Situated in the heart of the Korean Peninsula lies Seoul, the most high-tech, memorable, vibrant, coolest and energetic city of Asia. Incheon International Airport (South Korea's largest) was rated the best airport worldwide for seven years in a row. Departure and arrival processing take as little as 16 and 12 minutes respectively.
The airport hosts private sleeping rooms, a casino, a golf course, ice skating rink... Need more? Oh, yes, internet services. No problem, South Korea's broadband network is considered the fastest and the most developed in the world.
While at logistic and business, the number of multinational corporations headquartered in Seoul is endless: Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, CJ Group, Daewoo Group, KB Financial Group... are mostly based in Jung and Gangnam District, up to the regular players in the hospitality sector such as Hilton, Hyatt, JW Marriott and many more.
The brightest 5-star shine is one of the W Seoul Walkerhill located in Gwangjin District, a premiere hotel featuring one of only three casinos in Seoul. Local attractions include Lotte World, a recreation complex consisting of the Guinness World Record largest indoor theme park.
Songdo International City, the largest $35 billion private real estate development in history situated 35 kilometres west of Seoul, is a kind of miniature Dubai. The district features the Incheon Tower, a super tall twin tower (the second tallest in the world after the Burj Khalifa), and the Northeast Asia Trade Tower. Computers have been built into the houses, streets (of course) and offices.
When completed in 2017 it will be a home to 65,000 residents and 300,000 visitors. Super crazy! Anyway, there's a long way to go before the complex sees the light of day, in the meantime, oppa is Gangnam style, let's visit the most attractive district of Seoul, Gangnam.
Until the early 1980s it was the least developed area in Seoul. Today it is the home of the Seoul's wealthiest people. That district alone, which is compared to Beverly Hills, is worth more than Busan, the second largest city in South Korea and flats in Gangnam cost $10,000 per m2. In Gangnam you'll find COEX Mall, an underground shopping mall with hundreds of shops, 16 restaurants, a 16-screen multi-cinema complex, the Aquarium, a large bookstore, and the Kimchi Field Museum.
Stroll and shop until you drop and then take a sit at some nice restaurant to taste Korean food (it's quite different from Japanese or Chinese cuisine, spicy, with a lot of garlic). Taste their soups or stews, order kimch (dish made of vegetables with a variety of seasonings) and a rice cake, its traditional sweet, for the dessert.
No need to tip, tips are included in the bill. Also visit Cheongdam-dong, the area for upscale shopping or Apgujeong, both in Gangnam.
Seoul hosted the 1986 Asian Games, 2002 FIFA World Cup and the 2010 G-20 Seoul summit. Songpa district was at the centre of 1988 Seoul Olympics and most of the sporting facilities associated with that event are located within the district. What makes it special are its 140 parks and the highest green zone rate in Seoul.
The perfect place for watching cherry blossom are roads alongside Seongnae stream and Jangjicheon stream. To experience Korean traditional culture and houses visit Namsangol Hanok Village in Jung District.
Just an hour drive south of downtown Seoul there is Caribbean Bay, a part of Everland theme park, Korea's biggest theme park and the biggest water park in the world. For more fun take a sit at Wii cafe and enjoy playing Wii games, PlayStation and Xbox or visit Silent Disco, a disco where people dance to music listened on wireless headphones (first 300 to arrive get headphones). Groovy. While at gadgets, don't miss "Samsung d'light" to see the latest and super wild products by Samsung.
Must go home but there are so many things to see? Well, you know what they say: If you started to bow at inanimate objects and your back is sore from bowing, it is time. Say Bye! to Seoul and come back again soon. ■
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