7 Things to consider before you visit South Korea as a plus-size traveler!

Ashley Allen
Ashley Allen

1. F A T is just a statement to Koreans 

I want everyone to know the word F.A.T is viewed differently in the Korean culture. Koreans treat this word more as an observation, and they do love observing you because westerns are “built” differently than them.

If you are walking around and someone happens to call you fat, don’t take it personal. They think it would be the same as telling someone they have dark hair or brown eyes; they think they are stating the obvious and that is, westerners are bigger than them. If you traveled around Asia before, you would not be surprised by this gesture.

2. Stares X5

Be prepared for Koreans to stare, especially if you travel to a rural area on the country side.

They could stare because you are just a foreigner or because you are plus-size. I wouldn’t take this as them being rude, they haven’t seen a person who looks like you before. I usually just pretend I’m on the runway, give ‘em a show!

3. Don’t shop until you drop

Oh, gosh! Shopping in Korea with curves is not a thing. Korea has the cutest clothes and I love Koreans style, but where is my size!? Most or all of the shops in Korean don’t past XL or US10 and shoes sizes don’t go past 8.5US. If they do, the shoes aren’t wide enough. So, if you are planning to visit for a while, make sure to bring all the clothes you need.

4. Public transportation is fun… not


Public transportation in Korea is very cheap and reliable! I enjoy taking public transportation here more than I did in California. If you have more to love on the sides and on the bottom, squeezing in those small seats in between people on the subway and the bus might not happen for you. So, when in doubt, just stand.

5. WALKING, it’s good for the Seoul

Comfortable walking shoes are your best friend. You WILL be walking everywhere, especially if you are a budget traveler and want to avoid using taxis. Walking is actually a faster way to travel around tourist attractions depending on traffic anyway.

6.Research & Recheck 

Traveling throughout Korea as a plus-size traveler can have its pros and cons depending on exactly where you will be going and what you will be doing. Please research locations and activities to make sure they are a good fit for you and your body type. A few activities could be the rides at amusement park, water parks, zip lining, and paragliding. Westerners don’t think about weight limits when traveling to Asian countries because we are used to places accommodating our body size.


These are a few things to keep in mind before coming to Korea. This short listicle is not going to tell you everything you will experience or everything you need to know while you’re exploring Korea, but always remember to have an amazing time experiencing a new country and making new memories!

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