Back home gathering on towering skyscrapers is not something I am accustomed to. But while living in a bustling country like South Korea it is an activity I have come to love, and a weekend I look forward to. Rooftop gatherings can include relaxing sun bathing days, mini-pool excursions, fun parties, chilled dinners, and breathtaking night time views.
Korea is still a pretty conservative country when it comes to the act of sun-bathing. Lying in public spaces in your bikini could create a lot of commotion and stares, and it is not yet welcomed in Korean culture to bare so much skin. In cities like Busan and Seoul a progressive young movement is changing the way that the older generations think, so wearing your bikini or baring your chest could be more acceptable in these cities. This is where your apartment rooftop comes in handy. Sun bathing on your rooftop can avoid uncomfortable stares and you can enjoy your day in a peaceful and quiet environment that overlooks the city.
There is nothing better than investing in a mini-pool if you have an awesome rooftop! Generally your rooftop will have a garden so there should be a water-hose lying around. You can invite some friends over for a summer BBQ and a mini-pool day. Even though you can only get your toe-dipped in, it will make all the difference when you experience the sweltering South Korean humidity.
Rooftop parties are a lot of fun and it is a cheap and easy way to gather friends and have a good time. You can have pot-luck, order-in, BBQ or even a fondue. It can be a day time event or an evening event, and there is nothing better than spending a day in the sun with good friends. Even better, wait for dusk and you are in for a breathtaking sunset over Seoul. Rooftop parties can be cheap. You don’t have to pay for the venue and you can save money instead of spending it on drinks and food while you are out. Everyone can bring their own drinks or you could put money together and make a big punch. Also, BBQ-ing meat is always plentiful and everyone always has a good time listening to music and enjoying the bustling city below them.
For those who are not party animals, you could arrange a chilled sunset dinner on your rooftop. The ambience and atmosphere is quieter, and the sunset and night time views are really beautiful. The great thing about Korea is that you can call any restaurant to deliver food right up to your rooftop. Payment is easy, you can use cash or any card and the delivery man will be efficient. All you might need is the Korean version of your address, some tables and chairs and possibly utensils and drinks.
Finally, there is nothing more beautiful than a scenic Asian night time view. Asia is famous for its neon lights, illuminated signs and cities that come ‘alive’ at night. A night time view, if you are in a good spot of the city, could be really stunning. Even for those living in the countryside areas, daytime views could be mountainous and green. Especially in fall time when all the leaves turn different colors, Korea looks like a patchwork blanket if you manage to gain any height over a city. The greatest thing about a night time view is that you can escape the noisy city sounds and experience a different clarity and perspective from your rooftop.
It is no surprise that Tijana Huysamen, a South African born Capetownian, avid traveler and travel journalist, fell in love with South Korea and its people. After Tijana arrived in South Korea in 2010, she had the opportunity to live in the heart of the Korean countryside. During her time spent in Chungnam province she learned to speak Korean, prepare Korean food and experience the humble nature of the countryside people. After a year break in New York, Tijana jumped at the opportunity to return to Korea again, and is currently working at the CDI Jamsil Branch, in Jamsil, Seoul. Read Tijana’s Aclipse blog to gain a unique perspective on Korea and her shared experiences and adventures both in a major city and in the countryside. Follow Tijana on Twitter @TeeAnni or email firstname.lastname@example.org to request more information on teaching in Korea!