Caution: West Side of Seoul Station is Ghetto as Hell
For almost all my traveling nowadays I use Airbnb. This works well especially in Asia, where you can find access to a spacious room in a good location, at a fairly low cost. In most cities in Asia except Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, and all of Myanmar, you can spend under $50 usd a night for a decent sized 1 bedroom apartment- less than half what you would spend at a hotel for something similar. Even then, you can still get a place for much cheaper than a hotel in the above cities, except perhaps Myanmar since their real estate is controlled by a cartel, a topic for another post. The downside, however, is your experience will be hit and miss.
This time was a miss. The place itself was ‘as described’ but I could not have chosen a more ghetto location. I chose the location due to close proximity to Seoul station, a station I will be frequenting this trip. Thinking I could not go wrong staying anywhere within that vicinity, I randomly picked a place..
Immediately outside my building, homeless roam the streets like zombies. I have to navigate my way through them like I’m on the fucking train to Busan every single day. Moreover, my place is on the top of the hill which is a steep 60 degree climb the entirety of the 10 min walk, forcing me to literally climb a mountain just to get home. To add to the theater, most of the surrounding buildings look like they have been uninhabited for years. If it wasn’t for the new cars parked along the side of the street, I would be convinced that was so.
I’m only here for a couple more days so i’ll grind it out. It makes me think of Bangkok where I would gladly stay on one side of a particular street, but never the other, as crossing the street makes a world of a difference. Lesson learned: North side of Seoul Station is where you want to be. There’s so much going on in every corner in this city, how the hell did I end up choosing this neighborhood.