misconception you will find in South Korea is fan death. That is because people believe that leaving an electric fan turned on overnight will result in the death of the person sleeping under it. We don’t know where this misconception originates in South Korea.

However, these fans were introduced to the country in 1920, and ever since then, there have been a lot of fears about it. Of course, it is only an urban legend.

Facts About South Korea History

South Korea has had a tumultuous history, and even now you never know what will happen. The past will help you understand the present state of the country. here are some facts about South Korea history you need to know.

The Country Is Still At War With North Korea

The Korean War ended seventy years ago, but the countries are still divided and at war with one another. There is a lot of tension between these two countries even though they share similar roots in traditional culture and language. However, their modern history is marked by division, conflict, and tension.  

Cheomseongdae Is The Oldest Surviving Astronomical Observatory In South Korea

Cheomseongdae is the oldest surviving astronomical observatory in South Korea, Asia, and perhaps the world. The observatory’s purpose was to share astronomical knowledge with everyone. You will also find the symbol of this observatory on Korean coins.

Cultural Facts About South Korea

The culture of South Korea is a lot different than the West and everything it has to offer. The country has a unique culture that is marked by old traditions and customs. Here are some of the top South Korean cultural facts to know.

Schooling Is Compulsory Till Age 15


Education is an important part of the culture, which is why schooling is compulsory till age fifteen. You will also find that some students in South Korea are able to dictate the hours in which they attend classes in high school. That is because they also have to accommodate a job while receiving high school education.

Koreans Show Respect Through Honorifics

Honorifics are titles that show respect in South Korea. When you are in South Korea, you have to respect the hierarchy and titles of people before you address them. This is the case because Korean culture and language are based on hierarchy.

So, status and age are important when you communicate with someone daily. Be sure to learn the right honorifics to show respect to people older than you in the country.

All Citizens Have Religious Freedom

According to the constitution of South Korea, all citizens have religious freedom. Besides that, there should be no discrimination between the cultural, social, economic, and political life. People here practice Islam, Christianity, Confucianism, and Buddhism along with Shamanism.

You Can Find Love Motels All Over South Korea


You can find love motels all over South Korea, especially if you visit the famous Seoul. However, if you are a foreign traveler, then they might not be too obvious to you. When you go there, you can expect free WiFi, a clean room, and some free contraceptives that you can enjoy.

You will find that there is no one in the lobby of these motels, and you can use the touchscreen panels to decide how long you want to stay there. That is because these hotels aim to look as if they have been deserted.

This is perhaps one of the rather amusing facts about Seoul and South Korea.

People Consider Number Four Unlucky


The number four is a symbol of bad luck in South Korea. That is because the pronunciation of the number sounds similar to the Chinese characters that mean death. So, this number is usually associated with death or misfortune.

Facts About Korean People

Korean people are known for their hard work, humbleness, diligence, and much more. These are the most important characteristics that people will respect the most in South Korea. Here are some of the top facts about Korean people that will help you understand them better.

At Least 20% Of The Population Has The Name Kim

Around 20% of the population in South Korea has the family name, Kim. You will find that at least one out of five South Koreans have the name, Kim. This is a common family name because it was used by royalty during ancient times.

Plastic Surgery Is Common And Acceptable


South Korea is also known as the cosmetic surgery capital of the world. That is because the country performs 24% of such surgeries in the world. Because of this, plastic surgery is incredibly common and acceptable in South Korea.

Only 30% Of Men Grow Beards In South Korea

According to genetics, many Korean men can’t grow a full beard. This is why only 30% of Korean men can grow beards with ease. Besides that, even most women in Korea don’t like beards or mustaches on men.

People Are Addicted To Shopping


If there is one thing that people in South Korea enjoy the most, then it is shopping. More than 60% of young adults in South Korea shop online more than once a week. However, experts don’t view shopping addiction as serious as other addictions that are present in the country.

South Koreans Have One Of The Highest IQs Worldwide

South Koreans are one of the most intelligent people in the world, as the country ranks third in terms of IQ. The average IQ in the country is 111.33, which is incredibly impressive. Get ready to have intellectually stimulating conversations when you visit the country and converse with the locals.

People Do Couple-Oriented Activities At Christmas And Family-Oriented Activities On New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, And White Day


Christmas is all about couples’ activities in South Korea. People go on dates, snuggle, and exchange gifts. On the other hand, people spend time with family on New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, and White Day.

Interesting Facts About South Korea For Kids

South Korea is a great country that kids need to know about, as it will help open their perceptions and horizons. Here are some interesting facts about South Korea for kids to trigger their interest.

The National Sport Is Taekwondo


Taekwondo was made the national sport of South Korea during the Park Chung Hee regime. Ever since then, there has been incredible support for Taekwondo by the government. Many Taekwondo championships have been held in South Korea since then.

K-Pop Is The Most Popular Genre Of Music

K-pop is the most popular genre of music in South Korea. It encompasses a variety of genres such as hip-hop, R&B, and electronic dance music. K-pop groups have become incredibly successful all around the world because of their catchy songs and performances.

However, this took a lot of behind-the-scenes hard work as artists spend ungodly hours practicing. Despite that, each year hundreds of K-pop hopefuls audition for the chance to debut. It is a very competitive industry.

Cybersports Is Incredibly Popular


Cybersports is very popular and well-liked in South Korea. Stadiums with big screen TVs are used for competitions in video games. The reason for this popularity is that the gaming culture is incredibly dominant in the country.

South Korea is one of the most prominent countries in terms of gaming. In fact, South Korean gamers hold many world records when it comes to gaming competitions. The country has some of the best and most dedicated gamers in the world.

Interesting South Korea Facts For Travelers

There are many interesting facts about South Korea that make this country one of the most exciting places you will visit.

There Are Around 4,000 Islands


South Korea actually covers around 4,000 islands. If you traveled to one island in a day, it will take you nine years to visit them all. Jeju Island is one of the most famous and prominent island for tourists. Make sure that you visit some of them to see what the country has to offer.

There Are 15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites


There are 15 World Heritage UNESCO sites in South Korea, and an additional thirteen are on the tentative list. These include many historic and cultural sites that you visit when you are in the country. Visit the ones you are most interested in to create a memorable trip.

BTS Is From South Korea

Unless you have been living under a rock, you know who BTS is, as they are one of the most famous Korean boy bands. The band has sold more than thirty million albums, and they are the best-selling artist in the history of South Korea.

They have helped globalize Korean culture and put South Korea on the map. If you want to get merchandise featuring K-pop idols and groups, this is the place to do it.

For now, the members will begin their military service in their native country, as it is compulsory for everyone. However, we will see them selling out stadiums soon enough.

19 Is The Legal Age

If you want to vote or buy or consume alcohol in South Korea, then you will have to be 19 years old. You can also act independently once you reach this age. A person under the age of 19 will be considered a juvenile in the country.

Jeju Island receives over 10 million visitors each year


Jeju Island is an island located off the coast of South Korea that is known for its stunning, picturesque scenery. The island has been nicknamed the “Island of the Gods” and is a popular vacation spot for tourists. It is known for its lush green landscape, gorgeous beaches, and volcanic landscape.

In addition to the natural beauty of Jeju Island, there are many cultural attractions as well. The island is home to the Jeju Shrine, a traditional shrine located in a former palace. There are also several museums and other attractions that can be found throughout the island.

Facts On South Korean Food

Finally, there are many facts on South Korean foods that will help you explore the diverse cuisine. :

Rice Is Available For All Meals


Rice is one of the most important ingredients or dishes in Asian cuisine. It is available at the table for all meals. You can eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. People never get sick of eating rice here.

Kimchi Is Highly Popular


Korean people consume around two million tons of kimchi each year. You will always find it at the table as the meals are not complete without it. These also make for great souvenirs. You can find them in supermarkets as well. Just make sure you pack them properly for your trip home.

Korean Food Is More Than Just Kimchi


That said, food in Korea is not just about Kimchi or the common dishes that most know about.

Korean cuisine is incredibly diverse and full of flavor, with regional specialties that vary from region to region throughout the country. All sorts of cooking and preparation methods mixed with different local ingredients create a wide palette of cuisines. From the fiery flavors of stews to the delicate flavors of different side dishes, there’s something for everyone in Korean food.

In terms of regional specialties, each province has its own particular dish that is popular among the locals.

Soju Is A Popular Drink


Soju is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from rice and other grains, such as wheat and barley, that has been popular in Korea for centuries. It is one of the country’s most widely consumed alcoholic beverages and can be found in almost every restaurant or bar.

Word of warning, this is incredibly strong. For the adventurous traveler, soju can be a great way to experience traditional Korean culture and taste some of the best drinks that locals enjoy.

Travel Insurance

Discovering More Fun Facts About South Korea

These are some of the fascinating facts about South Korea that will hopefully inspire a trip to the country. Featuring delicious food, interesting activities, and exciting attractions, this Asian country is a very popular travel destination. These cultural and historical facts about Korea make the country what it is and there is plenty to explore.

Make a trip down yourself to experience the country for yourself, and discover more fun facts about South Korea.



Book Your Flight

I usually use a combination of 2-3 of the following search engines to find cheap flights: Skyscanner, Momondo, Google Flights

Find Your Accommodation

Booking.com is my usual platform for finding accommodation options as they have one of the largest selections. Hostelworld is great for booking hostels. For more private or long term accommodation, Airbnb is my go-to platform.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is important for to protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances. I usually look at a few insurance companies depending on my travel needs.
  • SafetyWings for Travel Health Insurance
  • IMG Global for added Insurance when doing activities outside of usual coverage
Packing for your trip? Check out the packing list for ideas on what to bring

For more travel resources, check out my resources page for best platforms and companies to use when you travel.

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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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