On this day: National Museum & Gangnam, Seoul

See more from my On This Day series here, where I celebrate travel memories on their trip anniversaries.

On November 8, 2018, I was spending my final day in Seoul, South Korea.

It was our last full day in Seoul after a fun week in South Korea, and we had a couple more places on our must-see list.

We started our rainy morning at the National Museum of Korea. Established in 1945, this is one of the most visited museums in Asia and even the world, with over 3 million visitors annually.

As the flagship museum of Korean art and history, it contains an expansive collection with over 200,000 artifacts dating from ancient times to the modern era.

We occupied a couple hours browsing around the museum, and then headed out in search of lunch. This dayโ€™s gastronomic destination would be south of the Han River in the district of Gangnam, where we had a bowl of bibimbap. Fun to say and delicious to eat.

Gangnam-gu is Seoulโ€™s upscale, modern centre, home to gleaming skyscrapers, designer brand shopping, and trendy nightclubs. Those of us unfamiliar with the city may only have been introduced to Gangnam from the eponymous song written by Korean pop singer and rapper Psy, back in 2012. His catchy Gangnam Style tune and its accompanying quirky dance earned Psy and the Seoul district global media attention, although the song itself received mixed reviews.

Though it may have been a one hit wonder, “Gangnam Style” inspired construction of a dedicated statue outside COEX shopping centre, where part of the music video was filmed. With no surprise, this statue has become a popular Instagram shot and of course we took a few photos too.

Inside COEX is another Instagram-popularized sight. The Starfield Library opened in 2017, featuring a massive display of 50,000 books. But you see the ones on those tall floor-to-ceiling shelves? They are hollow inside.