Travel Thoughts: Gongdeok (Station) and its surroundings

During our stay in Seoul, we stayed in this vibrant and interesting self-sustained neighborhood. There are hotels, supermarts, bakeries, cafes, markets, pharmacies and more! The best part is that it is all within walking distance and transport (e.g. AREX, subway, buses and taxis) is easily available. Getting to Gongdeok-dong from the Incheon Airport takes less than an hour be via the AREX; easy and convenient.

It might not be where all the (tourist/traveling) action takes place, and it might not be near any major tourist attractions, but it is in a relatively convenient corner of Seoul where you get to get a taste of living as the locals do: seeing the things they see and doing the things they do (e.g. recycling). Moreover, staying in an apartment rather than a hotel helped enhance that experience.

The Gongdeok Subway Station (공덕역) and its namesake neighborhood are in the Mapo district of Seoul, South Korea. The subway station itself is much bigger than any of the MRT stations in Singapore. Being along the AREX and accessible from Incheon Airport, Gongdeok Subway Station is a little like a combination of Singapore’s East-West (Green) Line (for similar accessibility to Changi Airport) and the North-South (Red) line’s Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station interchange (for is scale and many exits).
Sometimes getting to your destination takes you on a little trip in itself
Within the Gongdeok Subway Station, there are underground shops and coffeeshops, even a space where vendors can sell their goods (e.g. seaweed). There are parts of the station that have undergone a make-over, so escalators make up the most of the stations newer corners (especially at the exits), while the older sections are only furnished with stairs; which equates to a lot of walking and a good workout.

Signs, signs, signs (and plenty of stairs!)

Besides the AREX (which can bring you to places like Hongdae and the Incheon Airport), the Gongdeok Subway Station is also connected to subway lines 5 and 6, which pretty much brings you attractions such as Gyeongbokgung and Dongdameun etc… 
Navigating around
There are also many exits that lead out to the different areas of the neighborhood. For example, Exit 2 or 3 would lead you nearer to the Lotte City Hotel Mapo along with convenience stores, bakeries, real estate offices etc… While Exit 5 is where all the jokbal (pigs’ feet) and jeon (Korean pancakes) restaurants congregate. The Gongdeok Market (공덕시장) is also located near Exit 5. Yet at another corner of Gongdeok, there are banks, restaurants, and cafes. 
Feeling peckish at night? Korea has a vibrant take-away/delivery culture
Cafes / Coffeshops

For more photos and a more detailed description of Gongdeok, this is an interesting read

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When travel collides with a byte, a unit of information made up of bits, TravelBytez is formed: snippets of ramblings on travel, food, shopping, living and anything else that comes to mind.


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