Dong Dae Mun: Shopping 24 Hours a Day
A real eye-opener when the crowds get bigger as the night progresses ... I was there in the early afternoon, but all the shops althou open was empty and shop-owners were very sleepy and lathargic.. but as the day progresses .. the shop owners were more alert... A great place to go when u cannot sleep :)
Can you sing?
If you visit Korea on business you can expect be taken out to Karaoke places (No-Re-Bang in Korean language) after dinner. To many Koreans it's probably the preferred place to go. Their hard-work days are exorcized through singing prowess - or not. Plentiful drinks come in a row along with dried seafood and fresh fruit snacks. Courtesy of the locals you're with, a few nice looking loung ladies are being brought in to keep you company. This must not be mistaken with lurid practices. In Korean culture it goes itself that women's role is that of "company keepers". Western culture would rather merely deem these ladies as friendly servants. It may be embarassing at times. You drink, chat and sing. Songs menu is 80% Korean with some English classics and contemporary tunes.
Singing rooms provide privacy and you'll sing for your party friends and the young ladies.
Regardless of your voice skills, this practice will tune up your relationship with locals who'll feel you're "on board".
Dress Code: AnyRelated to:
- Business Travel
Foxy: A Better Club in Pusan/Busan
This is the place for later at night in Pusan. Koreans pay 10,000 won (9USD) to get in, foreigners are free. It rocks in here. Good hip-hop tunes and some pretty young things (not like in Seoul, but pretty darn good) as well as K-gangsters doing their dance-thang (if you've hung in Hongdae you'll know what I mean).
Dress Code: Anything...get funky.
The Singing Chicken: The Only Happening Bar on Geo-je Do
It's not really a nightclub, and if you're in Seoul there are TONS of places better (almost any place, actually), but if you're in Geoje-do this is probably the best place to be if you're a foreigner.
The gals there will remember your name if you come again and there's a few characters that frequent it (and I do mean frequent). At the end of the night people have been known to dance on the bar (the dancefloor is very small).
All in all, not bad, but not anything deluxe.
Dress Code: Anything.
The Comfort Zone - Daehangro: Chill Central
This place is a great little Joint. Its un-obtusive and totally laid back. The Comfort Zone as said in its name is the brain child of a brother and sister team who were born in Korea but raised in Canada.
This bar's inception was a place to chill, listen to loose Cafe del Mar cum World Chill cum Moby type sounds, drink some wine or some beer or whatever you want. And talk to your companions.
Another bonus (as is not uaully the case in Korean bars) the toilets at The Comfort Zone ar elike those in your house in a Western Country, decorated, cosy and even complete with magazines and books. Usually the Toilets in Korean Bars are rough as guts, and Hum like a very stinky thing that hums cause it stinks.
Andy (the Brother) told me he is going to open another place soon in one of the more affluent sattelite towns of Seoul, and its going to be called Coutry Comfort... Hmmmmm ^.~
Dress Code: Dress Nice. Everybody here does. Its taht kinda place.
Itaewon: Too many foreigners
Itaewon is the official foreigners party capital of Seoul. I'm not going to go into detail (mainly because most of the bars I could write about sponsor rival football teams in the Seoul Ex-Pat League) but if you need somewhere to blow off steam, get some familiar food and generally forget you're in Korea, this is the place.
Dress Code: Pah
Hongdae (Honggik University): A Good Clubbing District
Hongdae (Honggik University) This is a very much student biased area (and thus really cheap!). Again, it swarms with bars and pubs (Hofs as they are known in Korea) populated by a very friendly young crowd, always keen to practice English on you.
The last Friday of the month, Hongdae goes wild with 'Club Day'. You pay the equivalent of about $10 and it gets you admission to 11 different clubs, all night, in and out as much as you want.
On Club Day, Hongdae is as lively as anywhere you could find, with both Koreans and westerners. It's a great vibe. However the downer is, club day is Packed, packed packed! I was in NB (a hip hop club) last night and it was soooo packed I could even get t o the bathroom. If there was a fire, everyone woulda died.
Club days are a great vibe, but I would suggest going later when some of the crowd has thinned.
Hongdae is also great for Art...... It houses of of Korea's Art schools (Honggik Univ). Hence the cafe's are getting cooler, darker, cruddier. Painting and sculptures abound. It really is a great area.
Dress Code: Dress how it goes.... ^.~
OHOO: M2: Cut a Fine Rug
This is a real progressive venue. In a town (seoul) that is very Hip hoppy, this is a god send.
A new Complex. It is prooving to be a nice venue taht is attracting alot of great international acts.. Just last week I saw Leeroy (Former Prodigy) spinning there.
the Dance floor is great and beset on both sides by two bars that are always busy. the lighting is great, and being a laser fan (I am known as Laserboy by a few - this is another story however) the laser shows here are quite spectacular.
My only downer is that it can be really packed and so quite stressful. But well when you get a few in ya, all is great. On friday night sit is a little subdued with local acts playing not much more than trip hop, and house, but saturdays are wild, with acts usually being foreign.
Upstiars is a nice quiet terrace, that is usually closed off for members. (BTW my photo is taken from this terrace ^.~ - I took it with my phone this is why the quality is very very ordinary).
Cover is between 10 and 20 dollars depnding on the act. But it always includes at least one drink.
Dress Code: Dress tidily. Don't wear sandals if you are a man.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Beer Tasting
Norae Hanun Saramdul ( The People who can Sing): Atmospheric and Musical
This establishment is a breath of fresh air in my opinion. But its name is a contentious issue.
Often its called the bar by many because above the door is a sign that says the bar (even though this is the name of a bar above). Others call it 'Bar 33' because this is apparently what the new management has dubbed it. But others (the Seoul oldies - like me) call it 'Norae Hanun Saramdul' And this is the name still above the door. Although the sign itself is in Korean characters and made of nailed pieces of birch. But this sign sets the scene.
As you descend the stairs you will see dims lights, loud retro music and what I love most, Koreans and Westers mixing socially.
Beer is cheap and sold by the picture or the pint. Cocktails are rudimentary, the winelist (do they have one?). But you can request any song you can think of (they have it.. and if they don't they'll download it.) And then when you drink to much and need the bathroom, you can ascend the stairs and have experience something quite sobering.
This bar is one of my faves. I've coming here on and off for quite awhile.
Dress Code: Dress how you want. You'll blend in withthe graffiti that way.
THE CUBE: Apgujeong: Late Night/ Early morning Hip Hop
This place is a good late night Joint. It carms with young Hip Hop types from the swanky part of Seoul. The mmusic is good and current and the enthusiasm is all there.
The cover is between $10 and $20 depending on who is playing. My advice is go late. You'll pay $10 and you'll prollyscore that much worth of drink tickets.
Dress Code: Hmmmm. Dress like a hip hopper. (However I never do... I always dress like a trance head ^.~)
Gecko's Garden Restaurant & Tapas Bar: Tienen Tapas?
Now this is a place I like. Above the road behind the Itaewon main drag.
Its has a great Tapas menu including, Jamon, Calamare, Cheese, Shrimp rools, Escargot Pastries, etc etc. Great place.
Wine List is brill. One of the best I've found in korea that is resonably priced. Good selections from the US, Italy, France Chile and even some good Munties from Australia like Nottage Hill, and Koonunga Hills Wineries. However none from NZL yet (Still hopeful).
Barbeque is brillaint. Its on;ly about $40 for two people and apart of the expected Shrimps on the Barbie as expected, they have a pretty good Paella.
Beers are same as the Terrace. But the Garden Atmosphere is FAB!!! A SEOUL MUST SEE, REALLY!
Dress Code: Dress nice. Why not. This place deserves it. And you do too.
Gecko's Terrace Restaurant & Bar: Ex-Pat Central
This is quite a good place. Although it can pack out in the weeknds, which is a bit of a bugger when your wearing ***ty shoes.
Geckos offers mostly European and Cajun-style food, well some of the best you can get in Seoul. The food is sent to your table in huge portions, and pretty well priced. I recommend the Fish and Chips.
The drink menu is good, most top shelf that one would expect, and an array of cheap Insipid Korean beers on tap, they have an extensive wine list. Bottled beers are good. Beers from everywhere.
Entertainment is a DJ, Pool, Darts, Rugby on TV and checking out the talent.
Dress Code: Be sure that you don't turn up looking or acting like a Pratt. Geckos has a heallthyy G.I. population.
Discover the music
If you want to discover the music and dance this is the best place to see it. And if you go early you'll have the oportunitie to dress as a korean. After the concert they have a dance outside where you can tace pictures.
Dress Code: don't take your camera inside. beside that you can wear whatever.Related to:
Hongdae has replaced Itaewon as the place to be in Seoul on Friday and Saturday nights. Take the subway to the Honggik university area and start poking around. A good bet for dancing is "Hodgepodge" (pronounced "HodgeePodgee" by Koreans), but good luck finding it! Route 66 is a good bar with great music, and is the perfect place to start out and find those in the know.
Korean Homestyle Cooking
We were taken to a nightclub in Ulsan one evening and the custom is for each party to have their own private room. In our room, each of us was assigned a hostess who sat beside us on the floor, feeding us bits of food and plying us with drinks. One of the customs is to regularly toast each other and everyone has to drink a shot of whisky with each toast offered around the table. It usually does not take long for the party to start! In our case each of us had to stand up and sing a song to the other members of our party - I don't think the Animals have to worry about my rendition of 'The House of the Rising Sun'!
On another occasion, our Hyundai guides took us for a meal at one of their houses. As in the bar, we men ate separately with the many delicious dishes being brought in from the kitchen. Photo of a typical Korean meal with various bowls of spicey sauces to dip the food into.
Dress Code: CasualRelated to:
- Business Travel
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