Tuesday, November 29, 2022

.Cheonggyecheon Stream in Seoul

Cheonggyecheon Stream is a 10.9 km (6.8 mile) public recreation area in downtown Seoul.  The stream was covered with concrete and an elevated highway for twenty years during the rapid economic development after the Korean War, but was restored (and the highway removed) starting in 2003.  This restoration was a significant part of the movement to re-introduce nature to the city, promote a more eco-friendly urban design, restore the history and culture of the region, and revitalize the economy of Seoul.

We begin at the beginning of the park in Cheonggye Plaza, a public square that commemorates the restoration of the stream.

Cheonggye Plaza

We then descent into the stream bed and walk along the banks.

Along the stream

As we come to bridges, we find people relaxing on the bank and soaking their feet in the stream.

Relaxing under a bridge

Continuing along the stream, we find local wildlife and reporters recording a story of the day.

Continuing along the stream

Local residents


We find local artwork along the walls of the stream bed.

Art on the stream

As we go further from Cheonggye Plaza, the stream narrows and continues deeper into the city.  Eventually, we take the steps up and out of the stream, back into the busy city streets above and alongside.

Finishing our walk

Friday, November 25, 2022

Insa-dong and Tapgol Park

Insa-dong is an old historic "dong" or neighborhood with a main street connected to a multitude of alleys that lead deep into a district of modern galleries, tea shops, and markets for antiques and artwork.  It's a great place to wander through the 12.7 hectare (31.4 acre) complex.

Wandering through Insa-dong

At one end of Insa-dong, Tapgol Park, the first modern park built in Seoul by Mr. John McLeavy Brown, Inspector General of Customs for Emperor Gwangmu.  On entering the park, we come across the statue of Patriot Euiam Son Byeong-hui, a military and spiritual leader in the 19th century.

Patriot Euiam Son Byeong-hui

Just inside the park are tents with air conditioning (and television) for local residents to cool off on the hot day that we are here.

Cooling tent

A little further in are the Monument of Wongaksa Temple and the Palgakjeong octagonal pavilion where people gathered to declare Korean independence on March 1, 1919.

Monument of Wongaksa Temple and Palgakjeong

Along the side of Tapgol park, we find stone relics excavated in the neighboring area as modern Seoul was developed.  These relics are believe to have been former guardians of the Wongaksa Temple and a pagoda in the park.

Paths of the park

Stone relics

It's been a great wander through the combination of old and new Seoul.