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Neighborhoods of Seoul
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BlueFish



Joined: 23 May 2017

PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 3:50 pm    Post subject: Neighborhoods of Seoul Reply with quote

Can anyone please provide a breakdown/description of the areas of Seoul? Are there any neighborhoods that aren't particularly safe?
Thanks!
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edwardcatflap



Joined: 22 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are a lot of neighbourhoods, all of them relatively safe if you're coming from the west. There aren't any 'no go areas' after dark or any of that kind of thing. There are a few going out areas you might want to settle in, or avoid, according to your proclivities, but most areas of Seoul are pretty much indistinguishable from each other.
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ttompatz



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Location: Kwangju, South Korea

PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Compared to anymajor cities in the US there is NO unsafe neighborhood in Seoul (or anywhere else in Korea) other than those around the US bases (where the danger is from drunk GIs).

.
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BlueFish



Joined: 23 May 2017

PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good to know. How would you describe the different neighborhoods?
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CentralCali



Joined: 17 May 2007

PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are over 100,000 neighborhoods in Seoul. You're going to be living in an apartment provided by the school that hires you. They will choose the neighborhood. There is zero chance of you choosing your own place.

You are putting the cart before the horse here. You don't even know if you're going to be working in Seoul or within commuting distance of Seoul. In another thread, you stated that you would be happiest in a big city. Well, South Korea does have more than one big city. The term is too broad, though. What is it about the big cities you are used to that makes you happy? Answer that, then the old hands here can tell you in what places, if any, that can be found.

Seriously, don't look for "back home" overseas. You might as well just stay back home. Take on the adventure of living in another country, another culture, another situation. Expand your horizons. I have more platitudes that apply, but those should suffice. Smile
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BlueFish



Joined: 23 May 2017

PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am well aware that I do not get to choose my neighborhood. But that doesn't mean I can't gather information. I don't think asking questions about a place is putting the cart before the horse. I am not looking for "back home" overseas. A contract is for 1 year, I need to be in a place where I will be content and can build a life for myself. I don't think I need to justify or defend my opinions. If anyone would like to provide some information about various areas of Seoul, that would be very much appreciated.
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T-J



Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Location: Seoul EunpyungGu Yeonsinnae

PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OP your question is pretty vague. No there are not really any "no go" high crime areas in Seoul.

Rather than asking us do describe various neighborhoods in a city of 25 million people, why don't you list some of the criteria you are searching for and we can list some areas that match what you are looking for?
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BlueFish



Joined: 23 May 2017

PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

T-J I thought my question was pretty clear. It's not about criteria, I only wanted to know what the neighborhoods were like. If someone asked me about New York City, I would say Brooklyn is hipsters and gentrification, the Upper West Side is quiet and full of people with kids, etc. It isn't hard to provide neighborhood descriptions.
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SeoulNate



Joined: 04 Jun 2010
Location: Hyehwa

PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The districts in Seoul do not break down like they do in NY.

Each district functions more like a small metropolis with areas for shopping, nightlife, huge apartment complexes etc. Specific neighborhoods in different districts vary drastically, if you ask about specific ones, you will get a better answer.

For example, I live in Huam-dong in Yongsan-gu. It is different from the rest of Yongsan, and I can give you information about that particular place, but there are so many different neighborhoods in Seoul it is impossible to answer your question with such a general stance.
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thrylos



Joined: 10 Jun 2008

PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since OP mentioned NY, I'll give it a shot, FWIW... Other posters pointed out it's hard to describe all of Seoul accurately, and they're right-- it really does vary from area to area. That said, many follow a similar layout.

You'll have blocks and blocks of huge hi-rise apartment buildings and very little else. (Think public housing in NY-- tower-like buildings (20+ story), with thousands of families living in them). They'll have some convenience stores and lots of private academies (hagwons) around them and smaller supermarkets and bakeries/cafes all within walking distance. (Think tenaments in LES and Brooklyn or Styvesant town/Cooper village in Manhattan), but definitely without any of the crime fo NY.

Other areas will be exclusively 'entertainment streets'- lots of restaurants, karaokes, and drinking places that liven up after work hours till late at night. You'll find a lot of 'love motels' around these areas, too. (short-time places catering to university couples and/or married naughties.)
Housing around there are mostly one-two family houses, old and small (to most standards). (Steinway/Broadway ish of Astoria and/or W'burg/Greenpoint, BKL) Areas with universities will obviously cater more to students while other areas will cater to all types.

Many other areas will be 'business districts'-- Lots of tall office buildings, daytime restaurants and fast food joints that get eerily quiet after work hours. (Wall St-ish) Side streets might also have older housing units, or the ubiquitous 'one-rooms', basically studio type housing for singles and/or university students.

Most of the shopping (supermarkets/department stores/traditional markets) and entertainment centers (movie theaters) are located near busy subway stops. (Union Sq/Herald Sq-ish)

In general terms, Seoul above the river (north-central) is older and south is newer and pricier. Outlying areas (both N and S) are newer and mostly of the tower-housing described above, almost like burbs (but with much higher population densities), like outer Queens and Bklyn.

Almost all neighborhoods of Seoul (~30 minutes walking from A to B) will have a combination of the above to varying degrees and all are very similar. Housing-entertainment/shopping-business, new neighborhood, rinse and repeat. No real 'exclusive' areas, nor 'dives', but a couple of bars might fall under those categories in all areas. Exceptions are Hongdae (western-style nightlife options and Korean 'hipster central' for uni-age to late 20's), Itaewon (mostly foreign-style bars/restaurants and Koreans wanting to experience 'western styles'), and Kangnam (higher-end shopping/nightlife).

Hope this helps.
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BlueFish



Joined: 23 May 2017

PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you SeoulNate and thrylos for your answers!
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Dokdoiskorean



Joined: 11 Jun 2017

PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It can be dangerous for single women, as most crime stats show a lot more violent crime towards women. For men, a lot safer than pretty much anywhere in NA.
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BlueFish



Joined: 23 May 2017

PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 5:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dokdoiskorean I am a single woman. I hadn't heard about the risks for women in Seoul. Are there certain areas that pose greater danger for women?
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edwardcatflap



Joined: 22 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote] It can be dangerous for single women, as most crime stats show a lot more violent crime towards women. For men, a lot safer than pretty much anywhere in NA.
Quote:


Dokdoiskorean I am a single woman. I hadn't heard about the risks for women in Seoul. Are there certain areas that pose greater danger for women?
[quote]


Korea has toughened up their sex crimes laws recently leading to more arrests and convictions, which might explain the higher crime stats.
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tophatcat



Joined: 09 Aug 2006
Location: under the hat

PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="edwardcatflap"][quote] It can be dangerous for single women, as most crime stats show a lot more violent crime towards women. For men, a lot safer than pretty much anywhere in NA.
Quote:


Dokdoiskorean I am a single woman. I hadn't heard about the risks for women in Seoul. Are there certain areas that pose greater danger for women?
Quote:



Korea has toughened up their sex crimes laws recently leading to more arrests and convictions, which might explain the higher crime stats.



Good observation.

thumbs up @ edwardcatflap
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