The Gangnam District (/ /,, Korean: 강남구; Hanja: 江南區; RR: Gangnam-gu, Korean pronunciation: [kaŋ nam ku]) also anglicized as Kangnam is one of the 25 local government districts which make up the city of Seoul, South Korea. Gangnam literally means "South of the River". Gangnam District is the third largest district in Seoul, with an area of 39.5 km2 (15.3 sq mi). As of the 2017 census, Gangnam District had a population of 561,052.
|강남구 · 江南區|
Gangnam Station area
Location of Gangnam-gu in Seoul
|• Chief||Jeong Sun Kyun(Democratic)|
|• Total||39.55 km2 (15.27 sq mi)|
|• Density||14,000/km2 (37,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+9 (Korea Standard Time)|
06000 ~ 06499
Gangnam is one of three gu that make up the Greater Gangnam Area along with neighboring Seocho District and Songpa District. Combined, these three gu cover approximately 120 km2 (46 sq mi) of land and had a population of 1,567,881 as of 2010, making up 20% of the area and 15% of the population of Seoul.
The Gangnam District office has designated two smoke-free zones within the district. The first is the section of Gangnam Boulevard between exit No. 2 of Gangnam Station of Seoul Subway Line 2 and exit No. 5 of Sinnonhyeon Station of Line 9; the second is the 836-meter (914-yard) section of sidewalk along Yeongdong Boulevard from exit No. 5 of Samseong Station on Line 2, outside COEX Convention & Exhibition Center and ASEM Tower of the COEX complex.
Gangnam District is composed of 26 dong (neighborhoods):
Both the Greater Gangnam Area and Gangnam itself are widely known for its heavily concentrated wealth and very high standard of living, which has been compared to cities such as Beverly Hills, California. The most significant indicator is its extremely expensive real estate. Seoul as a whole is known for its expensive housing prices—as of 2011, its average apartment cost approximately US$5,500 per m2—but the average price in Gangnam is almost twice as high, roughly US$10,000 per m2, which is 3.5 times the nationwide average. As for land value, the mere 40 km2 land of Gangnam district rivals with the entire land value of the city of Busan, the second-largest city in South Korea. Combined with the neighboring districts of Seocho and Songpa, the Greater Gangnam Area accounts for almost 10% of the land value of the entire country.
While Seoul's traditional business centers such as Central District, Jongno District, Yongsan District and Yeongdeungpo District still maintain their leading roles, Gangnam and its neighboring districts have fast become the new core across all areas of business over the last few decades. KOSPI 200 companies based in Gangnam district include KEPCO, GS Group, Hyundai Department Store Group, HITEJinro, Hansol, Hankook Tire, GLOVIS and Korea Zinc Corporation. Besides, POSCO also operates POSCO Center in Teheran Valley, and KT&G operates Kosmo Tower. Other notable companies based in Gangnam include Dongbu Fire Insurance, Young Poong Group, T'way Airlines and Hankook P&G. Gangnam is also home to many IT and other internet-related companies including NC Soft and Pandora TV, and is also a strong hub of the country's financial and banking sectors. Many international companies also operate key offices in Gangnam, including Google, IBM, Toyota, and AMI.
Since January 2012, the area has also been home to FNC Entertainment, which moved into its own company offices in Cheongdam-dong, separate from its parent company in the CJ E&M Music Performance Division Building in neighbouring Apgujeong-dong. Other entertainment companies located there include SM Entertainment, JYP Entertainment, Cube Entertainment, Pledis Entertainment, LOEN Entertainment, Source Music, Plan A Entertainment, DSP Media, MBK Entertainment, Nega Network, C-JeS Entertainment, WM Entertainment, NH Media, J. Tune Entertainment, TOP Media, Happy Face Entertainment, Dream Tea Entertainment, Polaris Entertainment, Jellyfish Entertainment, DR Music and Stardom Entertainment.
Until the early 1980s Gangnam and its neighboring areas had remained the least developed in Seoul, but prodigious development over the last 30 years has earned it a reputation of being one of the most affluent, dynamic, and influential areas in both Seoul and South Korea as a whole.
South Korea is known for its high standard of education and intense competition for university entrance, and Gangnam is considered the national capital of education, which is one of the decisive factors to make Gangnam the most attractive destination in South Korea. In 2010, roughly 6% of the successful candidates to Seoul National University, which is considered the best university in South Korea, were from Gangnam district, while Gangnam's population makes up only 1% of the country's population. In 2008, 22.7 out of 1,000 students in Gangnam district went abroad to study, while the nation's average ratio in the same time frame was only 3.6 per 1,000 students. Following the substantial raising of the profile of the Gangnam district internationally, the area has become a popular destination for international students seeking Korean language lessons, marking the rise of Korea as a 'study tourism' destination. Both long-standing locally owned schools such as the Seoul Korean Academy, and more recent foreign-owned entities such as Lexis Korea report a significant increase in interest in the location.
The important business district around Teheranno (Tehran Street) runs east-west from Gangnam Station to Samseong Station and the COEX Convention & Exhibition Center-Korean World Trade Center complex. Several popular shopping and entertainment areas are located in Gangnam District, including Apgujeong, the COEX Mall and the area around Gangnam Station and Garosugil.
Cheongdam-dong is notable as an upmarket shopping area, with stores of global and local luxury brands, such as MCM Haus flagship store; Vera Wang's third global and first Asian flagship store 'Vera Wang Bridal Korea'; as well as French jeweler Cartier's Cartier Maison, located on Apgujeong-ro, which is the largest in Korea and at the time of opening, in 2008, the seventh largest in the world.
The area has a large concentration of vegetarian and other upscale restaurants that serve Korean cuisine with a modern twist, namely on the main street from Bongeun Temple to Park Hyatt Hotel in Samseong-dong.
- Seoul Subway Line 2 Euljiro Circle Line
There are several festivals held in Gangnam District.
- International Peace Marathon Festival in October
- Gangnam Fashion Festival in October
- Sports Festival for residents in Gangnam Distinct in May
- Daemosan Festival
Following the anti-American protests in Seoul in the early 2000s, the local authorities in the Gangnam District have organized various cultural and sporting events, such as the International Peace Marathon, jointly with the United States Forces Korea. In 2009 they were awarded a 'special prize' by the US Army for promoting cultural exchanges with American troops.
- The Caffè Pascucci coffee chain in Apgujeong-dong was used as one of the main filming locations for Seoul Broadcasting System's 2001 drama Beautiful Days, starring Lee Byung-hun, Choi Ji-woo, Ryu Si-won, Shin Min-a, Lee Jung-hyun and Lee Yoo-jin.
- Several subway stations in Gangnam and nearby areas were used as filming locations for the 2012 Hollywood film The Bourne Legacy, the fourth installment in the Bourne film series.
- The 2012 K-pop song "Gangnam Style" by South Korean entertainer Psy was inspired by, and its music video was shot in, the Gangnam District. The song and video's popularity increased international awareness of the district. In the music video, Psy can be seen dancing on top of the ASEM Tower with the Trade Tower in the background. The two buildings are part of World Trade Center Seoul (WTC Seoul), also known as COEX. Psy was born and raised in the district, and later filmed Gentleman in the district as well.
- In December 2012, Cheongdam-dong was the setting for the SBS weekend drama series, Cheongdam-dong Alice. It stars Moon Geun-young, Park Si-hoo, So Yi-hyun and Kim Ji-seok, and is based on the novel, Cheongdamdong Audrey.
- In May 2013, the Cheongdam-dong branch of 10 Corso Como was used as a filming location for the music video of Psy's single "Gentleman".
- The webtoon My ID is Gangnam Beauty (내 ID는 강남미인!) by Gi Maeng-gi, which is about a girl who underwent plastic surgery due to being bullied because of her appearance, was released on Naver Webtoon in 2016. Its title referred to the namesake district being called the "Mecca of plastic surgery", with the term "Gangnam beauty" being used as a pejorative term to those who undergo the process. In 2018, generalist pay TV channel JTBC aired a television drama adaptation of the webtoon which was produced by ACC Korea.
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I've heard it said that Gangnam is the Beverly Hills of Korea. But I would say that Gangnam is the capital of Seoul, which, of course, is the capital of Korea.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gangnam-gu, Seoul.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Seoul/Gangnam.|
- Gangnam-gu website (in Korean)
- Gangnam-gu website
- Gangnam-gu > Tourism / Culture > Maps (Gangnam-gu maps)
- (in Korean) Map, status quo and origin of dong names of Ganganam-gu
- "Tour The Ritzy Seoul District That Inspired Viral Hit 'Gangnam Style'", photoessay at BusinessInsider.com, 20 September 2012
- Gangnam Street Videoclip