How to Hang Out Like a Korean Local (Rounds) – Seoulistic

How to Hang Out Like a Korean Local (Rounds)

If you’ve ever been to Korea, you know that there’s a lot of hanging out do. The food is delicious, the drinks are free flowing, and there’s tons of places open 24 hours. It might be overwhelming, but read this guide to make sure you hang out like a local 😉

Maybe your idea of a good time is to meet your friends at your favorite pub, kick back a few drinks while having a few laughs and then heading home when it gets too late. Good time had by all right? Well if you’re In Korea, no way, Jose. Thats because Koreans are a bit like hyperactive kids without their adderall; most can’t seem to sit in one place too long. Instead of meeting up in one place and staying there the entire night, groups of Korean friends will jump around from place to place in what is called “rounds” (차/cha in Korean). Sometimes it’s to change up the activity (i.e. restaurant for eating -> cafe for coffee) or simply just a change of venue (i.e. drinking at a bar -> drinking at a chicken joint). Whatever the case, be ready to move around!

Here’s an example:

6PM – 1차 (il-cha/round 1) – Yo, lets get some super delicious galbi! Get stuffed with food and smell like garlic.
8PM – 2차 (i-cha/round 2) – Wake up from that food coma with cafe espresso shot injections.
10PM – 3차 (sam-cha/round 3) – Caffeine buzzes suck. Let’s go to a bar for the real deal Holyfield.
12PM – 4차 (sa-cha/round 4) – Ok, I’m buzzed. Lets dance it off at a club, yo!
3AM – 5차 (o-cha/round 5) – Ooo.. hungry! Seolleongtang time! 😀

Congratulations champ! You made out like a veteran and survived a 5 round night in Korea! Of course that’s not everyday, but going 5 rounds is not unheard of (usually involves alcoholic tendencies). But keep in mind that when you’re hanging out with Koreans, it’s at least 2 rounds.

Tip: If you’re not into all that hanging out, you can just politely excuse yourself at one of the rounds. If it is a large group of friends or workers at a company, each round will see less and less people. If it’s just you and someone else, that probably means you just don’t like the other person much :P.

Hanging out with Koreans might involve a different payment system, so…
Make Sure You Know It’s Your Turn to pay

Keith Kim is a Korean-American who has been living in Korea for almost a decade. Being in a unique position as both a Korean and a non-Korean, he's put all his experience and knowledge for surviving in Korea in Survival Korean . Read it to learn how you can survive in Korea. Follow him on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.


  1. Patricia says:

    Please tell me this is more common amongst young people…I’m getting too old to be doing multiple rounds! LOL!

  2. Sonic exe says:

    That means you should just rest.

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