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I've heard about booking nightclubs in Korea, where you can pay a waiter to bring over someone of the opposite sex. I'd like to try it, but I've got a couple of questions.

I'll be 38 when I go over later this year, though I look younger, and this Time Out article talks about the clubs setting an upper age limit. Am I likely to find clubs that'll accept someone my age?

I'm caucasian, and I'll only have a basic understanding of Korean when I get there. Will I be allowed in, and is it possible to ask for a woman who can speak English? Or alternatively should I hire a bilingual tour guide?

Are there any scams to watch out for with booking clubs, such as the woman asking for payment or only receiving the bill at the end of the night? (Expensive prices, but paid up front, do not of themselves qualify as a scam.)

  • 2
    Your link to TimeOut leads directly to the listing of a booking club which does not set an age-limit. – mts Apr 24 '17 at 18:04
  • @mts thanks for pointing that out. I missed that. – Andrew Grimm Apr 24 '17 at 23:28
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According to numerous articles on nightlife in South Korea, you may, or may not, be allowed into a booking club, and for any number of reasons: age, appearance, status, ethnicity (or for no reason).

Westerners interested in the experience may be admitted into a booking night club. Tourist feedback suggests being selective about the area in which you club, avoiding those which cater to younger or predominantly Korean crowds.

For example, Itaewon is now THE place to go for great nightlife among foreigners and Koreans alike, abounding with night clubs, bars, lounges, dance clubs, pubs, grills, fantastic, lively choices that are open all night.

AngloInfo.com jas a good list in the Itaewon district, including those that are night clubs.

Rooted in South Korean matchmaking traditions,

Booking (Korean: 부킹) is a common practice in South Korean night clubs of forced socialization. Waiters bring female patrons, sometimes forcibly, to a table to sit with men. Both parties are free to leave at any time, or depending on mutual interest, they can continue to sit together and drink and talk. Men are expected to tip and pay their waiters to bring women to their table; the women are not employees, but fellow clubbers.

  • Is it possible to go to booking clubs alone? Isn't it a drinking place where groups of men go to meet groups of women? Or am I confusing with something else? – Taladris May 5 '17 at 15:49
  • "sometimes forcibly"? – djechlin May 30 '17 at 23:59

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