Tour The Ritzy Seoul District That Inspired Viral Hit 'Gangnam Style'

Gangnam Psy Style Seoul

Photo: YouTube

Korean pop sensation Psy has exploded in the US thanks to his viral hit, “Gangnam Style.” The music video has so far garnered over 221.5 million hits on YouTube, and Psy has been featured on a number of American television programs, including “Today,” “Good Morning America,” and “Ellen.”The video mocks the opulence and showiness of Gangnam-gu, a wealthy Seoul neighbourhood that’s known for its materialism and superficiality, as well as nightlife, cafes, and shopping.

But apart from the silly choreography and catchy chorus, the dance hit also supposedly contains a subversive message about class and wealth in Korea, posits The Atlantic’s Max Fisher.

More than anything, Gangnam is a haven of wealth. It's home to around 1% of Seoul's total population.

Source: AP

Source: AP

Gangnam-gu is considered to be the most affluent district in all of South Korea. The average apartment there costs about $716,000, an amount that would take an average South Korean household 18 years to earn, according to the AP

Source: AP

Because Gangnam is near the Han River, it has a huge culture of boating, beaches, and even wind surfing.

One of Gangnam's most famous cafes is called Baek Eok (100억), which means 10 billion in English.

Drinking expensive coffee is a major way that Gangnam dwellers display their wealth. This is a cafe latte from the famous 5cijung Cafe.

But more than anything, Gangnam is known for its nightlife. Here is one of the most popular clubs, Club Eden.

This is Club Mass known for its hard-to-please bouncers at the door.

Many world-famous DJs can be found at Gangnam clubs. Here's Dead Mau5 at Club Answer.

Viewed from the sky at night, Gangnam resembles NYC or Tokyo.

Much like in NYC, large billboard advertisements and neon signs are everywhere on the street of Gangnam.

Companies such as Google and IBM have headquarters in Gangnam, leading the district to be considered a major technology centre. Google can be found on Tehranno Street.

The COEX Mall, the largest underground shopping centre in all of Asia, can be found in Gangnam.

Besides hundreds of stores, COEX Mall has a casino, arcades, an aquarium, and much more.

Gangnam shopping is one of the most popular pastimes for both domestic and international tourists in Seoul.

Close to the modern COEX Mall is the Buddhist Bongeunsa Temple.

Another popular shopping destination is Gangnam's Galleria department store.

Here's a close up of the Galleria's front facade with 4,330 glass discs mounted to the outside.

Tourists can find a range of both modern and traditional goods on Apjugeong Street.

Garosugil offers a mixture of cafes, boutiques, and designer name shops.

40 years ago, much of what is now Gangnam used to be farmland.

If you haven't seen the video yet, watch it below.

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