Busan is the second biggest city in South Korea. Once just a big port, the place is now becoming a tourist draw in its own right. Obviously a lot of guys are curious about prostitution there. Red light districts in Busan are common. For a city of its size there are many of them. They’re not even that hard to find. But if you don’t know where to look, you might never accidentally wander across any of them.
In this guy’s guide to the red light districts in Busan, we are going to tell you everything you need to know. We’ll list the five main red light districts in Busan. Then we’ll tell what to expect in these places. Additionally, we’ll explain about recent red light district closures. Finally, we’ll list some alternatives to red light districts so you don’t have to suffer with blue balls if you get rejected by a woman in a window.
Red light districts in Busan
Prostitution is technically illegal in South Korea. But you can find prostitutes and prostitution all over the country. That obviously includes Busan. Red light districts have sexy Korean women hanging out in windows like Amsterdam. Historically, there were basically five major red light districts in Busan. Some were more obvious than others. But each and everyone of these red light districts was well known by everyone in town:
- Green Street
- Haeundae Beach
- Beomjeon 300 in Busanjin-gu
- Wonil-dong in Seo-gu
Some of these red light districts are now closed or are in the process of being shut down. Sometimes prostitution is used an excuse. More often than not, the land these red light districts use has become very valuable. After the red light districts are destroyed, you see things like five star hotels being built in their places.
Beomjeon 300 and Wonil-dong have recently been dismantled. The spaces sit empty and you won’t find any women there. Haeundae Beach is also on the way out. This was the best known red light district in Busan. It is being removed to make way for a luxury hotel. You may still be able to find some women there, but don’t count on it.
Green Street and Minam are the two main remaining red light districts. You can definitely find Korean prostitutes in the window shops there. Just walk around the area and you will see them. If you’re not Korean or Asian you might have a problem though. Most Korean prostitutes won’t have sex with foreigners. A lot of them won’t even look at a foreigner at all!
Discrimination in South Korean prostitution
The sad fact of the matter is that xenophobia is alive and well in South Korea. The place was insular for so long and that spread throughout society. It can be very keenly felt in prostitution. No hotel or restaurant in South Korea is going to reject you. But if you walk up to a hooker in a window and you’re a foreigner, she might swat you away like a housefly or common street dog. It’s brutal!
A lot of this seems to be about saving face. Prostitutes don’t want to be seen with foreigners. Korean guys have the idea that all foreigners are dirty and infected with sexually transmitted diseases. The majority of Korean guys visit prostitutes for sex. A lot of them go bareback with the hookers and finish with creampies too. They worry about getting infected and then taking it back to their wives or girlfriends. So to avoid a loss of custom, the hookers will reject foreign customers. But in private or when no Korean guys are around, a lot of the same sex workers will gladly take on foreign guys. After all, money is money!
If you don’t appear to be Asian, you will probably have the most success at Green Street. In the other red light districts it will be really hit or miss. Some foreign guys are more successful if they show up early in the day. Others just go for the old ladies at Minam. Most of them are desperate for money, so they take on all comers.
Price of sex in Busan red light districts
The price of sex in Busan red light districts is negotiable. There are mamasans running a lot of the windows and rooms. If they can speak any English, they’ll probably give you some high rate and pretend that is standard. Really though, they have a lot of wiggle room.
Still, a sort of market-average price has been established in the red light areas. Korean guys who are regulars know these prices. Sometimes they negotiate for lower rates. Other times they just pay what is asked.
Foreigners have less room for negotiation than Koreans. The pool of available prostitutes is lower. The hookers that will take non-Korean guys don’t want to be hassled when they agree to do foreign guys. So they pretty much expect that the asking price be paid. Some foreigners who can speak Korean do get discounts though.
Overall, expect to pay 70,000 to 80,000 Won for a thirty-minute jaunt with a South Korean prostitute. At current exchange rates, that is around 60 or 70 dollars American. Of course this price only applies to the red light districts. Women found elsewhere want different amounts. Also remember that people don’t tip in South Korea.
Alternatives to red light districts
Everyone knows how much internet usage has increased in recent years. Well, internet coverage and usage in South Korea has been high for many years. By many estimates, it is the most internet connected country in the world. So it shouldn’t be any surprise that the internet is now used by prostitutes and their customers.
As the large and infamous red light districts in South Korea continue to be destroyed, more people simply turn to the internet. It is not as if taking out a window district is going to stop prostitution. Instead, it just helps drive it underground. For many that may be the point. Out of sight, out of mind after all!
The “officetels” and “room salons” are becoming much more popular than red light districts in South Korea. The problem there again is that these places are for Korean guys. Unlike red light districts, you can’t even find most of these places. Even if you did, they normally wouldn’t let you in unless you can speak Korean!
So most foreign guys just stick to booking foreigner-friendly escorts over the internet. Or they try their luck in the “double barber pole” places. These look like barbershops, but they have two poles instead of one. In South Korea that usually means some kind of sexual stuff is being offered. Foreigners just don’t have the same options as Korean guys do in South Korea.