Seoul Travel Guide

Health & Safety

Seoul is a remarkably safe city given its size, comparable in safety to Hong Kong or Tokyo. Pickpocketing is not very common and violent crime is minimal if almost unheard of.

If you happen to be a non-Korean male walking hand-in-hand with a Korean female, drunk older Korean men might give you a tongue lashing or occasionally worse. Note that this is far less of a problem than it used to be.

If you do end up in a fight, remember that Korean law is possibly different to your home country. Just because someone else started the fight does not provide you with legal protection if the attacker ends up hurt. As in anywhere else in the world, get out of such a situation as quickly as you can.

U.S. military personnel have a curfew 01:00-05:00 everyday on the Korean Peninsula, although the curfew can be extended at very short notice. If you are a westerner, then the American Military Police have the legal right to request to see your ID and arrest you if you cannot provide. (This is done to catch American military personnel breaking the curfews)

Unfortunately crimes by American soldiers against Koreans do happen, and when they do they often receive a huge amount of national attention. If you are a westerner then you should exercise some extra care when such a case hits the media, although it is still highly unlikely you would be in any danger.

Large scale demonstrations in Seoul against the government happen from time to time. Often they can result in a riot where there are pitched battles between protesters and riot police. People do get seriously hurt, so try and avoid getting too close to the action.

Fake Monks have been known to operate in Seoul, notably around the Jogyesa temple. They are dressed as Buddhist monks requesting donations from people on the street in return for blessings, although they do not actually belong to any Buddhist order and just keep the cash for themselves. Please bear in mind that actual monks would never seek donations in this manner.


source: Wikivoyage

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