Teachers Share their Experiences While Living Abroad!

Living in Songpa: One of Seoul's Most Modern and Active Neighorhoods

Posted on Tue, Apr 14, 2015 @ 04:00 PM

Seoul is a big bustling city that is constantly on the move and is quickly becoming the heart of Asia. It is a hot destination to travel for shopping and to partake in recreational activities while teaching in Korea. In recent years, Seoul has grown substantially in the economic and international arenas, with acts like Psy’s Gangnam Style placing  Korea on the worldwide map.
Like any major city Seoul has its distinct neighborhoods. The reason I am drawn to Seoul is because of this very reason, as it offers various types of living lifestyles. Seoul is famous for its  different neighborhoods and it is one of the main reasons why people like traveling to this city. One minute you can be in an old dynasty Hanbok  Village in Samcheongdong and the next you can be surrounded by the classy high-rise buildings of Gangnam. It is important to know which vibe suits your personality when choosing where to live and work in Seoul.  
The neighborhood I live in is called Songpa-gu. This area is the more modern side of Seoul that has a lot of classy elitists such as K-pop stars, rich CEO's and K-drama stars.  Songpa-gu includes areas such as Gangnam, Apgujeong, Jamsil, Sincheon and Cheongdam. There is a lot to do in this neighborhood and its surrounding areas.  You can do everything from recreational activities to outdoor excursions. Here are five reasons why enjoy living in Songpa:
1. Lotte World Tower and Lotte World Mall
Jamsil is currently famous for the construction of the tallest building in Asia called Lotte World Tower. It is a 123-floor, 555 meter skyscraper that overlooks the entire Songpa-gu area. Currently the tower is at 85 floors and is expected to be finished in October of 2016. This past year the Lotte World Mall opened, and it has brought a lot of tourism and shoppers to the area. The mall is a magnificent collection of every European designer you can think of including Chanel, Versace and Fendi. The interior is absolutely stunning with a golden spiraling staircase and white porcelain dolls displaying some of the finest fashion in the world. There is also an Aquarium inside the building and is the home to some of the best movie theaters in the country.  
Directions: Line 2, Jamsil subway stop, exit 5, 6, 7 and 8.
Lotte Word Tower
2. Olympic Park and Jamsil Sports Complex
Olympic Park houses Korea’s biggest sports' arena and is a shining legacy of the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Olympic park is one of my favorite places to enjoy sporting activities such as baseball games and basketball matches. During the spring and summer months baseball is huge in Korea, and fans across the country come to Jamsil Sports Complex to cheer on their favorite teams. Also, the Olympic stadium holds all the largest concerts in Korea and I have seen world famous artists such as Lady Gaga, Linkin Park and Ultra Korea there. Also, as a sports and fitness lover you can enjoy the sporting facilities of this area such as the running tracks, biking trails and Olympic sized swimming pools.
Directions: Line 2, Sports Complex, exit 5,6
3. Jamsil Hangang River Park and Seokchon Lake
The Jamsil Hangang River Park is one of the reasons I love living in this area. I make use of this park throughout the Spring, Summer and Fall months and enjoy various recreational activities outdoors. In the summer time the park is bustling with athletes cycling up and down the trails. There is also a pool side area where people can enjoy bathing and tanning when it is warmer. The park area also has wonderful lawns for picnics and Saturday chill outs and you can enjoy the various volleyball court and tennis facilities around the park as well.
Seokchon Lake is one of my favorite places to hang outdoors in Songpa-gu. It is hidden in Jamsil just behind Lotte World Park and it is a wonderful place to spend the day to relax or have a picnic. The lake is stunning in the Spring months as it is filled with Cherry Blossom trees. Also, there are always festivals at the lake and you can enjoy a boat ride on a swan boat.
Directions: Hangang River Park: Green Line, Sports Complex, Sincheon, Jamsil, Jamsilnaru. Walk straight to the river.
Directions: Seokchon Lake: Green Line, Jamsil, Exit 3, walk opposite way to river.
4. Line 9
Line 9 is finally open and has everyone in the area really excited. It is another new express line that runs through the heart of Seoul and has made international travel much more convenient for people living in Songpa-gu area. Before traveling to Gimpo Domestic Airport or Incheon International Airport was a long haul on the subway, but now Line 9 directly goes to Gimpo Airport and it includes express stops on the way! It has cut the journey down by at least 30 minutes and you can now easily travel to the tourist areas of Yeouido, Yorangjin and Dongjak. Also, another exciting thing about the line is that is stops at Express Bus Terminal too.
5.  Shopping
Songpa-gu is a wonderful neighborhood to live in if you want access to good shopping and trendy fashion. Not only is Lotte World Mall full of international designers, but areas like Gangnam and Apgujeong’s Garosugil road is also nearby. Using the Seoul buses you can easily travel around this area and hop off where ever you wish to shop. One of my favorite things to do is food shopping. I like this area because I can conveniently travel to stores that have foreign products and that are close by such as Costco, Homeplus, Lotte Mart, and E-mart. Also, Jamsil and Gangnam both have some of the biggest underground shopping areas in Seoul, and they are known for attracting tourists daily.
Teach in Korea!

It is no surprise that Tijana Huysamen, a South African born Capetownian, avid traveler and travel journalist, fell in love with South Korea and its people. After Tijana arrived in South Korea in 2010, she had the opportunity to live in the heart of the Korean countryside. During her time spent in Chungnam province she learned to speak Korean, prepare Korean food and experience the humble nature of the countryside people.  After a year break in New York, Tijana jumped at the opportunity to return to Korea again, and is currently working at the CDI Jamsil Branch, in Jamsil, Seoul. Read Tijana’s Aclipse blog to gain a unique perspective on Korea and her shared experiences and adventures both in a major city and in the countryside. Follow Tijana on Twitter @TeeAnni or email tijanahuysamen120@hotmail.com to request more information on teaching in Korea!

Tags: seoul, korean neighborhood

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