In a new series on Kimchibytes, blogger Abbey Kaye Ritter shares her experiences living it up in Seoul’s nightlife hotspot, Hongdae. Abbey shares her thoughts on everything from clubs, drink prices, music, and boys. She will be reviewing clubs and bars as well as sharing her advice on having a good time.
Club M2 Review
by Abbey Kaye Ritter
There’s no hesitation from the DJ as the beat slows, causing a chain reaction from the throngs of people on the dancefloor. It’s three o’clock in the morning and I survey the scene from a raised platform at the front of the club. Everyone looks like they’re in slow motion, but whether it’s the true rhythmic nature of clubbers tonight or the bottles of vodka and Jägermeister passed around at the bar a few hours ago, it’s hard to be sure. The club waits for the beat to quicken, for the fast paced electronica we crave. We wait. We wait. And then the song climaxes.
This isn’t my first weekend clubbing in Hongdae, and it surely won’t be my last. But this is the first weekend I’ve attempted to remember any of the details from our groups’ eight P.M. to seven A.M. jaunts out on the “town.”
In a city that pulses with unrestrained energy throughout all twenty-four hours, it makes sense that it would have some of the best nightlife in the world. Tonight I am at M2: The Club, just off the main strip in Hongdae.
With the twenty thousand won cover charge, some of my friends are reluctant to visit M2 on a Saturday night but our curiosity and keen desire for decent clubbing gets the better of us. As an East Coaster, I’m not fazed by a cover charge—it’s as expected as tipping is at a restaurant. So after we all relinquish two green ten thousand won notes at the door, we go to the required bag check and cough up three thousand more won, before walking downstairs into blackness.
The blackness doesn’t last for long, though. Bright lights flash and raise our consciousness the second we turn the stairs’ bend. My Korean friend grabs me by the hand and drags me to the front of the club, one hand reached out in front of her as she pushes people out of our way. Then it’s immediately onto the platform where the most outgoing, or perhaps attention-loving, clubbers venture.
The DJ booth sits on a platform a grade higher than that of the dancers’, which itself extends across the entire front wall of the club. There are two dancers’ poles at each end, and I am disappointed to find one end of the platform much less energetic and busy than the other. We try to compensate by dancing for many hours on the stage. There is nothing worse than a section of a club with lackluster energy, and luckily most of M2 is vibrant and alive.
We expect exorbitant drink prices and were warned by others, but are surprised to find that the costs are akin to that of most other clubs in the area. Waiting for a long time isn’t an issue either because M2 has two bars, one on either side of the large dance floor. They have a third bar as well, but in my drinking and clubbing haze finding this third bar is like trying to find Narnia.
Our admission comes with a free beer of the generic Korean variety—think “Cass.” As for the rest of the drinks, at around 6,000 to 10,000 won, a good time is completely attainable. A rum or Jack Daniels with coke comes in at an even 8,000 won, though our bartender is not generous with the small splash of alcohol. If you read these prices and balk, don’t fear. There are plenty of cheap bars in the area where acting like a college kid and “pre-gaming” isn’t unheard of.
For our group, the music doesn’t disappoint. If you’re interested in hip hop or K-Pop, then M2 is not the club for you. M2 is a club for electronica fans, anyone who can dance to fast beats, and those who aren’t bothered by an excess of flashing lights.
For a post-clubbing pick-me-up, we grab slices at Monster Pizza. On the same main strip in Hongdae, Monster Pizza is not only open late but has pizza that tastes good—a feat that is not met by all Korean pizza joints. Monster Pizza is adjacent to a hip hop club, so when stumbling down the road listen for old school Eminem songs and you’ll find your way to greasy, melted cheese heaven.
I hereby endorse M2: The Club to all my clubbing expatriates—go forth, drink and dance. Or, as my friend put it: “review should read ‘was fun’ then you’re done.”
M2: The Club, Ohoo Bldg. 367-11 Seogyuo-dong Mapo-gu Seoul
Abbey Kaye Ritter is a writer living in South Korea. She feeds and shelters herself by teaching in both public middle and high schools but keeps her sanity by writing. Abbey Kaye is currently writing a novel and writes with humor on her blog, I Love Airplane Food. She is also on Facebook and Twitter.