Safety

safety

Korea, like most of East Asia, is considered to be one of the safest countries in the world. It is just not that common to feel unsafe in Korea. Young children travel across town alone, foreign women often travel alone and rarely must you worry about theft. But this is no reason to let your guard down. Foreigners still occasionally have their bikes stolen, foreign women still find themselves in uncomfortable situations with Korean men and it is rare but not unheard of to be a victim of a violent act.

If you take proper steps to avoid bad situations then chances are you will. There are few guns or drugs in Korea. Not surprisingly this makes the streets of Korea extremely safe by U.S. standards. But you should remember to be careful in the touristy areas in Seoul and Busan.

As a general rule of thumb, you should never leave your things unattended, you should always try to travel with others, and don’t be belligerent late at night in crowded areas. These three rules can keep you extremely safe in Korea. Draw on what you have learned from home and apply those skills in Korea.

You should be very careful while driving, cycling or crossing the road. In 2007, there was an average of 16.9 deaths every day on the roads. Most traffic laws seem optional. Cars and taxis blow through red lights and abruptly change lanes; motorcycles make up their own rules on the roads and sidewalks; and pedestrians are left to grow eyes in the backs and sides of their heads. It is absolutely essential to pay close attention when driving or crossing the street because Korean traffic is unpredictable.