Seoul - 서울
A city with 2000 years of history, yet
leading the world in the latest technologies…
Seoul and it’s surrounding areas makes
up the world's second largest metropolitan area with over 25.6 million people – over half the South
Korean population. It is also home to more
than 600,000 foreign residents. With a
population density almost double that of New York, Seoul is a vibrant hive of
activity, offering endless opportunities for discovery and fun.
Even with such a huge population,
however, Seoul is a genuinely beautiful city, surrounded by snow-capped
mountains and the sea, and built around the Han River. It is possible to travel outside the hustle
and bustle of the city in just minutes.
Most of all, Seoul is a city of
villages, with 25 separate districts offering their own unique
experiences. Here are some that you just
Gangnam - 강남구
Gangnam is the beating heart of Seoul
fashion, a place where people come to people-watch and to be seen.
Gangnam rocketed to prominence through
K-Pop sensation Psy’s “Gangnam Style”, a
slightly sarcastic take on the wealth and excesses of the area. He may have had a point!
The character of Gangnam is
intrinsically woven into modern Korean culture.
Movie and Korean drama fans will quickly recognize much of the district
through shows such as ‘Beautiful Days’, The Bourne Legacy, Cheongdam-dong
Alice, and of course, ‘Gangnam Style’!
Lexis Korea is
right in the heart of Gangnam, just a couple of minutes’ walk to the station
and in an area of clubs, bars, restuarants and endless shopping options. A stunning list of Korean and international
media companies based in the area also makes it the perfect location if you
fancy your chances of being ‘discovered’ for a K-Pop career!
Hongdae - 홍대앞
If the glitz of Gangnam is wearing you down, it might
be time to give Hongdae a visit.
Hongdae area is known for its indie spirit, urban street arts and a vibrant
underground music scene. The area also offers street art
festivals and performances, as well as music concerts by independent artists.
the recent explosion of upmarket brand shops that have pushed artists to move
toward the southern area near Hapjeong
Station, new indie rock bands show up every year and the area
still enjoys a reputation as the city’s prime spot for indie musicians. YG Entertainment, the major K-pop agency
is also located near the street.
Saturday and Sunday mornings the nightlife gives way to Seoul’s best flea
markets, with a particular emphasis on art.
After a morning shop, visitors find themselves a meal at one of the
countless ethnic restaurants in the area.
biggest night of the week in Hongdae, though, remains “Club Night”, an
institution in the late 90’s that has recently gone through a huge revival. On Club Night, all the clubs in the area
offer entry for the price of a single ticket, and the area draws clubbers and
revellers from all over the city. You
have to go to at least one Club Night while you’re in Seoul….your Lexis classmates won’t let you miss out.
Jongro - 종로
Jongro is Seoul’s main business and
embassy district, and is the main stop for international business in Korea.
An area of soaring office towers,
Jongro also has many hidden reminders of Korea’s long history, including Dongdaemun,
the old city gate. Bargain hunters will
struggle to find a better range of cheap and cheerful shopping than that
offered at the nearby Dongdaemun markets, either.
Probably best known in the Jongro area
is Insadong, a mix of traditional attractions and the tackiest of Seoul’s
tourist shops. It’s not to be missed!
Myongdong - 명동
Myongdong (“Bright Town”), crams more
than 2 million visitors per day into some of Asia’s best shopping!
There are few bargains to be had in
Myongdong, but if you’re looking for top international brands such as Lacoste,
Polo Ralph Lauren, Forever 21, Bulgari and Louis Vuitton, there are few better
shopping locations in the world.
In recent times, Myongdong has become
known for the quality of cosmetic shopping, with great local brand such as
Nature Republic, Missha, The Face Shop and Skin Food all represented.
A recent survey of visitors to Seoul
listed shopping in Myongdong as the most popular activity in their stay. Even if you’re not a shopper, it’s hard not
to enjoy the bustling crowds on a big day out in Myongdong.
Whether you are in Seoul for a wild
weekend or a year of hard study, there is always something else to be
discovered. We look forward to sharing
our city with you!