The Seoul Subway Project: Line 2 (The Green Line)

By October 27, 2014East Asia

As our subway project continues, Hudson and I decided to get some low-hanging fruit: the green line. The green line runs in a loop around the city, never leaving Seoul proper, and terminates in two “tails” at Kkachisan (까치산역) (our home stop) and Sinseol-dong (신설동역) out east. Line 2 is another line we have already spent a LOT of time on. Almost everyone who has been in Seoul for a week has been to the famous Hongik University (홍대역) area or maybe been to Ehwa University (이대역) to do some cheap shopping. Today our plan was to find an Office Depot supposedly near Sinchon Station (신촌역), then head up to Sinseol-dong before meeting our friend at Ttukseom Resort Hangang Park (한강시민공원 뚝섬지구).

While Kkachisan is technically part of Line 2, it’s actually misleading as you have to transfer at Sindorim Station in order to get to the real Line 2. Same goes for the other tail end. Hard to see on Seoul’s crazy complicated map, but I added little stars at the stops we got off at, either to transfer or to explore.

it's easier than it looks...

it's easier than it looks...

We had found some info on an Office Depot near Sinchon and I needed to get some printing done. We followed the directions exactly, but the Office Depot never showed. Walking around Sinchon is great as it’s a university area and the variety of cheap food and cafes is much better than in our own neighborhood. It was unseasonably warm for October and so I stopped to get my favorite GS Mart treat: a Melona ice cream bar. It’s basically honeydew flavored ice cream on a stick. Amazing.

busy sinchon streets

busy sinchon streets

angry turtle dragon?

angry turtle dragon?

Once we realized that the Office Depot was a figment of my imagination, we decided to continue walking until we got to Ehwa Station. We had already walked all the way to Line 6, but this was Line 2 day! No cheating allowed. Inside an incredibly crowded sardine-style train we counted down the stops until we could finally move again. Alighting at Sinseol-dong we had plans just to walk around with no idea what we might find. Much to my delight, it turns out there is an enormous flea market just about 150 meters from the subway. We followed the signs and were amazed when we found this:

surprise! a flea market!

surprise! a flea market!

Seoul is famous for all of its spectacular markets. You can find anything for sale, and the Folk Flea Market was no different. Separated by antiques, housewares, clothing, shoes, even the occasional snack stall in case you get peckish while shopping.

seoul folk flea market

antique toys seoul

seoul jewelry market

Since we weren’t in the market for any antique toys or golden elephants, we headed back to the subway and made our way to the Konkuk University stop (건대입구). While there is a Ttukseom Resort stop on Line 7, we obviously opted to walk from Konkuk and get a feel for the neighborhood. One word: fancy. Towering luxury high rises soared in every direction, surrounded by massive department stores and restaurants and bars of every variety. We were in Gwangjin-gu, near Gangnam-gu after all, so we expected nothing less. Beginning to tire, we stopped at a GS for some beers, snacks, and soju and headed straight to the park for a much needed sit.

ttukseom climbing people

ttukseom climbing people

highway over ttukseom

highway over ttukseom

The park was large and crowded as could be expected on such a beautiful fall day. Blankets and tents were set up in every area of grass available, bikers whipped past on the trails, and dozens of people were enjoying various water sports on the river. Ttukseom Resort is known for its wide range of activities, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. The pool was already closed for the season, so we didn’t have a chance to check that out. There is also a cultural center inside the weird tube building, but at this point we had been walking or standing for hours. Instead we just sat in the grass and chatted while enjoying the highest caliber of people watching and an icy cold beer. The sun began to set over the river, lights began to twinkle in the windows of buildings on the opposite bank, and we decided to take a little stroll. Just a minute or two down from where we were sitting we found this:

a bar! on a boat!

a bar! on a boat!

hangang sunset

hangang sunset

They have chicken and coffee take out, as well as a fancy restaurant inside, and a few plastic tables where you can buy beers and drink them on the lower deck. We almost stopped there, but decided instead to check out Wa Bar. Hudson and I have seen a couple of these around the city and they claim to be Western bars. What this really means is that you don’t have to order food, like at a hof, and you can pay $10 to drink a beer from Hawaii. We opted to drink local and keep our local prices. Bonus: free popcorn! After we finished our beers and cleaned out our popcorn bowls, we decided it was time to call it a day. We rode Line 2 on the southern half back to Sindorim and transferred back on to our little Kkachisan tail. We didn’t tackle much on the southern half, but there is a great hike you can do, Gwanaksan, at Seoul National University Station. And of course, there’s always Gangnam, if you’re into that sort of thing.

overpriced beers at the table

overpriced beers at the table

Have you found any hidden gems on Line 2? If so, share them in the comments below! Here is a list of every stop on Line 2 that I’ve had the pleasure of exploring thus far. If you have questions about any of these stops, let me know!

Kkachisan
Sinjeongnegeori
Sindorim
Mullae
Yeongdeungpo-gu Office (we got married here!)
Hapjeong
Hongik University
Sinchon
Ehwa Women’s University
Chungjeongno
City Hall
Euljiro 3-ga
Dongdaemun History & Culture Park
Wangsimni
Sinseol-dong
Seongsu
Konkuk University
Jamsil
Gangnam
Sadang
Seoul National University
Daerim

13 Comments

  • Katie says:

    I keep reading different posts from people about the Seoul Subway Project! I don’t know if I will actually do it during my time here, but I do like hopping off the subway and exploring. I have done a decent amount on my Line 3, and Northern Seoul. I need to get down to the Southern part of the city! Flea Market looks awesome, as does that boat bar. Sweet day!

    • Taylor says:

      It was a great day! But the project is tough because we have to do a line a week or we will never finish on time! We’re already behind!

  • Charisse says:

    I have only been to Seoul once and will be making more trips there soon. This sounds like a great way to see the city without worrying about where to park your car. I love flea markets and will be trying to find that one once we go back.

    • Taylor says:

      I’ve never had a car in Seoul so the subway has been my life line for the last 2 years. And it’s so clean and efficient, there’s nothing not to love!

  • We lived in Seoul last year, and your post definitely makes us nostalgic! I love the idea of the Seoul Subway Project as it is a great way to really explore such a great city. And yes, the subway is far less confusing than the map makes it out to be!

    Our favorite thing on Line 2 is Gwanaksan! In the fall, the colors are spectacular and the hermitage perched precariously on the cliff of the summit is just too cool! We did a post a while back about 3 of our favorite hikes in Seoul, and of course Gwanaksan was one of them!
    http://hedgersabroad.wordpress.com/2014/03/13/3treks/

  • Matt says:

    Sinchon is one of my favorite neighborhoods in Seoul! Not as hectic as Hongdae, but still has the lively, fun charm to it.
    That Flea Market is pretty awesome too. So many cool things. Not things I would necessarily buy, but many fun things to look at. If you need a Halloween costume and like to make your own, now’s a great time to go. They have a ton of random, outlandish clothes.

  • Laura says:

    I have been wanting to go to the Seoul Flea Market for a while, I’m jealous! I love Sinchon – it’s such a cool part of Seoul and not nearly as crowded as Hongdae. I like the idea of exploring the city by subway line.

  • Cool idea! What a great way to explore all of the different niches of such a massive city…kind of forces you to check out neighbourhoods that you might not otherwise have reason to visit. My husband and I are moving up from the southern end of the peninsula in the next week or so, and I am looking forward to spending more time in Seoul…excited to check out the crazy flea market- hopefully will make it there before Christmas! Looks like a great place to find some zany stocking stuffers and way less touristy than the Insadong area.

  • I really like the photo of the highway. But melon bars? NO THANKS! They the worst icecream flavor, after corn aha (sorry). Your project seems to be going well so far! I’m sad that I can never do something like this, or even check out the cool places you post photos of. I like the hidden flea market, quite cool!

  • Duke Stewart says:

    Line 2 is crucial for me when visiting. Hongdae is our goto area when staying in Seoul and there’s almost no way to avoid that line upon entering. We usually enter the line at City Hall when taking the train up from our post in Yeosu. I love that your project is covering this still. Any thoughts on branching out to other cities when you finish?

  • Kathryn says:

    The pictures of the flea market look great! I always love finding new markets!

    The Hongdae area is one of my favourite areas to explore in Seoul- amazing bars, restaurants, cafes and shopping. So I’m always using line 2 to get there 🙂

  • Nailah says:

    I would just love wondering around on any of those subway lines in Seoul. That’s one of the gems of living in the big city~ And that’s definitely an angry turtle dragon. Flea markets are the best~ You can find so many random and sometimes really great things there~

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