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Seoul advice other than food
October 10, 2011 2:43 AM   Subscribe

I'm going to be in Seoul next week with my husband and my parents. My parents are Korean and will probably take the helm for showing us around and feeding us, but I'd like some suggestions for things that they wouldn't necessarily now much about, mainly: nightlife and shopping.

Nightlife: My husband and I will probably want to check out the nightlife after my parents have gone to bed. We're in our early thirties, he's Scottish and I'm Korean (I left when I was 3). We like hanging out in pubs and listening to live music. Is there anything like that around Seoul? If not, what else besides super loud, drunken nightclubs as I'm definitely too old for that.

Shopping: I am really interested in Korean makeup. I've heard of Etude, any other brands that I should look out for? Also, for clothes, what is the equivalent of a TopShop/H&M/Forever21? ie Cheap and cheerful.
posted by like_neon to Travel & Transportation around Seoul, South Korea (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Make up: BB Cream -- I heard it's the secret to many Korean women and their good skin.

As far as I know, BB Cream is make up + moisturizers/skin care in one. (Some are without tint/make up.)

I also like Hanskin cosmetic masks, they're around $1.00 each but very, VERY good.
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 4:50 AM on October 10, 2011


For live music, try the Hongdae/ Sinchon area, and also Itaewon. Hongdae is home to the art school crowd, while Itaewon is known as the foreigner hangout. Both have pub type places, some with great vinyl collections, others with live music.

For makeup, lots of Korean girls rave about Skin Food, and there are makeup shops everywhere there.
posted by peppermind at 5:00 AM on October 10, 2011


Here is a great website for gigs and music in Korea. Many of these venues are in Hondae, Sinchon, or Itaewon, as peppermind mentioned.

My personal favorite is Hongdae (Hongik Univ, subway line two [green], station 239). If you arrive before it gets too cold, there will be plenty of musicians (sometimes full bands) performing in the street. Hongdae also has a lot of makeup/beauty shops near the subway station.

If you'd prefer to have more foreigners about, then Itaewon (Line six [orange], station 630) is also a fun area. It's the location of the US army base, but it's a very culturally diverse area, which you won't find elsewhere in Korea.

For shopping, the most famous region is Gangnam (line two, station 222), but I haven't been there myself.

Seoul is a great city to visit and live in. You'll have a great time!
posted by Slurgi at 5:57 AM on October 10, 2011


I second Hongdae for live music/nightlife. The one (of very few) places I saw live music was this bizarro-Sci Fi place called Oi. Sort of a younger crowd, but this place is something to behold. It's a white fiberglass wonderland, very chill in an outer-space kinda way. Cushions, ponds, seriously unique ambiance.

There is this little backstreet bar in Hyehwa (university area on Line 4) called 나무여일. Sorta hard to find, but I cannot tell you how many low-key, loong evenings I spent here sharing drinks and stories with fellow expats. The owner is a hell of a dude; he is just as likely spin Abbey Road as he is Korean traditional court music, both of which suit the darkened, candle-lit room. He's one of the most accomodating, affable Korean proprietors I ever encountered during my year stay. The tables are just long slabs of wood, and former guests have pinned up little notes all over the place. It's not "kitchy," more like an enveloping treehouse to offset Seoul's otherwise craziness.

Hyehwa is also going to have all of your cosmetic needs..

Jealous! I haven't been since 2008, so sorry if anything has changed/disappeared.
posted by obscurator at 8:35 AM on October 10, 2011


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