Sunday, August 24, 2008

Hongdae Club Scene, Seoul Fring Festival, and Staying Out 'Til Dawn

This week there is a a big music festival called the Seoul Fringe Festival. Many artists from around Korea, and 7 other countries participate in the festival with music, performing arts and visual arts. We decided to make our way to Hongdae (Hongkik University area) to see what the hubbub was all about. Unfortunately many of the shows were in clubs and required a cover charge. I'm poor, as I haven't been paid yet, and some of my other fellow club goers were not willing to pay cover charges, so we missed out on most of it, but we were still able to catch a few things and get the full Seoul night scene experience by actually staying out until the subway opens again in the morning. Usually when I go out, I'm cabbing it home before 3:30AM. The first thing we saw when we arrived was this "sick clique" as my friend put it, that I put in the video above. They were a Korean rap group and they were pretty good, and were really getting the crowd going. They were just performing in a park, so I assume they were part of the Fringe Festival.

Oh, yes. Maybe this would be the point in the story where I explain what I'm drinking. Drink prices can vary in clubs. You can actually get tequilla shots for as little as $2 or $3USD and beers as low as $2 or $3USD in the clubs, although you never know how much beer you will get for that price. That of course is the low end. High end could be just as expencive as the US, or even more. For me, its a safer and cheaper alternative to pick up something at the local mart (convenience store). Convenience stores here are on at least every corner, if not a few in between. They all sell beer, soju, makkoli, and probably other types of alcohol that I've never looked for. And it is ridiculously cheap. I can get a bottle of soju (Korean vodka, not as strong as a normal vodka though) for $1.50 USD and a bottle of Coke for $1.30 USD. A friend and I will split the soju between the two of us, mixing it with our Cokes.... we're not as hard core as the Koreans who will drink the entire bottle doing shots. Hopefully not the whole bottle, but I've heard stories about that too. I'm all about the cheap when I go out.

From there we headed to a bar called Go Go's. It's a decent bar, mostly just people mingling, no dancing. Lots of foreigners... mostly Americans. We never seem to stay there long. We then headed over to Rocky Mountain Tavern. This is another bar full of westerners, in fact at some of these types of bars you can forget that you are even in Asia. Whether or not that's a good thing, I suppose depends for everyone. They play some fun random music and there were a few people up dancing, ourselves included.

We headed over to S Club. This is a hip hop club, and they were charging 10,000 won to get in. Somehow someone in our group finagled us in without paying. Those are some skills I need to learn... Anyway, this club was ok, but we couldn't stay more than 15 minutes. Besides the fact that it was packed (which I'm getting used to around here), it was at least 200˚ degrees in there. We were suffocating. Thank goodness we didn't pay the cover charge. Anyway, I did take these pictures and video while we were there though. We

We Then wondered around, and got some dukboki. It was now about 4:00 AM. I wasn't tired at all. I just suggested we just wait until the subway opens to go home instead of paying for the taxi. Everyone agreed and we looked for somewhere to dance some more. For some reason or other we decided to go to TinPan2. I don't quite know who's desision that was, but it wasn't mine. I'd heard some sketchy things about this club TinPan 1 and TinPan 2 actually. All I had ever heard about this place was that it was the place you go if you are looking to get laid (not to scare my family when they read this). Evidently one is where you go if you are a forign guy looking for a Korean girl, and the other is where you go if you are a forign girl looking to pick up a Korean guy (does that actually happen though???). I'm pretty sure we were in the one where foreign girls can pick up a Korean guy... or should I say a Korean guy can pick up a foreign girl... We were shaking guys off of us all night, but I did eventually find a nice guy or two to dance with for a while, so my night ended on a positive note.

When we finally stepped out... we got a little surprise because it was 5:45 and the sun was up. That was definitely a shock, and at that point we KNEW it was time to go home. We headed back to the subway and I arrived at my apartment at 6:30. I didn't realize how high the sun was at 6:30 AM, which probably explains why I sleep so badly in the mornings. Here's me on the elevator going to my apartment at 6:30 after 7 hours of clubbing.

I didn't have any problem falling asleep....


  1. "the other is where you go if you are a forign girl looking to pick up a Korean guy (does that actually happen though???)."

    with such a pretty face as yours, how could any nasty korean guy resist the temptation?

  2. Jo-Anna,

    I don't think you have to worry about any Korean guy picking up on you.

  3. What does that mean? Am I that unattractive?? And don't be so sure about that.