[Seoul] ~ Hongdae at Night

I have seen Hongdae in its quiet but I wanted to see it in its busiest as well – at night. ‘Sightseeing’ aside, I wanted to cross out a to-do in my – drink alone in a foreign land. I have always wanted to do that because I guess that would pretty much test my ability to take care of myself, not only in places I am familiar with but anywhere. So that night, after few hours of walking in the cold, I was so restless when I arrived at the guesthouse and I knew that I just could not forgive myself if I do not go out and at least give it a try.

So without having an idea where to go exactly and though it is already an hour before midnight, I decided to go to Hongdae to see whether there are gigs I can watch or go someplace where I can drink. My big camera has been almost a necklace for I was wearing it all the time since day 1 but for a change, I decided to leave that at home and just bring my phablet.

20130323_230150The stalls selling food and accessories were an addition during night time. 



I was wondering where the noise was coming from and turned out there were some youngsters playing in here. This is similar to what we Filipinos know as “perya”



Hongdae is known for its street performances but I caught only this one. And guess what this guy was singing – Oppa Gangnam Style. Whoa. Why of all songs, it had to be that?


I kept on walking around the area but unlike the previous day, I was more careful and tried to put some system into my search for the place-to-be. I just realized that if I am to drink and get tipsy, I have to be confident that I can find my way back. No room for aimless walk when tipsy and when this late, I said to self. I was walking for about 30 minutes and I was getting disappointed because I could not find any gig place or any street performance.

I know that Koreans like to drink also in chicken and beer places so I tried to enter one that seemed friendly to solo drinkers. I came in, asked whether they serve beer and I think the guy in the cashier could not understand me and said, “just food”. Hmm, or maybe he just did not want a solo customer (Boy, little did he know that my eating and drinking capacity surpasses one haha). Just a side note : I have read earlier that Koreans find it strange to see people eat alone because dining (and probably even drinking) for them is a social activity. Hmm that made me feel more challenged to try my solo drinking stint in this city.

There are Western pubs which I think are solo-drinker friendly but I was just too scared to try as some have kinky names. Safe places, I am quite sure, but I just chickened out – intimidated probably by their names. o_O

As I was searching for that place, took some photos of interesting artwork on the streets.


Hmm. Does that mean some “duckling”?



A windmill against a screaming red background! And a grumpy cat.



More windmills! And what is up with my fascination, huh?



A bunch of pretty squares.



How to make voodoo dolls or at least dolls that look like Voodoo Dolls. 


I have walked and walked, peeking at windows to find the perfect place when I came upon this sign that said “맥주 OK!”. Thank goodness, I can read and understand some basic Korean so I knew that this was a beer place. It was again another one of those impulsive decisions because the place was in the basement and I could not see how it looked like but I went anyway. And I am glad I did.

Place had all kinds of beer from all over the world. One just has to grab one in the many refrigerators on one side of the bar. The owner ( I suppose) came to greet me and I asked him whether I can drink there alone and he said “OK”. As in most bars, he did ‘the talk’, trying to spark a conversation just asking the usual stuff on whether I am on vacation, whether it was my first time in Korea and the question I never fail to get under such circumstance – why am I drinking alone. And my usual answer “I just want to”.

I usually do not eat a lot when I drink so I just ordered what I think is lightest on their menu –  nachos, which is basically just those round tortilla chips with cheese and catsup dip and drank around 3 bottles of Cass while watching Korean Pop music videos being played on a huge flat screen before me.





When I felt bored and already a bit tipsy, I paid and headed out. The man at the bar (whose name is Park) gave me his calling card. I am pretty sure Park is his last name but I do not know why he told me that is his name. (Hmm a Korean I work with in the office did the same thing. I wonder why they give their last names for lack of an English name.) He told me to call him the next time I visit Seoul. At the back of mind, yes, of course, I will definitely come back. Beer OK, indeed.

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