King Crab and the Red Light District

When you mix good food and good company, you’re guaranteed to have a great evening. When you add soju to the mix, things always tend to get more interesting.

Clint and I invited some friends out to Gunsan to look for the legendary king crab. We’ve had dungeness crab, blue crab, snow crab, and even mini Japanese crab snacks; but this ginormous treat has yet to be seen nor tasted. We showed the taxi driver a blurry picture of the entrance (taken during a drive by a few weeks before), and he immediately recognized it.

The four of us reached 대 게 나 라 (Taegenara) with enthusiastic hunger, and were even more encouraged upon seeing the tanks filled with the jurassic looking crab. We were the only ones in the restaurant, and wondered why more people wouldn’t be swarming the place. It’s king crab for crying out loud! As it turns out, a 3-kilogram crab costs about 200,000₩ ($190). Well, as Clint’s friend, May, said, “go big or go home!” And so we did.

The servers brought out all the standard Korean side dishes, along with a sizzling plate of mushroom crab and a spicy seafood soup that had the guys even more excited! After thoroughly enjoying our side dishes, the crab was finally brought in.

We all prepared our palates for the feast of a lifetime. The top shell was used as a centerpiece bowl of buttery dipping goodness. Thoughtfully cut up crab legs and claws surrounded the shell, giving everyone at the table a fair chance at grabbing a good piece. The guys were gracious enough to let me take all the pictures I wanted, and then we all dug in! Boy was it good! We all agreed the crab was fresh and tasty, even though the price is a little steep. Perhaps we can do it again, say, next year?

We continued the evening meandering around the red light district of Gunsan. It was still early in the night, so hardly anyone was around. Neon-lit clubs lured patrons like a moth flame. We weren’t sure what to expect, but kept seeing clubs with images of scantily clad women on the doors. We walked in one to inquire, and was informed it’s a club for “karaoke and whiskey.” Right. We saw a young, Korean gentleman walk by, and said hello. He was eager to say hi and offered a genuine, “Nice to meet you!” But as soon as we asked him what these clubs were, he shut us down, “uh… no englishee.” Right.

150,000₩ will get you a karaoke box, and perhaps other things, as suggested by the photos. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to find out what those things might’ve been that evening.

We continued our way towards Eunpa Park, and every corner was another soju stop. Some fortunate citizens of Gunsan got the pleasure of  “rich conversation” with us Americans that night – especially the womenfolk. The more soju was ingested, the more monkey business ensued. I have to give it to Koreans: they are an extremely polite and patient group of people.

Korean Name: 대게나리
Phone: 063-468-1116
Address: 867-5 Naun-dong, Gunsan

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