June 23, 2021

Seoul, the epicenter of the wave “Hallyu”


From K-Pop stores to K-Dramas stages, Seoul hosts endless spaces linked to the entertainment industry of South Korea and is the dream destination of any fan of “Hallyu”, the wave of popular culture of this country that has Swept the planet.

The capital of South Korea, which this year participates in the International Tourism Fair FITUR (Madrid, from January 22 to 26), tries to attract more and more those interested in knowing corners related to their favorite stars, and day of Today the local tourist offices offer all kinds of aid, from guides to bus routes.

Among the countless sites related to the so-called “idols” or those that have served as locations for K-Dramas (South Korean television series), these are four points that should not be overlooked when visiting the city.

THE REAL PALACES

Gyeongbokgung, the main palace of the Joseon dynasty, which ruled the Korean peninsula from 1392 to 1897, has been used as a decoration in numerous films and K-Dramas, including recent supernatural successes such as “Goblin” or “Kingdom,” the First South Korean series made for Netflix.

Emblematic series such as “Moon Embracing the Sun” have also been filmed here, in which Kim Soo-hyun plays a king who must hide his romance with a witch Han Ga-in gives life, or “Empress Myeongseong” , where three different actresses (Choi Myung-gil, Lee Mi-yeon and Moon Geun-young) recreate the tragic life of Korea’s last queen consort, who was murdered by the Japanese Imperial Government in 1895.

In this same area there are also other palaces such as Deoksugung and Chandeokgung in which historical series have been set, and it is convenient to know that the entrance to all royal residences will be free if the visitor chooses to dress the hanbok (Korean traditional clothing) that is You can rent in countless surrounding shops.

“N SEOUL TOWER”

In the shadow of the Myeongdong neighborhood, a maze of alleys full of street stalls with Korean snacks and shops selling cosmetics and everything related to K-Pop music, stands the N Seoul Tower, a communications antenna with an observatory erected to early seventies on Namsan (“South Mountain” in Korean).

The tower is today one of the most recognizable symbols of the capital, and its base is a popular corner in which couples hang “love locks” – as is done in the Pont Neuf in Paris – a habit that was embodied in series like “My love from the Star”, when the leading actress, Jun Ji-hyun, and again actor Kim Soo-hyun, were quoted right there.

Jun Ji-hyun also stars in another series in which this tower appears repeatedly: “Legend of the Blue Sea”, where the characters played by her and Lee Min-ho promise to see each other again under the “N Seoul Tower” when the first fall snow

“SM TOWN”, IN THE COEX CENTER

Once the downtown area is covered, every fan should cross to the south bank of the Han River and head to the Gangnam district, now well-known thanks to the super hit “Gangnam style” of rapper Psy and the Seoul area where the K-Pop more It has its roots as evidenced by places like SM Town, a six-storey complex open at the COEX convention center.

It is basically a theme park raised by SM Entertainment, one of the main labels of the K-Pop and editor and representative of groups such as Velvet, EXO, Super Junior, Girls’ Generation or SHINee, singers like BoA or members of bands that have decided to try his luck alone as Baekhyun (EXO), Taemin (SHINee) or Taeyeon (Girl’s Generation).

SM Town hosts a welcome area full of exclusive videos in which artists greet their followers; shops, a cafe, a museum and even an impressive “hologram auditorium” in which he programs musicals or virtual concerts.

K-STAR GAROSUGIL STREET AND AVENUE

Garosugil, in the Sinsa neighborhood in Gangnam, has recently become the fashionable artery in Seoul and a place where one can easily run into “Hallyu” stars in one of its many boutiques of young designers or major brands , coffee shops and restaurants.

Among the latter, there are many establishments in the area that serve K-Food (a term created by the tourism industry to refer to Korean traditional and popular cuisine) and that attract local celebrities.

There is Sigol Bapsang, specializing in banchan (traditional side dishes) and one of Henry Lau’s favorites of Super Junior, or Banjang Tteokbokki, a place that pretends to be a school classroom of the nineties where rice cakes sauteed in spicy sauce are served and in the It’s common to see singers like Gahyeon from “Dreamcatcher,” or Arin from “Oh My Girl.”

Nearby is the recently opened K-Star Road, an avenue that connects the Apgujeong Rodeo station with the Cheongdam crossing and in which statues of “Art toy” bears that have been decorated by 18 different bands, from formations are aligned Classics like KARA to the global feeling of the moment, BTS.

Andrés Sánchez Braun

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