UPDATE: noraebang + damotori

Seoul is very much a nightlife city, and you really haven’t been in Seoul until you’ve tried out their nightlife. I’m more of a quiet type of person, so I don’t really like to party and drink very hard. But I still had a lot of fun at both the noraebang (노래방) and a bar!

Karaokes, or noraebang 노래방 as they’re called in Korean, can literally be found on almost every street. And I literally mean almost on every street. I’m fairly positive there are more than 50 noraebangs in Sinchon alone!

There are actually two types (to my knowledge) of noraebangs: one called a practice room (연습장), which is literally translated as a ‘practice room’  and the other one is the noraebang (노래방), literally translated as ‘singing room’. I haven’t been to a practice room before so I’m still not really sure what the difference between the two is but I think you’re not allowed to drink in the practice rooms, and they’re a lot smaller – I mean, they’re called practice rooms for a reason: so you can practice your singing before you go hang out with your friends.

Make sure you ask around for rates, and don’t go into some random shady one! The one that I went to was 15 000KRW for 2 hours, and since there were 6 of us it ended up being 2 500KRW per person. It’s way cheaper than in Vancouver, and much more commonplace too – they update their songs every month!

(Unfortunately I have no pictures of the noraebang we went to but… I’m pretty sure that most of them look pretty similar anyways?)

Sinchon is a lively university area that’s filled with shopping, restaurants, karaokes, and bars/clubs. My friends took me to a bar that plays k-pop songs – perfect for me since I can sing along, plus I don’t feel pressured to dance since it’s actually supposed to be a bar!

We went to a bar called Damotori (다모토리). I’m not sure if it’s wrong to call it ‘a’ bar since there are 6 of them all crowded together in the same area. To my knowledge (since I’ve only been there once) the most popular ones are 3, 5, and 6- people dance there more. The other ones are more laid back, and people mostly drink instead of dance. We ended up going to 3, but I think Claudia and Estevan went to 5 with their friend before.

It was super fun there since people would just jump up and start dancing when they heard a song that they knew! And even better since it’s in Sinchon, meaning I can stay as late as I want.

Two more new first times for me! It might seem super insignificant since other people probably go out  and do these types of things all the time (I seem like I’m the type of person who stays inside all the time and has no life… but I’m not, trust me T.T) but I found it really fun. Definitely have to go a few more times while I still have the chance!

UPDATE : I’ve been to the noraebang and Damotori a few more times after this and I just have a little bit more to say about those two places.

I recently went to Damotori 6 and I think it’s quite safe to say that I won’t be going there again… one of our friends, Yang, invited Jerome, someone we don’t know really well, and long story short Jerome got totally wasted and threw up inside Damotori. Not to mention there was no grapefruit flavoured soju inside, so they kept going out to drink at the convenience store instead. Obviously after they realized he threw up they told us to leave (we didn’t even know he threw up until the girl said so), and then Yang and Jay had the wonderful task of carrying Jerome home while tipsy. Claudia and I couldn’t do anything to help since we’re both less than 160cm tall.. but never again am I drinking with someone I don’t know very well – getting him home was so difficult!

I’ve also been to the noraebang a few more times as well, and just recently I went to one which gave us close to two hours of free time. We paid for an hour and then stayed there for 3.. it was absolutely crazy! I also went to a small one which was inside an arcade, and it was like the practice rooms in that the rooms were totally tiny and it was 500KRW for 2 songs.

UPDATE 2: So I went to Damotori again a week after we brought Jerome home… this time we went to 6 (again) because Jess doesn’t like 3 because the waiters are rude and 5 isn’t fun (apparently).

TL;DR: I got drunk and I threw up (yay) but I still managed to walk home on my own. Cheers to my first (and probably last) time getting drunk in Korea!

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