When you're introduced to a new country and culture, the most lasting memories might not be from tourist attractions or local cuisine, but more often from the connections you make with the people around you. Local friends turn out to be your greatest teachers, offering insights not just into culture and language, but also how to fully explore your new home and make the best of your time there.

When you make Korean friends, you will encounter certain cultural differences. However, once you open your heart to embrace the new culture, your Korean pals will become an important part of your time in the country. Koreans are known for their warmth and affection towards friends, so take time to get to know and learn from your new friends.

Here are the top activities that will quickly transform your Korean acquaintances into cherished companions!

1. Have a feast at a Korean BBQ restaurant

Sharing delicious food together is a great ice breaker and bonding activity. Korean BBQ is a must-try cuisine that allows you to feast on a variety of meats and side dishes.

At a Korean BBQ restaurant, you get to grill the meat yourself using tongs and scissors on the grill at the center of the table. This BBQ style might seem like a challenging task for Americans who are unfamiliar with it, but your Korean friends will skillfully grill with expertise honed since they were young. They will also show you how to make dipping sauces and vegetable wraps to enjoy the most authentic Korean flavors!

But keep in mind that teamwork is important when you dine out at all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ restaurants. Try the free side dishes at the self-service stations at the restaurant. While your friend grills, grab some lettuce, kimchi and other sides for the table. You’ll be a Korean BBQ expert in no time!

Dipping sauces for BBQ

  • Ssamjang

  • Sesame oil with salt and black pepper

  • Onion with ponzu sauce

  • Green onion with a red chili pepper paste with vinegar

How to make lettuce wraps

  1. Place a piece of lettuce in your palm.

  2. Dip one or two pieces of meat into sesame oil and ssamjang, then place them on the lettuce.

  3. Add additional fillings such as kimchi, onion, garlic, and rice, but be sure not to overfill, as the lettuce can tear.

  4. Carefully fold the lettuce around the contents and craft a compact bundle resembling a small fist. Enjoy!

Recommended BBQ spots near Camp Humphreys:

Taste of Korea: Best all-you-can-eat restaurants near Humphreys for $20 or less!

2. Party at a singing room (Noraebang)

Koreans absolutely love hitting up a singing room (Noraebang) for some karaoke fun. It's a common scene in Korea to rent a private singing room where you can even order food and drinks to keep the party going strong.

No need to feel shy, even if you're not used to singing in front of others. Your Korean buddies will lead the way with unwavering excitement as singing rooms are popular no matter if you’re tone-deaf or a talented singer. Just watching your Korean friends fearlessly singing and dancing will get you into the groove of noraebang culture. Also, they can be your ultimate guides, teaching you tips such as how to use the remote control to pick your songs.

Jumping into Noraebang is a fantastic shortcut to bonding with your Korean crew without any language or cultural barriers!

Ultimate guide to Noraebang (Singing room):

Karaoke: Japanese import keeps the world singing, including Korea

3. Raise a toast with So-meak cocktail

If you have Korean friends, your experience of fun wouldn't be complete without exploring the local nightlife. They will introduce you to the greatest pairings of Korean alcoholic beverages and cuisine, such as beer with crispy fried chicken or makgeolli (traditional rice wine) along with a Korean pancake.

So-maek is a must-try cocktail unique to Korea that you have to try. The name so-maek is a portmanteau of “soju” and “maekju” to represent the blending of soju liquor and maekju beer. Unlike pre-mixed cocktails, so-maek is an artful concoction that your Korean friends will proficiently create. This mixed alcoholic beverage has a special spot in the drinking culture, and you’ll see that many Koreans enjoy this during drinking games.

The drink is a little strong, so do proceed with caution and drink responsibly. The bottom line is that so-maek is an interesting concoction to pair with Korean dishes and great company!

4. Chill out on the Han River with a Korean-style picnic

The Han River unquestionably stands out among the great picnic destinations in Korea. Thanks to the businesses and convenient amenities centered around the picnic culture near Han River Park, you can fully enjoy a splendid picnic experience without any prior preparations!

Go on a picnic adventure with your Korean friends and learn the best way to enjoy the beautiful scenery with a great meal. From finding the ideal picnic spot to renting a picnic mat and ordering delivery food, your friends have you covered.

Simply grab a bunch of your favorite snacks and beverages from the nearby stores, settle down in a nice spot with a breathtaking view of the Han River and soak up the Seoul city's vibes. Sharing this chill time with your Korean crew is another way to create everlasting memories.

How to enjoy a Korean style picnic

1. Rent a picnic mat near exit 2 of Yeoinaru Station.

2. Find a good picnic spot and set up the picnic mat.

3. Head to a convenience store to buy snacks, drinks, ice cups, ramen, wet wipes and more.

4. Order and pick up delivery food at the Delivery Zone (bring cash in case a foreign card won’t work)

5. Enjoy food and drink and chill at the Han River Park!

  • Yeouido Hangang Park

Address: Line5. Yeoinaru Station, Exit 2, Naver

  • Delivery Zone

Address: Yeoui-dong-ro 343, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Naver

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