Foreigners Soon Fall Prey to Korea's Heavy Drinking Culture

Most expats think Koreans drink a lot, and half say they imbibe more than when they first came to the country, a recent straw poll by the Chosun Ilbo suggests.

The poll was conducted in the streets of Seoul on 100 foreigners who have been in Korea for at least three months. The respondents came from 26 countries including Ecuador, France, Mexico, Singapore, the U.K. and the U.S.

Some 77 percent of respondents thought that Koreans drink a lot of alcohol, and 48 percent said their alcohol consumption has increased since coming to Korea. Interestingly, 40 percent said their alcohol intake had doubled since they arrived in the country, and six percent said it had quadrupled.

In terms of how often they drink with friends and colleagues, 58 percent said the frequency has risen. Some 25 percent said they drink at least 10 times a month on average.

When asked about their thoughts on Korea's drinking culture, 33 percent described it as "irrational," while 14 percent said it "must be changed." Nine percent thought it was "excellent."

englishnews@chosun.com / Jun. 21, 2012 07:44 KST