Everyone knows South Korea to be the city that’s always vibrant and full of commotion, whether it be day or night. There’s no limit to the things you can enjoy, and today we introduce one more. Welcome to the wonderful world of Korean “bang” culture (“bang” meaning room).

1. Computer Rooms (PC Bang)

You’ll spot this glorious haven on almost every street corner, especially around universities. It comes as no surprise since South Korea has the fastest average internet speed in the world. But don’t be fooled by the name as if you thought this place was only for gamers, you’re wrong.

For an average hourly rate of 1000 ~ 1500 KRW, you can play games, print documents, or watch your favorite YouTube videos on a huge screen equipped with a flashy glow-in-the-dark keyboard. If it’s your first time, you’ll have to register and make an id, then pay for the duration you wish to stay. If everything is in Korean, ask the employees for help as most will speak some English.

Did we mention the best part is the food? Dig into a bowl of steaming hot ramyeon topped with a succulent egg while sipping on a strawberry smoothie. Or how about a pork cutlet bowl paired with cherry coke cider? PC bangs are really stepping up their food game, and understandably so as the food plays a major part in their profits!

 

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2. Playstation Room (Pulse Bang)

“Pulse Bangs”(the word being the Korean abbreviated version of PlayStation) are essentially a cafe full of PlayStations. Drown in nostalgia as you battle to be the king of iron fist in Tekken, dodge through obstacle courses in Crash Bandicoot, or weave through a sea of opponents to land a goal in FIFA. Along with PlayStation consoles, some will even have VR headsets and racing terminals equipped with gearshifts and pedals for the ultimate gaming experience.

 

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Expect to pay around 3000 ~ 4000 KRW per hour. Just like PC Bangs, munch on the selection of snacks and ramyeon available if you’re feeling a bit peckish. And if you’re not familiar with any of the games? Not to worry as you’ll usually find a listing of the most popular ones, so you can refer to it if you don’t know what to play.

3. Cartoon Room (Manhwa Bang)

Ahh, the perfect paradise for all you bookworms to read comics, eat, and sleep. You might be familiar with them if you watched BTS V and Jimin’s show on V Live, “Run BTS”, where they battled the production team through a series of missions in one.

 

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You’ll, of course, find food like ramyeon (pretty much a staple on the menu now), soup, kimchi fried rice, and even desserts like french toast and affogato. Note that manhwa bangs will either charge you by the hour or the number of books you’ll be reading.

 

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Either way, once you’ve chosen what to read, cozy up on the sofas or small enclosed nooks in the form of camping tents and honeycomb rooms and immerse yourself in your own world. And if you need a break from reading, why not play a board game like jenga or pirate’s barrel?

 

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4. Karaoke Rooms (Norae Bang)

You may already be familiar with noraebangs, thanks to them being featured in Korean dramas where characters are usually screaming into the microphone completely wasted. But don’t be misunderstood- whether you’re a group of primary school students wanting to sing the latest cartoon soundtrack or an elderly couple looking to walk down memory line, there are no age restrictions (except after midnight!).

Noraebangs will usually have a set price per person to be paid beforehand. You’ll find them equipped with a remote where you can search for songs based on singer name, title, lyrics, or language. There are also options to skip verses, increase or decrease tempo, or even change the backing track to a genre of your choice. A timer on the screen shows the duration you have left, but most places will generously give you more minutes as “service” (pronounced “suh-bee-su” meaning free).  The machine will even give you a score out of 100 based on your singing, so you can either be extremely chuffed or embarrassed in front of your friends (Tip: Just yell the lyrics clearly into the mike and you’ll usually score above 80).

 

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If you don’t want people judging you on your cheesy song choices or off-key singing, coin noraebangs may be more up your alley. They’re a lot smaller than their counterpart and most are open 24/7, so it’s common to find them quite occupied late into the night.

You’ll also find a lack of staff presence, with just a machine to insert your money. While regular noraebangs can charge as much as 10,000 KRW per hour, coin noraebangs are typically only 500 KRW for one or two songs.

5. DVD Rooms (DVD Bang)

As the name suggests, these small and dark rooms resemble a small theater and let you watch your favorite films.

However, be mindful that sometimes these rooms aren’t really used for their primary purpose (watching movies). Most couples like to go to enjoy an innocent cuddle as they cozy up in front of the screen, but some will do more…suggestive things.  Also, major red flag if a guy you meet for the first time tries to take you to one, especially when they claim it’s just because they want to take a breather! Run for the hills and don’t look back!

 

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That being said, they’re not all like that. Many will have glass windows and they’re actually very cozy and comfortable and offer a great variety of both English and Korean movies.

6. Sauna Rooms (Jjimjil Bang)

Ahhh public bathhouses. A familiar scene in dramas features characters wearing towel headbands resembling sheep ears. Here you can unwind and sweat up a storm in the sauna, then have all the dull, flaky skin on your body sloughed away by a dedicated “ahjumma” or “ahjusshi” (the Korean word for middle-aged women and men).

 

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Finally, find bliss in a tub with scorching hot, just right, or icy cold water according to your preference. Oh, and did we forget to mention that apart from the sauna room that’s usually co-ed, you’ll need to be stark naked? But not to worry as no one will bat an eye as it’s as common as a rainy day in London.

By this point, you’ll usually be quite hungry, so make sure you try the hard-boiled eggs (cracked against your head in true Korean fashion) and refreshing rice drink (“sikhye”), as they’re what complete the whole experience.

We personally recommend Dragon Hill Spa as it’s extremely popular among tourists, while Icheon Termeden Spa is known for being the filming location for Running Man. If water slides and spas with LED images lighting up the walls appeal to you, you might also enjoy Cimer Spa. 


Definitely give the “bangs” listed above a try for a truly intriguing and exciting experience. If you’re looking for more ideas on things to do in Korea, check out Trazy.com, Korea’s #1 Travel Shop!

Photo Credits
By Gamepodhu Gamepodhu PC Bang 

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