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COMMENTS

So today we’re gonna talk about nightlife in Korea. DISCLAIMER: we didn’t do everything there is to do with Nightlife in Korea. We’ve never been to booking clubs or host bars, but we have been to a bunch of bars and dance clubs. So, for the latter two we can speak about with a lot of experience. For the former two, we’re basing this off of what our friends have told us.

Side note: none of our friends have actually gone to host bars themselves. They always tell the story like “well, I KNOW A GUY who goes and this is what he does” or “I’ve been with some people at a host bar and this is what they did, but I never did that myself.” You know, now that we think about it, we’re not even sure why we talked about host bars, because we doubt that any of you have ever went or actually have the desire to go yourselves. Do you? We made them sound, at first, like Ouran Host Club, but that’s a bit misleading, because Ouran Host Club is wonderful and magical and makes you feel special on the inside. Host clubs in Korea, from how they’ve been described to us, are a lot more…umm. Not innocent. Anyhow, the whole point of talking about this is just for you to know that they, indeed, do exist.

Dancing, though, we know! We just don’t do it that much. Hongdae’s where we usually go dancing. Club FF is our favourite, because they play Indie Music, both Korean and international. Just last weekend we were there and they played Crystal Castles, which is our most played band on iTunes EVER. But that’s just when it’s the two of us wanting to go out dancing together. If we’re with a group of friends and they’re looking for something more danceable, we go to the more Korean-ized dance clubs that play THAT GODFORSAKEN SONG FAR TOO MUCH. What is that song with the soccer dance? You know what I mean, right? What’s the name of this song? 100 points to the first team to name it! And if someone has a video of that dance, then 200 points! We never took a video of it ourselves. We got soooome footage of dancing at night when Martina broke her ankle, because she broke her foot when she tried to do another dance outside of the soccer dance. THAT DAMN SOCCER DANCE, I TELL YOU!

Otherwise, we talked about Hongdae’s Free Park a bit at the end. We really like it there, but we didn’t really describe it well. Basically, it’s a really small area, not really even a park, but it’s outdoors, by a swing set, with a few trees around it, and people just…hang out there. People bring their own drinks and just chat with friends. Other things happen around that area. Some people play live music. Sometimes there’s a Silent Disco, in which you rent a set of wireless headphones and dance to music that the DJ’s playing. It’s totally awesome, because – to you – you’re like “AHH YEAH DIS MAAH SONNNNGG!” and you can dance with a bunch of people, but to the outsiders, to those without headphones, it looks really weird watching people dance to music you can’t hear. Last Saturday there was impromptu boxing. Yep. A dude had boxing gloves and boxing helmets and let people box. We saw one dude, really arrogant, get knocked on his ass. Great times! Nothing like foreigners beating each other up for sport! But, no, really: it’s got a great vibe, the Free Park, and we hang out there whenever we get the chance.

Don’t ask us much about Gangnam nightlife. We’re a bit anti-Gangnam. Nothing against Psy. It’s just too stooshy for our tastes. Too rich for my blood, I’d say.

So, yeah! That’s a bit about nightlife in Korea. Long story short: hang out in Hongdae. It’s the best!

ToFebruary
  1. I have heard a lot about music being popular in Korea but I haven’t heard much about sports in Korea. Is there as much enthusiasm with sports as there is in America or Canada?

  2. Well if you ever film in a bar or club in Korea I have 2 requests. 1) Invite some fans that are in Korea so everyone can get an experience of ppl having thier first time at these places and 2) do it in early feb so I can include my wife when she visits me here lol!!!

  3. OMG Hanging outin the Hongdae free park is da best. I totally discovered it by accident one night coming out of

  4. I went to Korea for 2 weeks and I was lucky enough to experience most of the nightlife they describe minus the booking & host clubs ….was also fortunate enough to actually go to 2 different clubs in Gangnam for FREE and just it is VERY stuck up and snobby and you can get a beer for 15,000 wons!! F-ing insane…thats like $15! LOL Mojitos are $25 ..

  5. hi guys! you should definitively try Obeg (500) club in hongdae! that clubis amazing, its a kind of north african-indian style club (clay wall with ethnics paints)! When there is not special event, its super calm with indie music, sit on the floor with pillow and caddles everywhere, drinking sangria and smoking chicha…here you can find the very rare koreans rasta guy of seoul! ^^ its a total travel outside korea in heart of hongdae life!

    ->https://www.facebook.com/obeg500?ref=ts&fref=ts

  6. Son Truong

    Are you guys talking about this song?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GnyKTJZmM0

  7. DId anyone ever figure out what the song/dance is?

  8. carrotmint seah

    I have a question that I have been wondering 4 a long-time: this place is near gangnam MRT, There’s this group of very handsome guys ( 6 or 7 of them, level of handsomeness= like models) in smart suits standing outside a building. They invited girls only to go into a building. One pulled me and start talking in Korean. I was like ‘What do ya want (cos I dun understand Korean)’. He refused to let go and continue to talk a lot . I finally said in English ‘I AM A TOURIST’, he then let me go.What I do notice is most korean girls that they approached either ignore or wave them away. Till now I could not find out what was that about. I do not think that they were selling a product, cos they were not holding anything. Other than the Famous Gangnam style song and the fact that SM entertainment agency is located there , and there are a lot of celebrity restaurants, what else is Gangnam famous for ? Maybe it can provide as a lead for me. Anyone can solve the mystery?

  9. Interesting introduction to nightlife in Korea. How about livehouses? Like with live bands and stuff. Those are huge in Japan, not too bad in Taiwan and kind of pathetic in Singapore.

    And that bit about organized dancing. Reminds me of Mambo Night in Singapore at Zouk. XD

  10. JustDense

    What you said about the organized “soccer” dance, reminded me of how here in mexico, every party you attend, it doesn’t matter if it’s a wedding, a birthday, a baptism or whatever, the Spanish version of “Achy breaky heart” and other similar song MUST be played at some point of the party. And really, freaking everyone stands up to dance. The dancefloor gets so crowded it’s nearly impossible to finish it without even getting stepped on feet at least twice.

  11. here in Brazil is the oposite, you interact A LOT with strangers, mainly if you are drunk

  12. Jessica Berger

    i lost it when they martina sang kiss kiss fall in love >.<

  13. WillWorkForSoju

    Martina and Simon,
    I wanted to share this funny story with you. I was on a subway train in Boston today, reading Dramabeans and listening to Clazziquai, as is my wont, and what do I hear over the dulcet tones of Alex and Horan but two college girls discussing your blog. Rather, one girl was telling the other all about Simon, Martina, Spudgy, Dr. Meemersworth, WANK-ing and SPANK-ing, and the other girl was looking at her like she had two heads — the way my friends and family look at me when I tell them about all things Korean. I thought I’ll pass this on — Eat Your Kimchi Fighting!

  14. parkangel90

    hi …i have always wondered why does korean or most of asians when they want to focus or to do something right and good they wear a wight headband ? exaple i saw a lot of scenes in korean dramas and movies where students waer it when they want to study for something big . so what does it means …?

  15. Catherine

    hello! i’ve got a question, but it’s not very easy to ask. here goes!
    the country i would most want to visit is South Korea, because of the music, the culture, the food, the exceptional public transportation, and so on. the country i would least want to visit is North Korea, probably for obvious reasons. so my question is: how do South Koreans feel about people who have the same culture, the same history until so recently, living so near and so horribly. if the other half of MY country was living in poverty and misery, i think it would bother me every day.
    any thoughts from Simon & Martina?

  16. to Martina: Did any korean man ever hit on you since you came to Korea?

  17. 코알라

    I wonder what it’s like in Korea for people who don’t drink. I hate alcohol and refuse to drink even a sip during holidays where it’s common to drink. I wouldn’t want to be considered rude or weird but I wouldn’t want to change that just because I was in a country where pretty much everyone drinks. I wonder if I lied about having an alcohol allergy if they’d be fine with me not drinking xD

  18. Julia Pozo

    NO KARAOKE!!!!!! THAT NUMBER ONE IN HAWAII FOR ASIAN PEOPLE WTH

  19. Hmm…the organized dancing reminds me of the Macarena (good old 90s tune :P). Whenever any of my friends (of any age) hear this song, they all jump up and dance to this.
    http://youtu.be/XiBYM6g8Tck

  20. I don’t know if anyone has told you the name of the ‘soccer dance song’, it’s ‘Riverside mother fucker’ I think. Search it on youtube! :3

  21. Hum. I’ve got a question :)

    In Montreal (Canada), people are very open and there are varieties of everything (Food, Style, Shops…) In Korea, how are they? Are they different?

  22. Pradogirl

    i was wondering since poor martina broke her ankle i wanted to know how are the hospitals there i mean do you pay like cash or credit card or you have insurance how does it work?

  23. SWalkerTTU

    Here’s a video of the dance (maybe?), apparently to the wrong song, though, and the part in question starts about 1:40 :
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uW9pNDUZKj8

    The song here is a hard-rock cover of my introduction to K-pop, Clon’s “Kkungttari syabara”. I’ve no idea who does it and the uploader didn’t say.

    Here’s another one, and the dance is apparently called the “KKokjijeom Dance (꼭지점 댄스)”, meaning “Vertex Dance”(?):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzMdlIdtIwQ

    More quick YouTube searching yielded the title “오 필승 고리아” (O Pilseung Koria, “O Victory Korea”)—which sounds nothing like the one you tried to sing:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dk6wnEkHZhQ

    Another search yielded the name of the original performer, the Yoon Do-hyun Band:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5Ao1baj6Mo

  24. Jani Song

    I think the techno song you guys are looking for is Riverside by Sidney Samson :)

  25. Dear Simon and Martina,
    From my studies (and word-of-mouth) I know that South Korea has a very distinct drinking culture. A lot of emphasis is put on social drinking and, from what I’ve heard, if you don’t drink you’re considered anti-social.
    I’m currently on my way to a Linguistics degree in hopes of moving to Korea to teach English. I don’t particularly care for alcohol, in fact, I’d have to say that I downright don’t like it. (Nothing against drinking, I just dislike the flavor of alcohol.) I don’t want to seem rude when I get over there by not drinking, but I also don’t want to be forced to do conform for the sake of being liked.
    So my question is, is there anything that someone who dislikes alcohol can do to get around drinking without making the situation awkward? If not, how many drinks would generally be the minimum to consume in a social situation?

    • When I was in Korea there was another foreigner that hung out with our group who didn’t drink. People were a bit curious about it, but I think the thing that offended the Koreans was that he didn’t want to pay for the alcohol (which, seriously, it’s not that expensive) and this threw a wrench in the proceedings, because the Koreans were so used to just splitting the check. To figure out how much someone should have to pay without the alcohol was just a ridiculous extra complication. So if you’re going to not drink, just don’t make a big deal about it.

      Of course this is just my experience as a student there for three short months.
      And hey, I am also a Linguistics major (well, graduated a year ago) and I’m hoping to go back as a teacher too. Good luck with your plans!

      • How interesting. I’ve always heard that splitting the check is considered atypical in Korean society. (I can’t confirm or deny this, as I’ve yet to visit Korea. It’s just the way I’ve learned things.) Perhaps it differs from person to person…
        Fortunately, I’m very used to splitting bills out of habit, so I don’t think I’d have too much of a problem with that myself. If paying an extra dollar or two means I can get away with not drinking, that’s fine by me. Heheh.

        • I think the splitting of the bill was really just because we were all students. I imagine that beyond the university world, they probably don’t do that as much. Technically in Korea, I think the one who invites usually pays, but if the university students followed that, no one would want to invite a group of friends out because it would be too expensive.

        • Ah. Yeah, that would make sense. College students are broke no matter what country they live in, I suppose. XD

  26. kawaii_candie
    kawaii_candie

    really interesting!! i wish you guys would show the footage from when Martina broke her ankle though… or at least do another wank in a club so we can see what it’s like! i’m really interested in going clubbing in Korea, so i’d like to know what it’s like and what are the best clubs to go to!

  27. Melissa Kish

    Hey guys! Have you ever been allowed to tape inside a “dance club?” I think we’d all like to see Simon trying to do a group dance (or rather to his own “nasty” version!).

    On a more serious note…Simon – You looked so tired in the video. Were you guys taping late? I hope you aren’t getting sick! Please take care of yourself and stay healthy! :-)

  28. lol i’m also more of an organized dance person which is why i like kpop so much. Because I can actually learn the moves and dance to it! But with american or arab music i’m sooooooo lost and awkward and don’t know how to move my body…this is what happens when you’re a nerd i believe… O_O lol :P

  29. LOVE CRYSTAL CASTLES. Yeah. Thats all I really wanted to say. ^^

  30. Can you guys do a TL;DR on the proper way to desert my life in California, move to Korea, and work for you as a stylist/fashion designer/shopper? Is that too narrow of a topic? I hope not. I MUST KNOW!! haha! Forget idolizing the k-pop idols, you guys are my idols!!!! Also, Booking clubs sounds delightfully awkward. It would be so much fun to be the wingman waiter and hook up tables. I would feel diabolical! MWAHAHA!

  31. The song they’re referring is called “Riverside” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pde2j70eiC8

  32. I have a question, which is the perception of the Koreans with respect to latinos, it is different from that of the Americans???.. (sorry for my english, i use bing translator) :(

    • There were a couple latinos in the group of students I was with in Korea last spring. I didn’t notice that they were treated any differently. We were all just foreigners. Some of the girls were quite fascinated with the girls’ long eyelashes and big eyes… but nothing too out of the ordinary. Just another foreigner.

  33. How cool is this! Less than $500 is needed to put our wonderful Simon and Martina over $100,000.00 in the fundraiser! AND there are still 24 days to donate!!!! WOW, they may actually get to sleep before this year is out!!!!! I am so proud of the Nasties! I am also proud and grateful to S&M for creating a place/product that is of such a quality that people fall over themselves to help them continue!!!!

  34. Edward Madigan

    TOMORROW NIGHT! HONGDAE PARK! SEE YOU THERE?

  35. Christina Spaulding

    Since food is such a huge part of culture and these things tend to be vastly different from one country to the next, can you tell us about Korean table manners?

  36. From the sound of it, it this soccer dance you speak of sound like what Americans so when they hear songs like the Caspar Slide or Cupid Shuffle

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