When a foreigner in Korea asks you to recommend somewhere to go, what do you say? Likely places like Sinchon and Hongdae come to mind because of the food, busking, artwork, and night activities like clubs. However, those places are frequented by all kinds of people, not just people who live in the area. They are popular with visitors seeking great eateries and places to hang out. Have you ever wondered what university students do in other countries? The Sookmyung Times met three foreign students and asked them about popular places for students in their home nations.
Q1. Where would young twenty year olds go in your home country?
I guess Kreuzviertel in Dortmund and Düsseldorf are the most popular spots for people in their twenties. Kreuzviertel is located near downtown and the near the university, so it’s well liked by students. It’s location is the main reason Kreuzviertel is so popular, but it also has lots of cafés and restaurants, especially for vegans. You will always find many people at those restaurants. Düsseldorf is near the Rhein River, so it’s a great spot for enjoying a beer with friends in summer. Many young people can be found hanging out there. Düsseldorf also has a huge Asian community. Many Germans, especially younger ones in their twenties, are interested in Asian culture having grown up near the Asian community. They enjoy Japanese animations such as Dragon Ball and Pokemon. In Düsseldorf, people can find Asian food and animation costumes.
I would have to say Green Island, located to the east of Taiwan. Most people board a ship from Taitung to get to Green Island. It is popular among young people in Taiwan because from the age of 18, everyone is permitted to obtain a motorcycle license. It just takes 30-40 minutes to reach Green Island on a rented motorcycle. There students enjoy the fresh breeze along the beach and the Island’s beautiful scenery. Because it is far from the main island, young people get a taste of freedom on the island. Especially at night, it’s always an adventure, biking around the land on motorcycle.
One popular hangout place in Chongqing is Nanbin Road. The road is located just along the Yangtze River. The river plays host to beautiful scenery and tasty restaurants, so it’s popular with people in their twenties. I often go on bicycle rides there with my friends. Sometimes, I just walk along the road to refresh myself. Sometimes, I enjoy sitting in a coffee shop and reading as I look out onto the beautiful river view from the café’s big French windows. With the wonderful night from the river and the blowing breeze, I also enjoy eating at one of the tasty restaurants with my friends.
Q2. Do you go to those places you mentioned? What do you typically do there?
I like going to Kreuziertel with my 30-year-old brother. We usually go to eat pasta or steak. My friends and I also enjoy cocktails, sitting outside a pub that plays live music in summer. The buildings in Kreuziertel are very classical and different from the buildings in Dortmund. Big trees light up the sky magically from the miniature bulbs adorning them. It is a magical place.
One of the most popular dishes on the Island is dried deer meat, but of course, since it is an island, there is plenty of tasty seafood, traditional dried fish, and traditional sweets wrapped in green laver or made with green laver. By diving under the water, people see the beautiful coral reefs surrounding the island. The world famous rare Zhaori Saltwater hot spring is located on the south side of the island. Many people enjoy barbecue parties on the beach under the beautiful and peaceful starry night sky.
The most popular food there is hot-pot. Actually, it’s popular everywhere in Chongqing. It’s kind of like Budaejigae (부대찌개) in Korea because like Budaejigae, a number of ingredients are tossed into the pot. The difference is the ingredients. Chongqing locals love spicy food, so the hot-pot typically will have dozens of red chilies in it as well as other condiments like black pepper and salt. Once the soup base is ready, the chewable ingredients are tossed into the broth. It is a delicious spicy dish. I really miss it suddenly. The best thing is to enjoy the hot-pot meal with friends in an open-air restaurant.
Q3. Would you recommend any specific restaurant, café, or place to visit?
If you are headed to Kreuziertel, I recommend Allegro; it is the restaurant/pub my brother and I frequently go. The pasta there is delicious! I love cake, so I would also recommend Kieztörtchen and Froilein Meier. Both create awesome desserts. You should go one day. The most interesting thing about Kreuziertel is the number of bars. During the night of culture, which happen every 2-3 months, there are lots of events and concerts put on by young upcoming bands from our region, and we can also get free club admission. Every Saturday morning, an art market opens. Artisans come to sell their wares. You can get some fabulous bags and accessories.
Kenting located at the south end of Taiwan is the place I would recommend. Kenting is famous for having the most beautiful beach in Taiwan and hosting the biggest musical festival in the country; it’s called “Spring Scream”. Young people like to go there because they can enjoy the event and scream their hearts out at the once a year spring music festival. The festival focuses on local singers and bands, but several famous foreign musicians come to perform as well. In short, everybody can perform there as well.
Another popular place for young people is Jiefangbei area. It’s the city of Chongqing’s ultra-dense, urbanized downtown and central business district. It is centered around a large pedestrian mall that hosts a monument landmark tower (Jiefangbei) and that is surrounded by tall skyscrapers. Despite the congested shopping area, Chaotianmen Wharf, the confluence of Jialing and Yangtze rivers, is within walking distance. There’s also a snack street where people can eat lots of Chongqing snacks like noodles, tofu and Chongqing style BBQ.