Halloween in Korea has been increasing in popularity in recent years. I can tell you, at least in my ChungDahm academy, many teachers and students dress up and have a great time together on that day. If you are in the April Institute, our Market Day (where students’ get prizes ranging from stationary, stuffed animals, and puzzles) is one of the most fun days of the year and just happens to fall around Halloween. Since kids normally do not trick or treat in Korea, at ChungDahm we try to make that time special for them. To make sure that you have a fun Halloween during your time teaching in Korea, below are some tips on where you can buy a costume and places you can celebrate the holiday.
Getting costumes can be a bit difficult. As Westerners, our body frames are completely different from Koreans. If you have enough time, I strongly suggest to order your costumes through Amazon.com. They now ship to Korea and their prices are cheaper than most places in Seoul. There are some Korean online companies that sell costumes however their websites tend to be only in Korean. These websites include Halloween Costumes and Props and Costumes.co.kr.
If you can’t get in online and you need to try to find a costume in store, there are three specialty ‘holiday’ stores you can go to which I list below.
1. Joy Party - Located near Gangnam-gu Office Station (line 7), this is the first place worth checking out. Walk straight ahead from exit 2 for about 10 minutes and you will see Joy Party on the 2nd floor of a building on your left hand side. Their selection was pretty decent for both guys and girls and many of their costumes had the designated sizes in millimeter (MM) on them. Most of the costumes start at between 30,000 and 70,000 won. They also have a pretty awesome array of accessories from weapons, masks, to face paint. If you want to build your costume, this would be a good place to go. They already had stuff up for Christmas too if you are interested in decorating for that holiday.
2. The Halloween Store - Located near Sadang Station (Line 2 + 4), there is a treasure chest of costumes here. It’s a bit away to get too, but it is to the left of Yonsei Love Hospital. Again, be aware that costume sizes run a bit smaller in Korea, but they do have a good selection. They have normal costumes to the more popular ones here too. If you are not interested in buying a full on costume, they do allow you to rent here. Make sure you plan it out accordingly.
3.Cheonho Stationary Street - Little did I know that my area, Cheonho, was famous for two things; a Korean baby squid dish (Jjukumi) and for all stationary supplies. I found this out because one of my student’s parents own a shop there saying that there are a lot of costumes in that area. I was able to get my Dracula cape and face paint here a few years ago.
Areas for Partying:
Now that you know where to get your costume, below are my top recommendations on places you should party and celebrate the holiday.
1. Hongdae - Last year, my entire branch, along with fellow teachers from other branches, went to Hongdae looking to have a good time. We thought that we may be the only ones dressed up ready to go clubbing, however, there were other foreigners and many Koreans dressed up too. A foreigner friendly spot to go to was Mike’s Cabin. It really is a bar, but there is a dance floor and many people also dance on speakers. It’s a really fun place to socialize and many teachers said that Halloween there was one of their best experiences in Korea.
2. Zombie Walk - On October 15 this year, Zombie Walk Seoul will be holding their 5th annual get together. If you don’t know how to put on make-up to look like a true zombie, you can pay either 15000 or 30000 to have professional make-up artists hook you up. The location is set up around the Hongdae area too and there will be parties after the parade. This is always a fun time to take the subways in that area because you will see some great people dressed up for the occasion.
3. Halloween Cruise Bash - This is the event my friends and I will be` attending. I have always wanted to do this, but never found enough people to go with. Luckily, we met friends on the Independence Day Cruise Bash and the same tour company will be sponsoring the Halloween cruise as well. For 60,000 won, you can jump on a chartered bus that will drive you to the Gimpo Marina followed by a boarding a cruise ship that will take you up and down the river. Afterwards there will be a fireworks show on the upper deck. Unlimited beer is included so I definitely can’t wait for this party to happen!
As you can see, Halloween has been picking up here in Seoul. I hope my blog has helped you get into the Halloween spirit!
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.