Gangnam style

Everybody heard the song Gangnam style by Korean singer PSY, but not everybody knows that Gangnam is actually a neighborhood in Seoul. It is located on the southern shore of Han river. Although 50 years ago this area was covered with rice fields, today it is a super-modern part of the city with skyscrapers and expensive boutiques.

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There are a lot of shops of all kinds in Seoul, but Gangnam is a shopaholic’s dream. Even the metro station is actually a huge underground mall. By the way, you can buy some pretty nice clothes there for 10,000 wons (about $10). But we didn’t buy anything: after clearing out our apartment in Moscow we decided not to buy any excessive stuff ever again, and it is hard to carry it in our backpacks anyway (in one of the posts we will show what we took with us).

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People in Seoul are probably really tired of the song about Gangnam, but we saw some people promoting a shop in sunglasses like PSY’s just as we exited the subway. A wonderful Korean girl Aran that we met in Andong (a city at the eastern part of the country) told us that all Korean children dream to become pop-stars.

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Although there are not many old buildings in Seoul, Gangnam feels like an especially new part of the city.

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Gangnam is a big neighborhood: it consists of several zones that are quite far from one another. A wide street with shops starts right at the subway exit.

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There is also a street with expensive shops.

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There are some more affordable places like Jeju shop with home products. Jeju is actually a lot like japanese chain Muji (Andrei can’t leave their shops without buying something), but things there are more Korean-style — cute and pretty.

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Another Korean chain where you can buy a lot of stuff with cute animals and bright prints is Artbox. Their shops are all over Seoul and some other Korean cities. One of their shops is located next to the Gangnam subway station.

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Gangnam at night is full of lights from neon signs, shop windows and cars. Skyscrapers, dull during the day, start looking more mysterious.

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Gangnam is quite glamorous, but if you turn from a main street to a smaller one, you will see a more typical picture for Seoul: narrow streets with dozens of neon signs and small restaurants.

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Although we visited Gangnam only once (it takes about 50 minutes to get there from the Jung neighborhood where we lived), we think that it’s a very interesting part of Seoul. If we are ever in Seoul again, we’d like to stay in Gangnam at least for a few days.

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