Asiana Lounge Seoul

Asiana Lounge Seoul

The Asiana business lounge is located just after passport control on a mezzanine level overlooking the concourse. Initial impressions are good with a marble reception desk with friendly staff. If you enter to the right you will enter the new expanded wing.

The lounge itself is full of natural light in the daytime and at night when we visited had a nice intimate feeling despite being busy and a large lounge. Even though it was one big space, it had been cleverly sectioned with plenty of table seating to eat as well as relaxation areas, with even a grand piano in the center of the space. Think plenty of dark wood, earth colors and dark furniture to give the lounge a library kind of feel.

So with an impressive lounge environment we were looking forward to visiting the buffet, unfortunately here is where it went downhill. The selection of both food and drinks was very limited, with a selection more appropriate to a regional lounge rather than a flagship lounge in an airport and with an airline serving long haul routes.

They bizarrely had toast available for this late evening departure with what can best be described as a few snacks and nibbles, nothing substantial. Apparently there is more food available at main meal times but what is a main meal time? Airlines seem to be using this as an excuse to cut costs in lounges. Newsflash, meal time is whatever time zone your high paying passenger is on! Alcohol was also limited with a basic selection of 2-3 spirits and a couple of bottles of wine.

In summary, impressive design and well thought out but let down by the food and drink options!

Oppa Gangnam Style!

Oppa Gangnam Style!

The name Gangnam is more than likely familiar to you, thanks to PSY’s catchy 2012 hit “Gangnam Style”, but did you know it’s actually not just a snazzy song, but a district in South Korea’s capital city? Join me in Gangnam Square for a look at this popular district!

For starters, Gangnam is the third largest district in Seoul, and is its fourth most populated. It’s also one of the more affluent areas, with a higher than average (for Seoul) standard of living, comparative with places like Beverly Hills! Seoul is already notorious for being expensive with regards to property, but Gangnam takes the prize, costing almost double compared to the rest of the city!

It’s safe to say that Gangnam is a happening area. It’s a glossy metropolis boasting eye catching skyscrapers, is a hub for business, and has a plethora of shops. It has several shopping arcades, as well as malls (COEX is the main one), making it a great place to splash the cash. I actually prefer the smaller, more local shops you find off the beaten track. If you venture long enough, you’ll come across “Gacha Shop”, a quirky shop consisting entirely of Gashapon (capsule machines). These are very popular and can be highly collectible, and some of them are downright hilarious (underpants for your phone anyone?). Even if you don’t bother with any, it’s worth a quick look. Another shop I really enjoyed was Art Box, which is a combination stationary, home, and beauty place. Lots of cool gadgets, edgy office supplies, and cute make up! I could’ve easily spent an hour in there. Finally, as a bit of a make up enthusiast, I couldn’t not check out some fine Korean beauty products. Aritaum has a wide selection of both make up and skin care, and it won’t entirely break the bank. Another brand worth looking for, with a slightly heavier price tag, is Etude House. Their pressed powder in particular is a new favourite of mine!

Gangnam is a veritable outside art museum, with interesting sculptures dotted throughout the district. My favourite is the large pointing person (kind of looks like it’s disco dancing!). There’s also a huge tribute to PSY outside Coex mall.

Hungry? You won’t be for long. As well as shops, Gangnam is packed with eateries. If you don’t fancy Korean food, you can also sample Japanese, Chinese, Mexican, and more! Yakiniku (BBQ style) is popular, and you won’t be hard pressed to find one. If you don’t want a huge meal, hunt down one of the trendy coffee shops and rest your feet with a warm cuppa! Gobiter is nestled away from the main part of Gangnam, down a small flight of stairs. It’s modern, cosy, and has the most delicious cake! I highly recommend a slice of their rainbow cake; it’s pretty big though, so maybe think about sharing (or not, no judgement).

Lastly, no visit is complete without a quick stop at Gangnam Square. There’s a little stage there, an art installation dedicated to PSY (it’s perfectly fine to recreate the dance moves, I promise), and it’s close to the subway station.

Overall, Gangnam is worth at least 3-4 hours of your time. You could spend an entire day (or longer) there, but if your trip to Seoul is short, a few hours is enough time to soak it all in.