27 March 2004

Seoul Station

This is Seoul Station, a significant landmark in Seoul and features prominently throughout Seoul’s rich history. It sits on the south-western tip of metro Seoul and is the central transportation hub for Korea’s rail system. It was built in the early 1900 and was originally named Gyeongseong Station. It was only renamed Seoul Station in 1947.

In May 2000, this all changed. The Korean National Railroad began work on the “new” Seoul Station just beside the original building. The original Seoul Station was designated a national landmark and now houses the Railroad Museum.

This is the new Seoul Station. It was officially opened in January 2004. The left wing is the rail terminal proper. It now accomodates Korea’s first high-speed bullet train system KTX which will officially be launched in a few days’ time. On April Fool’s Day to be exact.

The right wing of the building houses the subway station and the fun stuff. The anchor tenant here is Concos, a branch of the upmarket The Galleria department store.

You’ll also find McDonalds, Burger King, KFC, Dunkin Donut, Baskin Robbins, Paris Baguette and upmarket Japanese, Korean and Chinese restaurants. There’s suppose to be an Irish pub in there too, although I didn’t see it for myself. Other Seoul-ites comfort include karaoke rooms equipped with large plasma display panels, a hair saloon, bank, post office, childrens’ playroom, etc. Everything to make your wait for the next train less painful.

This is the ticketing counter. 17 counters to be precise. Statistics has it that about 100,000 people pass through Seoul Station every day. Don’t quote me on that though. I lost track after 7.

The wait area is pretty spacious, with seats to the right as well as upstairs.

This way to the shopping zone. Don’t miss your train though.

People everywhere.

This way to the tracks.

My favourite part of any building ….. the food court.

I glanced through the menu and pretty much all the Korean standards are here. All priced at the typical KRW5,000 region.

It took me a while before I realised the ceiling clock!!

A quick note about food courts. Typically, you place your order at a centralised cashier counter and pay for your order. You’ll then be given a number coupon. You wait till your number is called by referring to an electronic signboard. That’s the red numbers you see on the board on the far wall (to the right of the photo).

An interesting blast from the past here.

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