Thursday, June 9, 2011

[SEOUL] The Cheonggyecheon Walkathon


Cheonggyecheon is a restored stream that starts from Cheonggye Plaza and ends somewhere at Dongdaemun. The plaza is located between Gwanghwamun and Seoul City Hall. It is not that hard to miss because of the cone structure thingy that looks like a red and blue beehive that marks the plaza. This stream is long. I walked for two hours without rushing and it still didn’t want to end. And so I exited at Dongdaemun to see the gate. The map said that it would continue farther by a few more kilometers.


Just like the Jogyesa, this stream is also a good source of tranquility in a busy urban area. Situated right in the middle of northern Seoul, it is easily accessible to people both professionals and tambays alike. The Seoulites are lucky to have such an attraction within their vicinity. Taking a stroll is not a hard task given its layout. Through its course, either side (or most of the time both) is designed with wide pathways and benches where one can rest and just admire the beauty of the scenery. Every few hundred meters, some steps made of concrete line the water to enable anyone to cross to the other side.


What I could say is that the first half of the stream from the Gwanghwamun area is worth the excursion. Starting from the mentioned beehive thingy, the stream starts with a waterfall which is displayed with magnificent lights nightly. Too bad I wasn’t able to witness that. Anyway, the first half is well-designed and is guaranteed to keep your attention given the different designs and features along the way. The second half is no longer that interesting because of the repetitive characteristics made even more forgettable by the presence of wild grass along the area, or perhaps it was just temporarily unkempt when I dropped by for a visit.


Some insects join you in your walkathon as it gets dark, so my suggestion is to visit before sundown. You can exit the stream anytime anyway when the street above approaches an intersection. You can use a footbridge to climb up to the main road.

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