Title: Best time to visit Korea.
When planning for plastic surgery, we often focus on achieving the main objective of getting ourselves to Korea and finding the best clinic and doctor for our price range, however there may be several things we overlook which contribute to a smooth plastic surgery journey.
One such overlooked factor is the time (in the year) of the trip. For example, there were several instances in which visitors have arrived at Korea and experienced inconvenience in the waiting room due to a high influx of locals, or stayed in their rooms due to the heat which prevented them from taking deswelling walks, or experienced a service interruption because of a local holiday. Since these factors indirectly affect the success of plastic surgery, I believe it’s important to consider the timing of your visit.
I have compiled several hypothesized variables which I believe will impact the plastic surgery experience.
Temperature. Months that are warmer will be less conducive to healing because the heat is only therapeutic for sore muscles and chronic pain, and not the inflammation and injury resulting from plastic surgery. Additionally, there is the general grime that comes with walking around in a major metropolitan city in the humid summer. Colder temperatures will be better for deswelling and walking.
Local holidays. Most business close down for at least one day for major Korean holidays. To ensure a more streamlined plastic surgery experience, one should avoid visiting during Korean holidays. Plastic surgeries also have promotions around the holiday season so this leads to an influx of local customers, which decreases the amount of individual attention one may receive from their surgeon and consultant and increases the likelihood of mix-ups and dropped communication. Ideally, to get the most attention, care, and continuous service, it would be better to go during a time that is not so popular.
High school/university students. Apparently, it is very popular for Korean high school/ university students to get plastic surgery during the weeks after their university entrance exam and during their summer vacations. This also leads to an influx of local customers, resulting in the same problems in the above point (Local holidays).
Yellow dust. Yellow dust (also known as Asian dust) is a yearly weather event occurring in April in which the winds originating from Mongolia sweep over China, Kazakhstan, North and South Korea. This is a problem because the wind picks up pollutants on its way to South Korea and poses a respiratory risk if there is extensive exposure to it. Based on common sense, I don’t think it would be beneficial or convenient to visit Korea when there are major issues with its air quality.
I created a chart (see attached document) which integrates the four variables to determine the best time to visit Korea for plastic surgery. For every negative variable present in the month, I added 1 to the “cons” count. A higher “cons” count indicates that it would be more inconvenient/unpleasant to visit Korea during this month. Similarly, if a month has a lower a “cons” count, it means that the visit will be smoother/more pleasant during that month. Green = Most convenient; Red = Least convenient.
Chart notes: I marked temperatures of 25C and higher as inconvenient because that is the threshold that I personally find the weather to be too hot to tolerate without AC. Temperature data was sourced from average taken from average highs and lows in the city of Seoul. Source
(*) The holidays marked with an asterisk denote an approximated date. Since a lot of Korean holidays are based on the Lunar calendar, the dates shift every year because the Lunar and the Roman calendar don’t match up. Please be aware that the dates given may not be the precise dates.
According to the chart, it seems that the best months to visit are March, May, and October. The most inconvenient month to visit is January. Of course, I’m not saying that you should never visit Korea outside of the three months I mentioned, but this information is here to help you determine what events you may encounter if you do visit Korea, so you can plan accordingly.
There are limitations which I have omitted from this chart. I did not consider the patterns of Chinese medical tourists, because I assume (I don't know if I’m wrong or right) the Chinese holidays share considerable overlap with the Korean holidays, so this omission should not change the pattern of results. However, they do comprise a large section of the Korean medical tourism population and may influence the quality of treatment/care you receive from your surgeons/consultants if there are any differences in holidays. If anyone has any information about this please feel free to comment.
After I finished this report, I realized that rainfall and humidity also play a role in how ‘icky’ one feels especially if they’re trying to get around and deswell. However, I found that rainfall and humidity generally follows the same pattern as the temperature, so I don’t expect them to change the results of this chart.
The temperature ratings were subjective as they were determined by me. If you have a high tolerance of the heat (or a low tolerance of the cold), you may want to consider adjusting or removing the temperature variable so it suits your needs.
I hope you consider this information when planning for your travels. Hopefully we can all hack our beauty in the most painless way possible.
June 25, 2019. Added Memorial Day as pointed out by the user June. Added comment about approximate dates due to Lunar calendar. Clarified writing regarding swelling and hot temperatures.
December 15, 2019. Fixed some grammatical errors and changed some wording bungles.