Sunday, June 20, 2010

Kicking it in Wonju

So after a pretty long string of blog entries about places we've visited and been to and gone to go see, I can quite happily say that this entry will be about our very own hometown, Wonju.
Last weekend, for the opening of the World Cup, we made a huge mission to try and find some people to watch the game with, and after a whole bunch of running around and stressing, we met a group of other foreigners keen to watch the game. We watched the game with them and met a whole bunch more people.

One of the people we ended up meeting at a later date was Grace (, who was really keen to show us around Wonju. So we figured, hey, might as well check out our own city. We almost know Seoul better than we do beautiful Wonju.

So we met up on Saturday afternoon, and headed off to the local video game arcade. When I say arcade, the first image that might pop into someones head is a somewhat dingy, possibly 'wouldn't let me child go there' kind of place, where most of the machines are broken and have been stashed in some far away corner behind other machines that also don't work. NO! This is different.

For starters, you pay on entry to the arcade. The fee is 4000Won (about R28) for 2 hours. OK, seems pretty reasonable, a small amount of cash for unlimited gameplay. But it only gets WAY BETTER.

The first thing you see when walking into the arcade is a room with ping-pong tables, for you to use as you please (most likely to play ping-pong...)

Keep walking and you'll see the start of the arcade...the Wii room. Yes, a room filled with Nintendo Wiis. Each one with its own game in it and each one hooked up to a ginormous flat screen, HD TV. Beautiful. Remember, still only R28. You can pick one (if it's not busy being used) and play as much as you like. Very cool.

The next area you walk into is the PS3 room. Again, yes, a room filled with about 10 PS3 stations, again each one hooked up to its own very large very flat and very HD TV!!! There are even 2 stations that have couches. Big comfortable sofas, so you can literally lie down on while playing PES on what must have been 40 inch televisons. Insanity!

The last room you walk into is the 'regular' arcade game area. This area is packed with (working, not broken) arcade games, from racers to fighting games and from dancing games to drumming games. It really is just so cool. We even ended up jamming some Street Fighter II.

I can really only say that this place is insane. You could spend hours there and not get bored. If you do overstep your time, you pay a little extra, but it's very possible to just go and renew your time for another R28. Absolutely wicked fun!

There is also a room where you can sit down quite comfortably, buy some food or drinks, and play 1 of dozens of board games that are available. Going to this arcade is a really cool way to spend a day, geeking out amongst the computer games and then sitting down for a game of Rummikub is something that most people could enjoy.

After we had enough of the arcade and it's wonderous offerings, our friend Grace decided to take us to a cool restaurant that she knows for what was, according to her, some of the best Shabu Shabu around.

The Shabu-Shabu consisted of what is basically a 5 course meal, and we ended up paying 8000 Won each (about R54), so in other words, dirt cheap! But amazing, absolutely amazing!

After the dinner it was time for another round of gaming, but this time in a PC Bang, where we pay 1000Won/hour (R7) for the use of their high speed internet, amazingly comfortable chairs, awesome sound systems, and obviously the PCs. We ended up sitting for about 2 hours, playing a whole bunch of different network games! They even let you buy all sorts of snacks and food and drinks, etc. to keep you as glued to your chair as possible. Plus, almost all PC Bangs are open 24hours. For those late night gamers, they offer cups of coffee for 100Won (R0.70). Insane!

The last stop for the night was a DVD Bang in the same building, where you get to choose your movie from a large selection of DVDs ranging from very new to quite old, and watch it in your own private 'cinema'. The DVD rooms usually have cinema style chairs in them, but we got a room with a couch, some blankets and a huge screen to watch our choice of movie! DVD Bangs really are a very cool way to watch movies for a group of friends! Plus, for the smokers, smoking is totally OK during the movie!

That was about it. We stepped out of the DVD Bang at about 1.30 AM, into the pouring rain, but not before buying some Samgak Gimbap from a local 24h convenience store. But more on that in another post!
Post by Oliver


Anonymous said...

Wahaha! Sounds like we need to get Gareth there! He'd go ape-sh*t!!! So glad you guys are having a jol! Hope the kiddies are fun to teach too!!! Look after yourselves!!! Kelly

Katie Doherty said...

I'm in Wonju today and would love to visit the arcade!!! Do you have bus/taxi/walking directions I could use to find this place? Thank you!!!

Claudia Forster-Towne said...

Hi there Katie,

I hope it is still there. You need to take a taxi down to the bus terminal. Then, around the corner you will see a building with a Coldstone Ice-cream place (if it's still there). The arcade is on the second floor.

Let me know if you find it


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