It’s not every day that I get to go over to Hongdae, since it’s a little far from where I live. But make no mistake, Hongdae has one of the liveliest streets in Seoul. Hongdae actually is an abbreviation for Hongik University (Daehak, or 대학). Other universities such as Yongsei and Ewha are located nearby, so Shinchon/Hongdae is the area where the youth controls the scene; restaurants and bars cater to this specific demographic. Prices are lower, and atmosphere is generally rowdier than your average bar in Cheongdam or Shinsa.
Hongdae also boasts the highest club densities in Seoul. There are more than 20 clubs located within the area including M2, NB and Harlem, and on every last Friday of the month, there is Club Day, where pretty much everyone comes out to go club hopping. Essentially, if you pay for cover charge for one club, you get to go into other clubs for free (for participating clubs, that is). In other words, clubs around the area get so packed to a point where you can’t really dance, since you are squashed in the dance floor shoulder-to-shoulder, but at the same time you can’t quite fall down either.
Of course, I am generalizing. You need not prepare to be packed like rice grains in Haetbahns (microwaveable instant rice) if you are going to clubs in Hongdae. Club Mansion for one, sports a modern/vintage interior, reminiscent of ex-Club Answer (now Le Nuit Blanche @ Cheongdam).
Mansion is one place where chandeliers look appropriate. With growing number of mega clubs sporting LED and laser lighting systems, Mansion is a fresh break from other “must-have” or “me-too” decorations.
Mansion doesn’t really get packed even during weekends. I actually didn’t expect a Hongdae club to have such a loungy atmosphere, and it was a pleasant surprise. When Mansion has parties going on though, the place gets packed and becomes a club. But during their non-party days, the place serves as a lounge for more sophisticated demographic within the area. I noticed that Mansion’s clientele is slightly older than your average clubber in the area, as this kind of ambiance is not what most college students are looking for on their nights out.
The picture above is taken on the staircase to the 2nd floor.
And I just decided to play around with my camera when I visited the club last Saturday. I was only going to upload one, but since the shot taken above and below totally look different, I figured I’d upload both so you can get a better feel of how the place looks.
The bar is located near the entrance, a little distanced from the dance floor, which I thought was interesting. i.e. If you want to drink, drink. If you want to dance, dance on the dance floor.
- Different atmosphere from what you’d expect from Hongdae clubs
- Cheaper drinks (than, say, clubs in Cheongdam or Gangnam)
- More sophisticated than average Hongdae clubs
- Not so crowded (this can also belong in The Bad as well)
- Not so crowded (depending on what you are looking for)
- Might be a little tricky to find
Directions: Get out of Hapjeong (합정) station exit #3, walk straight for 3-5 minutes until you see Hotel Bobos on your right. Make a right, keep walking straight for another 3-5 minutes until you see Mansion on your left, across the street. The sign is not large nor conspicuous – make sure to keep your eyes open for a white sign that says Mansion.