What’s the best part of any vacation? Buying fun souvenirs for your friends back home to show them you appreciate them while making them jealous of your awesome trip at the same time, of course! (We’re half kidding.)
The next time you’re in Korea, you have some big decisions to make: Korea is super fun, and has tons of one-of-a-kind souvenirs for you to choose from. Your days of picking up shot glasses in an airport are over! Read on for our favorite Korean souvenirs, and be sure to let us know if we forgot anything in the comments below!
Korean Souvenirs #1: Buchae (부채)
Summer is finally here, and it’s going to be scorchingly hot in most of the Northern hemisphere for at least another couple months. If you’re on the hunt for some cool Korean souvenirs over the next couple of weeks, consider the buchae, a fun, foldable Korean fan. They’re inexpensive, easy to find, and your friends will thank you for getting them something practical instead of a trinket that will gather dust in the back of their closet for the next few years. Pick up one for yourself as well to make exploring Korea more enjoyable this summer!
Korean Souvenirs #2: K-Pop Merchandise
If you’re searching for souvenirs for friends that have been swept up in the K-Pop phenomenon, you won’t have to look far! K-Pop posters, t-shirts, and other merchandise are available pretty much everywhere in Korea due to K-Pop’s rise in popularity over the last few years across the globe. You can also pick up some of your favorite K-Pop CD’s to give your friends a taste of Korean popular culture. Who knows – maybe it will make them want to join you on your next trip to Korea!
Korean Souvenirs #3: Fun Socks
Alright, hear us out – socks? Yes! Korea has taken fun and adorable sucks to a whole new level, which makes them the perfect souvenir for you to pick up for your friends back home. Not to mention that they’re inexpensive, easy to find, and will take up no space in your suitcase – could they be any more perfect?! In Korean culture, it is polite to remove your shoes before entering somebody’s home, so Korean designers have extra motivation to design show-stopping socks because they’ll be seen on a regular basis. Take advantage of this trend and pick up some cute socks for you and your friends the next time you’re out and about in Korea!
Korean Souvenirs #4: Phone Cases
If you’d like to go the practical route the next time you’re picking up souvenirs in Korea, you should consider picking up one of the cute Korean phone cases that are for sale at most souvenir shops. These cases often depict Korean art, Korean cartoons, and K-Pop stars. Your friends will thank you for being thoughtful AND for helping them protect their new iPhone from cracking when they inevitably drop it – everybody wins!
Korean Souvenirs #5: Korean cosmetics
The Korean cosmetics industry has BOOMED over the past couple of years, and fun new cosmetics shops have been opening up left and right throughout Korea. Picking up a brand new BB cream or eyeshadow palette for your friends back home is the perfect way to say you care! Korean face masks are also super popular and inexpensive souvenirs – they’re made from all-natural ingredients and have been the talk of the industry because they leave skin feeling soft and taut for days on end after only one application. Be sure to pick up something for yourself, too – you deserve to be looking your best!
Korean Souvenirs #6: Soju
Soju is a quintessential Korean alcohol made from rice. There’s a reason it’s as popular as it is – soju has a clean, crisp flavor that means it pairs well with a wide variety of dishes. It’s also relatively inexpensive and available at most Korean supermarkets, so you won’t have a difficult time tracking it down! Soju is loved by pretty much everybody, so it’s a safe choice for a souvenir that your friends and family will be thanking you for. Just make sure the bottle doesn’t break in your suitcase!
Korean Souvenirs #7: Korean tea
If you’re looking for a souvenir for your underage friends, look no further than the tea aisle in any Korean supermarket. Tea is a big part of day to day life in Korea, so there’s a wide variety of interesting flavors (and beautiful boxes!). Tea is also way easier to transport than other beverages – you can just throw the box in your suitcase and forget about it without worrying about leakage. If you really want to go above and beyond, consider picking up a tea-set for friends – maybe they’ll host a tea party in your honor as a ‘thank you’!
Korean Souvenirs #8: Electronics
Korea is always at the forefront of awesome new electronics. If you can imagine it, they’ve probably already invented it! If you’re considering picking up electronics as souvenirs on your way out of Korea, you’ll be happy to know that Korea is full of inexpensive, high-quality electronics like phones and MP3 players. You can also try your luck at bargaining – in many of the larger electronic stores in Korean cities, proprietors are open to bartering and will give you the best price they can. Electronics that won’t break the bank? Sign me up!
Korean Souvenirs #9: Korean snacks
There’s nothing in the world quite like Korean snacks – from dried squid to fried kimchi, there really is something for everybody! Bring a little taste of Korea back to your loved ones as an inexpensive, thoughtful gift – just make sure you don’t bring anything TOO addicting (we’re looking at you, pepero) or their gratitude will turn to sadness when they can’t find Korean snacks in your home country!
What is your favorite souvenir to surprise your friends and family with when you return home from vacation? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!