Throughout the three and a half weeks spent in Seoul, the students often found that the nightlife in South Korea plays a major part in everyone’s life. Whether it be recreational based, used as a source of business meetings and enjoyment for major business executives or just a way to release stress, the city of Seoul ‘comes alive at night’.
On the second night of this trip, everyone took a trip on the main streets around Sejong University to see what life was like at night. We soon came to find out that the streets were packed to a capacity with young adults, older businessmen and women and Koreans looking to have a good time. In Seoul, we soon realized that the streets are filled with lights, stores that stay open until the wee hours of the morning and street vendors used for food and shopping. We passed a restaurant called “Galaxy’s Hof & Whiskey” and saw all the bright lights hung up around the door frame of the building. As we got closer to the restaurant we realized that it was a bar and restaurant, and it also had a rooftop view that allowed individuals to sit and enjoy the scenery at night from the roof. Galaxy’s was playing KPop through their speakers that could be heard from across the street and we decided that this place was one that we needed to visit later on in the trip. KPop is a huge part of Seoul’s nightlife. We often passed by many restaurants and night clubs that played popular music from this genre, and all of the Korean students wanted us to dance and enjoy the night with them.
The next week we went to Gyeongju Village in the southern part of South Korea. Throughout this three day trip to the village we experienced the lifestyle that these village people lived on a daily basis. We learned the traditions such as the manners of Koreans, the traditional wedding ceremonies and dance, and learned how to make hand-spun pottery and handmade fans. At night however we were left to enjoy some free time to ourselves. The first night we went to a typical Korean restaurant where they offered they “Royal Dinner,” which included the twelve side dishes that are normally eaten by the King and Queen. The group of students that went out with us enjoyed the luxury meal and took a walk around the village. Stopping at another restaurant to meet up with the rest of the group, we saw Korean families enjoying dinner and drinking a Korean rice wine that we had learned about earlier in the day called Makeoli. After the second day of touring the village, the group decided to finish enjoying our three day trip with a fun-filled night of singing our hearts out to both American songs and KPop songs at the village Karaoke spot.
A major part of Seoul tourist attraction is what is known as Seoul Tower. A small group of JWU students decided to take an adventure riding the streetcar to the top of the mountain to view the Seoul Tower and see the city from an overhead view. We found that many tourists enjoyed taking their families and friends up there to see the Tower light up and also the show that came along with it. At the top of the mountain there were many restaurants, cafes and side shops that were a huge convenience to the hungry people. At the actual attraction there was a huge heart and locks and keys displayed all over where couples would come to take their pictures together and express their love for one another. The wooden platform overlooked the city of Seoul, displaying all the beautiful lights, highways and attractions from a high viewpoint. Not only was this attraction for couples and tourists, it was also a beautiful sight for the Korean friends and families as well. This was considered one of the major highlights of the four week trip that the students took here.