One of my favorite holidays back in America was the 4th of July. Thanks to Facebook’s memory reminders, I realized how much I was able to travel during those long holiday weekends. Although I wasn’t able to travel far from Seoul, I was able to do some fun activities to celebrate this holiday.
Even though I’m not Canadian, it was also fun to celebrate Canada Day too. Here are some great places to come visit not just on these holidays, but at any time of the year while you are teaching in Korea.
If you are a proud Canadian or just want some good burgers and craft beer, Canucks is a good place to start. This restaurant and bar has been gaining popularity since its opening and has a great atmosphere. On Canada day, all of the servers were decked out in red and white with one even wearing the Canadian flag as a cape. They do many fun activities for kids like face painting and even did a magic show at the adults’ table. However, if you go, you must check out their Bacon Jam burger. I’ve only seen bacon jam on the Food Network, so I had to try it out. Match it up with some Pre-hangover poutine of fries, meat, gravy, cheese, and maple syrup. It was easily one of my favorite meals I’ve had in Korea. Don’t forget to try their beers – it is a bar too!
RMT has been a local’s favorite for years now and they do a great Canada Day celebration. It is two floors and at night, you can listen to some live music on the first floor and have a meal on the third. They do a pretty good Tuesday wing night and Sunday nights are Trivia night there. Their buy-in isn’t too steep, however, if you and your team win it all, prepared to sing in front of everyone to collect your cash prize. As the losing team, we made the winners sing Beyonce’s Halo. 6 men singing it out loud was quite the scene that night.
On July 4th we started our day in Itaewon and ended our night there too. However, in between a friend and I joined Good Times ROK Independence Day Cruise bash. We all met outside of Noksapyeong Station and were joined with fellow Americans, Canadians, Koreans and all other nationalities. For 60,000 won, we were able to take a chartered bus to the Gimpo Marina and enjoy a private cruise from Gimpo to Incheon. They do this every year and I was really happy to join this time. For the price, we were able to drink all you can drink craft beers and enjoy 5 floors of music. The first two floors played live music, while the upper 3 played everything from hip-hop, trans, and house music. People were drinking and dancing all over the place! At the end of the night arriving at Gimpo Marina, we were treated to a live fireworks show off the main deck. Coordinator and owner Michael Suh definitely knows how to throw a party. It is well worth the money and I plan on doing it again!
This is a place you can go to during the spring and summer to enjoy fireworks (it doesn’t have to be Independence Day). Buying fireworks is legal here in Korea, and many nights on the river you can see people setting them off. Also, if you are at Banpo Bridge at the right time, a river cruise line will set off fireworks as the longest bridge fountain in the world (Banpo Bridge) shoots it water and multi-colored lights into the night sky. Don’t forget to make a picnic basket or have some fried chicken and beer delivered to you riverside.
So these are my favorite places to join the Independence Day and Canada Day festivities in Seoul. No matter how old or young you are, no matter what nationality you may be, I think everyone enjoys having a few drinks and watching some fireworks. If you know of any other places to enjoy the 4th of July or Canada Day in Korea, leave a comment down below!
Marc Gonzales has been living in Seoul working at the ChungDahm's Gangdong Branch for 4 years now. During those 4 years, he worked his way up from being a teacher and is now a faculty manager for that location. He majored in Finance and Marketing at the University of Nevada Las Vegas while working as a manager for a national bank. In his spare time, he enjoys outdoor activities like hiking the numerous mountains around Seoul and biking along the massive Han River. To know more about him and his adventures living in Korea, follow Marc on Twitter @geonmakku and on Instagram @geonmakku.