What really defines Korean of the Modern era? K-pop? K-drama? Korean barbeque?
As we all scratch our heads over it, maybe this little tour around the top arts university in Korea might be able to give you a little quirky hints to the Seoul of the Present.
Hongdae area is the district around the Hongik University in Mapo-gu, Western Seoul. Being the top art school in this nation, the Hongdae area has this cool indie vibe around it. Independent arts store, clothing stalls,quirky cafes, indie music bars and night clubs, it’s the place to hang out for the college students in this city. I swear I’m not making this up. Just come here after 9pm, you would be part of the SEA of fashionable young Koreans.
But I can understand why. It is the hub of creativity and culture, where cafes are quirkily themed, and foreign food culture thrived. Not only that, it’s essentially college town, where everything is CHEAP, unlike the more upscale area of Seoul like Gangnam. CHEAP food, CHEAP shopping, CHEAP drinks (*glug glug glug*), and yet cool and hipster-like, there’s nowhere else a college student would rather be.
Alright, enough talk, here are some Miss Hoggy’s favourite spots of Hongdae.
CHEAP Shopping: At the main pedestrian-friendly shopping zone.
Cafes everywhere: Just choose one!
Quirks and the unexpected:
Gastronomy adventure: Non-Korean version
Creativity central: Non-verbal musical
Cookin’ Nanta uses both traditional Korean and modern music and has found a good balance of slapstick comedy and drama. A percussion and a food lover, this cooking-themed musical’s usage of rice bowls as percussions has Miss Hoggy falling in love at first sound. You’ll see what I mean. Here’s a preview:
There were more to explore in Hongdae, but the humid Korean summer got a little too much for Miss Hoggy. That was when summer dessert heaven happened, when she discovered Snowspoon, a weigh-yourself frozen yogurt galore. Summer just got better.
So what makes Korea of the Present? The youth central of Hongdae is a good indicator of what modern day Korea’s like. It’s just a college district, but it’s also a picture of constant refinement, picking and choosing parts and parcels of any culture, including their past and made it uniquely Korean. And I personally think Korean entertainment embodies that pretty well.
Who would have thought two days in a college district can be so thought provoking?Facts: Cookin’ Nanta is performed twice daily in Hongdae Nanta Theatre: 5pm and 8pm. There are other Nanta Theatres in Myeong-dong and Chungjeong-no, Jung-gu. Bookings are essential at 02-739-8288. Main Hongdae district is a subway away: Line 2 to Hongdae University, Exit 8 or 9