When the sun sets in Seoul, a whole different part of the city comes to life.
Pop-up stands get ready to showcase their wares and people start to gather around roadside performers. The shops are crowded and people are strolling about with piping hot street food in hand. The smell of food and chatter from the crowds of people fill the air.
Walking around the hustle and bustle of Seoul is easily one of my most favorite pastimes here.
Food isn’t the only attraction in town though. The Gyeongbokgung Palace and the Namsan Seoul Tower are a must see at night! They open the palace at night only a few times a year so people come in droves to see it.
Unfortunately, only about 10 percent of the place was opened, probably because they don’t have the manpower to cover the entire palace to make sure no one gets lost. But it’s worth checking out because it gives off a completely different feel at night. They also hold a small festival with lots of traditional performances.
The Namsam Seoul Tower is the place to go if you want a 360 degree view of the entire city and enjoy the view with your significant other. They have basically engineered the entire place to look as photogenic as possible.
Wherever I looked I thought to myself: “Wow, that looks like such a great place to get a photo taken.” It’s also a place that has been featured in countless Korean dramas and variety shows!
There’s a game that kids and couples like to play at the tower; they play a game of Rock-Paper-Scissors to see who can reach the top of the stairs the fastest, with the winner of each round getting to go up one step.
It’s a game that takes quite a while, but I saw people playing that game when I first came during the day and even when I left at night.
When my family came to Korea with me, we went to Noryangjin Fish Market, famous for its fresh seafood and ability to serve it to you on the spot. The entire place was lined with tanks of seafood and the owners all try to get you buy seafood from them.
They essentially all had the same kind of seafood, so it was just a matter of going from stall to stall to haggle for the best price. And before you ask, the answer is yes: The seafood was absolutely delicious and incredibly fresh.
They had some of the sweetest scallops I have ever tasted – but I don’t think my wallet could handle a second trip over there.
Last but not least, I will introduce something that should need no introduction: the club scene. Gangnam is the rich financial and plastic surgery district that most everyone has heard of by now. The clubs there are some of the best, but it’s about an hour away using the subway.
I usually end up going to Hongdae, another popular clubbing area, where celebrities sometimes drop by to perform. At least twice a month, I go with my group of friends to spend the rest of the night at various nightclubs.
And when I say “spend the rest of the night”, I mean we will be there until the sun rises and the subways start up again so we can go back home.
It’s a ton of fun and I love how the music just reverberates throughout your entire body. The best part is meeting new people that are just amazing dancers and start talking with us through a mix of English and Korean.
It’s definitely a struggle because our Korean sucks (but it’s improving!), yet we have a good time even if we have no idea what the other person is saying.
Well, that’s all for now. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for my next post about my adventures in Korea’s islands!
Jerry Cheng is earning a bachelor’s degree in accounting at San Diego State University. He is photo blogging from Seoul, Korea for the 2015-2016 academic year.