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Korea Seoul Gangnam Insadong Mall

23 March 2015

The other half

Today was split into two halves, split by the Han river. First I went North of old Seoul, to the arty tourist selling market area of Insa-dong.
Then I went south over the river, to the expensive and confused area of the city now globally known as a song instead of a city, but more specifically, Sinsa-dong in Gangnam.

Insa-dong is where old white English speaking people go to shop, and Korea knows this and embraces it.
When too many operators of tourist crap shops infiltrated the suburb, the Seoul government apparently intervened, and sent them packing. I think the rule was simple enough, they fined any store out of business caught selling stuff that wasnt made in Korea.
Therefore, the tourist crap you buy in Insa-dong is expensive, and made in Korea, but still crap. There are of course art galleries galore, happy to sell you a painted tile, a lacquered box, or a paper lantern.
There are also cafes, and again they seem to be of the independent expensive variety.
If you read about shopping in Seoul on the English internet, theres a particular small shopping centre that will come up as the first picture, every time. It is probably the best place to go to if you need to buy stuff old people pretend to appreciate.

By stark contrast, Gangnam has numerous huge shopping areas, each one named after another part of the world, theres Avenue Montaigne which the locals think is little Paris, often just called 'tree lined street' then theres Rodeo drive which is somehow like Rodeo drive, and until recently there was Ginza street, but thats now be renamed as Kpop avenue complete with cartoon characters.
Gangnam is the place to go if you are Russian, Chinese or especially Arab. Here you can find exactly the same Rolex, Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Zegna as you will everywhere else in the world, for the same price too.
There are also lots of plastic surgery clinics, fast cars, fast car shops and Jewellers.
If you visit Seoul, dont assume you can just visit Gangnam, its about 1/3 of Seoul. Today I walked a fair bit of it, and that took 5 hours.
Eventually I ended up by accident at a huge mall underneath the convention centre and casino, my plan was only to keep walking until I hit a subway, and there was one here, I wasnt expecting the biggest shopping centre of all time to be under the ground.
So I had the most ridiculous lunch ever, at about 3pm. Probably wont be heading out to dinner until a bit later tonight!

Korea-Seoul-Gangnam-Insadong-Mall - This guy is taking photos of flowers up close, with a torch for light. The security guard is telling him off for doing so. So I took a photo of the gu

This guy is taking photos of flowers up close, with a torch for light. The security guard is telling him off for doing so.
So I took a photo of the guy telling the guy off for taking a photo, how meta.


Korea-Seoul-Gangnam-Insadong-Mall - This is Insa-dong, its early, most of the action is down the alleyways. I think I disparaged it above, but its the nicest place in town to shop for st

This is Insa-dong, its early, most of the action is down the alleyways. I think I disparaged it above, but its the nicest place in town to shop for stuff that is 'Korean'.
By Korean I dont mean Samsung, LG, I mean Korean Folk history and arty or both or something, I dont know what I mean.


Korea-Seoul-Gangnam-Insadong-Mall - I kept my camera poised on this scene for 10 minutes. I was certain this would end badly. Look closely, the guy standing on the backhoe which is eatin

I kept my camera poised on this scene for 10 minutes. I was certain this would end badly. Look closely, the guy standing on the backhoe which is eating this building, is operating a hose.
He is not the driver. He is just standing there performing dust suppression duties, without holding on, no safety gear. When the driver swings the shovel around, he ducks.


Korea-Seoul-Gangnam-Insadong-Mall - And this is the epicentre of white person package tour shopping in all of Korea. The place is called Ssamziegil mall, yes with 2 x s. Its so popular t

And this is the epicentre of white person package tour shopping in all of Korea. The place is called Ssamziegil mall, yes with 2 x s. Its so popular theres now a chain store called Ssamzie that sells phone covers and socks.
Just google 'shopping in Korea' and it will be the #1 result.


Korea-Seoul-Gangnam-Insadong-Mall - I cant add much to this, DICKFIST CORPORATION - ATTENTION OUR MESSAGE. Well I can add, I dont know what their message is.

I cant add much to this, DICKFIST CORPORATION - ATTENTION OUR MESSAGE. Well I can add, I dont know what their message is.


Korea-Seoul-Gangnam-Insadong-Mall - On the roof of cruise ship tour bus destination mall, theres a cafe, and you can buy a piece of cardboard and write on it and stick it on the wall. Mi

On the roof of cruise ship tour bus destination mall, theres a cafe, and you can buy a piece of cardboard and write on it and stick it on the wall. Mine just says DICKFIST IS WEAKFIST


Korea-Seoul-Gangnam-Insadong-Mall - I do indeed. 3 today in fact. Typing really fast now.

I do indeed. 3 today in fact. Typing really fast now.


Korea-Seoul-Gangnam-Insadong-Mall - Now we have crossed over to Gangnam Sinsa-dong. This is Little France street. Also called treelined street. Famous for being green and beautiful. Look

Now we have crossed over to Gangnam Sinsa-dong. This is Little France street. Also called treelined street. Famous for being green and beautiful. Look at all those beautiful green trees forming a canopy over the whole street.


Korea-Seoul-Gangnam-Insadong-Mall - And here it is, proof that a Fiat 500 is no bigger than a shoe box.

And here it is, proof that a Fiat 500 is no bigger than a shoe box.


Korea-Seoul-Gangnam-Insadong-Mall - Theres fancy cars everywhere all over Gangnam, but this one is parked on the footpath across numerous parks out the front of a surgery that says it sp

Theres fancy cars everywhere all over Gangnam, but this one is parked on the footpath across numerous parks out the front of a surgery that says it specialises in 'Re beautification of the foreign women tourist hospital'.
They list their services too, and this includes labiaplasty.
So presumably, Lamborghini driver is the surgeon, and hes had to race in to perform an emergency Labiaplasty on a British woman who needs a designer vagina who just found out that its been banned in the UK due to the popularity of the embarrassing bodies tv series.
Do your own research, my logic here is sound.


Korea-Seoul-Gangnam-Insadong-Mall - And now, apparently, and I dont get why, this is Rodeo drive. It is very quiet. Part of me thinks PSY has killed off much of Gangnam.

And now, apparently, and I dont get why, this is Rodeo drive. It is very quiet. Part of me thinks PSY has killed off much of Gangnam.


Korea-Seoul-Gangnam-Insadong-Mall - This is the area formerly known as New Ginza, but now rebranded as kpop avenue or some such nonsense. Lots of new construction along here. Very loooon

This is the area formerly known as New Ginza, but now rebranded as kpop avenue or some such nonsense. Lots of new construction along here. Very loooong street.


Korea-Seoul-Gangnam-Insadong-Mall - Go round a corner and it keeps going. Not much pollution today.

Go round a corner and it keeps going. Not much pollution today.


Korea-Seoul-Gangnam-Insadong-Mall - A different street, all streets in Gangnam are wide and not very busy, also, photo 600! I dont think I got to 600 on any previous trip, must be all th

A different street, all streets in Gangnam are wide and not very busy, also, photo 600! I dont think I got to 600 on any previous trip, must be all the mountains.


Korea-Seoul-Gangnam-Insadong-Mall - Gangnam has a temple too. LITERALLY, right across the road from the casino. See what I wrote about monks yesterday.

Gangnam has a temple too. LITERALLY, right across the road from the casino. See what I wrote about monks yesterday.


Korea-Seoul-Gangnam-Insadong-Mall - I went to go under the road to the station, and found myself here. Its under the convention centre, casino, intercontinental hotel and one of the in t

I went to go under the road to the station, and found myself here. Its under the convention centre, casino, intercontinental hotel and one of the in town check ins for the airport.
It is ridiculously enormous, long and very wide corridors.


Korea-Seoul-Gangnam-Insadong-Mall - But it does have at least 40 restaurants. In this respect it was like a new Chinese mall, every store was large, and many of them are full sized sit d

But it does have at least 40 restaurants. In this respect it was like a new Chinese mall, every store was large, and many of them are full sized sit down table service restaurants.


Korea-Seoul-Gangnam-Insadong-Mall - One of them is serving ice cream on top of a salad. Last time I was here I got ice cream on top of fried chicken when I ordered nothing of the kind. I

One of them is serving ice cream on top of a salad. Last time I was here I got ice cream on top of fried chicken when I ordered nothing of the kind. It was tempting....


Korea-Seoul-Gangnam-Insadong-Mall - But instead I ordered a huge pancake meal with all kinds of fruit on it. Fruit is expensive, its cheaper to get it in pancake form. This was delicious

But instead I ordered a huge pancake meal with all kinds of fruit on it. Fruit is expensive, its cheaper to get it in pancake form.
This was delicious. Also it had an orange on it thinly sliced with the rind still on, that was too fiddly to deal with so I ate the rind and all.
I didnt really think before now that you could do that, I barely noticed.


Korea-Seoul-Gangnam-Insadong-Mall - Too full to walk much further, I laid on the ground and gazed at the moon.

Too full to walk much further, I laid on the ground and gazed at the moon.


Korea-Seoul-Gangnam-Insadong-Mall - Eventually, I rolled myself down to the subway, and came up by my hotel to discover that Korean homeless people dont push shopping trolleys, they driv

Eventually, I rolled myself down to the subway, and came up by my hotel to discover that Korean homeless people dont push shopping trolleys, they drive trucks.
They still have all kinds of crap hanging off them for no reason, this guy also has a loudspeaker system, and drives around screaming abuse at people, people who are trying to steal his valuable collection of rubbish.


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