Did you know that “Gangnam Style” (the amazing catchy song by Psy) was based on Gangnam, the area south of the river in Seoul, South Korea? When I heard this, I knew we had to go while we were in Seoul.
There is a permanent tribute to Psy’s Gangnam Style in the form of a stage where you can go and show off your moves in the middle of the city! We also explored the bustling and brightly lit back streets, full of cafes, restaurants and shops all vying for attention in bright neon.
We spent a while stopping in cafes for a dessert to people-watch out of the window! The Samsung showroom is also located here, and we enjoyed visiting to see all the latest technology, including their ideas for products of the future, eg. a smart mirror that looks at your calendar and works out what you will need to wear tomorrow and suggests an outfit to you.
There is also a plethora of massive malls in Gangnam – from the vast Ceox Mall boasting a gorgeous library inside, to Lotte Mart, which was also immense, featuring many themed floors and even a theme park resembling Disneyland!
The Lotte World Mall is next to a large lake, and there is tiered outdoor seating made for concerts. We were lucky enough to see an outdoor musical performance there, and it was lovely and calming to sit there looking over the lake listening to Korean music.
On our last day in Gangnam we visited the Olympic Park with its large World Peace Gate. The Olympic Park was a large leafy site and we hired a 4-seater bike to cycle around it. It was a sunny day and a lovely way to see the park. It was however a strange bike – we both sat in the front seats and my husband sat on the left so he had the steering wheel. Rather patronisingly, I had a fake steering wheel which turned, and which I instinctively steered round corners. But it didn’t actually do anything – much like the pretend-steering wheel Maggie Simpson has in the opening credits of The Simpsons.
Overall, I’m really glad we explored Gangnam but it didn’t grab me as much as the rest of Seoul. This may be because we didn’t have the best start – it was raining really hard when we arrived so we got turned up with heavy bags completely soaked to the skin, and then the hotel wouldn’t let us check in an hour early so we had to wait around in wet clothes. Luckily it got better from there on in, and the Olympic Park was lovely.
next blog: Old and historic parts of Seoul, South Korea.
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