Last Saturday was one of my *many* favorite days in Korea so far. I had orientation for the volunteer work I will be doing at an orphanage/adoption agency in the morning–which I will tell you about in a future post–and then I spent my day and night scampering about the city checking out Kpop-related locations. It was a blast.
CIEE Seoul is run by three fabulous people, one of whom is Tina. Tina is ridiculously obsessed with all Korean music, which has quickly led her to being one of my favorite people ever. Every semester Tina organizes a “Kpop Tour,” and this semester between having the largest group they have ever had and having so many of those people wanting to participate in the tour, we had to split up into three groups.
Luckily for me, I got into the group led by Tina herself. ^_^
Our group started out going to the YG Building–which you might know is the entertainment company behind PSY, BigBang, 2NE1 and many more. We weren’t allowed to go in (or even very close to) the building, but just seeing it–and hearing that BigBang was inside–was thrilling. (Yes I’m a nerd).
People sign the brick and concrete walls surrounding the entire area, leaving messages for their favorite artists. We found a tag from the spring Kpop Tour 😛
After YGE we walked to HongDae to go to the You Are Here Cafe–which is co-owned by Eat Your Kimchi and Talk To Me In Korean. This was my second visit to the cafe, but it is soon becoming a regular hangout for me. We hung out there for a little while, drinking delicious drinks, taking turns in the video booth, and taking pictures of each other.
After our coffee break we caught a bus over to Gangnam to the Gangnam Tourist Center, which for some reason is the home of several Kpop MV sets, stage outfits and other random music related things. They also had cardboard cut outs of the cast of Running Man….which is probably the closest I will ever get to meeting them so of course I took pictures. I also took pictures with everything else, because…I was in fan girl mode.
After Gangnam was Apgujeong/Cheongdamdong…so we could attempt to stalk artists outside of Cube Entertainment and JYP Entertainment. And guess what? IT WORKED. Tina, our fearless leader, is a good luck charm. We saw JYP himself, Junho from 2PM, a member of BtoB, one of the participants/trainees on Mix&Match, and a few other famous trainees. The girls in the group spazzed out while the two boys in our group laughed at us.
We ended the night by going to a random underground concert at a bar in Itaewon–because Tina wanted us to know that there is more than Kpop out there in the Korean music scene. After walking 10 miles I was a little skeptical about hanging out at a bar for a concert of people I had never heard of, but it was actually really fun and the drummer kept translating things they were saying into English because with CIEE the audience was foreigner dominated–and it was hilarious.
Thanks for reading about my Kpop-Tour adventure! After successfully seeing so many places and famous people, we already started planning Kpop Tour Part 2, so keep your eyes out 😉