This is Part 2 of my Asia Trip series - check out Part 1 here.
So according to my Google Photos timeline, I arrived in Seoul on June 26th, 2017. Three weeks after I first got to Taipei. My college buddy, Wooseok, was in Seoul for summer break (he's doing a PhD at University of Michigan). Another good friend, Ed, was also in Korea at the time for wedding festivities with his recent fiancee and now wife, Dasol.
Wooseok and I got an Airbnb in Itaewon, one of the bumpin', tourist-friendly districts of the city. He showed me around the city (again - I also visited him in 2011 with two other friends), and we did an epic city nightlife tour of Gangnam, Hongdae, and Itaewon.
Korean Drinking Culture
From what my friends tell me and also what I witnessed... man, South Koreans can drink. It's not uncommon for Korean yuppies to drink with their work pals (and often managers) three or more times a week. It's also impolite to refuse drinks that an elder pours for you, so there is a degree of corporate hazing that happens in these social situations. Regardless of how late you stay out the previous night, you're still expected roll into work tomorrow. Thankfully, we did not have anything to do the next day other than some light sightseeing!
For us, the soju shots start early - pretty much with dinner at around 8pm.
First night - eating KBBQ outdoors in Gangnam. We ate here with Ed, Dasol, and one of Dasol's friends from North Carolina, Ann.
It's also expected that patrons order one large dish to eat at almost all bars in Korea. That means that there was a lot of Double Meal and even Triple Meal action going on. Good thing I absolutely love Korean food! Here's me, Wooseok, and Ed enjoying each other's company at a bar we wound up at after dinner.
From Right to Left: Ed, Me, Bicep 1, Wooseok, Bicep 2
After, we hit da Cloobs (one that only played K-Pop LOL - amazing). Here's Ed, AKA K-Pop Master Sul, breaking his shit DOWN.
Ed and the lovely Dasol
Our Hangover Medicine
During the daytime, Wooseok and I explored Seoul. We checked out the N Seoul Tower, walked around the Hongdae shopping area, played pool, and ate a ton of really good food.
Lover's bridge locks at Seoul Tower
Hongdae shopping and night market
Random street I decided to take a picture of for some reason
Seoul National University
One of the highlights of the trip was checking out Seoul University, the best school in South Korea. Wooseok's dad (and mom?) is a professor there, and Woo also took some classes at the school before. During his time there, he played on their football team, the Green Terrors. We visited and caught a scrimmage that his old team was running. It was a bit rainy and overcast, but overall an awesome local experience that I would never have if I was exploring alone.
Iconic Seoul National University Landmark
Walking to the football field
Green Terrors locker room
My attempt at an artistic equipment shot
Random, but this is me posing with a Kakao Talk bear guy
Epic Four Day Trip
We went out the first three nights of my trip, but the last night finished things in classic South Korean fashion - at a PC Bang! Lmao. Wooseok and I played some 2v2 SC BW and got WRECKED. It was super depressing. Then we played some Pop Kart, and I got WRECKED. Even more depressing. Overall though, nothing quite like being in a PC cafe. I felt the itch to start playing World of WarCraft again, but thankfully that feeling was quelled by my fear of commitment to video games.
Thanks, Woo, for showing me such an awesome time in Korea. He visited me in Taipei a few weeks later, and I'm pretty sure Wooseok now loves Taiwan too.
See y'all in the next post of the Asia Trip series!