Love Locks in Namsam Seoul Tower & the Hongdae Nightlife
Seoul Travel Blog› entry 2 of 3 › view all entries
Started a late day today as I try to recover from exhaustion and sleep deprivation.
I had lunch in Hongdae with Albert and his friend before going to Namsam Seoul Tower. Hongdae was quiet with Chuseok being that day. Half of the shops were closed, but there were still plenty of restaurants that were open.
Last time I was in Seoul, I went to Namsam Tower during the night. This time, I wanted to see it during the day and during sunset.
The weather was mild and slightly cloudy. Since it was a holiday weekend, Chuseok, Korean Thanksgiving, there were a lot of people and most of all couples. The line to the Namsam Cable Car (http://www.
The railings on the were filled with locks. Locks with writings by couples. It was sweet. A cute, romantic gesture of the Korean youth and couples. As I walked around, I saw a couple adding their own lock to the millions already there. There were performances going on, and there were crowds who were lining up to the T3 Observations Deck of the Tower.
As the night descended, the lights turned on. The Namsam Seoul Tower was illuminated with various colors, changing frequently. The trees around the ground floor also had dancing lights.
From the base of Mt. Namsam, I walked towards Myeongdong. Myeongdong is filled with mid-priced to high-end shops and boutqiue, and restaurants catering to the consumer driven Korean youth. A business center for its proximity to banks and other corporations, it is also where the Chinese Embassy is located, a perfect place to find if one desired to try out one of the popular Chinese-influenced Korean food, jjajyangmyun, or black bean sauce noodle.
As I walked along the streets and alleys of Myeongdong, I browsed through the shops and the street vendors, I stopped at several cosmetics shops as well.
After a couple of hours wandering off in Myeongdong, I finally heard from my friend, Sae, and his wife, Hana, whom arrived after hours getting stuck in traffic on their way back to Seoul from their Chuseok lunch in Chuncheon.
The restaurant is in a traditional Korean design, partitioned off in different sized rooms from small to large number of people. We were led to the bigger rooms and as per traditional Korean style, we sat on the thin cushion, cross-legged. Typical, small side dishes were served: kimchi, pickled radish, and what-not. We ordered the samgyetang for each of us and also an order of haemul pajeon, or scallion seafood pancake. It was lovely to catch up with Sae and Hana. The last time I saw Hana was at their wedding last Oct 07, while I saw Sae just last April in NYC when he had a business conference in Chicago.
After dinner, we went to Hongdae. Hana still had to work the next day so she went home after dropping us off. We met up with a few of Sae friends, while I tried a Korean beer called Cass. I wanted to try it since I saw the Cass commercial with Sandara Park of 2NE1 and Lee Min Ho from Boys Over Flowers. ^_^ A few hours, more beer, and another venue later, Sae and I went to one of the clubs his friends recommended to us.
Q-Vo is a hip-hop/dance club in Hong-dae. We paid the 15,000KRW ($15) cover which includes 1 drink. They have lockers for a small fee, I think it was 2,000KRW ($2), to store your belongings. The layout is spacious for dancing, a stage for performances, and a second floor for VIP seating, with a good sound and lighting system. The bar offers affordable drinks, no more than $9.
It being a Saturday night, a Chuseok weekend, and despite a quick, but heavy downpour, the club was packed. It was Sae and I's first time clubbing in Seoul. We were happy to see a good mix of crowd, obviously more Koreans, but welcomes non-Koreans as well - but I honestly did not see much non-Koreans, and a great DJ that spins a good variety of music from Korean pop to American and European artists.
After a remix from Black Eyed Peas' 'I Gotta A Feeling (Good Night)', Big Bang's G-Dragon's new single 'Heartbreaker', and a couple of shots of vodka, Sae and I called it a night. It was 3am.