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Korean Phrases for Partying and Drinking Etiquette


Korean Phrases for Partying and Drinking Etiquette

*the following phrases are informal, so use towards friends and those younger than you.

It’s Fire Friday!
(Formal version: 불금이예요! Bulgeumiyeyo!)

While "bulgeum" is the most popular combo, you can apply "bul" (fire) to other weekdays.
불토 / Fire Saturday / bulto
불일 / Fire Sunday / bulil
불월 / Fire Monday / bulwol
불화 / Fire Tuesday / bulhwa
불수 /Fire Wednesday / bulsu
불목 / Fire Thursday / bulmok

불금인데 뭐해?
Bulgeumindae mwohae?
It’s Fire Friday. What are you gonna do?
(Formal: 불금인데 뭐해요? Bulgeumindae mwohaeyo?)

소맥 한잔 해야지.
Ssomek hanjan haeyaji.
We must drink somek.
(Formal: 소맥 한잔 해야지요. Ssomek hanjan haeyajiyo.)

왜 혼자 따랐어?
Wae honja ddalassuh?
Why’d you pour for yourself?
(Formal: 왜 혼자 따랐어요? Wae honja ddalassuhyo?)

폭탄주 만들 줄 알아?
Poktanju mandeul jul alah?
Do you know how to make bomb shots?
(Formal: 폭탄주 만들 줄 알아요? Poktanju mandeul jul alahyo?)

내가 폭탄주 만들어 줄게.
Naega poktanju mandeuluh julggae.
I’ll make a bomb shot for you.
(Formal: 재가 폭탄주 만들어 줄게요. Jaega poktanju mandeuluh julggaeyo.)

너 주량이 어떻게 돼?
Nuh julyangee eodduhgae dwae?
What’s your drinking capacity?
(Formal: 주량이 어떻게 돼요? Julyangee eodduhgae dwaeyo?)

너 술버릇 있어?
Nuh sulbeoleut issuh?
Do you have any drinking habits?
(Formal: 술버릇 있어요? Sulbeoleut issuhyo?)

나는 취하면 애교가 많아져.
Naneun chwihamyun aegyoga manahjyuh.
When I get drunk, I have a lot of aegyo. 
(Formal: 저는 취하면 애교가 많아져요. Jeoneun chwihamyun aegyoga manajyeoyo.)

나는 취하면 그냥 자.
Naneun chwihamyun geunyang ja.
When I get drunk, I just fall asleep.
(Formal: 저는 취하면 그냥 자요. Jeoneun chwihamyun geunyang jayo.)

나는 소주 한병 마실 수 있어.
Naneun ssoju hanbyung mashil soo issuh.
I can drink one bottle of soju.
(Formal: 저는 소주 한병 마실 수 있어요. Jeoneun soju hanbyeong mashil soo issuhyo.)

난 맥주 한잔이면 만취야.
Nan mekju hanjanemyun manchwiya.
I get super drunk off a serving of beer.
(Formal: 전 맥주 한잔이면 만취예요. Jeon mekju hanjanimyun manchwiyeyo.)

요즘은 어느 클럽이 물이 좋아?
Yojeumeun uhneu keullubee moolee joah?
What’s the best club to go these days?
(Formal: 요즘은 어느 클럽이 물이 좋아요? Yojeumeun uhneu keullubee moolee joayo?)


“Gunbae” is the old-school way of saying “cheers.” Use it when drinking with work colleagues and elders. Remember to clink your glass with your party peoples. What do the younger generations say these days?


JJAN is the sound effect of glasses hitting each other. Use JJAN with friends or people your age. Don’t use it with the elders.


Homo Hill: Korea's Gay District


Homo Hill: Korea's Gay District

Curious of the alleys tucked away from Itaewon's main drag, Granny Kim and her sidekick Granny Bae explore the famous Homo Hill. Celebrities, locals and foreigners alike party it up at this short yet vibrant street. The grannies dance with a group of hotties and end up at a drag show! You don't want to miss this episode:

Featured hotspots:

  1. My Thai
    Phone: (02) 794-8090
    Hours: 11am-2am
    Address: 123-20 Itaewon-dong
    Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
    (in Korean: 서울 용산구 이태원동 123-20)
  2. MYX
    Phone: (02) 792-7888
    Hours: 6pm-3am on weekdays, 6pm-5am on weekends
    Address: 47 Usadan-ro
    Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
    (in Korean: 서울 용산구 우사단로 47)
  3. Always Homme
    Phone: (02) 798-0578
    Cover fee: None
    Hours: 7pm-2am on weekdays, 7pm-5am on weekends
    Address: On the right side of Queen. Refer to #5.
  4. Soho
    Cover fee: None
    Address: Across from Always Homme.
  5. Queen
    Phone: (10) 2559-4401
    Happy hour: 8-11pm
    Cover fee: None
    Address: 136 Itaewon-dong
    Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
    (in Korean: 서울 용산구 이태원동 136)
  6. Trance
    Hours: Open after 11pm
    Cover fee: 10,000 won + 1 drink
    Address: On the left side of Queen. Refer to #5.
    FYI: Drag shows after 2am.
  7. Eat Me
    Address: Located across from Queen. Refer to #5.
    FYI: Take intermission from drinking and savor chicken wings.
  8. The Bungalow
    Phone: (02) 793-2344
    Address: 112-3 Itaewon-dong
    Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
    (in Korean: 서울 용산구 이태원동 112-3)

The businesses from numbers 3-7 are on Homo Hill. Because it is a short street, you won't take too long to find them. Directions to Homo Hill:

  • Exit 3 at Itaewon Station (Seoul Subway Line 6).
  • Walk straight for 100 meters and turn right at the first intersections onto Usandan-ro.
  • Turn at second left. You'll see the gay-friendly bars and clubs are lined up next to one another.

Enjoy your night out at Itaewon! Cheers :)


Partying All Night in Hongdae


Partying All Night in Hongdae

2:39 am. Late Thursday night, early Friday morning. My best friend and I arrive in Hongdae after dinner at Bonjour Restaurant & Cafe. By the recommendation of the mystery magician--as appeared in KWOW episode 125, we are dropped off in front of Prince Edward Noraebang.

Note #1: noraebang means karaoke.
Note #2: Prince Edward is a real person.

We walk up the black stairs to the main counter. The interior is white and inspired by the Greek and Roman classical architecture. The decorative columns are a bit tacky. Arrive drunk and you learn to appreciate them more. You pay first, then sing. We paid 25,000 won for one hour (approximately $25 USD), then as service were given an extra 30 minutes to sing!

We started out in a small room. We lucked out and were moved to the VIP room, which was bigger and circular. Each room is embellished with floral wallpaper and has a stage with a spinning ball of lights.

Our recorded performance. My bestie and I singing EXO's "Mama" and more:

Reasons why I'd go back to Prince Edward Noraebang:

  1. Open 24 hours. Rain or shine. Happy or depressed. Come anytime.
  2. One of the best karaoke spots I've been to, especially in terms of microphone and output. Your voice will sound clear and crisp. No fighting over the instrumental track!
  3. With the newer songs there is vocal backup. If you forget how to sing part of a song, the pre-recorded vocals will take over until you begin singing again.
  4. Every room has a mini stage with a spinning ball of lights.
  5. There's a rooftop terrace with views of Hongik University.
  6. Come at a time when it's not too busy and you just might score bonus minutes!

Prince Edward NRB
Address (in Korean)
: 서울특별시 마포구 서교동 364-24
Address (in English): Seoul Teukbyeolshi Mapogu Seogyodong 364-24

4:25 am. My friend and I are hungry. We see a shiny building and are attracted to its aluminum foily quality. As we walk closer to it, we learn it is a Japanese restaurant called Delicious Kyoto (맛있는 교토/Mashitneun Kyoto).

Upon entering we immediately walk up a flight of stairs. We get excited from its interior design. On the right there are stairs that lead to a dark basement. Shelves are adorned with alcohol bottles. On the left is another set of stairs that led downwards to the main dining area.

Unfortunately the restaurant is closed. What a tease. Entrance doors are open and potential customers walk in, only to be shooed away with the feeling of unfinished business.

Delicious Kyoto
: 395-37 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Hours: Mon-Sat 4pm-2am, Sun 3pm-2am

4:29 am. We walk to another shiny building, which houses the Samguri Pocha (삼거리포차). The pub is owned by YG Entertainment's CEO Yang Hyun-suk. Come here enough and you just might bump into members from Big Bang.

It's a pub so everyone around us drink. My bestie and I don't feel the pressure. Instead we secretly people-watch the other customers. We feel like we're watching scenes from a Korean drama. One woman has her face planted on the table while her friend dozes off with her chin rested on her swaying arm. A few tables away a party of eight men are gathered. They are rowdy. Between the two I choose to watch the drama with two drunk girls. What's their story? After briefly creating a plot in my mind, I resume to talking to my bestie.

We share an egg stew which contains some mysterious-looking items in bottom. It's a bit salty. We prefer the seaweed soup.

Sameori Pocha
Address (in Korean)
: 마포구 서교동 316-12, Seoul
ddress (in English): Mapogu Seogyodong 316-12, Seoul

5:17 am. We've always passed by multi-bangs (aka: multimedia rooms), however never been to one before. Time to explore some new territory. We head to MoPlay located on the 6th floor of the building across Luxury Su Noraebang (서교동 367-39 / 367-39 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul).

Pay upfront 25,000 won for two hours. You can watch a movie, listen to music, play games, surf the web and even indulge in cookies.

Or maybe you just want to take a little nap.

Play Wii Sports with your best friend. Don't win too much or the following may happen:

7:35 am. We leave MoPlay and are totally pooped out. As we aimlessly walk the streets hoping to come across the nearest train station, we laugh at everything. Being delirious is like wearing a different pair of glasses.

7:54 am. Finally we find a train station. We bid farewell and head to our homes. People start their day with fresh faces as ours come to an end. Good morning and good night. Zzzzzz~