South Korea offers a lot in cheap entertainment, and I’m currently typing this up in one of them…a PC bang. “Bang” (망) is the word for room or place, and they have bangs for everything…Nori bangs (karaoki rooms), DVD bangs…all available for a really reasonable price.
But a PC bang is different from your average internet cafe. For 1000 won (about $1) an hour, you have access to a great PC with nice headphones in a comfy chair, complete with free coffee and soda. Other snacks are available too; from where I’m sitting, I can see chips, candy bars, instant noodles, tea, and of course, the all important dried squid. Every PC bang is a little bit different, but most tend to be dimly lit, clean, shiny, and pumped full of cold air. No windows, no clocks on the wall…it’s not that different from being in a casino!
And people tend to waste just as much time here as they would at the tables in Vegas. This PC Bang has a special deal; $10 for 12 hours of use. And boy, do people use it…because while a computer here will give you open internet access, most customers are gamers.
During school hours, the PC bangs are deserted, but in the evenings and on weekends, it’s not unusual to find the place packed with kids, from elementary to college aged. Video games are huge in Korea, and PC bangs definitely feed the addiction! Free caffeine, cheap food, no sense of time…it’s easy to see why this is a popular hang out spot for kids and adults!