Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
History and Economic Development
Gangnam is a city that holds many stories of modern Korean history. In the 1960s, it was ruined by the Korean War and contested the ranks of the world’s poorest countries; Seoul was confined to the northern part of the Han River and now commonly referred to as “Gangbuk”. The southern part of the Han River was not developed anywhere, and the Gangnam area was also a rural village lined with thatched houses. At that time, it was submerged around the current Samseong Station, and people had to go out wearing rain boots when the water of the Han River overflowed. In 1962, the Seoul city plan was created, and in 1967, the construction plan of the Gyeongbu Expressway connecting Seoul and Busan was announced. Since then, Gangnam began to develop in earnest. he speed of development ignited as the sections were divided and the third Han River Bridge, today’s Hannam Bridge, was built. Apartment complexes were built along the Han River, and important government agencies and prestigious schools in the northern part of the river moved to Gangnam. In a way, it was natural for the newly rich to gather in Gangnam to seize new opportunities. It was the beginning of the “Gangnam Era”. It took only about 20 years for Gangnam to turn from the countryside to Seoul’s outskirts and eventually into a representative space of Seoul. Gangnam-gu is currently home to more than 550,000 people, and it is listed in statistics every time as the area where the wealthiest people live. Gangnam-gu had a gross regional domestic product of 71.85 trillion won ($6 billion USD) in 2019. Gangnam is a business hub and Korea’s economy continues to grow with its center at Teheran-ro of Gangnam and COEX. Gangnam is a city that leads Korea and has an excellent education, culture, and art infrastructures, and is also the center of high-tech medical tourism. Countless people eat, sleep, work, and enjoy in this complex and enormously intertwined with commercial and residential districts as well as global business districts. High-tech industries including IT, trade, and banking, as well as the Korean wave like K-POP, are centered on Gangnam-gu. The colorful lights of Gangnam, the massive forest of buildings, and the cars packed with roads have long been a symbol of Gangnam, which does not sleep for 24 years.
Tradition And Tourism
Gangnam is a beautiful city where culture, art, and fashion are thriving.
There’s plenty to do and see in this historically rich, fast-developing neighborhood. City never sleeps and you will always find something new to do and experience.
If you are not sure where to visit first, there is a Gangnam city tour bus which and you get visit number of attractions at once. Once onboard, you can get on and off unlimitedly without any additional charge, so if you find a place you like, you can get off anywhere, look around, and take the next bus. It offers audio Services in 12 languages allowing foreign tourists to hear more detailed Gangnam stories.
Various Cultural events and Festivals
- Gangnam Festival: It is a representative tourism culture event of Korea that is held for 10 days in the entire area of Gangnam-gu from the end of September until the beginning of October. It is established as a festival that is the most visited by local and foreign tourists by providing programs that leads cultural trends, including K-POP concerts with top Korean wave stars, fashion shows of famous local designers as well as new designers, fashion market, beauty & cultural experience.
- 365 FUN & PAN Gangnam: It is fun all year around, 365 days! It is a festival, where everyone can enjoy together, held from April until November. Various music including K-POP, Korean classical music, classical music, traditional folk songs are available at 8 spots, such as COEX, Gangnam Square, Apgujeong Rodeo St., Sinsa-dong Garosu-gil, and SRT Suseo Station. There is also a competition at FUN & PAN site and winners are given an opportunity to perform on Gangnam Festival stage.
- Outdoor Performing Arts, Musicals and Opera: Banquet of classical music near COEX and royal tomb located in the center of the city. Outdoor musical and opera are performing art that is only available in Gangnam. In 2019, a musical about King Seongjong (1457-1494), the 9 th king of the Joseon Dynasty, was performed at the T-shaped house for sacrifice before a royal tomb of Seonjeongneung Royal Tombs, where was designated as world heritage, and was favorably commented upon. ‘I am Opera Star’ is a large-scale concert with top local vocalists and people of gu and it lowers the entry barrier of culture and provides unity that allows anyone to enjoy arts.
Attractions within the City
- Yangjaecheon: Strolling along Yangjaecheon is the best way to relax from tired self of daily life. Long straight Metasequola Road and Flower Road provide various pleasures within the city. In spring and fail, rice farming experience is available and in summer, Yangjaecheon Harmony Concert is held. Media facade is installed on Milll-ri Bridge, which provides fancy and beautiful night view.
- Bongeunsa Temple: A place of quiet stillness from mountain temple in the middle of busy Gangnam. Bongeunsa, a temple of old history over thousand years, is a representative Buddhist temple of Seoul, where around 200 to 300 foreign tourists visit. It is also an excellent resting place for citizens of Seoul. It provides Temple Stay and Temple Life to busy modern men for an opportunity of introspection.
- Seonjeongneung: Seonjeongneung, registered as UNESCO world heritage, is a place of royal tombs of King Seongjong, Queen Jeonghyeon, and Jungjong of Joseon, and is good for taking a stroll of quite stillness in the middle of the city. This ‘green zone right next to Teheran-ro forest of buildings, where IT companies are concentrated, resembles Central Park of New York.
- Dosan Park: Dosan Park was created to praise patriotic and educational spirit of Dosan Ahn Chang Ho. Graves of Dosan Ahn Chang Ho and his wife, Lee Hye Ryun, statue, memorial hall, gravestone, and physical training facility are located. There are 71 pictures, 19 letters, provisional government source book, and diary of Dasan are exhibited, and Dosan quotation, chronology, and pictures are available as touch screen.
- Kukkiwon: Kukkiwon, started off as taekwondo central studio in 1972, has been playing a role of increasing value and leading globalization of taekwondo as the center of history and global taekwondo. Kukkiwon, leading the way of cultural tourism commercialization of taekwondo and Korean wave boom, is receiving enthusiastic response from local and foreign tourists with regular events every weekend
Must Visit Places in Gangnam
- Gangnam Station
- COEX – Full of attractions and entertainment
- Garosu-gil & Serosu-gil – A Road filled with unique fashion and food
- Apgujeong Rodo St – The place that created fashion and culture, leading today’s trends
- Korean Wave Star St., K-Star ROAD and Cheongdam-dong Fashion Luxury St.
Korean food consists of much more than just Kimchi and Korean-BBQ. With more than 550,000 residents, Gangnam is a culturally diverse metropolis. The city offers a wide variety of dining alternatives, from affordable, convenient, and authentic street food to opulent, traditional Royal Cuisine.
- Chimaek (short for “chicken, maekju (beer)
- Doenjang jjigae
- Ox Bone Soup
- Soft Tofu Stew
- Kimchi Stew