South Korea

Seoul is More Than Gangnam Style Clubbing

Gangnam is the business district of Seoul and is also known for having some of the Worlds best nightclubs. When the song by Psy became one of the most viewed videos on YouTube I decided that this was something that I wanted to experience. Me and my friend booked a thee day stoppver on the way to China, but when he had to cancel his flights I was left alone with no idea what I was going to do there.

Some last minute couchsurfing request made my trip to Seoul so much more worthwhile than it would have been if I had gone just for clubbing. I had found an American kindergarden teacher who would host me for the nights and a Korean girl who said she wanted to show me around in her city.

The day spent sightseeing could not have gone better. We started off with a couple of hours bicycling along the Hahn River, where lots of young people stayed in tents or had drinking picknicks which clearly was a big this here. People bought huge 3 liter bottles of beer to share, and lots of a local cheap (1$ per bottle) liquor, some people also mixing the two together. Apparantly the Koreans are the Worlds heaviest drinkers, many working ten hours a day and then going out with colleagues afterwards to one of the many Pojangmacha, which literally means tent wagons being food stalls along the streets.

We then got to see the Palace, the Soul Tower, some small parks with rivers running through before moving on to the more young and vibrant parts of the city, through the areas of Hongdae and Gondae. I had thought until then that all Koreans are hard working, boring, all following a mainstream way of dressing and being, but when getting to Hongdae Insaw that clearly this was not the case. It was a sub culture mecca with small shops selling home made things, small bars with funky jazz music, an Indie band playing i the street and lots of young people with all kinds of clothing styres and hair colors. We saw cat bars, dog bars and even a sheep bar, but decided to have a stop at ****, a coctail bar looking like a childrens playroom. It was a quite bizarre experience having a drink in a childrens crab, sitting on a changing mat together with toys of all kinds.

The area around Geondae University station felt much the same as Hongdae with all the young people walking around, but here there seemed to be less artistic shops and cafès. There were more places serving cheap chicken and beer and all you can eat barbeques, which all seem pretty popular here. Should I ever travel to Seoul again I think I would rather go out for cheap food and drinks in these lively parts of town, than following a dress code and paying big covers for the clubs in Gangnam, but then again I did not experience any of that and I think I prefer it that way.