Where to go in Seoul: Hangang Park along Han River

Saturday, June 14, 2014 0 Comments A+ a-

Hangang park
Panorama of one of the sights in Hangang Park

During the second to the last day in Seoul, Korea was the definition of summer - it was so hot - but not as hot as Manila, of course. I immediately wished I wore a dress or a sleeveless shirt rather than my 3/4 blouse as I found myself sweating while walking the streets. Thankfully, afternoons leading to evening were cooler, which made me decide to go to Hangang Park.

Hangang Park is a people's park surrounding the Hangang/Han River, one of the major rivers in South Korea. Today, you can find restaurants, bicycle paths, jogging paths, public swimming pools, and public parks along the river. If only the Philippine government isn't corrupt, we could've had this type of park in the country. Well... sigh.

It was my first solo adventure in our Seoul trip and thankfully I didn't get lost going there! It's pretty simple using Metroid, a Korea subway info app, where you input where you'll be travelling from and your destination. 

So I came from Myeongdong and my destination is to Yeouinaru station. Travel time is approximately 29 minutes and there's only one transfer - in Dongdaemun History and Culture Park station. It's not hard to travel by subway since there are English, Japanese, and Chinese translations of the announcements so you won't miss your stop. 


I read somewhere in a blog that Yeouinaru station is one of the deepest stations in Seoul and it's right - there are maybe three high escalators and a couple of stairs to climb. Once I arrived in Yeouinaru (take exit 2 or 3) station, there were plenty of youths carrying picnic mats. I honestly did not expect that the place was sprawling! There were so many spots to relax and most importantly (!!!!) there were a lot of couples relaxing. Seriously, Seoul is infested with couples! Hahaha I felt so jealous and a bit sad.

First off, I bought some fish balls covered with sweet and sour sauce for 4,000 KRW. It was too expensive, in my opinion. But I needed energy for my biking activity later.



When I went there, there was a performer in the park, who was getting some attention from the visitors. Later on, the place was filled with people - even a couple of bikers stopped by to watch:


As I said earlier, there were a lot of couples and some groups relaxing on their picnic mats. It looked so inviting to relax, especially with my strained ankle. But I had to find the bike rental place first.

It must be nice to read a book or talk with your loved one here... ^^;;
From exit 2/3 of Yeouinaru, I had to take a long walk before finding the bicycle rental place. Maybe I took the wrong exit? Anyway, it must be a long 15-20 minute walk and limping before I finally saw the bikes. I wasn't able to take a photo but there were couple bikes, bikes with a basket in front, and plenty of mountain bikes. I wanted to rent the mountain bike but I had a bag and a water bottle with me so I rented the one with the basket in front. It made some creaks every time I pedalled but it's fine, as long as it's running. 

Rent of the bike is 3,000 KRW for one hour. They get your ID and exchange with a receipt, which you have to present after an hour to get your ID back. I started biking at 7:30 p.m. and it was still bright outside.

There are bike lanes and jogging paths and make sure that you stay right. Thankfully, the farther I got, the less loitering people I encountered so there were less heart-stopping moments and intense braking. 


Han river's biking road is nearly 40 kilometers long so you can take the challenge and bike as far as you want. I only had an hour to bike so I did not go too far. The air was so clean! It must be so nice to visit this place with your own bike and bike leisurely. 

Stopped by to capture the sunset
When I was going back to the bike rental place, I encountered this place where adults and kids can play in the water. I was happy to see this place, which was where Infinite filmed one of the episodes of Sesame player hehehe


Before 8:30 p.m., I returned the bike, which was good timing since it was becoming dark and more dangerous to bike since the bike I used had no light attached. 


If ever I have the chance to go back to Seoul, I will go back to Hangang river to rent the mountain bike and try to bike at least 10 kilometers. I felt so much at home in this place (and in Seoul too) that my sister and I did not want to go home at all. In the future, I'd love to bring my loved one here and share my experience. :)