Adventures in East Asia

Entries in South Korea

The Challenges and Delights of the Seoul Metro Network
Having arrived in Seoul from Taipei, anyone who has been to both cities might agree that the Seoul metro network is distinctly more complex and further spread out than Taipei's MRT system.


The Seoul network map looks as complicated as Tokyo's. Traveling to the other side of a circular line can take over an hour. And waiting for a train can take an age. We seemed to have just missed a train an awful lot. This was all before even getting on a carriage.

Hongdae - Seoul’s Indie Culture Centre
Hongdae is Seoul's indie culture centre. There are several universities in the area so there was no surprise in seeing alot of young Koreans out and about and lots of shops catering for them.


We visited the area on a Saturday and the place was teeming with people, so I'm not sure if it was usual for the area. But the atmosphere was pretty buzzing and we managed to catch the so-called Hongdae Free Market located in a playground across the road from Hongik University.

Seoul Animation Centre and the House of Cartoons
We saw the Seoul Animation Centre on the way to Seoul Tower by bus and were mildly captivated by the cartoon statues that were dotted around its exterior. After some net research we decided to pop back via the closest metro station, Myeong-Dong.


The Seoul Animation Centre appeared to be a mecca for kids. Comprising two sets of buildings, there is the Center itself and also the House of Cartoons located a car park away.

Custom Leather Accessories by Elderly Korean Artisan
In our Seoul guide book (Lonely Planet City Guide), we found a listed leather goods shop where the products are made on site by an elderly artisan. Called Gajukgongyebang, I will from now on, just refer to the shop as Gaj...


Gaj was located a few side streets away from the Ewha Womans University metro stop on Line 2 (exit 2) and quite easily found.

Toykino Gallery - Toy Figures!
In exploring Samcheong-dong, we stopped off at the compact Toykino Gallery found along Samcheongdong-gil. Its a small place but packed with several rooms full of cabinets displaying all manner of toy figurines.


Linh and I paid 3,000 KRW each (£1.45) to check out the displays in detail. I say detail, because when we first walked in, being a small place, we could see all the rooms on display anyway.

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