This is exactly as it sounds, prepare yourself for videos and pictures…
In Korea there is this thing called a ‘bang’, and it still makes me giggle every time I think about it, like the English high schooler I am on the inside. 방 = Bang. It means ‘room’ in Korean, and there are a variety of different ‘rooms’ you can hire out and use at your leisure, to do whatever you want.
Norebang (노래방), DVD bang (DVD 방), PC bang (PC 방) or a Multi-room (멀티 방).
Let’s start with the infamous Norebang.
If you live in Korea and haven’t been to a norebang (노래방) then there’s probably something wrong with you. Whether you like it or not, they’re a huge part of Korean society and a popular recreational activity for people of all ages. They’re not just places to go at 6am when you’re drunk enough to sing Oasis. A lot of students like to go to them after school, and they are a popular place to go out for office or company shindigs.
Norebang is basically a karaoke room. You and a bunch of people hire out a room to sing karaoke in. They generally have a TV, two microphones and their own karaoke machine system. It’s fabulous because if you’re usually too shy to sing in bars, or hate having to wait forever before you get the chance to murder a Madonna song, then the norebang (노래방) is perfect for you.
They are actually a lot of fun, and my rendition of 7 Things by Miley Cyrus is probably one of the highlights of my life in Korea (maybe I should get out more).
Moving on, norebangs (노래방) are loads of fun, and even if karaoke isn’t your thing, it’s worth going at least once so you know what all the fuss is about. I guarantee you’ll have a good time.
DVD bang (DVD 방)
That being said, DVD bangs (DVD 방) are not as seedy as I’ve just made them out to be. They are popular amongst groups of friends, and people do use them to watch films. I am just running with the fact they are called a BANG.
I’ve been to a DVD bang (DVD 방) on a number of occasions, just to watch films. They can be pleasant to visit. There’s usually a comfortable leather kind of futon that resembles a bed, and blankets incase you get a bit chilly, all infront of a massive projector. Each room also has it’s own sound system. In some ways it’s better than the cinema because you can lie down and have a nap. Everybody wins.
PC bang (PC 방)
PC Bangs are massive rooms where a million geeky boys go and hire a computer to play massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG), as the internet in a PC room is super fast. The fastest in the world probably, since we’re in Korea, where the internet is the fastest in the world. Anyway, I diverge, it’s geek heaven, and also very very cheap.
Multi-room (멀티 방)
Multi-rooms (멀티 방) are for the indecisive people, and can please on an everyday basis. They do exactly as the name describes – you can go there to do a wide multitude of things, including singing, watching films, and playing computer or console games. They are equipped with large TV screens, and sound systems. A multi-room is basically a combination of all the other bangs put together.
There’s all the entertainment you need in just one multi-room (멀티 방), meaning that families like to go to them. Which is why I’ve just had to refer to them as a ‘multi-room‘ because calling them a ‘multi-bang‘ would really be way too much for me to take.
Go, bang, enjoy.