Arts + Culture

Top Tech Destinations

by Cliff Kuang


Plugged in: In Seoul, 2050 feels like yesterday. The future-obsessed city's broadband network is a full decade ahead of the United States'; the headquarters of Samsung and LG are located here; and there's a futuristic development 40 miles out of town that will be among the most technologically integrated in the world. Scheduled for completion in 2015, New Songdo City (pictured) will link all residential, business, and medical infrastructure via RFID and Wi-Fi, so you'll be able to check your dental records, unlock your front door, and pay your bills from your cell phone. Gadget-philes flock to Apgujeong, the city's densest electronics-shopping district.

Homeport: In the middle of Gangnam, Seoul's finance center, is the swank, ultramodern Park Hyatt Seoul (view slideshow). Each room has a panel that controls the room's electronics and blinds; laptop safes cleverly have sockets for charging during storage; and the stereo systems have MP3 hookups. You can also watch satellite cable on a 13-inch LCD TV while relaxing in a bubble bath.

Social networking: If you wanted to show a business titan mulling your start-up plan that you're serious, a meal at the Café at Kukje Gallery would certainly do (82-2-735-8449). Attached to a famed contemporary-art space, it looks across the grounds of the historic Gyeongbok Palace, and is the province of the business elite. But in Korea, business courtship still begins over golf, and deals are sealed and celebrated in private rooms, a standard feature at the city's top-flight hotel restaurants, such as Namu in the W.

When to interface: In Seoul, hacker culture doesn't exist in quite the way it does in America's tech capitals. But events catering to a future-forward, cultured crowd are rising. One is Media City, taking place through November at the Seoul Museum of Art. The show features 70 pieces of tech art—including virtual reality games and a "typewriter" that prints in light and shadow.

NEXT: Eggheads in Beantown >

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