Seoul town lights. {KOrea}

If you ever go out at night in Seoul, you should know that you can’t have only one destination–Korean custom mandates that you make at least three stops during the course of the evening. For instance, you could start with fried chicken and beer at a bar, then head to a Noribong room to practice your best Michael MacDonald tune, then finish up the night under a seafood tent with some cooked sea squirts and a bottle of Soju. In Seoul, people stay out late and at three o’clock in the morning, there are still crowds wandering the streets, hailing taxi’s and ordering Gimbap at take-out windows. In a city of over ten million people, it seems like there is always at least one person awake.

One evening while I was in the Korea, I headed out with Tiana, Jon and Amber to the Myoungdong neighborhood to experience the Seoul nightlife. We rode the subway into the heart of the city, ate some pork dumplings at a Chinese restaurant, then found ourselves wandering the streets in a trance towards all of the colored lights and signage. It was late, but there were thousands of people walking under the glowing purple sky: little kids eating french fries on sticks; girls in high heels with Forever 21 bags dripping off their arms; a screaming crowd watching a wanna-be K-Pop performance; teenagers buying Girls Generation mugs. Women were handing over cash for shoes and wigs and teddy bears; and men were eating cups of Bundigie or grilled silk worm larvae, which sounded too good to try. Being out late in Seoul made me feel like I was part of the secret-magic after-dark world, and it also made me feel like I should trade my florescent-pink fanny pack in for a leather Louie Vuitton handbag.

If New York is known as: “the city that never sleeps”, Seoul should be know as: “the city that never sleeps at all, except for in small doses between stops on the subway”.