Seonyudo (선유도) is an island in the Hangang (River) just west of Yeouido. This man-made island was originally built to be a sewage treatment plant. From these humble beginnings, the island has been transformed into one of Seoul's most unique parks. The park just opened in April 2003.
After the sewage treatment plant closed, most of the tanks and settling pools were drained, but not removed. Today, the settling pools are homes for a variety of water plants such as rice and water lilies. The storage tanks, minus the roofs, host a playground, amphitheater, and restrooms. Perhaps the most impressive area is what used to be the basement of the main building -- the building is gone, but the area, including the concrete pillars, has a wide variety of plants and pools of water.
The day I toured Seonyudo, there were two groups of young photographers visiting. One group, with beautiful Korean women was taking glamorous photographs with the green plants and falling water in the background. The second group was dressed in gruesome Halloween-style costumes, including all of the usual blood and gore, and taking advantage of the antique, rustic look of the old buildings in the park. These two groups really highlighted the contrasts evident here -- the old stone and brick beside the lush green vegetation.
To get to Seonyudo, take subway line 6 to Hapjeong, then walk across the Yanghwadae Bridge (Yanghwadaegyo). You can also walk to Seonyudo from the south shore of the Han via the beautiful Rainbow Bridge. The address for the park is Nodeul Road 700 (Yanghwa-dong 95), Youngdeunpo-gu , Seoul.
This is a great website (http://www.asla.org/awards/2004/04winners/entry557.html) which shows an award the park received, as well as numerous photos.
Eversince Korean dramas swept across Asian TV, lots of local tourists go to Nami Island (named after a local general). People enjoy biking, riding their scooters and promenading the island's tree lined pathways (pine, sequoia, and birch trees). Lots of couples walk hand-in-hand here as they pose in areas where Winter Sonata, a popular Korean drama, was shot.
Squirrels hop from branch to branch and ostriches run around their fenced area. Camping, water-skiing, staying in different accommodations (hotel, individual cottages) are also possible.
Of course the food stalls have higher-priced bottled drinking waters and food (at least double the normal prices)
It takes 3-4 hours to tour the area coupled with almost 1.5 hours of train travel one-way) from Seoul city center. Since we were there on a 3-day weekend, it took us 20 minutes to line up for the exit and wait for the ferry (arrives every 10-15 mins). Thus, I recommend that you take this day tour only if you've seen the major attractions in Seoul (palaces and markets) or if you're into enjoying the outdoors.
1) Take subway to Cheongnyangni Stn (Line 1, Exit 4).
2) From Cheongnyangni stn, walk towards the train station behind Lotte Department Store.
3) Buy ticket going to Gapyeong Stn. (3500 W with reserved seat, 3000 W no seat). Train journey of 1 hr and 15 min allows you to see lakes, mountains and quieter rural areas.
4) From Gapyeong Station, take either a bus or taxi. It's a 10 minute taxi ride (3500-4000 W) going to the Namisum ferry. It's more economical to share a taxi.
5) Ferry Hours: 7:30AM to 7:30PM Admission (round-trip ferry boat fee included): - W 5,000 (ages 20 and above) - W 3,500 (ages 13 to 18) - W 2,500 (ages 5 to 12) - W 3,500 (ages 65+ and for handicapped) - discounts for a group of 20 or more.
Located next to the new Korean National Museum, Yongsan Family Park probably isn't "off the beaten path" anymore! When I lived in Korea, it was a quiet spot, excellent for a picnic or a stroll.
This site was originally the headquarters for the Japanese forces that invaded Korea in 1592. Since the end of the Korean War, the area of the park was the golf course on the US Army Post called Yongsan Garrison. This land was returned in Korea in 1992. Because of the Japanese and US occupation of the area, this piece of land was closed to the Koreans for about 100 years.
Take subway line 1 or 4 to Ichon Station and walk east.
The address of the park is 68-87 Yongsan-dong 6-ga | Yongsan-gu, Seoul 140-026, South Korea.
Located just north of Hyochang Park Station (Line 6), Hyochang Park (효창공원) has a stadium, art museum, an anticommunist monument, and several tombs and monuments for Korean patriots and martyrs. The site was originally a royal tomb for several princes, princesses ... and a few royal concubines. The Japanese, during their occupation, forced the move of the tombs to another site, making this area a park. After WW II and the end of Japanese occupation, the park became a monument and burial site for some of the great Korean patriots who helped liberate the country such as Lee Bong Chang, Yoon Bong Gil, and An Jung Geun.
This forest retreat located in northeast Seoul is a nice getaway from the bustle of downtown and also a great opportunity to see some trees and plant life not widely found in Korea. "On the 780 square meters area southwest of Mt. Cheonjangsang, there are 9 gardens such as a garden of conifers, a garden of broadleaf trees and an ornamental garden, 3 botanical gardens with edible & medicinal plants garden, an aquatic garden and a wetland garden." (from the Official Site of Korea Tourism) It's a nice area for a stroll and some quiet, and it's fairly easy to get to.
DIRECTIONS: From Exit 2 of Cheongnyangni Station (Subway Line 1) →Take bus No.1215 (around the corner in front of Post Office) → Get off at Hongneung Arboretum / King Sejong Great Memorial Hall (5 minute ride).
ADMISSION FEES: Free (Open only on Saturdays and Sundays)
Namsangol, as the name implies, sits on the northern edge of Namsan, just south of Chungmuro Station. It is a nice quiet park with a variety of interesting attractions. There are several traditional-style houses that are replicas of former homes of Korea's kings, queens, and royal concubines (it's good to be king!). Near these houses there are a few shops, an area where you can try traditional Korean games, and some food stands. Namsangol also contains a time capsule that was put in place in 1994 for Seoul's 600th anniversary as the capital of Korea, and is scheduled to be opened in the year 2394 to celebration Seoul's 1000th anniversary! I'm glad someone plans ahead... There are also a nice stream and pond with fish, a few trails, and several pavilions great for a picnic or just relaxing.
Namsangol has no entrance fee, it is open until 7pm, and it is located just south of Chungmuro Station near the Korea House dinner theater.
The major river that now bisects Seoul and used to form its southern boundary is the han. When I first started coming to Korea, it was an ignored cesspool, thought of only when its flooding closed some of the bridges that barely scrape the wave-tops. However, the river has been cleaned somewhat and parks have been built on its banks, allowing for pleasant strolls with river views. You can even take cruises on the Han, though I have never done so -- it's not quite the Hudson or the Seine yet!
Well I cant remember the name of the ski resort. I just know its about a hr outside of seoul... or something like that.. They have been called mountians, but after boarding Sierra Blanca and Keystone. at least 10k ft these are hills to me. Plus side is you dont get out of breath as fast! Either way its a great time. Maybe next time Ill get a lot of real snow!
Youido Park is located in what is known as the "Manhattan" of Seoul. It is a peaceful green area located in the middle of tall concrete buildings. If you are on Youido Island then this is a good place to get away from the urban craziness. It is worth seeing the big statue of King Sejong located in the park.
In Spring this park is ablaze with blossoms; notably Cherry Blossom and fragrant Magnolias. Its a wonderful place for a stroll.
The park in addition to garden also houses, a small zoo, an aviary and an Ape/Monkey House.
However I wouldn't go during the weekend, for it is chocka with families and screaming mee mees or should I say Children. The best time to visit is during the week in the evening. There are a couple of Kimbab type restaurnats there too, if you are peckish. You can even buy beer there and sit down and sup.
Outside the main gate (which is a beautiful traditional style gate) there are venders who sell steamed crab, barbeque Chicken on Skewers (Dukh Gutchi) and raw squid with hot sauce.
Childrens Grand park Station is on the Olive line or line number 7, one stop north of Konguk University station.
From The kangnam/Sinsa dong area you can take the #567 bus, or from Tongdaemun the #225 Bus.
Lotte World is an big amusement park in Seoul and the biggest indoor amusement park in the world. It offers great amusement and interesting architecture.
There is also a magical island with a fun castle and a lot of more ...
Occasionally you come across a really beautiful spot and we did last Sunday at the Anglican Convent (attached to the Anglican Cathedral). You can stay here for a fee, I'm not sure if there are any conditions though... but the garden is beautiful.
. . .the main reason that ExpoPark is so cool is the people-watching factor.
Couples come here to get married. . .kids go nuts when they see the ExpoPark mascot (you can see the yellow character in the photograph). . .it's basically a fun place to spend an afternoon.
ExpoPark is a science theme park. . .built during the country's 1993 National Exposition. There are a series of pavilions based on different aspects of science ~ electricity, technology, earth, nature. The content of the pavilions themselves varies greatly. . .but the main reason that ExpoPark is so cool is the people-watching factor.
... and there is a recommendable folk museum within this complex. It offers a pavillion course through korean history, miniature villages etc .... BUT too dark to take photographs with an 100 ASA film ....