Seoul’s Nightlife – South Korea
23 octobre 2014 § Poster un commentaire
During the daytime, Seoul is empty : if you go to the department store or coffee, you will only come across « Ajumma » – 아줌마, (housewives), chatting about the future of their children, sharing tips and looking for the best « hagwon » – 학원, where korean kids go after school. Thanks to my parents who decided an education in France would be better, I was able to avoid this quite stressful schooling system. Korean people work hard, but also play hard. Many reports point out how much alcohol they consume per year and corporate culture is especially bound to drink. If you want to make a good impression as an intern, you better show good drinking skills.
A typical evening starts with a dinner, with « Soju » – 소주 or 막걸리, then singing in Karaoké – 노래방. Fortunately, I never had the opportunity to go to a Karaoké, my voice would have a devastating effect on any audience !
The area I like most is Hongdae, Hapjeong and Sangsu (Subway Exit 8 – Honggik University / Green line). There are many art students who study at Honggik University, and since the area has become popular with bars and attracted many foreigners, real estate prices have increased quite a lot. As such, the artists and students that once resided in the area have now moved away, especially with the arrival of cosmetic shops, FOREVER21 and H&M. Many of my friends that lived in the area have now moved to Hapjeong, which is still free of tourists and price increases.
Still, there are many bars and restaurants to try in Hongdae. One of my local friends brought me to « Wol-Hyang » – 월향, location here: map. It is on the second floor, same building as the GS convenience store. Their specialty is « Makgeolli » – 막걸리, alcohol made from rice, which has the appearance and texture of milk. Different flavors are offered and my favorites are Honey and Strawberry. When you go to bars in Korea, you normally have to order food. Here, not only the Makgeollis are amazing, but the food is good too. Tofu and Kimchi tangsuyuk are their signature dishes.
For BBQ lovers, you are in the good place. You can try the addresses located not far from the A-Land concept store. For beer bars, I don’t remember the names but you can give a try to anyone of them in the area. If you are still hungry after clubbing, singing, street food awaits you on all corners.
It is very sad that Korean music scene is always associated with K-POP singers because it has so much to offer. If you want to listen to small bands, you have to go to « Jebi-Dabang » – 취한제비. This tiny little bar hosts a one hour concert every night around 7pm. The stage is very small but the decoration is charming. Although the entrance is free, you can give the amount you want in the pot during the concert. You can follow their twitter account to know which group will perform: 제비다방
Another place for listening to indie music is « Evans Lounge », not far from Sangsu Station. I recommend purchasing tickets in advance, because some concerts are more in demand than others. I was lucky enough to discover the group « The Barberettes » last May.
All the places mentioned here can be located by clicking on the names in bold. Thanks to Marcelo for his patience and helping me for translation, and to all the people I had the pleasure to meet in Seoul.