How To Have a Night Out Like a Korean?
Just like every country has their own distinctive differences in traditions, important holidays, and even working environment, they all also have their own drinking cultures going on.
Korea is no different. In fact, theirs just may be among the more unique ones. Now, we all also have our own preferences in the type of atmospheres we like to spend our nights out in. And we all have different taste buds in the type of alcohol we love to consume, if any. But if you happen to be in Korea, whether to visit, to study, or to work, it might be worth it to give it a try and spend one night out like a Korean person would.
Koreans also love to explore a few spots in the neighborhood in one night, instead of spending the entire time in just one place. But unless you are in Itaewon, that is just about where the similarities between the Western way and the Korean way of a night out end.
The first stop on the itinerary of the night would most likely be a pocha. The word ‘pocha’ means a Korean style pub where you sit down in a table – or wait for one to open up – and order not only drinks but food from the extensive menu.
You won’t get to enter the pocha if there are no tables left, and even if you’ve already had dinner, you’re expected to order at least one food item off the menu. As for drinks? You’ll either get a pitcher of beer, a few bottles of soju, or you’ll go with somaek, a drink that mixes beer and soju together.
Next up is of course another drinking place! Once you’ve stayed in the first spot for about an hour or two, it’s time to move on to the next thing, though you’re likely not done drinking yet.
For some this means another similar kind of a pub where the night continues with similar type of food and drinks. And for some this means it’s time to hit a makgeolli place, where you’ll get a pitcher of makgeolli and Korean style pancakes, aka jeon, or something else appropriate to eat while drinking makgeolli.
If you happen to make new acquaintances, of the opposite gender, at the second spot, you may continue your night together at a third drinking place. Otherwise, your third spot – and why not the fourth one with the new friends a little later into the night – will be, you guessed it, karaoke!
Koreans love to sing their hearts out, especially when they have a few drinks in them. Not only that, but at night time you’re more likely to be getting a few hours’ worth of extra service on top of the first hour paid. That makes the karaoke room the perfect place to also pass out in before stumbling home on the first subway. Or, if your night out has been crazy enough, it’ll already be breakfast time by the time you make it back home!