My trip to South Korea began with a weekend in Seoul. Researching where to stay in Seoul quickly revealed Seoul as a very huge and confusing city. With no previous point of reference as to where anything of interest or importance was, my eyes glazed over the sprawling and winding map in front of me.
Of course, I turned to my usual method of just putting everything into Google maps as a point of reference. But even Google was confused! This is never good.
You see, addresses don’t mean much in Seoul. The city is divided into 25 administrative districts, or “gu”. The name of an administrative district always ends in a –gu (Jongno-gu, Dongjak-gu). Those 25 gu are divided into neighborhoods, or “dong”. The address for a teashop in the interesting Insadong neighborhood area might just be #54, Insadong, Jongno-gu, meaning building #54 in the Insadong neighborhood, within the Jongno district.
Usually, the idea of an address is that you can use it to find the exact location of that building. NOPE, not in Seoul. The buildings are numbered, but they are assigned numbers in the order they are built, not according to their relationship with other buildings on the street. Therefore, these numbers are pretty much useless except for the postal service. Read more of Lauren’s travel…