I bet you never heard of Gangnam until phenomenal Korean singer named PSY used it as an inspiration of his upbeat song called “Oppa Gangnam Style”. Everyone was so curious about Gangnam when that song became so famous. What's in that town that people are going crazy about?
For me, Gangnam is just like any other cities in South Korea. The name has even no special meaning except that it describes the actual location of the city which is the South of the river. In Korea, there's only one river circulating around Seoul and they call it Han River which literally means One River. Gangnam is located in the southern part of Han River, so they called it GANG-NAM which means South and River.
Personally, I would rather go down south in Busan or tour around Gapyeong city where Nami Island and Garden of the Morning Calm are located, but if you really want to visit Gangnam for curiosity's sake, then by all means, visit it and make the most out of your time by putting a little bit of spice and style during your visit. How? Here are my recommendations of the things you can do at Gangnam.
Pay respect to the Oppa Gangnam Style
As an homage to the song that made the city very very famous around the globe, they put up a mini station where people can take photos while dancing to the tune of Oppa Gangnam Style. Of course, you must do the trademark dance step along with PSY's caricature while being poked fun at by the by-passers. Don't worry, it's part of the plan and it's something you should experience. This is located right at the Exit 5 of Gangnam station in the Seoul Subway.
Shop Till You Drop!
If you don't mind spending extra won on shopping, Gangnam is the place to be. Although shopping here could be very expensive, it is rather satisfying and something to be proud of because only rich people can afford shopping at Gangnam, that means you have money and you can afford it. If you don't have money, then window shopping around one of the biggest malls in Korea which is COEX is something you can do for free. Why not walk around the shopping malls, thrift markets and souvenir shops to satisfy your shopping needs?
Party All Night
If people go crazy shopping during daytime, they turned into party animals at night because Gangnam is a city that never sleeps. It's so alive especially at night time because clubs are all over the place. This is one city where club hopping is at your convenience.
If you have budget and you are not happy with the way you look, Gangnam is one place in Korea where plastic surgery clinics are everywhere. It's like a haven of clinics for people who want to change the way they look. Don't worry, the society will not judge you for doing so. It's normal at Gangnam.
Just Get Lost in the City
If you have plenty of time to burn, walking aimlessly in the little alleys and corners of Gangnam would make your experience more memorable. Treat yourself as one of those locals and walk around without destination. Don't be afraid to get lost, young people in the Gangnam Area can speak English, so you won't find it hard to ask around in case you need help. Talk to the locals, observe their lifestyle and make friends with them. You will get to know the place better if you immerse yourself with the locals.
Next time you're in Seoul, pay a little visit to the most famous place in Korea, Gangnam! There's nothing really special, but believe me, the experience is one for the books.