Monday, February 7, 2011

Gu 3 (Gwanak, Gwangjin, Jongno, Jung, Jungnang)

For the rest of the Gu Project, check out part one (Dobang, Dongdaemun, Dongjak, Eunpyeong, Gangbuk), Gu Two - (Gangdong, Gangnam, Gangseo, Geumcheon, Guro), 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)


Gwanak-gu



What’s the picture of?

Seoul National University (Korea’s highest rated) and the surrounding Gwanak Mountain ridge line.

Where is this gu?
South-central yo.

What’s this gu best known for?


The aforementioned Seoul National University. Also, Gwanak Mountain.

When did Jaehak first go there?

Last Thursday. Really. Gwanak turned out to be the very last gu I visited.

How were epic walks involved?

I walked from Sillim station to SNU to Dongjak-gu.

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


Maybe. Gwanak-gu, with its namesake mountain visible from nearly everywhere in the district, is a pretty gu. The SNU campus is fairly lame architecturally, but it’s surrounded by mountains from almost all sides, so the campus is beautiful despite the fact that 88% of Korea is stuck in the the 1972-1983 architectural void. Hiking wise, my buddy Don, the mountain nerd, tells me Gwanak Mountain offers top notch views,but the overall hiking experience is weak.

Is there a related blog post I could check out?


No, but I genuinely liked Gwanak-gu. If it weren’t so far from where I live, I’d spend a lot more time there.

Gwangjin-gu






What’s the picture of?


The frozen-solid Han river on the coldest day in the history of the world, taken from the Cheonho Bridge. The tall building is Techno Mart.

Where is this gu?

Southeast-ish, though north of the river.

What’s this gu best known for?

Techno Mart, I presume. It’s Seoul’s second largest electronics market, and easily the biggest on the east side of town. Gwangjin also contains East Seoul Bus Terminal, Seoul’s second largest. The Konkuk University/ Star City Mall area has a lot going on shopping and eating-wise. Just north of that is Children’s Grand Park, one of Seoul’s biggest parks, featuring a (weak) amusement park and an outdated zoo.

When did Jaehak first go there?

Way back in 2006, to check out Techno Mart.

How were epic walks involved?


Gwangjin has played a role in a few epic walks. My longest walk through Gwangjin was probably my Nowon to the Han River walk, which was a slog.

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


Probably not. Techno Mart is cool, but Yongsan Electronics Market is better.

Is there a related blog post I could check out?

No, but I like Gwangjin.



Jongno-gu




What’s the picture of?


The Jongno skyline from Samcheong-dong, a hill featuring traditional Korean hanok houses.

Where is this gu?
Downtown, baby.

What’s this gu best known for?


Where to start? Gyeongbok Palace and Changdeok Palace, the two most important palaces in Korea, are both there, as are two others. The Blue House, where the modern Korean president lives is there as well. Jongno also boasts Insadong, a popular tourist attraction and the most traditionally “Korean” area in town. Jongno Street has a wide variety of restaurants and bars, as does Hyehwa. Dongdaemun Market, one of Seoul’s most famous, also stands in this gu. Jongno also contains Gwanghwamun, which is probably the most important urban square in the country.

When did Jaehak first go there?

Definitely in 2006, within my first week of living in Seoul.

How were epic walks involved?


Too many long walks have involved this gu to count.

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


No question. Shunning this gu, particularly as a first-time visitor, would be unthinkable.

Is there a related blog post I could check out?


I’m sure there are others, but I noticed this one from 2008.


Jung-gu




Whats the picture of?

Namdaemun Gate. The singular symbol of Seoul. National Treasure Number one. Burned down in 2008.

Where is this gu?

Right downtown. Jung means central.

What’s this gu best known for?

City Hall, Seoul Plaza, the Seoul Art Museum, Namdaemun Market, Seoul Station, the Myeongdong shopping and entertainment district, being the general center of tourist Seoul.

When did Jaehak first go there?


My first week here, in October of 2006.

How were epic walks involved?


Most recently? Myeongdong to Gangnam in November.

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

Undoubtedly.

Is there a related blog post I could check out?


There's a few pics of it here

Jungnang-gu



What’s the picture of?


The Jungnang Stream.

Where is this gu?

On the east edge of town, between Nowon and Gwangjin.

What’s this gu best known for?

Likely it’s namesake stream. The stream has walking/biking paths along it, stretching from Uijeongbu city north of Seoul to the Han River. Jungnang also has a minor intercity bus terminal. Most importantly for Seoul residents, Jungnang has the only Costco in Seoul that’s north of the river.

When did Jaehak first go there?

On a 2008 Costco run.

How were epic walks involved?

I’ve walked the entire length of the Jungnang Stream, including the portion through this gu.

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

Probably not, but the stream is a nice place to walk.

Is there a related blog post I could check out?


Hmm, this trip ended in Jungnang

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