BEYOND GANGNAM: HOW TO PARTY IN SEOUL

ruben-150x150by Rubén Hornillo Rodriguez

Nations around the World like to claim the honor of being the ultimate party capital. Places like Ibiza, Saint Tropez, Miami, New York, Rio de Janeiro, Berlin, Tokyo have such reputations. I have been to many of the cities listed above, and none of them say party to me the way Seoul does. You probably never knew anything about South Korea before Psy became THE Youtube sensation, and the truth is, I think Koreans are ashamed of their talent for partying, but that’s what this website is here for, to unmask dirty secrets around the world. So, for your consideration, I present: 3 ways to party in Seoul!

Get a job

If you want to have the most awkward, exhausting and fun party experience of your life, the best thing to do is to start working in Korea or to do business with Korean companies. It is customary in Korean business etiquette to create a trust and bond among those engaged in professional activities. Be it a boss trying to motivate his team or a businessman trying to get the best deal, Koreans believe nothing connects people like getting shitfaced… together. Not tipsy. Not
drunk. SHITFACED. A classic “bonding” outing will consist of going out for dinner (typically Korean barbeque) and several bottles of Soju, their national drink (20% alcohol). If during this dinner, you end up drinking less than four bottles of soju yourself, you’ll probably never get a work promotion or a good deal.

Noraebang (Singing room)

Unlike Westerners, Koreans don’t really believe in having people making a fool of themselves in front of strangers. They believe in doing it in front of friends, acquaintances or colleagues. Usually, these businesses have about 10 rooms that vary in size depending of the size of the party. The selection of Western songs is pretty decent (I once found a couple of Julio Iglesia´s songs) and some of them serve soju and food, whereas others are intended to be places where you sweat off the booze you’ve already drunk by singing and only offer sodas and water.

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Clubbing

If the traditional ways of partying are not your thing you can check out the club scene in Hongdae, one of the party districts in Seoul. Like clubs everywhere else, there’s not much going on before 11.30pm. If you’re a dude, you’ll like one thing about Korean clubs. EVERYBODY WAITS IN LINE. It doesn’t matter if you’re the hottest chick in the hood, if you’re filthy rich or a celebrity. You wait in line, never for more than 10 minutes, and you pay 15,000 Won to get in (about $15, yes, women pay too). Inside, you’ll see a huge crowd dancing to the hottest songs in the US, cheap drinks, beautiful people with a great sense of style, a couple of
b-boys breakdancing and very affordable drinks (10,000 Won for a large sized Long Island Iced Tea). The clubs are open and busy until 6-7am and if by that time, you’re not passed out in the middle of an alley (don’t worry, people treat you well when that happens and they never steal your wallet) you can go eat some ramyon (Korean version of Ramen) before you go home.