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Tips and Tricks for Korea

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Firstly, I will note that I am relatively fluent in Korean. However, here are some things that I compiled to make your trip easier, both surgery related and other random tidbits that I personally didn't see online! Note that some of these things are COVID/quarantine specific, so some advice may seem/become outdated. Note that I haven't had any bone shaving/cutting surgery, so I can't give tips regarding those things. Some people have reached out to me thinking I got zygoma or vline, etc, and I just want to state that I have not gotten any of those procedures and will not get them in the future either. 

- Post OP review (Primary DES/Rhino/Forehead FG)

- Consultation Journey



First, book your airbnb in advance ( a month ahead if you can). I was able to save the PDF with the address (which was disclosed to me in advance because I booked it so early), which was massively helpful for filling out the quarantine forms as I had an address to put down. I did have to mention that I would be quarantining in a government facility, but it wasn’t annoying at all.

Also, before you book, make sure to ask the host if they’re okay with being your point of contact at the airport, especially if you’re landing at an odd hour. I landed at 5 AM, which meant my clinic would be closed, so I made sure to ask my host before I booked the trip and also sent her a reminder the day before.

Don’t take my word for it, but it seems that the quarantine rate is 1.68 mil. I budgeted 2 mil just in case, but it seems that 1.68 is the standard. I used the service CallnVan to book a private taxi out of quarantine as I was on a time crunch and wanted to get out ASAP, and it was very simple to use. The Google Translate works fine on their website, but they do not disclose the driver’s information until 24-48 hours before your drive. If you need to disclose that information to your hotel earlier (like I did), you can contact them and ask to have that information sent a bit earlier. You pay directly to the taxi driver, and they prefer cash but they also take card.



Secondly, I don’t really think it’s super important to book extremely close to your clinic, though of course that would be the most convenient. My airbnb was in Gangnam but a different neighborhood, so it was roughly ~25-30 minutes to get to my clinic. I think as long as you’re within 25-30 minutes away from your clinic, you’ll be fine. However, it didn’t really bother me and I got around just fine. Plus, it’s an easy way to get your steps in. Also, it’s incredibly easy to navigate the transportation system in Korea. I personally used Naver Maps, but I know a lot of people also like Kakao Maps.

The taxis are also easy to call. You can just hail one from the street (if it says 빈차, that means the car is empty and you can raise your hand for it to come to you), but you can also call using Kakao Taxi and pay with your Tmoney card (that you can recharge at convenience stores or subway stops, and it can only be recharged with cash). Obviously, you will need a Korean phone number for this.



Buy a bucket hat! If you’re getting fat grafting, buy one with a huge brim so that even when it’s angled, it’s partially covering your face. I brought one and bought one while I was in Korea, and really liked the one I bought (though it’s ugly af) because the brim had a wire that I could use to adjust the front, which made it much easier to hide my eyes.

Buy or bring some cleansing pads so that your skin is still looking nice as you recover. I went to Olive Young before my surgery and bought the cheapest blotting sheets, cleansing pads from Round Lab (highly recommend), and cotton pads to use to put on my toner and lotion. I only had one pimple that formed (on my nose), and the cleansing pads felt really great! I also bought qtips and used them to apply ointment, clean my nose, and also to clean my eyes from any gunk in the morning.

The best thing I bought were reusable straws from Daiso. I had a couple days before my surgery date to look around Seoul, and bought a 5 pack of reusable metal straws from Daiso for roughly 2 dollars USD. It’s incredibly helpful, especially when you shouldn’t really be looking down. For the first couple days, it was hard to clean my mouth after brushing my teeth so I literally had to fill a cup with water and suck it up through the straw to spit the toothpaste out. Disgusting, but no one else has talked about this so I thought it would be helpful to mention.

Also, when I went (late May-mid June), there were quite a few days where it rained. My airbnb had a lot of umbrellas, but keep that in mind and pack some light long sleeves and jackets, as well as big loose pants and long dresses, especially if you’re getting fg! I only brought one jacket and really regretted it. It's also disgustingly humid. I powered through and still went out nearly every day, but if you'd rather get your steps in at night, you can do that too. 

BUY GAUZE AND SURGICAL TAPE. I completely forgot to and constantly woke up throughout the night my first night because blood kept dripping down my nose and I straight up looked monsterous. These will save your life the first few days of rhino.



It is NOT true that everyone is walking around in bandages, I honestly don’t know why people say that. I’ve seen two people total with bandaids, and both times they were at the lobby to get to the elevator to the clinic. Some people may react, but just know that you’re never going to see them and you need to get your steps in to deswell anyways. Most don’t really care though. I was a little self conscious since I was so swollen, but if you just take in stride no one else will care, as a lot of people get PS here and if you stay in Gangnam, there are tons of clinics, so they’re familiar with swollen faces haha. I stopped wearing a hat once I hit the two week mark, and it was obvious I got my eyes done but no one cared.

GET A KOREAN SIM CARD. DON’T get KT’s, as it was incredibly annoying as it doesn’t work for authentication, meaning you can’t use majority of food delivery apps. If you can speak Korean, you can still directly call the restuarant and ask to have them deliver, but it’s obviously much more convenient to just be able to order delivery. Plus, they have way more coupons and deals online. You also have to have a phone number to make reservations at restaurants or to book your hair washing, plus nowadays you need to put down a number in case there was a confirmed case of COVID at a place you visited. I ended up using my phone # and calling way more frequently than I thought I would need to (I had to add more minutes actually), so I was really grateful I decided to get a SIM card instead of a pocket wifi.

If you can speak or know just some words in Korean, a lot of people will appreciate it. They know you’re a foreigner, and they really like it as it’s seen as a sign of effort. I went to go get my hair washed at Juno Hair and had a very pleasant experience as they were incredibly kind and we were able to chat! They even said they wished they could see my face 2-3 months from now LOOL. Honestly, service here in Korea is really top notch and all the people I’ve met so far makes me wish I could stay here longer.


You technically can get by without knowing a single word of Korean, but knowing some common words will help you out a lot! You can use Papago and endic.naver.com to look up pronunciation and more words that you think you’ll end up using frequently.

결제 = pay

현금 =  cash

사후관리/사후케어/애프터케어 = aftercare

예약 = reservation

성함 = name

서명 = signature

호박즙 = pumpkin juice

쌍수 = double eyelid surgery

코수술 = nose job

무보형물 = no foreign implant

보형물 = foreign implant

여권 = passport

Edited by strawberrytea
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