If you’ve ever been to Korea, you know that there’s a lot of hanging out do. The food is delicious, the drinks are free flowing, and there’s tons of places open 24 hours. It might be overwhelming, but read this guide to make sure you hang out like a local.
Image by Marco Garcia Photography
Maybe your idea of a good time is to meet your friends at your favorite pub, kick back a few drinks while having a few laughs and then heading home when it gets too late. Good time had by all right? Well if you’re In Korea, no way, Jose.
That’s because Koreans are a bit like hyperactive kids without their adderall; most can’t seem to sit in one place too long. Instead of meeting up in one place and staying there the entire night, groups of Korean friends will jump around from place to place in what is called “rounds” (차/cha in Korean).
Sometimes it’s to change up the activity (i.e. restaurant for eating –> cafe for coffee) or simply just a change of venue (i.e. drinking at a bar -> drinking at a chicken joint). Whatever the case, be ready to move around!
Image by Evan Bleker
Here’s an example:
6PM – 1차 (il-cha/round 1) – Yo, lets get some super delicious galbi! Get stuffed with food and smell like garlic.
8PM – 2차 (i-cha/round 2) – Wake up from that food coma with cafe espresso shot injections.
10PM – 3차 (sam-cha/round 3) – Caffeine buzzes suck. Let’s go to a bar for the real deal Holyfield.
12PM – 4차 (sa-cha/round 4) – Ok, I’m buzzed. Lets dance it off at a club, yo!
3AM – 5차 (o-cha/round 5) – Ooo.. hungry! Seolleongtang time!
You made out like a veteran and survived a 5 round night in Korea!
Of course that’s not everyday, but going 5 rounds is not unheard of (usually involves alcoholic tendencies). But keep in mind that when you’re hanging out with Koreans, it’s at least 2 rounds.
Tip: If you’re not into all that hanging out, you can just politely excuse yourself at one of the rounds. If it is a large group of friends or workers at a company, each round will see less and less people.
If it’s just you and someone else, that probably means you just don’t like the other person much.