Friday, January 28, 2011

The Gu - part one (Dobang, Dongdaemun, Dongjak, Eunpyeong, Gangbuk)

Here we go with the gu!

For the rest of the Gu Project, check out Gu Two - (Gangdong, Gangnam, Gangseo, Geumcheon, Guro), Gu 3 (Gwanak, Gwangjin, Jongno, Jung, Jungnang), Gu IV: The re-re-re Gu-ining (Mapo, Nowon, Seocho, Seodaemun, Seongdong), and Gu V: Damn Gu-ed! (And here the series ends with Seongbuk, Songpa, Yangcheon, Yeongdeungpo, and Yongsan)




Whats the picture of?


Dobongsan (Dobong Mountain) in the winter.

Where is this gu?


Northeast Seoul, just west of Nowon.

What’s this gu best known for?

Well, it’s named for Dobong Mountain, so I’m gonna go with that. Until 1995, Dobong-gu comprised all of northeast Seoul until it was partitioned into Dobong, Nowon, and Gangbuk gu. It also contains the worst E-Mart in Seoul at Changdong Station.

When did Jaehak first go there?

February of 2007 or so.

How were epic walks involved?


I’ve walked from my longtime home base in Nowon to Changdong Station several times. It ain’t far.

If I were in Seoul for one week, should I bother?

No, unless you are really in to hiking.

Is there a related blog post I could check out?

In Da (Mountain) Club

Dongdaemun-gu



Whats the picture of?

The crowded market streets outside of Cheongnyangni Station, the 3rd biggest train station in Seoul.

Where is this gu?

East of downtown.

What’s this gu best known for?

Being near central Seoul, yet by no means being of central Seoul. A working-class district on the fringe of the center of power. Kinda the Queens of Seoul. Strangely, Dongdaemun Market, Dongdaemun Gate, and Dongdaemun Station are hugely famous in Korea, and none of them stand in Dongdaemun-gu.


When did Jaehak first go there?

Not counting subway transfers, I didn’t go until 2010.

How were epic walks involved?

I walked from Cheongnyangni Station in Dongdaemun-gu to Hongdae in 2010.

If I were in Seoul for one week, should I bother?

Not unless unless you’re taking a train to Gangwon or the east coast from Cheongnyangni.

Is there a related blog post I could check out?

Not really, but there is one on Chuncheon, and the trip there originated at Cheongnyangni Station.



Dongjak-gu



Whats the picture of?

A panorama of the most urbanized portion of Dongjak, taken from a ridge on the border of Gwanak-gu.

Where is this gu?

South of the River, it’s the buffer zone between ritzy Seocho and dilapidated Yeongdeungpo.

What’s this gu best known for?

The large National Cemetery and the sprawling Noryangjin Fish Market, Seoul’s largest.

When did Jaehak first go there?

During a rainstorm in the summer of 2010.

How were epic walks involved?

I crossed the gu from east to west on a walk from Express Bus Terminal and Yeouido

If I were in Seoul for one week, should I bother?

Maybe. The fish market is cool.

Is there a related blog post?

I mention my fish market trip here.

Eunpyeong-gu




Whats the picture of?

The headwaters of a small stream near Eungam Subway Station. The stream ends near Seoul’s World Cup Stadium.

Where is this gu?

Far Northwestern corner of Seoul

What’s this gu best known for?

The northern part of the gu is in the foothills of Bukhansan, Seoul’s tallest mountain. Bukhansan trails can be accessed from Gupabal station, though I’ve never hiked the west/Eunpyeong portion of the mountain. Eunpyeong also has a fairly lively district near Yeonsinae station.

When did Jaehak first go there?

Last week.

How were epic walks involved?

I went to Eunpyeong specifically for this project. I walked from Gupabal station south to Hongdae, in Mapo-gu, where I dined on Taco Bell.

If I were in Seoul for one week, should I bother?

Nah, it’s way too far flung, unless you were staying at the Grand Hilton, which is in this gu, or taking the less-used western approach to Bukhan Mountain.

Is there a related blog post?

There is not.



Gangbuk-gu




Whats the picture of?

Bukhan Mountain, Seoul's tallest.

Where is this gu?

The name “Gangbuk” means “north of the river.” Gangbuk-gu is very much so, on the north-northeastern fringe of town.

What’s this gu best known for?

Gangbuk is the main gateway to the aforementioned Bukhan Mountain. It’s also the home of Suyu, a fairly lively bar and restaurant district.

When did Jaehak first go there?

April of 2007, the first time I climbed Bukhan.

How were epic walks involved?

My “epic walk” habit was practically invented in Gangbuk. My first particularly long walk in Seoul started at home in Nowon and wove through Suyu and Mia, both in Gangbuk. This was in the summer of 2008.

If I were in Seoul for one week, should I bother?

Bukhansan in well worth a day.

Is there a related blog post?

Yep, there is one about a horrible Korean Night Club in Suyu.

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