Monday, March 26, 2012

Backpacking Korea: Cheonggyecheon River Park

As we continuoe to tour around Seoul, we got to Cheonggyecheon River Park. This place is located at Seoul-si Jongno-gu Changsin1-dong just near the Gyeongbokgung Palace and you can actually walk to this place from there.

The stream has a park built on its side. Tourists can walk and enjoy nature in the middle of the city. There are some ducks on the stream and they are really nice to take pictures of. Also, they are so amazing that they could endure the coldness since most of the sides of the stream still are frozen.

The stream was said to be neglected a long time ago and was just restored and turned into a very nice park. Today, you can see the clean water running through it. People walking along the side walk or crossing the bridges that was built on it. It is very pretty and relaxing to be there.

This stream was restored to be what it is today
Some background on this place:
Cheonggyecheon Stream used to exist merely as an overpass neglected in 1970 until it was restored in 2005, becoming a haven of natural beauty amidst the bustle of city life. 

Narae Bridge, expressing a butterfly in flight, and Gwanggyo Bridge, symbolizing the harmony of the past and future, are just two of the more than twenty beautiful bridges featured along the path of the stream. The ‘Rhythmic Wall Stream’, lined with fine marble, various sculptures, and Korea’s 8th stone building, Palseokdam, adorn the Cheonggyecheon Stream. 

Cheonggyecheon Stream offers many beautiful sights to see and enjoy: 
l The grand fountain, located in Cheonggye Plaza 
l Dapgyonori on the Gwangtong Bridge - a ritual of crossing the bridge on the first full moon of the new year to ensure that for one year, the one who crosses will not have any leg ailments. 
l A ceramic mural of a king making a grand voyage to Hwaseong, Jeongjobanchando 
l A colorful cloth wall made of fabrics from Dongdaemun’s fashion district 
l A cultural wall painting by 5 local artists 
l A reproduction of an area where folk woman used to do their laundry 
l A wishing wall, where more than 20,000 people have written their deepest desires 
l A tunnel fountain 
l Jonchigyogak, an angle of intersection left behind when the Cheonggye overpass was removed 
l The aquatic life dwelling among the willows 

Furthermore, the Deoksugung Palace, Seoul Plaza, the Sejong Center, Insa-dong Street, the Changdeokgung Palace, and the Changgyeonggung Palace all lie adjacent to the Cheonggyecheon Stream, allowing visitors to easily visit the tourism sites after a leisurely stroll along the stream. 

There is a fountain in the plaza near the stream, it looked nice and cools since there are still frozen parts of it.
The fountain at one end of the stream

going under the bridges

stepping stone bridges to get to the other side

the clean water that run on it

plants around (it's winter so, they all have no leaves)

What is also nice about this is that it is easy to go too, you can just walk from a subway station and you can get here and enjoy the scenery.

More information:
Tour Course Information

* Tour by foot
A tour of Cheonggyecheon Stream by a cultural heritage guide (Korean, English, Chinese, Japanese)

Course 1 (Cheonggye Plaza -> Ogansu Bridge): est. 3 hours
Course 2 (Cheonggye Cultural Center -> Ogansu Bridge): est. 2 hours 30 minutes

Seoul City Tours (            02-3707-9453      ~4 : Korean, English, Chinese, Japanese)
Gwanghwamun Tourist Information Center (            02-735-8688      : Korean, English, Chinese, Japanese)
※ Please apply 3 days before the desired date of the tour.

*Cheongyecheon Stream 2-story bus tour

- Departure Location: In front of Gwanghwamun Donghwa Duty Free Shop (Subway Line 5, Gwanghwamun Station Exit#6)

- Departure Times: 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 16:00, 19:00

- Tour Lengths: 100min ~ 120min (times change depending on traffic)

- Bus Passenger Limit: 73 Persons (2nd floor 55 people, 1st floor 18 people)

- Resting Days: Mondays (If the Monday is a holiday, regular operations will commence)

- Admission Fee: adults 5,000 won / high-school students and younger 3,000 won

- Contact: Gwanghwamun Tourist Information Center (            02-735-8688       Korean, English, Chinese, Japanese)
Interpretation Services Offered
Walking Tour info
- English, Japanese and Chinese available
- 3 times a day: from Cheonggye Plaza to Ogansu Bridge, from Cheonggye Museum to Ogansu Bridge
- Reservation : Tel.             02-397-5908       (please reserve 5 days in advance)

Subway Line 1: City Hall Station, Jonggak Station, Jongno 3-ga Station, Jongno 5-ga Station, Dongdaemun Station, Sinseoldong Station
Line 2: Euljiro 1-ga Station, Euljiro 3-ga Station, Euljiro 4-ga Station, Sindang Station, Sangwangsibni Station
Line 3: Jongno 3-ga Station
Line 4: Dongdaemun History & Culture Park Station
Line 5: Gwanghwamun Station
Exit towards Cheonggyecheon Stream

It is one of the many places you can go to whenever you're touring the city of Seoul. It is accessible and a nice place to take photos of in the city.

Cheonggyecheon River Park
Seoul-si Jongno-gu Changsin1-dong
Korea Travel Phone +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
For more info +82-2-2290-7125 (Korean)

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