What do non-Koreans dislike about Korean culture and Korean people?

1. Racism
I wish Koreans would stop worshipping white people and treating white people different than other foreigners. Black people, Hispanics, and other non-Korean Asians all get treated differently, or “lower” than white people get treated and this is an issue common to most Asian countries I think. Because of Hollywood and history, white people get looked up upon and Koreans think of themselves as “better” than other Asians.

2. Citizenship
Its very difficult for a foreigner to become a Korean citizen. There’s really only a few ways, either marry a Korean national, have Korean heritage but live abroad, invest $5m into the Korean economy, or become a Korean cultural ambassador. So for the majority of us foreigners the only reliable option is to marry a Korean, which I’m not opposed to, but its difficult meeting a girl to marry when you can’t live here permanently. And you have to marry to live here permanently. Working here for any amount of time doesn’t cut it.

3. Online security
Doing anything online, buying tickets for a movie, getting internet, going to naver cafes, online shopping, transferring money to a bank account, getting a cellphone contract etc all requires a Korean resident number (only Korean citizens have that), or requires an Foreigner ID card (only foreigners with a work permit have that). So if you are living in Korea short term like me, good luck getting those things online. Its a major headache and hassle.

4. Work culture
The work culture in Korea is very strict. You have to follow what your boss tells you do and can’t talk back. You can’t leave work until your boss does. You have to go drinking with your boss if he tells you do. Overtime and Weekend work is normal. That’s why I don’t to work for a Korean company. But they have to get with the times and change these rules. Its way too strict and hinders intellectual and career development. Also, you’re encouraged to stay with the same company to show your loyalty. These rules are pretty different than Chinese work culture where there is more freedom of movement.

5. Gender equality
the recent murder of a girl in Gangnam by a guy who hated women prompted some people to talk about gender equality and misogynists in Korea. But unlike in America, where girls complain about sexism in every single thing imaginable, in Korea its very real.

There is a 30% work pay gap between Korean women and men, and that is the highest gap in the OECD. Korean women are pressured to look pretty all the time, and some have to get plastic surgery to find a job. They are discriminated against if they get pregnant while on the job and can be dismissed. In America, people can sue for this, but in Korea women are too afraid of retaliation to even try. In fact, online Korean bloggers even trying to talk about women’s rights get attacked viciously online by Korean males who don’t want women to have more rights.

In the US, there is the benefit of American males who have sympathy for feminists, but the reason why you don’t see many feminists in Korea is because its a patriarchal society, and people are afraid of retaliation and backlash, where Korean men don’t have that much sympathy for the women.


-koreans spitting on the streets. seriously stop that, its disgusting

-smoking everywhere. every time i go to noraebang or a club i have to immediately change clothes because of this

-study culture. I don’t study in Korea but I feel sorry for those that do. 3am in the morning and the cafes are full of students studying. oh man..

-the religious fanatics. I don’t believe in Jesus ok, but I see these people everywhere. They even use young girls to rope people into their little cult. And its pretty much just brainwashing anyways.

What are some things that are very ‘Korean’?

-bowing before you meet someone

-constantly checking your appearance with a pocket mirror whenever you get a chance

-getting shocked when you see a dog with a height > 30cm

-having a fridge just for kimchi

-you carry a toothbrush with you to brush your teeth with after a meal with alot of garlic or kimchi in it

-you strongly dislike wearing glasses especially if you are a girl

-mixing soju with various things – somaek if its with beer, Cojinganmaek if its with beer/coke, milkis, cider etc

-making a drinking game out of literally everything

-asking someone’s age as a matter of courtesy

-getting shoved like sardines into the subway when its rush hour ‘hell subway’

-plastic surgery ads are as common as the video game or cellphone ads

-finishing work on time at 6pm is considered “early” “Kal-twae”

-StarCraft and LoL are things that everyone around you knows

-people play video games at a PC bang or PS bang instead of having a console at home

-Going to 3 or 4 different restaurants/karaokes a night because everything is open late in Korea

-Having a dinner with your boss and coworkers and being forced to drink soju

-consequently seeing passed out ajeossis in the subway after a ‘hwae-shik’

-buying a heater for the winter because the ondol isn’t good enough and a fan in the summer because the airkon isnt good enough

-stripping naked and bathing with other ajeossi who are washing their kids in the jimjillbang is normal

-if food delivery doesnt arrive within 30 min you get worried and angry

-wearing couple shirts and doing couple poses are really really cute, and not cheesy at all!

-you have a different pair of slippers just for the bathroom and you don’t own a bathtub

-you don’t own an oven (because all Korean food can be made using the stovetop, which is a fun fact)

-You have different garbage bags for compost (eumshik mul) and everything else (seulaegi)

-driving for more than an hour anywhere is a ‘very long road trip’

-when you were young, you could wear school uniform with short skirt and thin stockings in the winter with no problem, but now a slight breeze makes you feel cold

-wearing shorts so short you can’t even see them is totally ok and normal, but showing a bit of your shoulder is way too sexy to do

-the only strangers that talk to you are the ones that ask you to believe in Jesus

-you know that DVD rooms are not really for watching DVDs

-You know to avoid the karaokes with heart symbols on them because they arent really karaokes

-everything in your home is made by either Samsung, Hyundai or LG

-you are used to having buttons to call service in restaurants

-you don’t really know what house keys are because everything uses keycodes

-you are shocked whenever you see any restaurant or cafe closer earlier than 2am

-everyone you know own smartphones that are at least 2x the size of their hands

-you are used to the local shops closing down and changing every 2 weeks

-you expect to wait at least 30 minutes for taxi rides at night in popular places

-you have pet lockers to keep your < 30cm dogs in when you go shopping

-every shop that isn’t a department store can be haggled

-you think girls who don’t wear red lipstick are weird

-also, you think guys who have hair longer than their shoulder or have any facial hair are ‘gangsters’

-skincare and bb cream for guys has their own section in shops

-people who own an actual house and not an apartment, are rich

-every guy served in the army but havent experienced any actual combat

-you find it weird to use chopsticks that aren’t metal

-kimchi is always always free as a side dish. take note western Korean establishments!

-ajummas will always find a way to the subway seats. always

-You are expected to remember that theres a different ‘couple day’ 14th of every month

-sexy/cute kpop girls will randomly appear in some locations and dance for you

-if you have a friend of the opposite sex, prepare for them to blackhole and disappear from your list once they get into a relationship and re-appear once they breakup

-You don’t know any gay people or even heard of them existing, and even seeing tomboys is quite rare

Are most of the beautiful women in South Korea idols?

Having been to many other Asian countries (Japan, Taiwan, China, SE Asia etc) as well as Europe and North America, I agree that Koreans have a much higher proportion of beautiful people (especially women) compared to other countries. The reason though is not what people think. It is NOT plastic surgery. A simple look at the stats will tell you that only a small percentage of Koreans ever had plastic surgery. And after living in Seoul for a few years I can tell you the plastic surgery thing is totally exaggerated. Double eyelid surgery is the most common surgery by far. Its not like you have ugly people changing their face all the time its not like that.

The reason why there’s so many good looking Koreans is simply because they care a lot about their appearance. Its not uncommon to find Korean women constantly checking their makeup on the subway and cafes. Korean men buy the most skincare products out of any male on the planet. They care about their fashion, and their fashion styles are amazing. I can say that what Korean women wear normally – is what people in other countries would wear to a special event or to clubbing events. One piece dresses, miniskirts, shoulderless tops, transparent blouses, platform shoes, high heels – all standard daily wear for Korean women. Full makeup, manicure, pedicure, dyed hair, no glasses (they all use contacts or did lasik), whiten their teeth, eyebrows, eyelashes, lasered off hair etc – almost every part of their body has been taken care of to some extent. They are always on a ‘diet’ and work out often to get their bodies and figure into perfect shape.
So yeah the full deal. I’m not talking about just some women. Thats the majority of young women from 18–35. High school girls put on makeup too. Even some older ajummas put on makeup too. Good luck finding so many girls who care so much about appearance in other countries. Its only in Korea. And whats further amazing is that Korean women dont really think they are beautiful even despite all that. They are still insecure about their appearance. They are jealous that American women have bigger breasts and Chinese women have bigger eyes. Its really quite unbelievable.

No, the truth is there’s just tons of beautiful women in Korea, and they are just ordinary people.

These are random girls from the Ultra Music Festival in Seoul

A lot of these pics are tagged “Daily Look” – which means yes, girls in Korea dress like this daily.

These are random girls from the Seoul Waterbomb Festival

World DJ Festival in Korea

One of the many hot clubs in Korea…

This is my Korean friend with her friends

Here’s a pic of me and my gf a few months ago (and no she didn’t do plastic surgery)

Lots of pretty girls in Korea, most of them just regular people. You can even go on instagram or facebook type pretty much any Korean girls name in there, and you’ll find mostly beautiful girls, not many ugly ones. Korea has the highest proportion of beautiful girls IMO out of any country I’ve been to