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Nightlife in Korea: Bars, Clubs, and Dancing

September 27, 2012


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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!



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Nightlife in Korea: Bars, Clubs, and Dancing


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  1. Haha seems like you’ve been to many clubs !!
    Espeically I liked what you said “Anti-gangnam” haha

    You should probably visit Korea club web-site.
    Because those clubs aren’t the best in Hongdae.

    I recommend to visit http://www.ClubinKorea.com

    2 years ago
  2. 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!


    4 years ago
  3. Are you guys talking about this song?

    4 years ago
  4. DId anyone ever figure out what the song/dance is?

    4 years ago
  5. Few clubs in Seoul celebrate Halloween as a party. But that’s about it. People dress up in costume to join those Halloween parties but people outside the area would probably look at you weird.

    4 years ago
  6. Jaq

    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!

    4 years ago
    • Owl

      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.

      4 years ago
  7. Jaq

    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.

    4 years ago
  8. 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.

    4 years ago
  9. 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?

    4 years ago
  10. 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?

    4 years ago
  11. Here’s a video of the dance (maybe?), apparently to the wrong song, though, and the part in question starts about 1:40 :

    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”(?):

    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:

    Another search yielded the name of the original performer, the Yoon Do-hyun Band:

    4 years ago
  12. I think the techno song you guys are looking for is Riverside by Sidney Samson :)

    4 years ago
  13. 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!

    4 years ago
  14. 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! :-)

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

    4 years ago
  16. 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!!!!

    4 years ago

    4 years ago
    • HELLS YEA *wink and gun* (^_−)☆

      …………..wait……….I’m in the wrong continent T_T

      4 years ago
  18. Hey guys!

    Just wanted to chip in because I have been
    in Seoul for
    five years and have been to host bars, booking clubs and booking bars. I
    noticed that you got booking clubs and bars a little mixed up in the video. If
    you’re new to Korea, you definitely need to have
    the right grasp on all these places or you might get an unwanted surprise when
    you walk in.

    First of all, you should go to all these
    places with Korean friends. Most places won’t even let you in unless you are. Mostly, it’s an English thing. If you are with a group of Koreans, there is a
    way for the establishment to communicate with you, or they assume you can speak
    Korean. If it’s just foreigners, they get
    a little nervous and it’s easier to turn you away
    than to try and speak English. Not to mention, not many foreigners go to host
    bars, booking bars or booking clubs. Ten times out of ten I’ve been let it everywhere when with my Korean girlfriends. Foreign friends
    of mine who have gone without Koreans, weren’t so lucky.

    Plus, it can be a little scary if you don’t know what you’re doing. So be safe, go
    with Korean friends.

    First of all, there are host bars and
    hostess bars, talking bars, kiss rooms, room salons, model bars, sexy bars, the
    list goes on. My best friend and I used to go to a talking/host bar, and for a table
    charge and a bottle of whisky, we had cute guys to entertain us all night.
    (Cost less than 200,000 won with anju, bottle and table fee.) We went to see if
    they were really as raunchy as we had heard, but found they were quite the opposite.
    The guys really did just sit and talk with us, with maybe a little flirting, but
    nothing more (they weren’t allowed to). I’m sure there are places out there like that (for women) we just don’t know where they are.

    The men. Well. No need to get into room
    salons and whatnot. Ick.

    Now, booking bars and clubs. What you
    described is actually a booking bar. Where you and sit at a table with your
    girls or guys, then you can ask the waiters to go invite a table to join you
    (or be invited to a table yourself). They look like your normal Korean-style
    drinking establishment. They are really popular with the younger crowd because
    they tend to be cheaper, since most offer average Korean bar fare – anju, beer, soju, etc. (No cocktails or high-end liquor.) They are
    also more relaxed that booking clubs. You don’t have to dress all fancy to get in (though you will want to look
    your best). Also, these places tend to have age limits. If you older than 1984,
    some chains (Blue Ketchup *cough*) won’t let you

    Booking clubs are much different. They are actual
    clubs, high-priced and you have to be dressed up nice or the door will turn you
    away, much like the super clubs. Guys have to pay for a table/room and “table service” which can run anywhere from
    a few hundred thousand won up to 1 million won or more. Girls go in and
    typically pay around 60,000 won for what my friends and I call the “holding table” or “break table.” You sit there and they
    bring you drinks, typically bottles of beer. But girls won’t be there for long. The servers at booking clubs will literally
    drag girls to rooms at any given time. You will walk out of one room, just to
    be dragged to the next. (Bathroom breaks are difficult.) However, if you don’t like the guys in the room you are taken to, it’s no problem to leave after a few minutes (or seconds). The guys don’t really seem to mind.

    My friends that often go to these places
    tend to make friends with servers so they can call in advance and let them know
    a group is coming. They often get little perks (like, if you get there before a
    certain time, it’s free) and the server will
    great you at the door and such. They also have dance floors where you can dance
    with your friends to take a break from meeting people, or dance with a special

    I would suggest asking your Korean friends
    about the different booking clubs and which one will be good to go to. Some
    attract different age groups or types of people. (Club i tends to be
    businessmen in their 30s and up, but there will be a lot that speak English and
    more kyopos. Boss attracts younger guys, but it’s a little harder finding people who speak English.)

    So, there you go. ^_^

    4 years ago
    • Nev

      Q – so men and women over mid 20s dont get to go to the sort of relaxed booking bars they have to go to the much more expensive and kinda freaky sounding booking clubs?

      4 years ago
  19. Hmmm… I don’t really know about American shows, but I know that the British BBC show Sherlock won an award in Korea for the best foreign show and I’ve seen Doctor Who dubbed in Korean. Oh! and I’ve seen a couple of my relatives in Korea watch HOUSE and CSI Miami.

    4 years ago
  20. Kay

    xDD I want a video of you guys trying to do it… he’s even showing you step by step

    4 years ago
  21. Kay

    OURAN Highschool!!
    Martina & SImon: you awesome AWESOME ppl! *sings along ♪*

    4 years ago
  22. i’m really interested in what shows simon and martina watch whether its korean, japanese, american, or canadian. is martina a whovian (due to previous doctor who references)?

    4 years ago
  23. Kinda along the lines of this nightlife TLDR…What are the typical drinking games in Korea?…in the states we have kings cup, beer pong, flip cup, etc, so I am curious since Koreans are famous for their drinking what type of drinking games they play.

    4 years ago
    • Jaq

      When I was with my Korean friends we’d open a bottle of Soju and then we’d take turns flicking the little wire stuck to the soju cap until it flew off. If you flicked the wire off everyone else had to drink. Then there was a game that had to do with guessing the number on the soju cap.. but I don’t remember how it went.
      Oh, and then one night I was out with a bunch of Korean guys and… I’ve no idea if this is normal or if they were just trying to make me uncomfortable, but they made me choose between them. They’d say “who is most handsome?” or “who is most charming?” or “who is worst looking?” and I’d have to choose. They’d count to five and if I didn’t choose before the count was up I’d have to drink, and if I chose, the guy I chose had to drink. I ended up punishing the two instigators of this game by choosing them over and over.
      I’d totally love to hear an explanation about more of these games though. Sometimes when I was out with a bunch of Korean friends, they would play games I didn’t understand that seemed to result in me having to drink a lot.

      4 years ago
      • LOL…well it sounds like you have been having a lot of fun in Korea…and possibly your friends may have pulled a fast one on you to get you too drink more..hahaha. The wire on soju cap sounds like something I would come up with as the night of drinking goes on…make up anything for a drinking game. I’m very curious to hear more drinking games too and if anyone has any other drinking games to share..tell us!

        4 years ago
  24. im not sure what song you mean, but from your rendition it sounds a lot like riverside by sidney samson!

    4 years ago
  25. Nic

    Koreans usually have westernized weddings (and after can do a small traditional thing in another room, it’s rare to have a full traditional wedding there now) but there are a lot of differences because they’ve adopted something that didn’t start in their culture and put their own twist on it, so traditions and things we would expect in a Western wedding may not be in a wedding in Korea. Also they often don’t have as much understanding of the meaning and reasons why we do things that way in Western countries.

    4 years ago
  26. Hongdae’s Free Park sounds a lot like Dolores Park in San Francisco (one of my fave spots to hang in SF)…a small park on the hill and small playground where all the hipsters in the city gather to eat food, drink beer, play music, eat Bi-rite ice cream from around the corner, dance to live or speaker blasting music, throw a frisbee, buy special cookies/brownies (I’m sure this is a no no in Korea), basically anything and everything goes down here…except no rad silent disco or other organized activities has ever occurred as far as I have seen….sad face. Now I know where one of my stops will be in Korea when I visit…woot woot. Thanks Simon and Martina…as always you guys ROK!

    4 years ago
    • C

      Is this:
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/kaygpea/5844112907/ the park you guys are talking about? I swear I’ve seen that place in like 5 dramas recently and it looks pretty awesome.

      Also I couldn’t help but notice that Simon is getting some pretty sweet guns! Keep up the good work you guys!

      4 years ago
    • Hondae free park is definitely a must to hang out in Hongdae and my friends and I spend lots of time there when we are in the area. There are always live bands or dance competitions or something crazy going on. lots of drinking and music and good old fashioned hanging out. the only thing wit Hongdae park is that its actually quite small and more recently its mostly foreigners now (as in non-Koreans). nonetheless its always a good time.

      4 years ago
      • This only confirms it further that is must see location…possibly multiple visits..I’m an addict for live music while kicking back a few beers, much less in a park, shame the locals don’t enjoy it as much. However, it will be nice to meet people from other parts of the world. Thanks for sharing!

        4 years ago
        • I really use the term “park” very loosly as there is no grass… only concrete and trees and benches, but yes its a must see place on Saturdays during the day (summer time) for the local art market and weekend nights for the party

          4 years ago
  27. My question got erased. >_<

    What about pool (or billiards)? Most casual bars here have at least one or two pool tables. I noticed you didn't mention them in the layout of Korean bars. Is it not a popular sport/activity in Korea? Do you know where someone could go to play some pool in Korea?

    4 years ago
  28. Have you two met any Korean students who were an exchange
    student in the state? If so, what has that person though about America in
    general, food, people, etc. ?

    4 years ago
    • I know this was for Simon and Martina but I thought I would share an anecdote of a friend I lived with in a boarding house for two years who was an exchange student from Korea at the University I attended. I realize this is not everyone’s experience but I felt it is very poignant…especially since I have heard people complain of not feeling welcomed in Korea, not realizing their own country does the same to foreigners.
      Overall he found America extremely isolating and not welcoming. He had this very idyllic vision of America as a place of freedom, acceptance, and diversity; instead he faced racism and felt very unwelcome. His first week in States he was walking down the streets and heard someone call him yellow dog over an over… said thank you to gentlemen not understanding what it meant, only to discover later he was being called a rascist slur. He felt laughed at in his classes and felt people made fun of him whenever he talked. In fact he made a short film about this experience for a class (he was a film studies major) calling it “My Retarded Brother,” where he juxtaposed himself as charismatic and bright man (spoke in Korean with subtitles) vs. mentally handicapped Brother ( spoke in broken english with stunted mannerisms which he later reveals as Himself in America.) He told me felt like (excuse the term these were his words) a “retarded” person in America when in fact he was exceptionally bright, talented, and hard working individual. Honestly, I cried watching the film and him describing his initial experiences in the States. However by the time I met him when he made the film, he felt he had started to master the language and found some warm american friends. Finally he started to feel happy and more at peace with America. Despite his ideal of America being shattered, he accepted America for the all the bad and good he had encountered and made the most of the experience.

      4 years ago
  29. I feel like I’m going to be the lone sober person when I go to Korea… The joys of being diabetic, lol! (NOT!)

    4 years ago
  30. What about playing pool (or billiards)? I noticed you didn’t mention them in the layout of Korea bars. A lot of casual bars here have at least one pool table. Do they have them in Korea? Or is it not popular?

    4 years ago
  31. Yeah and now in america, gangnam style is like an organized dance. Now if you even say gangnam style people will start dancing crazily…. Except some of them think its called gang man style…Kind of like solja boy used to be…

    4 years ago
    • My dad called me up the other day and asked me if I knew the song “Gundam Style,” which LOL, is a Japanese anime. Now I keep picturing the Gundam machines doing the horse dance.

      4 years ago
      • Oh that is so hilarious! My mum always calls it Gundam style as well. I think it’s because I love Gundam Seed and I guess because they’re both Asian she thinks it’s the same thing. Hahaha

        4 years ago
  32. Ouran High School host club!!!!!!!!!!!!! SOOOOOOOO GOOOOD!

    4 years ago
  33. Ooh, I can answer that!
    When my parents held their wedding 14 years ago, they had a normal white wedding like North American ones. The dad brings the bride up the aisle, there’s a priest/whatever the person is called making a long boring speech, etc. And then there was extra footage of the wedding where the bride and groom were in traditional Korean clothing and I forgot what exactly they did, but I think it involved something with the parents of the couple and tons of traditional food on the table. Oh, and I don’t think they had bridesmaids like they do in North America.
    Eh, if this does get picked, Simon and Martina will explain it better than I do. :P

    4 years ago
  34. Those organized dances are kinda like when the chicken dance is played? You kinda just automatically dance to it without thinking.

    4 years ago
  35. VB

    Wow, so in k-dramas when a character is getting picked up from drinking, they were at a BAR. I always thought they were at a swanky restaurant with bar service. :o

    Love the Sakura Kiss reference! Ah, Ouran…

    So from what I picked up on at the end is that there is NOTHING to do for free (except Hongdae) in US cities I’ve been in, they are some free events, parks, gardens, special open hours in museums, library events, even the odd block party etc. in the summer. No such thing in Korea?

    4 years ago
  36. thats funny because thanks to your video I realised another cultural thing…..when you talked about BARS in Korea…I was like… WTF? how is it strange?it’s totally normal !!!we have the same kind of bars here, in Poland…..and that’s how I learned that canadian bars are more different than european ones….here, sadly, people don’t usually go to bars alone, meet random people or socialize with another tables…wow we are more eastern than we think…… well thank you guys for another useful information (even though it wasn’t planned) !!

    4 years ago
  37. how is the dating life?
    i mean, it seems like u haver to know someone in Soth Korea or your gonna be a loney soul there. So how can someone that just moved or on a vacation to south korea meet and hang out with new people?

    4 years ago
  38. so the organized dance is like the cupid shuffle in America :) everyone knows it and when it comes on YOU MUST DANCE O-o

    4 years ago
    • Cupid shuffle, cha cha slide, or cotton eye joe. the sad thing is YOU MUST DANCE!! You have no choice, you just start dancing automatically

      4 years ago
  39. how is the dating life there for people..
    i mean, it seems if you don’t know anyone it can be very lonely there.,
    but can you talk about a person coming into South korea and wanting to make some new friends…how is that like?

    4 years ago
    • It’s hard…it’s better if you are a student because you can interact with your classmates and in that regard there are organized camps (in camps teachers too can bond with other members of their school)

      4 years ago
  40. I don’t like clubs or bars, hanging around the park or library is cool too…you never know you might find friends there too (but not in the park at night :))) )

    4 years ago
  41. Maybe this soccer dance is something like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTSCQcxSRrY There is club version of this song but without choreography: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDtnoHGTHXc Song title is “Dyskoteka gra”.

    4 years ago
  42. so basically… if you have no friends in korea, then your night life is forever alone? by which i mean, internet all night long?

    4 years ago
    • There are western style bars, which has been a bit of trend since a decade ago. But even so, people rarely go those bars alone. Your best bet is to go to clubs (or dance clubs as Simon and Martina referred), since its full of people, people wouldn’t look at you weird; furthermore, not many leave with the same party that they came with.

      4 years ago
  43. wow, crystal castles is amazing!! i listen to everything but this kinda music is the replay an embarassing amount of times on my iphone on the go kind of thing

    could you guys make a video playlist of non korean bands that are in that category for you guys as well? id love to know your international tastes :D

    4 years ago
  44. Ouran High School Host Club! Totally Awesome!

    4 years ago
  45. Oh my God ! Martina you’ve lost SO MUCH WEIGHT since your Wank – Hospital Edition Video ! It’s Inconceivable !

    4 years ago
  46. Hah, those bars are pretty similar to Europe styled bars, cute.

    4 years ago
  47. My friend (don’t know if our other friend or my sister will join us) and I want to go to a club or bar when we go back next year. We’ll probably do the bar thing for sure because we’re not really into clubs (though we don’t drink that much), but a club isn’t out of the question since I do love to dance and she’s never been to a club. We’ll see~

    I hope someone finds a video of that dance because now I’m extremely curious. xD In Chicago, we have the Cha-Cha Slide, and it’s a required dance to learn – at least it feels like it. LoL

    4 years ago
  48. Silent Discos are awesome! We went to one in the Science Museum a couple of years ago, when they organized Christmas events for adults, and I loved taking my headphones off just to fully experience the whole weirdness of the situation. They also had three DJs and hence three stations that you could listen to, with different rhythms that required different dance moves, which just added to the hilarity.
    This is OT, but Martina, you might appreciate the beauty of this wall sticker: http://www.notonthehighstreet.com/chocovenyl/product/donut .:) Unfortunately, it’s also really expensive, but maybe you could use it for inspiration!

    4 years ago
  49. Ha! I was in Seoul a few weeks ago and my friend and I stumbled upon a male host bar. We sat across the street at a resturant and ate and drank there as I watched all the hosts early in the night getting people inside, then one by one they were gone! My friend explained what the host bars were and I was fascinated with this and watching it from the outside! They were indeed some beautiful korean guys….but it’s just so funny you guys talked about this today because I recently just saw all this!

    4 years ago
  50. haha i recognize those earring martina! Love em'<3 :D

    4 years ago
  51. I’m in a wheelchair. Have you seen many of us fitting in with the Korean lifestyle?

    4 years ago
  52. I spot the Meemers peeking from behind Martina! XD

    4 years ago
  53. omg i can just imagine those organized dances are like those Bollywood musicals where people start appearing out of nowhere, knows the exact choreography and lyrics to the song.

    4 years ago
  54. Question: what do Koreans think about interacialNaiomi marriages? YouTube name : firestormthenedgehog

    4 years ago
  55. Well I have a question :) Next year we plan to go with my best friend to Korea to experience life there and Korean culture and we would like to stay there at least for a year. In this video you are telling us about about clubs where you can meet new people and a waiter is your “wingman” which is not really common in western cultures :) So I would like to ask – while in Korea where you can get to know other people? What is appropriate and inappropriate when meeting new people? Are Korean people eager to meet foreigners? I would be more than happy to see you answering my questions :) It would be of much help! Kisses!

    4 years ago
    • One of the best ways that I have met Koreans is through a language exchange. You can check on facebook for your area and go to these monthly language exchange where there will be koreans and foreigners. Some actually go to meet language partners if you want to study Korean, others go just to meet people.

      4 years ago
    • Simon and Martina have already done a TLDR about how to make friends in Korea. You should check it out :)

      4 years ago
  56. i just sang with you guys when you did ouran’s kiss kiss fall in love! oh yeah~!!!!

    4 years ago
  57. That’s what I thought it sounded like too.

    4 years ago
  58. Oh so it was enjoyable? I see too many negative depictions on them, and since I don’t like being hit on even in regular clubs, I didn’t think I’d like these.

    Could you tell us the pricing when you went? Just roughly? So if I do try it out, I don’t exit with an empty credit card lol

    4 years ago
    • I too, have watched, The Great Happiness Space, in fact I was in Japan studying psychology and Gender studies, so I was well informed before going to a host club as I had just done a project on the documentary. So I agree with Rebecca, it isn’t always a good business so don’t take my enjoyment of it the wrong way and always be careful.

      I feel that I may be one of the few foreign females to go to a host club, as it is very taboo and normal Japanese people shy away from hosts in general. Also, they rarely speak English, as I said, so they don’t normally know how to pick up a foreigner. In my case, I was more of a fun oddity for them than a business venture, and when I told them I couldn’t possibly afford to go to a host club they promised to only charge for the entrance and house alcohol. They stuck to their word and I only paid between 20 – 40 dollars, whatever the equivalent yen is now. We had at least three to four guys around me and my friend the whole time (normally you just have one or two to a group). I found that it is just like flirting with American guys, they light your cigarette, carry your purse, get you drinks, etc. I enjoyed it because hosts are much more free and casual to interact with rather than normal Japanese guys, who can be timid and tended to run away from me as I am a tall American girl.

      4 years ago
    • It can be VERY expensive, and pretty sketchy if you don’t go to a nicer one. There’s actually a very interesting documentary (I watched it on NetFlix, if you have that where you are) called “The Great Happiness Space” that was about a male Host Club in Japan (actually, female Host Clubs are called Hostess Clubs). It interviewed the Hosts as well as the regular customers.

      Host Clubs price-wise can range from pretty cheap to really expensive. The nicer ones are obviously the more expensive ones. But that’s just the price of admission. The real problem comes once you get in. The main business for the Hosts is the selling of alcohol. They will sell crappy, cheap champagne for SUPER expensive since this is where most of their money comes from. In order to get their customers to buy their super expensive, crappy alcohol, they will pretty much ignore them until they pay up. By the end of the night, many of the girls who go there end up completely broke.

      On top of that, most of the regular customers end up being female prostitutes. Because their work is so loveless and lacking in affection, they go to Host Clubs to find what they perceive as real affection. But in order to gain the attention of the Hosts, they have to pay, and eventually they end up paying all of the money that they just earned prostituting themselves and have to work even harder to earn more. It’s a really sad cycle, and those women are definitely to be pitied, but I’m just saying that that’s the crowd you’ll be around if you go to a Host Club.

      Also, the Host Clubs tend to be situated in areas that are potentially dangerous for young, female foreigners because, especially around Tokyo, there are a lot of people on the streets looking to pick up women for “work” (essentially human trafficking).

      Many people don’t know these things, and they end up going to a Host Club and/or the surrounding areas and feeling very uncomfortable. If you want to go to a Host Club, it’s completely fine. Just be careful and be wary of what’s going on around you, and you’ll probably be okay. Plus, I’m basing this information on what I know about Host Clubs in Japan. I don’t know anything about Host Clubs in Korea, so they might be slightly different.

      4 years ago
  59. maybe the song martina and simon are talking about is riverside by sidney samson here is the youtube link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h911ObHyM_Q

    4 years ago
  60. Ooh, I wanna go tot Hongdae’s Free Park. It’s sounds awesome.

    4 years ago
  61. Ah….drinking with Koreans….never ends with just one round. I think AT LEAST two and normally three or four….haha
    American style drinking is just so boring…..beer pong gets old even before the first game. At least, for me. haha

    4 years ago
  62. Hmm. Interesting topic this week.

    Bars: Sounds like a place I’d like to go to. FOOD with my drinks. SEATS so that my heels don’t kill me. And no socialising with strangers means no random guys feeling me up. Awesome.

    Dance clubs: I’ve seen a lot of organised dancing here in Australia as well, such as the Macarena, the Nutbush, and uh, I dunno a whole bunch of other dances I don’t know. I knew none of them. But I try anyway, and make a fool of myself, and don’t really care.

    Booking clubs: So it’s like goukon (in Japan) but the partners are all there for you – as opposed to arranging it yourself. Not bad. I wouldn’t mind going with a friend.

    Host clubs: Okay maybe I’ve been reading to many seinen manga or watching too many mature jdrama, but I did not think of OHSHC when you mentioned host clubs. I actually thought of yes, the horrible prices and the scandalous things that go on in there. I don’t think I’d enjoy it. I’d prefer a maid cafe.

    4 years ago
    • Fuuko, if you haven’t seen it already, you might like to watch this documentary about a host club in Osaka, Japan, called The Great Happiness Space. It’s a real eye-opener and the way/order in which it was filmed and edited really maximizes its impact on the viewer. I honestly can’t recommend it highly enough. I saw it a couple years ago on Netflix, but you might be able to find it elsewhere online. Here’s the link to its IMDB page: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0493420/plotsummary

      4 years ago
      • lol you’re the 3rd person to recommend it to me. I guess I have to check it out huh? xD

        4 years ago
  63. Martina, you sounded like Mae West at 4:09 when you said “Look at those sexy ladies over there.” I know we are young to know about Mae West (I learned about her back in high school), but she was a popular actress back in the black and white movie days.
    Okay, that was my boring comment for the day. Toodles!

    4 years ago
  64. Hmm Sexy men at a host club. >w< I might have to check this out when I get to Korea. Maybe. xDD Ouran High School host club! FTW! Dr. Meemersworth! I saw you hanging out behind Martina you cute kitty!

    4 years ago
  65. Omg, in Canada, in most, or at least some Western bars, you will have spontaneous dancing happen, but it will be “line dancing”… I know one club in Calgary that at midnight, would put a classic generic country song that EVERYONE would line dance to on the floor! It was kinda weird, but once you get the dance and can dance along, it’s quite fun!! :D

    4 years ago
  66. what are hospitals like in korea?

    4 years ago
  67. The soccer dance…uh…Ole Ole Ole? The Ricky Martina one? No?
    This Time for Africa?
    The Time of Our Lives?
    Hips Don’t Lie?

    ……….for some reason I don’t think you’re actually talking about a soccer/football song, but I’m not knowledgeable enough in kpop dances to know what you’re hinting at T_T

    4 years ago
  68. OURAN HIGH SCHOOL HOST CLUB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    and yes, i indeed was thinking of host clubs while you guys were talking about this stuff!!!
    yeah!!! free park!!

    4 years ago
  69. What is the soccer dance…..? is it SNSD Genie…? the 재기차기 part…? I haven’t actually heard of any dance being called a soccer dance so this is my closest guess….haha

    4 years ago
  70. Boobi Boobi .. lolz

    4 years ago