Thursday, June 11, 2009

Daelim Station

Lodging: No
Tourist Office: No
Of interest: Chinese restaurants and stores

The same day that I discovered Soyosan, I discovered a real Chinatown in Seoul.

As anyone who visits Korea (or Japan for that matter) discovers, there are a couple of fake Chinatowns in Seoul and Busan. You might think that there are few Chinese people living in Korea. In fact, there is a large Chinese community in Korea. Most Chinese do not live together in one area, but are spread out through the country. One area that has many Chinese residents is an area south of Daelim Station.

Daelim Station is a transfer point between lines 2 and 7 in southwestern Seoul.

I walked out of one of the line 7 exits and started to explore. At first, I didn't see much, although the area is one of the more attractive in Seoul. Between a triangle of main streets is a maze of alleys and houses. In the middle of this labyrinth is a road that is larger than the rest that is lined with restaurants and shops with signs in Chinese.

I used to know more than 500 characters. I used to be able to read the names of at least some Chinese dishes. But not anymore. I couldn't read much, but I noticed that a few places were advertising Szechuan food. That is interesting because most Chinese residents of Korea come from north eastern China, particularly Manchuria. I also noticed a dish whose first two characters were "cow" and "sun". I would very much like to know what a cow sun is.

Perpendicular to this road is a food market with many Chinese products along with the typical Korean stuff.

With all this and finding out that part of line 2 runs above ground, I thought I was never going to come to the end of the days discoveries. Rail travel opens up whole new worlds.

No comments: