Thursday, January 20, 2011

Fun Things to Do in Korea

I think one of the best things about Korea was there never seemed to be a shortage of things to do. It's funny looking back on it though, considering how much my students claimed to have studied, and how busy everyone else claimed to be all the time. How could such a place driven by schooling and the work place possibly know how to have any fun? And yet, there is a lot of fun to be had. This is all not including the cheap alcohol, although that is certainly included in many of the fun things to do.

Here is a list of 5 things I enjoyed doing while living in South Korea:

1. Eating out. Sure, that is something you can do anywhere in the world, but I have not seen done quite like Korea anywhere I have been. It's inexpensive and the service is generally fantastic. Galbi is the most popular meal to eat out. You and your friends sit around a table with a built in barbecue and cook hunks of meat that you dip in different sauces, while enjoying each others company. You are also provided with a ton of side dishes. These kind of outings are probably the thing I miss most about Korea.

2. Cafes. There is a wide variety of these. Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts being the familiar ones, but there are plenty more chains that are named rather uniquely. In addition there are the Cafe's that I have mentioned in blogs past...The Dog Cafe in Seoul and the  Board Game Cafes found all over Korea. Check out the video I included in the board game cafe to see what happens if you lose at Jenga.

3. Bangs (). Bang literally translates to 'room.' There are a ton of different bangs in Korea. Pictured on the right is a singing room. This is a small room where you and your friends can come and do Karaoke. They have English and Korean songs alike. I was never a huge fan of Karaoke until I lived in Korea. The rule is if you try and you have fun, then you are a wonderful singer, regardless of what it sounds like. They ended up being quite fun.
There are also DVD bangs, little rooms with couches or futons and large TV's. You'd choose a DVD to rent and get the room to view it as well. A great place to be alone with someone special, although I usually spent time in these rooms with a large group of friends. They are really cozy.
PC Bangs were the favourite room of my students, although many also loved the singing rooms. These rooms were filled with computers, all set up for online gaming. They had channels on TV dedicated to this online gaming. They were open 24/7, and you could also purchase snacks to consume while playing your games or using the internet. They even sold microwavable noodles and had a microwave set up to cook them. Some people had addictions to these rooms and would spend hours on end there.
The last Bang I want to talk about is the sauna rooms, found all over. Basically it is a large room with showers, hot tubs, saunas, salt rooms, a cold pool among other services. These were great places to go and relax after a long day, a sweaty sport or to get fresh before a night out on the town.

4. Sporting Events. Specifically I am thinking about Baseball, because I have been to baseball games. There are however, several other sporting events that are certainly fun-worthy as well as things you can do that are sport related. Baseball games are cheap and the atmosphere is unlike it is in North America. Basketball and Soccer are also big sports in Korea. In addition you can find batting cages all over the place. For roughly 50 cents you are pitched 10 baseballs and you can choose from different speeds. They also have devices that measure how hard you can hit, how far you can kick a ball and how far you can throw, all set up in the same place as the batting cages.

Golf is also pretty big. They don't have a lot of courses but they do have indoor driving ranges as well as screen golf. Screen golf is a simulator. You hit a real golf ball into a screen and it simulates how far and how straight the ball goes, and where it lands on the course, then shows up in that spot on the screen.

Billiards or pool is popular there too. I could have mentioned pool rooms in the bang section, but it fits here as well. I also had a specific game that I loved and wanted to mention.
5. It's called Billi-bowl and is a combination of Billiards and Bowling. Basically you have a long narrow table that looks like a miniature bowling ally. At the end are miniature pins set up in the same way 10 pin bowling is set up. You shoot a normal cue ball in the same way you would in Billiards and try to knock over the pins. Scoring is kept the same way as bowling.
In addition to the cool table game, they also had electronic dart boards and fire shows at the bar.
This was my favourite place to go in Korea. It was in Daegu and I am not entirely sure if it can be found elsewhere in the country or not.

Another place I liked to get was a chain. It served it's drinks in cups that were made of ice. Once you finished with your drink, you got to throw it and smash it on the designated wall. If you hit the target on the wall, you could win another prize, like another drink or a gift certificate!

These are only some of the fun things you can do while in Korea. You could also learn one of the many martial arts the country has to offer, attend one of the many unique festivals or climb one of the many surrounding mountains.

No comments:

Post a Comment