"Gangnam Style" -- a song by Korean rapper Psy -- has become a music video phenomenon. Travel Channel delves deeper to show you the glitz of Gangnam-gu District aka "The Beverly Hills" of Seoul.
Korean rapper Psy performs his hit, “Gangnam Style,” which pays homage to the rich and lavish lifestyle common to the Gangnam-gu District in Seoul, South Korea. The YouTube sensation has garnered almost 300 million views and more than 3 million “likes.” Gangnam District officials awarded the rapper with a plaque and named him an honorary ambassador.
The Convention and Exhibition Center (COEX) Aquarium -- home to about 600 species and 40,000 fish-- has 90 exhibition water tanks, including Amazonian World, The Inca Empire, Ocean Kingdom and Seven Seas exhibits. In a tunnel-like atmosphere, visitors can view fish, sharks, otters, polar bears and other marine life.
In addition to it being a popular shopping district, the Gangnam District is the wealthiest neighborhood in South Korea -- home to politicians, actors, major corporate headquarters and the banking and financial industries.
Bongeunsa became one of Korea’s 14 major temples in 1902. The Buddhist temple is located on the slope of Sudo Mountain in Gangnam-gu, across the street from the COEX Mall. If you’re looking for a peaceful getaway, the temple offers a Temple Stay Program, which allows visitors to experience the life of a monk for a few hours.
The Kimchi Field Museum provides visitors everything they need to know about kimchi, a key component of Korean cuisine. The museum is split into 3 different sections: kimchi’s history, the process of making kimchi and information on Korea’s other traditional foods. Plan ahead and sample kimchi at a tasting event held each month at the museum.
At 748-feet tall, the Trade Tower is one of the tallest buildings in South Korea. Located in the Gangnam-gu District, the Trade Tower, ASEM Tower and COEX InterContinental Seoul make up the World Trade Center Seoul, also commonly known as COEX or the Convention and Exhibition Center.
Gangnum is home to several big corporations, including Hyundai, the automobile manufacturer, and Samsung, the multinational IT and electronics company. In fact, Samsung’s headquarters is so large that its office park in Seoul is usually referred to as Samsung Town.
The Han River -- the 4th longest river on the Korean peninsula after the Amnok, Duman and Nakdong rivers -- flows north of the Gangnam neighborhood. Once used as a trade route to China, the banks of the river are now pedestrian walkways and bicycle paths in Seoul. Restaurants and cafes are located along the paths, and afterwards, locals or tourists can walk or bike over select bridges to burn off a few calories.
Heading to Seoul’s Gangnam-gu District for a little shopping? Hop on the subway and take Line 3 or Line 5 to the Ogeum Station.
Known for its fancy boutiques and Asian-fusion eateries, we suggest tourists visit Garosugil Street. In this popular area, bars have live music, cafes serve fusion-style Korean desserts, and yes, there’s even a Latin club where you can dance the night away.
One of South Korea’s airport terminals, the Korea City Air Terminal supports Asiana Airlines, Korean Air, Philippine Airlines, Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines. Travelers can easily fly into the Gangnam to sample the tasty cuisine at local restaurants and or spend some time and money shopping at a few boutiques.
Simone Handbag Museum -- divided into 2 halves, a 20th Century and Contemporary section and a Historic Section -- chronicles the history of the handbag from 1550 to present day. Most of the handbags are European, with some contemporary bags from the US. In addition to the 300 bags assembled for more the $1 million, the 10-storey museum offers workshops for Korean designers to work rent free, a section for craftsmen to produce bags and 2 shops.