I did some research before visiting Korea and it seems like many reviews mentioned that Hongdae is great or more happening to visit at night, my review is only for night visit. For those who want to check out Hongdae in the daytime, you may want to search for more info from others.
There were a lot of café, restaurants, street stalls, pubs, entertainment such as Karaoke and outdoor live performances in Hongdae.
Since Hongik University is just nearby, there are always lots of youngsters around and live performance at night. I saw a girl singing by herself with just a microphone/sound system and two boys singing with guitars who attracted lots of audience (perhaps 30 – 50 or more). The two boys sang really well in English songs such as Justin Bieber’s “Love yourself”, Ed Sheeran “Photograph” etc.
While one of the boys was enjoying singing with his sweet Korean boy-band look smile, the other boy was creating lots of facial reactions with a funny personality. The combination of these two boys' really made the young girls smile and these ladies wouldn’t stop taking photos or video of them. Ahhh… missing my University/ Colleague life back in Melbourne. Interestingly there was also several serious photographers/ videographers around using tripods to record their performance, perhaps wanting to give the 2 boys a good shot/ record.
I was planning just listen to perhaps two songs before I continue my night but I ended up there for 15-30 mins and more people just joined the crowd.
Here is they performance if you are interested:
It was a great performance hence I tipped them before I left, great job and hope more young performers continue their effort with bright future!
This karaoke was very cool to have great “transparency” for customers – literally transparent glasses installed and there were many “audience” on the road checking that out. Some of the rooms were purely females only and they danced pretty well and absolutely brave knowing pedestrians were watching. Well, there were those who enjoyed singing and dancing in “public” and there were those who enjoyed watching - Why not?
I like the idea to create a corner for the artists to use their creativity for graffiti art display. It’s not the best or most creative graffiti I have ever seen in Australia, Europe or Asia (given the fact that I’m from Melbourne, Australia and there are lots of professional graffiti around especially in Melbourne CBD) but I like the opportunity given to the young artist to show off their art work.
In Hongdae, there were more retail shops selling cute accessories, cloth fashion, technology stuff etc but I was ready to call it a night after all my shopping in Dongdaemun, Ewha Women Univeristy, Myeongdong, Garosugil, Apgujeong, Insadong etc for the past few days. My bad if I didn't cover the rest of the places or activities but it was really hot and humid while I was too tired =P
Before the end of the trip, I checked out a convenient store close the subway station. Finally I saw the Banana Milk that many bloggers have been talking about, there were in fact more flavours in Korea but I really couldn’t try each and every single flavours. I did, however, try on the Banana Milk. Okay, there was banana taste in the milk….. Maybe I just didn’t get it… On the other hand, that kind of made me miss Tokyo Banana! Tokyo Banana is the sponge cake made with banana flavour smooth and creamy custard filling – you can get it from Tokyo Airport.
For those who are interested in night entertainment and happening places, you can definitely consider checking out Hongdae. Once again, it involves a lot of walking so you may need a pair of comfortable shoes for that.
A country rich in history, culture. If you have never tried the delicious Korean food, it's colourful culture, or perhaps check out the plastic surgery industry - this definitely is a popular destination for Asia.