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Itaewon is considered to be the foreigners area, since it is the host of the main American base in Seoul.
The street is very lively, full of all sorts of shops during the day, and a very busy night life after sunset.
The picture should speak better than any words.
All Day Event
Itaewon is a great place...Shopping during the day...and all the clubs that you could want at night. I suggest the Polly's Kettle House for your first taste of Soju Kettle, but not too many they pack a kick and then some.
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Itaewon, where Seoul comes to life.
In a sometimes drearily insular city, the district of Itaewon stands out. Located near the US Yonsan military base, it is one of the city`s tourist (and red-light) centres, and more surprisingly the home to its gay ghetto, an African immigrant neighborhood and the country`s main mosque!! This unique patchwork of overlapping influences sets the district apart from any other in the world. Its seedy, yes, but also exciting and cosmopolitan.
Despite, or perhaps more accurately, because of this, some local residents take a dim view of the neighborhood - for many Koreans it is a decadent fleshpot, and foreign residents sniff at the heavy military presence and the undeniably tacky nightclubs. But still, its is one of the most interesting experiences Seoul has to offer.
From Itaewon station turn left, (down the street outside Burger King) and then left again into the first small alley. On Sundays, this narrow street is filled with African immigrants, chatting in Lingala and Yoruba, many wearing colorful flowing robes, and eating kimchi and fried octopus at traditional Korean stalls. Its one of Seoul`s most arresting sights. (The Africans have been imported to work in the most menial and dangerous factory jobs and are often badly exploited. For many, Sunday is their only day off.)
Continue up this colorful street until you get to an intersection and a sleazy but atmospheric strip of hip-hop blasting strip clubs with names like "Russian Riviera" ,"Starbutts" and "Hard rain". At night, this street is Seoul`s liveliest. Directly ahead is "Hooker Hill"....join the dots! Walking right you`ll pass the gay district (see nightlife recommendations), then just past that, Itaewon`s crowning glory - the beautiful mosque!!
Looping back to the main strip you can walk left, eventually out of Itaewon to neighboring Nokpsapyong past the Yonsan base, to the interesting Korean War Memorial Museum (also note the beautifully decorated subway station!), or turn right to the slightly more Japanese-oriented tourist districts.
- Budget Travel
- Gay and Lesbian
The Back Alleys
For lunch, Dan Xia and I decided to wonder off and explore Itaewon a little.... we took a turn and end up in a back alley.
Though it is a back alley, it was clean and we had a pleasant walk. There are many smaller restaurants that has their entrance from the back alley.
Also, all along Itaewon, we saw quite a few American soldiers. Apparently, according to the locals, Itaewon is the tourist/ foreigner spot. This is a good place to do some shopping too, mainly clothes, shoes, and souvenirs.
Walk along Itaewon Road
Itaewon road is not too long to walk. There are a lot of copied brandname products for sale along the way.
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