Last Saturday I went to a Korean nightclub for the first time. Social drinking culture is generally very different and western style bars are few and far between. Those that do exist are marketed to and occupied primarily by westerners. The Koreans who frequent these bars are generally those who have western friends or have lived abroad. Nightclubs are even less common. Especially nightclubs where you can dance. Korean style nightclubs are more of an exaggerated speed dating experience. The sytem occupies a Korean notion of “booking” where groups of guys will invite girls who go to the club to join them at a table for a few drinks and see if they get on. Westerners are not excluded from these clubs but are neither generally encouraged to visit.
Anyway I went to a real nightclub! Club Elune in Busan. Club Elune is in Haeundae which is a residential and entertainment district on the coastal side of Busan. It has a popular beach as well. Club Elune was sophisticated in presentation. All the latest DJ equipment, speakers, laser lights, VIP section etc…. The tunes were good. The night was headlined by some French DJ’s by the title of “Manege 88”. The music was borderline electronic trance with some dub-esque undertones. Like the music the DJ pairing were equally energetic. One half span the tunes and the other went crazy on a synthesizer-cum-crossfader laden machine whilst dancing drunkenly/derangedly. (Kate and I later witnessed him being sick into a champagne bucket. Classy French). Apparently if you are a westerner it is free to enter before midnight and you get a 10,000 won discount after. It would appear the credibility of a few Europeans in the crowd is an attractive proposition for the club. In all honesty there was an interesting crowd anyway; although always grateful for any discount I don’t believe they need to do it to get people in. The atmosphere was excellent.
My biggest gripe was the usual poor standard of table maintenance. I hate it when glass collectors are few and far between. But, when there is plates of fruit everywhere (a VIP perk) it gets a bit beyond control. Also I am used to increased levels of attention in Korea but it was a little over the top. Korean female clientele were very grabby shall we say (even when I was stood next to Kate!). Maybe the inhibitions of a nightclub of this kind goes to their head. For once Kate wasn’t getting harrassed! It was me!
We left around 5am and went on a motel hunt. Kate tried to get me to book into one before we hit the club but I decided there was no need. There are dozens of motels. Grand mistake. We tried every establishment and probably street walked from place to place for an hour! Eventually we found one with vacancys and checked into a plush suite with some French styling. It would have put most 4 star British hotels to shame!