If you ever visit Korea and are in the mood for a great night out look no further than Geoje Island. I know what you’re thinking, Geoje? Island? What’s a Geoje island? Not the most well documented place however the locals do call this place a miniature Itaewon (If you don’t know where Itaewon is, it is located in Seoul and attracts a swarm of foreigners).
What to expect at Geoje Island – There are various shipyards on the island and with shipyards comes lots of foreign engineers. However, it also results with most things being priced based on an engineers salary especially in the foreigners area Okpo. While the more Korean areas on the island such as Gohyeon still has goods and services offered at a more reasonable prices. A typical night in Okpo includes lots of alcohol, lots of foreign people and lots of foreigner bars and clubs. Please take note that this type of luxury does come at a price with the average amount for drinks being between 8000-10 000 won per cocktail and a beer ranging between 5000-8000 won. Rest assured knowing that it is money well spent.
Start the night out with a bar/pub crawl at my favorite bars listed below:
- Garage – A local hangout spot which reminds me of a twist on an American diner. Big space with a dart board and a beer pong table, the friendliest bar tenders and good pop music (also the best brunch! served all day) what’s not to love?
- Shelter – A small but quaint little bar that serves the best mango mojito’s I’ve ever tasted. They are presented in miniature jugs and will leave you longing for more. Shelter is one of my favorite places ever as the owner Caesar has some unconventional bar quirks such as making you a burrito if you ask for it at any given time. No joke. There is no menu and the bar makes no other food. However if you are in the mood for a burrito just ask and Caesar will come to the rescue (it’s a pretty damn good burrito too). Did I mention that you also get a teacher discount here? Well you do, so if you are a teacher in Korea make it known when you are paying the bill.
- Hello Stranger – Another one of my favorite bars which is essentially a well kept secret to majority of the locals in Okpo. This bar has an indie, classy yet rugged look to it – making you feel as though you are in a high end bar in Argentina. It is located near the boardwalk and offers DJ nights occasionally which is A LOT of fun.
- Blues House – From the outside you would not expect the bar that awaits you inside. Located on the second level of a building this will remind you of a big cigar lounge with fancy comforting leather couches, a pool table and cool games to play such as Jenga.
- Gentlemen’s Club- Last but not least on the list would be Gentlemen’s Club. Gentlemen’s is an acquired taste as it does have a reputation for being a popular club amongst beautiful young Korean girls as well as young and old foreign men. I personally enjoyed the ambiance at Gentlemen’s after a night of bar crawling as it offers the smoke machines, the neon lights, the pool tables you can climb on top of and dance on and ofcourse the latest pop tunes.
Finish the night off with a kebab from the kebab man’s truck which is usually located just before the taxi rank (we seriously call him the kebab man and his kebabs could quite possibly be the best thing I have ever tasted) and you are all good to go! I get extremely frustrated when I see the kebab man throughout the night when I am bar hopping only for him to miraculously just disappear when it is home time. This is because contrary to popular belief the kebab man will not still be out by 4am but you will still be able to catch him up until 2am. If all else fails go to Mc Donalds which is up the road, on the opposite side of Lotte Mart, let’s face it no matter where you are in the world a Mcdonalds meal when you are drunk is always the best.
(Please note that Okpo does have a few sketchy bars – I would stay clear from the ones that say “Foreigners only” as these are usually dodgey places that have huge mark ups on drinks).