When you go to another country, the one thing that I can imagine would shock you would be how different the culture would be to your home country. Korea is no exception. Even so, it is a good idea to learn more about the local culture before your trip. Here are a few quick tips to get you started.
When you greet people, it is polite to start the greeting in Korean "an-yong-ha-se-yo". Unlike in most parts of the world you do not shake hands with the person you meet. Rather, you bow at an angle of around 45 degrees.
Always take off your shoes before you enter a household.
When you receive an object, like in most Asian countries, it is polite to accept the gift with both hands.
Never touch or pat a person you do not know. Koreans often value personal space.
Before you begin a meal, you say "chal-mok-ges-sum-ni-nida", which literally means, "I shall eat well". It is kind of similar to the phrase "Bon appetit", though there is no exact translation into English. When you finish a meal, you say "chal-mo-gos-sum-ni-da", which literally means, "I ate well". English does not have a particular phrase corresponding to this, though it is similar to "Thanks for the meal."
Do not leave chopsticks sticking up in food bowls. This is considered extremely rude, as it looks as if you are offering food to deceased people.
When dining in groups, Koreans do not pour their own drink, but offer to pour for others. You should offer to do this too.
It is normal to argue for the bill in groups. Most Koreans do not split the bill, but one person often offers to pay the whole bill.
Most Koreans do not like the number 4, as it sounds similar to the Chinese character for "death". Avoid giving items or gifts in numbers of 4.
Do not write people's names in red ink. This is also believed as a death wish.