The year 2010-2012 has been declared a “VISIT KOREA YEAR” by private and government sector. The Mayor of Gangnam district, one of the 25 districts of Seoul, her majesty Yeon-hee Shin speculated millions of tourist visiting Gangnam during the aforementioned time period. Gangnam-gu is a hybrid city where traditional Korean culture and modern images of straight roads and high-rise apartments and buildings co-exists. Gangnam-gu is heart of Seoul where 250,000 tourist visit every year. It is quite remarkable to see how it has changed over last twenty years to a city that may rightly be called a “Symbol of Wealth”.
On a pleasant day during this winter season, the Honorary Publicity Ambassadors were invited to attend the Gangnam-gu’s Goodwill Festival. . The purpose of the “Goodwill Festival” was two-fold. Firstly, a tour scheduled for sightseeing. Secondly, a commission ceremony for conferring certificates to Honorary Publicity Ambassadors. The long-term objective of arranging these kinds of events was to globalize Gangnam-gu in its true sense. The recently held successful G-20 Summit provides a solid evidence for this future roadmap
The time to reach the Gangnam-gu Office was 1:00 pm which seems to be suitable to everyone. The first sight of new 21st century e-government building presented a good impression. The sightseeing tour around Gangnam-gu was scheduled to start at 1:30pm. All participants were instructed to wait in first floor lobby, where individuals exchanged greetings and introductions with one another. The honorary publicity ambassadors included people from USA, England, China, Russia, Vitenam, Nepal, Thailand, Pakistan and South Korea.
The tour was started with visit to Eunma Building shopping mall. The underground section of the mall had traditional Korean foods including Jeaon (pancakes) and Tteok (rice cake), various fruits, kimchi etc. The first floor of the mall had clothing stores which were much cheaper as compared to branded shopping malls in Gangnam area. The mall is convenient place to shop for people living in Eunma apartments and surroundings. All participants tasted jeaon and tteok, and very much liked them.
After finishing the tour of surrounding of Eunma building, participants headed toward our next spot which was “The boundaries of Prince Gwangphyeong’s Tomb”, the 48th tangible cultural property in Seoul city. More specifically, we visited traditional Korean house that was constructed in 1400s during the reign of King Sungjong, the ninth king of Joseaon Dynasty. Phil Kyung Jae warmly received the Honorary Ambassadors, who briefly shared the history of Joseon Dynasty and surrounding 700 graves. Lee Chon-Soo, the fith son of King Sejong, built this house, where his descendants still live.
Coming out of the traditional architecture, our next spot was Marco Polo restaurant, considered a must visit observatory in Gangnam-gu. It is located at the 52nd floor of Seoul Trade Center in COEX. It offered a breathtaking panorama of Seoul city on both sides of Han River, where everyone enjoyed their coffee and along with the exuberant view. The coffee/tea had a superb taste and aroma.
Last but not least, we visited Bongeunsa Temple, located in the slope of “Sudo” mountain in Samsung-dong, south of Seoul. Bongeunsa, it is known as one of Korea’s most traditional Buddhist temples built under the name of Gyeonseongsa. (More details: www.bongeunsa.org) This concludes the tour and all participants returned back to Gangnam-gu Office building to take part in the commission ceremony.
Hereafter, the second phase of Goodwill Festival commenced with arrival of Mayor of Gangnam-gu, Yeon-hee Shin. The publicity ambassadors were introduced to the Mayor. The ceremony is proceeded by a Gangnam-gu PR video clip, conferring certificates and congratulatory remarks by Mayor. In her speech, the Mayor said that during the G-20 summit the foreign journalists were amazed to see IT revolutionized Gangnam-gu. Furthermore, the Mayor envisioned Gangnam-gu as “MUST VISIT” place for any tourist vising Korea. Moreover, she congratulated the honorary ambassadors on their selection and asked them to dynamically participate in promoting Gangnam-gu across the globe as well as attracting tourists.
In summary, there are many famous places to visit in Gangnam-gu that includes Seonjeongneung (UNESCO World Heritage Site: http://seonjeong.cha.go.kr), An Chang-Ho Memorial Hall at Dosan Park ( www.ahnchang.co.kr), Kukkiwon (the Mecca of International Taekwondo : www.kukkiwon.or.kr), Korean Embroidery Museum (www.bojagii.com), Kimchi Museum (www.kimchimuseum.or.kr), Gagnam station U-Street, Apgujeong Rodeo street, Cheongdam-dong Fashion street, Teheran-ro and Coax Aquarium(www.coaxaqua.co.kr). For tourists who are planning to visit Korea during 2011, the aforementioned places are “must see” attractions in Gangnam district.