Gangnam Style!

Seems like nobody even knew about this affluent neighbourhood of Seoul until a couple of years ago when the eponymous Korean pop song hit the big time.

The exit of the Subway station in Gangnam
One of the first thing’s you’ll notice in Gangnam is that it looks wider and less-cramped than north of the river

I seem to land at Seoul Incheon International Airport at least once or twice every year, although some of these occasions are when I am only in transit and awaiting another flight to a destination in Japan or China (and sometimes Hong Kong). As such, I have only even been into Seoul downtown on two occasions, and once I stayed in a hotel in Myeongdong, and on this occasion I was at a brilliant hostel in Hongdae, called KPOPSTAY.

Gangnam Style!
Gangnam Style!

It was a nice afternoon, and I wanted to see feel the vibe of the place, even though I already knew that there were no major attractions here. Gangnam is a very wealthy district of Seoul, so here there are many luxury shopping outlets (although in my opinion no more so than at Myeongdong) and cafés and restaurants aplenty! How does Gangnam compare to Myeongdong?

Street food is not popular in Gangnam, but you can still find lots of Twigim (fried snacks)
Street food is not popular in Gangnam, but you can still find lots of Twigim (fried snacks)

I am not a fan of “people-watching” but this is your thing you could do it for hours on end around here and not get bored. I liked looking at billboards on the street walls, too. I was hoping to spot a PSY or a Gangnam Style advertisement; it would have made a good photo. I’m sure they are here somewhere, so maybe I just didn’t look hard enough!

Lunch at Lotteria Burger - the Korean version of McDonald's
Lunch at Lotteria Burger – the Korean version of McDonald’s

I saw many great fast food outlets which I didn’t know existed, and one that I tried was Jamba Juice, which they do not have in Singapore or anywhere in Europe, as far as I know. I had a pineapple juice and it tasted delicious. After that, I had a little wander around the snack stalls on the streets, in particular on the lookout for my favourite Korean snack Kimbap. I didn’t find any this afternoon, but it didn’t matter as I had eaten a lot of it back at my hostel the night before. It seemed that in this affluent neighbourhood of Seoul, street food took a back seat and fancier food establishments were the norm, as the salarymen and their Burberry-clad WAGS roamed the area.

My favourite soft serve ice cream place
My favourite soft serve ice cream place
Time to splash out - Gangnam Style!
Time to splash out – Gangnam Style!

After all of my previous experiences in Gangnam throughout the afternoon, I decided to check out a movie at the nearby Lotte Cinema, and when I left the cinema it was much darker than I had anticipated. Still, I had time to stop off at one last eatery, and in true Gangnam-style, I ditched the modesty and just went full-out – not one but TWO ice creams to round off the day – and felt like a typical local south of the River eating stuff like this in public!

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