They eat kimchi. They use snail cream on their face. They get into online arguments about whether Park Bogum is more handsome than Song Joong Ki.
If you know someone who can’t get enough of Korea, here are just a few Korean gifts that will take them into overdrive!
My 37 Best Korean Gift Ideas
To Brush Up On Their Korean: Kakao Friends Retro Mini Wireless Membrane Keyboard
Kakao Friends are some of Korea’s most popular mascots, and this super-cute, super-pink keyboard is just one piece of merchandise from their brand. It has circular keys with a soft membrane for quiet typing, and it charges wirelessly through a nano receiver that plugs into a USB port.
As a bonus, its keys are printed with both English letters and Korean Hangul, so Korean language learners can use it for lessons. It’ll be the most adorable study aid ever!
For Wrapping That’s Just as Pretty as the Present: Bojagi Korean Wrapping Cloths
If you’ve ever admired the beautiful silk wraps that cover Korean gifts, you aren’t alone. They’re called bojagi, and their fabrics, folds and knots are considered an art form in their home country.
You can get into the spirit by ordering a three-piece set of bojagi cloths and wrapping your own gifts in them! You’ll have a trio of soft, pastel colors to choose from, and when your gift recipient is done untying them, they can re-use the fabrics for themselves.
Everyone prospers with bojagi.
When You Can’t Help Bingeing: K-Drama Llama T-Shirt
“Oppa!” you sob, clutching your wedding dress in both hands as you chase after your long-lost childhood friend who is also the secret heir of a chaebol company. If this is a familiar scene to you, you’re probably a Korean drama addict, and you should be able to appreciate this “K-Drama Llama” t-shirt.
It boasts a proud picture of a llama with the Korean flag on its sunglasses, and it’ll make a cute, trendy gift for yourself and your drama watching club.
Decorate a Dorm Room: Color-Changing Finger Heart LED Desk Lamp
The finger heart is one of the quintessential hallmarks of Korean pop culture, and you can find it printed on all kinds of mugs, hoodies, t-shirts and decorative pins. But why not take it a step further with a finger heart desk lamp? It can be toggled between seven different colors, and it’s easily charged by either batteries or a USB cable.
It’s perfect for study desks and dorm rooms. It can even be used a night light! Show someone that you care with a finger heart, and let its warm glow watch over them even when you aren’t around.
For Your Favorite Artist: Forest Girl’s Coloring Book
Beautiful and fanciful, the Forest Girl’s Coloring Book is a work of art. Each page offers a finely-detailed illustration of a young girl wandering the woods, playing with animals, smelling flowers and hosting picnics.
It’s almost like a storybook, but you’ll get to color it yourself. Scenes include “A Day Spent at Home” and “Season of Blooming.” The titles are in English, but the descriptive texts are in Korean, and it’s manufactured by a Korean publisher.
The pages are thick enough for both colored pencils or watercolor paints.
To Make a Toast: Traditional Handmade Wooden Soju Cups
There’s nothing like a cup of soju to relax you after a long day, and with this traditional, hand-crafted cup set, they can sit cross-legged on the floor and pretend like they’re visiting a hanok in a quaint little village.
The cups are made with a golden brown lacquered wood, and they’re engraved with the Korean for “a cup of love” and “a cup of memories.” They come nestled in a gift box for easy wrapping. Korean culture enthusiasts should love such a personal and thoughtful gift.
For Fans of K-Pop: BTS Funko POP! 7-Pack
Oh my my my! BTS has been taking over the world so thoroughly that their merchandise is everywhere, including Mattel dolls, Uno cards, Hot Topic hoodies, BT21 plushies and more. You’ll have plenty of options if you’re looking for BTS goodies for a K-Pop fan.
However, one of the best gifts that you can buy is this multipack of Funkos: All seven members are represented, and their value is skyrocketing by the day, so scoop them up while supplies last and let them grow into highly-coveted collector’s items for someone who just can’t get enough of the guys.
Fun for the Whole Family: Yut Nori Korean Board Game
Yut nori is a Korean board game that’s played during holidays and festivals. It involves moving tokens around a board, but it uses engraved wooden sticks instead of dice, and there’s strategy involved in your chosen pathway to the end.
Everyone in the family can play together, so it’s a nice gift for kids and groups. It’s also a good lesson in Korean culture: Yut nori dates all of the way back to the Three Kingdoms era, and it’s even been used in divination rituals!
When They’re About to Order Takeout for the Millionth Time: Cook Korean!: A Comic Book with Recipes
Who needs a stuffy, pretentious cookbook when you could have one that’s filled with comics? Cook Korean is a hilarious exploration of Korean cuisine that involves jokes and doodles just as much as recipes.
It will teach you how to make the classics, including kimchi, pork belly and seaweed rice rolls, but it will encourage you to have fun at the same time. This is a cookbook for people who take joy in Korean culture and want to bring that same energy and enthusiasm into their kitchen.
Additionally, if they ever burn something, they’ll be able to commiserate with the horror stories within the book!
Make Some Music: 3D Cherry Blossom Music Box Puzzle
Japan isn’t the only country with cherry blossoms! They’re springtime staples of Korea as well, and you can celebrate their beauty with this 3D music box puzzle. It depicts cute, colorful animals relaxing under the shade of a cherry blossom tree in full bloom, and the puzzlemaster will be tasked with slotting them all into place.
When they’re done, they can turn the crank, watch the tree rotate and listen to a sweet musical tune. It’ll be a fun and unique gift for Korean culture fans, especially those who like collector’s items.
Defeat the Duolingo Owl: Korean Stories For Language Learners
If they’re so frustrated by their Duolingo lessons that they’re about to catch the little green bird and make a soup out of it, consider gifting them Korean Stories For Language Learners: Traditional Folktales in Korean and English.
It offers simple, traditional tales about wild animals and ancient spirits, and there are brief vocabulary lessons to accompany each story and illustration. It will let them practice their Korean in a real-world way, and it won’t be boring or reptitive.
They’ll genuinely learn.
To Embrace a Cultural Phenomenon: Moving Bunny Ears Hat
People in Korea are going crazy for these bunny hats, so if you know someone who likes to be trendy, they’re sure to appreciate one of the hottest gifts that you can buy for the won. Why are the hats so popular? Well, in addition to their soft and cozy cuteness, they’re also a fun party favor.
When you press either one of the long, fuzzy flaps, the corresponding ear will jump! It sounds simple, but it can provide hours of selfie-worthy entertainment.
For Kicking Up Dust Beneath Their Boots: Seoul Travel Diary
If they dream of walking the streets of Seoul one day, help them get one step closer to an overseas adventure with this travel diary. Its cover has a plane flying next to a Korean temple, and it bears the Korean flag in the bottom corner.
Inside, there are bucket list checklists as well as grid dot pages for writing, drawing, sketching or jotting down travel notes. They can plan their trip before they go, record their memories while they’re there and look back on the diary as a keepsake after they return home.
Two Halves of a Whole: Couples Cartoon Cotton Pullover Pajama Set
Say “saranghae” with a gift that expresses your love. These soft cotton pajamas are to die for, especially since they come in a matching pair; you can dress in couples’ fashion with your boo while looking utterly adorable.
Another nice thing about these pajamas is that they’re suitable for both men and women, so lovers of any gender combination can enjoy them. As long as you’re charmed by cute cartoon animals, these PJs are for you.
Timeless Beauty: Korean Folk Painting Window Drapes
Fashion and function combine in these painted window drapes. They depict fruit-picking from a chestnut tree in autumn, and the print is considered a minhwa, or a piece of folk art completed by unknown or untrained individuals.
Minhwa are greatly respected in Korea, so this is a special present to give to someone who truly appreciates Korean culture. They can hang it from their window and make it a bold interior design feature in their living room.
To Overload a Sweet Tooth: Ultimate Korean Snack Box
Packed with chips, noodles, cookies, candies and sodas, this Korean snack box is just bursting with color and flair. There are fruit jellies and chocolate pies; there are soft cupcakes and crunchy coffee bars; there are canned drinks that taste like yogurt.
If your gift recipient doesn’t speak Korean, they’ll have to identify snacks based on pictures of smiling strawberries or little cartoon characters going up in flames. Every bite will be a surprise!
The Ultimate in Vintage Fashion: Women’s Traditional Long Sleeve Hanbok
Characterized by bright colors and simple lines, hanbok are instantly recognizable as traditional Korean clothing. They come in many different varieties, including “modern” hanbok that have been modified for everyday wear, but nothing beats the good old-fashioned look.
You can give it to someone who cosplays or regularly attends Korean events and festivals. It could also make a great outfit for diversity day at your child’s school.
For Meat Eaters: Stovetop Korean BBQ Grill
If you’ve ever been to a Korean restaurant, you understand the importance of a Korean grill. Countless dishes are made on it, including galbi (ribs), bulgogi (beef strips) and samgyupsal (pork belly).
The good news is that you don’t have to own a full-sized grill to make these sizzling Korean dishes at home! With this small, portable version, your favorite carnivore will be able to grill their meats and veggies on their own stovetop.
Just remind them not to forget the soy sauce!
To Play “Go Fish” in Another Dynasty: Historical Korean Playing Cards
Maybe they like Korean period movies. Maybe they’re taking courses in Korean art, culture or history. Whatever their reasons for being interested in the days of big hats and hanbok, these historical Korean playing cards should be right up their alley.
The face cards are decorated with royalty, and each suit represents a different dynasty. There are even bonus cards with fun facts about the clothes, titles and social classes of the eras represented by the deck!
For Insomniacs: Korean Pillow With Green Tea Filling
Do they enjoy the smell of freshly-brewed tea but hate going to the trouble of actually brewing and drinking it? Make their day with a throw pillow that’s stuffed with green tea leaves. Since it’s under a thick, quilted layer of padding, it’s still quite comfortable, but the aroma of green tea will waft from the fabric and soothe them to sleep.
The leaves are grown in the famous tea fields of Boseong County, Korea, and the pillow is printed with decorative Korean text to authenticate it.
To Show Support in the Korean Way: Hwaiting Cellphone Stand
If you aren’t up to date on your lingo, “hwaiting” is the Korean word for “fighting,” and it’s used to cheer or encourage people like “good luck” in English. It’s a frequent expression in songs, books, movies and television shows, so if you know someone who is obsessed with Korean pop culture, they’ve definitely heard it before.
Let them celebrate it with this hwaiting cellphone stand that can be used to prop up their phone or tablet as they binge on the latest episodes of their favorite K-drama.
Balance Your Ki: Korean Temple Incense
With notes of sandalwood, agarwood and frankincense, these incense sticks will provide a wonderfully soothing smell. They’re common in Korean temples because they’re so relaxing to the spirit. They’re also free of oils, chemicals, toxins, parabens and artificial dyes, so they’re completely natural.
Do you know someone with a stress problem? Or maybe you’re friends with a Korean person who would appreciate a taste of home? Give them some incense to turn their house into a temple.
If They Can Handle the Heat: Korean Sauce Gift Set
Perfect for your foodie friends who like to experiment with new cuisines, this sauce and spice collection has four of the most essential ingredients for Korean cooking:
– Ganjang (soy sauce)
– Gochujang (red pepper paste)
– Doenjang (miso)
– Gochugaru (chili powder)
Each one can be added to meats, veggies, eggs, soups, salads and more.
There’s even a mini-booklet of Korean recipes if they need some inspiration to get started. They’ll be filling their kitchen with the aroma of red peppers and soy sauce in no time!
To Get Rip-Roaringly Drunk: Makgeolli Aluminum Kettle and Bowls
“Makgeolli” means “rice wine,” and it’s the oldest alcoholic beverage in Korea. As its name implies, it’s made with fermented rice and yeast cultures, and it becomes a thick, tangy kind of drink that used to give energy to farmers who spent all day in the fields.
It’s traditionally made with golden kettles and served in small bowls, which is why this makgeolli set looks like it does. While there’s nothing stopping you from using it for tea or other drinks, it’s meant to invoke the singular, slurring glory of makgeolli.
Eat Pray Kimchi: Korea Tourist Attractions Tapestry
If you know someone who loves a good piece of pop art, this is the wall hanging for them. It depicts all of South Korea in a kimchi-style hot pot, and vibrantly colorful cartoons show temples, skyscrapers, rice fields, fairgrounds and train stations.
Two Korean citizens oversee it all in traditional hanbok. It’ll be an excellent conversation piece for the living room, especially if it’s surrounded by other cultural tokens and treasures.
Crack the Secrets of Korean Skincare: Rice Water Face Wash Collection
Does she yearn for the fresh, flawless skin of her favorite Korean actresses? Give her this rice water skincare set. Korean beauty products have been taking the world by storm, and once she tries these best-selling cleansers, she’ll get hooked as well.
They’re infused with extra vitamins and minerals for clean, healthy skin, and they come in a pretty pink package that will make her nightly routine feel extra-luxurious. She can pamper herself just like IU!
For Obscure Culture Nerds: Hahoetal Mask Refrigerator Magnets
Hahoetal are traditional Korean masks that have been used in plays and folk dances since the early 12th century. There’s an entire art to making them, and detailed, hand-carved hahoetal masks can fetch huge sums.
But what if you’re looking for something a little cheaper to give as a gift? Consider these refrigerator magnets. They come in a pack of four, and they represent roles for the bride, the butcher, the mistress and the nobleman.
They’ll be an easy and affordable way to bring classic Korean culture into a person’s home.
For Treasures and Keepsakes: Mother-of-Pearl Jewelry Trinket Box
Glittering with a mother-of-pearl inlay made from gemstones and seashells, this decorative box is perfect for jewelry, trinkets, love notes, pressed flowers and anything else that you want to keep safe.
It depicts cranes on the lid, which are symbols of longevity. It has a glossy lacquered surface and a roomy interior for mementos. Not only will it make a gasp-worthy gift, but it’s a great choice for Korean lovers since it’s made with Korean mother-of-pearl and comes tucked in a paper box covered in Hangul.
Cutely Stylish: Etti Hair Band
Etti hair bands are another example of Korea’s advanced skincare routines. Instead of plain, boring bands, they have an entire market for plush and comfortable ones, and they’re available in multitudes of colors, shapes, sizes and patterns.
They’ll keep your hair out of your eyes while you apply your favorite creams and masks, and they’ll look adorable while they do it. Fans of K-beauty will definitely want an Etti hair band.
For DIY Kimchi: Fermentation Kit
This isn’t exactly a Korean gift, but nothing is more Korean than kimchi, and a fermentation kit will allow your friend to make all of the kimchi that their heart desires. Included in the kit are several lids, weights and jar labels, and there’s even a handheld extractor pump to remove the excess oxygen from a fermentation container.
A clever chef will be able to make restaurant-quality kimchi right at home. Please note that mason jars are not included, so if you want to give someone everything that they’ll need to get started with a kimchi dinner, you’ll need to throw in some glassware yourself.
Putting the Folk in Folklore: Korean Folk Doll Collectible Figures
Another great gift for Korean history buffs, these figurines are straight out of the Joseon era. They’re almost like his-and-her presents, and they’d make great wedding favors or gifts for a couple, but they’re also nice just for displaying on a shelf.
They depict a man and woman in traditional Korean hanbok. They’re handcrafted, so each one will be subtly different from the pictures that you see online, but their unique appearances and slight imperfections are part of their charm.
They’ll even come with a handwritten note thanking you for your purchase.
For Fancy Dinners: Korean Flower-Printed Spoons and Chopsticks
There’s a lot of food on this list of Korean gifts, but unless your loved one is going to eat with their hands, they’ll need some cutlery to go along with it! Thankfully, this spoon-and-chopsticks set is more than up to the task.
The utensils are made of polished stainless steel and are printed with a floral design that invokes the image of traditional Korean culture. There’s a pair of each, and they come in a pack of two with individual pouches.
Best of all, they can be washed and reused over and over again for all of your gift recipient’s favorite dishes.
Because Grandma is Always Right: Tigers, Frogs, and Rice Cakes: A Book of Korean Proverbs
Don’t lick the outside of a watermelon. Even monkeys can fall from trees. Korea has words of wisdom just like any other country, and with Tigers, Frogs, and Rice Cakes, they’ve been collected into a single useful volume.
The proverbs are listed in both Korean and English, and there’s a phonetic pronunciation guide for the Korean. An index in the back of the book organizes them by theme. If you’d like a fun, surprisingly engrossing gift for Korean studies, consider this one.
A Punchline With a Literal Punch: Funny Taekwondo T-Shirt
Japan has karate. China has kung fu. Korea has taekwondo. If you know someone who likes to beat the snot out of their friends in a ritualized setting, this t-shirt is for them! It says “touch me and your first taekwondo lesson is free,” so it will definitely set the tone for first meetings.
It’s also pre-shrunk and machine-friendly, so they can wear it while sparring or working out before tossing it in with the rest of their laundry. It’s the kind of present that might just become a staple of their wardrobe.
For Bookworms: Traditional Korean Miniature Bookmarks
Designed like traditional good luck charms, these bookmarks show the beauty and vitality of Korean culture. They come in a pack of three, and they’re printed with cranes, fans, pine trees and blessings written in Hangul.
They can be displayed as decorations or literally used as bookmarks; they have flat surfaces and elaborately knotted strings for page-keeping. They’ll make great stocking stuffers or simple gifts for a birthday or gift exchange.
Leave Your Mark: Korean Rubber Cat Stamps
School supplies are always cuter in Korea, and these rubber stamps prove it. They come in a pack of 20, and each one is printed with a tiny cat that’s exploring a different idea or concept. Some cheerful cats say “YES” while other grumpy cats say “NO.
” Some cats are studying, exercising or meditating. They’re perfect for a wide range of activities, and your gift recipient could use them for everything from grading papers to meeting goals in a daily planner.
The choice is entirely theirs and entirely cute.
Everything’s Better in Hangul: Custom Korean Name Necklace
Have you always wondered what someone’s name would look like in Korean? Available in silver, gold and rose gold, these gorgeous necklaces will convert an English name into Korean Hangul and set it into stainless steel.
It’ll be a delight to Korean culture enthusiasts, and it’ll be a thoughtful, one-of-a-kind gift for someone in your life that you care about. They deserve a special present for a special occasion.
A Buyer’s Guide to the Best Korean Presents
Korea is experiencing a major boom in everything from the beauty industry to the entertainment industry. If you know someone who is riding the Hallyu wave, you’ll want to pick a good gift for them. But how can you be sure which ones will get a finger heart?
Check For Accuracy
Some “Korean” gifts are actually Japanese or Chinese gifts that are being marketed with a broad oriental flavor. This is especially common when it comes to things like cranes, dragons and cherry blossoms; they’re motifs shared by multiple Asian countries.
However, it’s important that you take the time to pick out the real Korean gifts from the frauds and lookalikes. One way to do this is to look at the language printed on the product: Is it Korean Hangul or Chinese kanji?
Identify the Person’s Unique Interests
Some people will love cute and trendy gifts based on Korean pop culture. Others have a more serious or academic interest in Korea, so their ideal gift would be something focused on the art, culture or history of the region.
There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to a person’s passion. Just figure out what they like, and don’t assume that they’ll like everything simply because it comes from Korea.
Consider Their Language Ability
This is irrelevant if you’re buying something like animal socks, but if you’re looking at books, games or language tools, you might want to make subtle inquiries about their fluency in the Korean language.
They won’t get anything out of a gift that’s too advanced for them. Make sure that videos have subtitles and books have translations, and if you aren’t totally sure about their skill level, err on the side of caution and go “too easy” rather than “too difficult.”
Korean gifts can be precious things to someone who is interested in another culture but might not have access to it.
Use these tips for giving awesome presents and embracing the Koreaboo spirit!
There are many more Korean gifts that will rock someone’s world, but alas, we had to stop the list somewhere.
What do you think of our choices? Would you add, remove or replace anything? What’s on your Korean wish list? I want to know!