11-27-2009, 01:51 AM #1
Where is the best place in Korea to find recreational drop-in badminton
I am planning to be in Korea for at least 1 year starting Sept 2010 as part of the EPIK teaching program. I am still deciding where in Korea I want to go. I am wondering where is the best place where I can find recreational drop-ins on a regular basis. This would play a big factor in where I choose to go, I think. Any advice for me would be greatly appreciated Thanks so much.
11-27-2009, 04:10 AM #2
The easy answer would be: outside of Seoul. As I've posted elsewhere on this forum, the public gyms with an entry fee are the easiest to use and, while I do know of one in Seoul, they seem to be much more common (and cheaper) outside of Seoul. Among the places where I've seen them spring up are Suwon, Daejeon, Cheongju, Jeonju, and Gimcheon but the list actually goes on and on.
I know I've seen many more than this. One thing to remember is that even in the public facilities, where you pay your 1000 to 3500 (only in Seoul) won entry fee, there are clubs operating and they want at least a 10,000won a month membership fee. It usually goes toward a monthly meat & liquor get-together among other non-badminton costs. You can get in and play in a public gym without joining a club but they operate like cliques and often you'll find yourself frozen out of matches if you don't belong to any club. It isn't impossible to arrange a match but it can be frustrating.
Last edited by event; 11-27-2009 at 04:24 AM.
11-27-2009, 04:49 AM #3
Gimpo is another. There are so many. Maybe just check here once you've found a place you want to work in. These gyms are springing up all over the country all the time. Having said that, Suwon is one place that has made badminton a priority and there are at least half a dozen dedicated badminton gyms in town. Some are even free, so far. Jeonju's facility with 16 courts is the biggest I've seen. I don't know what other facilities exist there, however.
11-27-2009, 10:41 AM #4
thanks so much for all your great advice. so for these places, would I have to bring a partner, or would I be able to go in and try to get a game? Most likely I will be going by myself.....and I am familiar with the clique effect...but are there any particular places where the situation might be better?
11-27-2009, 05:00 PM #5
Korea is a mountainous country. Even Seoul, which is mega-big city, has many small and big mountains. One example, http://wikimapia.org/#lat=37.4606032...5&z=16&l=0&m=b , where I played.
U find some courts with ease. It's the same throughout this peninsula. Badminton courts in the mountains are being cared by the private badminton clubs. But, the clubs cannot drive out non-members nor charge fee.They have only priorities over non-members. (Think of it. The land is not theirs.) And it's the legal duty of this nation and municipal governments to build exercising facilities.(If people are good and well, people will not demand medical-insurance money. So, it's better for the government to build exercing facilities in order to make its people well than to do nothing.)
U can use courts on the mountains for nothing; if you go around, you'll happen to find your partner.
11-29-2009, 10:33 PM #6
So, what I try to say is,
Don't worry. You'll find a few free banminton courts within a feasible distance whereever you land.
11-30-2009, 08:44 AM #7
Having said all that, I'm describing extreme cases. It's still rare that I can visit a gym and not get a match with different players. The other thing is that, unlike some environments that tend toward cliques, the badminton clubs offer membership as a reliable remedy for ostracization. Once you join, people will play with you and the better and senior members of the club make it a point of getting you into challenging matches with a variety of partners.
As for where the situation is better, this I can't help you with. It depends on your level, on the personalities of the people in power in individual clubs, the number of clubs operating in a gym, the number of outsiders who drift in from time to time. It's very difficult to draw generalizations by region.
11-30-2009, 11:43 PM #8
thanks so much again for your advice. I have no problem in paying for and joining a club once I'm there. I'm just wondering how the whole process works. Here in Canada, once you join a club, players generally show up at some consistent hours during the week, and you can even go alone and find some people to play with. I would describe myself as an upper-intermediate player. I've never had trouble with getting play, as long as I get a chance to meet the people. So, I'm just wondering what is the best way to meet a group of people to play with. Especially as I dont' speak Korean, I think this would be particularly challenging.
12-02-2009, 07:16 AM #9
Okay, here's my 2cents
I go to Seoul once a year for a month or so for family holidays, and I have to find places to play. Event has been very kind and helpful over the years, many thanks
From my own experiences, most clubs are quite happy to welcome new members as long as they can play quite well. A lot of club players are older in Korea, most in their thirties and forties, not so many in their early twenties, so if you are a decent player, they will want to play against you for sure.
Also, if you're a teacher, you can probably find someone either through the institution or one of your students. There will be several clubs in every district, most operate in school gyms, and there are so many schools in Korea, you're bound to find some close to you.
The usual practice is to have a one-off joining fee of around $100-120, plus a monthly fee of around $15-30. But because I'm only there for a month, they always refuse to let me pay the joining fee. And the monthly fee is really cheap because they play every day, 7 days a week, so you can really get all the badminton you want.
Most clubs are fairly relaxed about organising games. There is no system of pegs or boards, usually a senior member will just pick people to go on for the next game. Quite often, there are more courts than people so if you end up with four good players, you can just keep playing.
One thing to note, shuttles are a lot more expensive in Korea (comparatively speaking) so they usually control access during sessions and you may have to bring your own shuttles at some clubs (you can usually buy the local brand from someone at the club).
Let me know if you have any questions.
12-02-2009, 08:10 AM #10
Event and David are well versed in Korean situation.
What I find is:
Members of most clubs play at particular time: on the mountains, in the morning;in the schools, in the afternoon. Vacant courts(on the mountains) are used by non-members casually once in a while. It's up to the non-members.
As a non-member of any clubs, I had to wander to find a partner, and finally I got my group. Not a club, for that group has no court nor organized.
If you behave modest, you'll be welcomed. There will be someone who can communicate with you in English.
And you know, I'm a native Korean living in Seoul. So, when you arrive in Korea, tell me. I can suggest better ways to go through Korea.
12-05-2009, 10:14 PM #11
thanks so much guys. sounds like it's going to be lots of fun there. can't wait.
12-20-2009, 07:10 AM #12
Places to play on the East side of Seoul?
I have been reading all of the threads on BC about places to play and they are helpful. I am currently in Seoul for a year teaching English, I am dying to improve my game and play as much as possible. I found one place to play on Wednesdays but it is on the other side of the city and it takes me over an hour to get there. Does anyone know of places to play on the east side? I live in Gangdong. I have found listings of clubs but the websites for the clubs aren't that helpful and I am not great at finding my way around yet. My plan is to show up at a couple of the places and be polite and hope someone speaks English. Thanks to anyone who responds!
12-20-2009, 11:18 AM #13
See this thread:
I must thank event for his enormous help
And, it's an awesome experience playing with such friendly people.
PS: Be prepared to communicate using just smiles and gestures
English was only as good as Portuguese or Swahili wherever I played.
12-20-2009, 11:56 AM #14
Here is information on the clubs at Gang-dong Gu:
The phone numbers are all wired ones. So, be careful about the call-up time.
Translation: http://translate.google.co.kr/translate?hl=ko&sl=ko&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fcafe380 .daum.net%2F_c21_%2Fentrance_intro_v2%3Fgrpid%3DAq iC%26EMT%3D1261105830716
You know the places where the courts are located from the above link. Then, browse this region here:
One place of them is Myoung-il middle school(명일중), which you see at the center of this map:
Message to me if u need Korean help for the 1st start-up.
12-21-2009, 12:51 AM #15
list of clubs for Gangdong-gu from the one that queenmillenia posted. The easiest to find might be #1 on the list (not on queenmillenia's list), the one that plays at Hanyoung Foreign Language High School which, of course, has an English website. The school is about 1.25km east of Gubeundari Station on the #5 line. If you are close to the #5 line, though, you might just try crossing the river and going to the Sky Club near Janganpyung Stn (see this post, this one, and this one in the thread Oldhand already directed you to). The Gangdong Club (#10 on the list linked to above or fifth on the list from queenmillenia's link) looks interesting, too. Or at least, its venue does. The club (useless daum cafe link here) plays at a dedicated badminton gym in Iljasan park, which is 1.5km from Olympic Park Stn (and thus right around the corner from the Korea Open venue and from the homes of Seoul's 3 top badminton schools). On my list, though, it says the club plays 10AM to 1PM but on queenmillenia's list, it says 6AM to 10PM. I'd guess the latter, since it is apparently a dedicated badminton gym.
The second one on queenmillenia's list (not on my list) plays at the Haegong Gym, which is supposed to be across from Chunil Elementary school, northeast of Chunho Stn.
Also, try contacting Taehyeon from this thread. He has a good group, is very friendly, speaks English, and seems to have firsthand experience with gyms all over the Seoul area.
Last edited by event; 12-21-2009 at 12:59 AM.
12-21-2009, 06:55 AM #16
I can't thank you enough. The replies for all have been a tremendous help. I spoke to my supervisor today and she agreed to make some phone calls with me and do some interpretation if needed. I can't wait to play.
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