02 Feb Korea: Seoul, Cheonggyecheon Stream
Before our visit to Seoul, I’ve bookmarked a few interesting places to visit and Cheonggyecheon Stream was one of them. And I was especially interested in finding the reproduction of slums in the 1950s & 1960s. The refugees whom, during the Korean war built the huts along the East of the stream. Which was unexpectedly far from the entrance. I did ask people along the way with a picture of the huts, some locals didn’t even know of its’ existence… gwa gwa~.
And so the start of the stream happens at where Gwanghwamun Square is at. Apparently, walking tours are available at this link. Unless you really need a guide to explain everything you see, it’s perfectly fine to just shoot the breeze and walk on your own like we did.
Admiral Yi Sun Shin’s Statue.
King Sejong statue can be seen as well along Gwanghwamun Square.
Wishing well on the stream. Not that I’m hungry but it really reminded me of a freaking abalone from the top. Looking like the ones we had in Jeju island. It is said that if you manage to toss your coin in the center, your wishes will come true.
The locals seemed to enjoy having a stroll along the stream, sitting around and dipping their feet into the water.
Many couples spotted along the stream. At first, the walk was kinda refreshing and all with the random artworks on walls, mini waterfalls, the nature and mallard ducks chasing each other down the stream and such. Then the 2nd hour past, we were like dragging out feets because like the future path seemed bleak. Like why did the article misled me into thinking that the slums wasn’t that far away? I was wondering if I’ve gone the wrong direction. If i did, 晴天霹雳1 please.
Cute S.E.O.U.L block characters.
me: hey! nice skin.
fish: hey! nice shoes.
Not only the stream was long. The shopping malls along Dongdaemun was like neverending. The number of wholesale shops in Dongdaemun is crazy. Even the scene of many makeshift shipping vendors along the entrance of the malls were amazing.
Like I said, our future pathway were bleak. Looking out at a far distance, we STILL didn’t even manage to perhaps spot a tiny piece of something that evidently looked like the parts of a wooden hut. We started out late in the noon like 4ish and ended up here about 6ish near 7. The sun was setting, time were running out so we ditched the plan to walk. I flagged down cabs and they again had no idea where I was referring to with the picture of the slums. Whutt?? Finally, the 4th cab we flagged down knew where and we hopped on. It was in fact just opposite the Cheonggyecheon Museum. Dammit!... I must have overlooked the information on where it was near. It could have been much easier otherwise. Unfortunately, we got there really late, the museum was closing and I ended up not having a look what’s in the huts. I could only take pictures of the exterior of the huts and move on.
So for someone who is interested in trying to find this exact location, I would actually advise you to start your day earlier and walk the other way round instead. To get to Cheonggyecheon Museum first!
Because the museum closes at like 8pm, you could even visit the museum first then cross the road, witness the reproduction of slums on the inside of the huts and the exterior then finally head on to the entrance where Gwanghwamun Square was at. If you take this route instead, it will be more of a “bitter first (to work harder at the beginning) and enjoy (the scenic stream) later”.
530, Cheonggyecheon-ro, Seongdong-gu, Seoul [서울특별시 성동구 청계천로 530 (마장동)]
Thankfully, I didn’t have to go back empty handed. And this is a picture of what I was after right from the beginning. Indeed, it is possible to see the other side of Seoul within a few hours apart. Cheonggyecheon stream is definitely worth the time to explore. A place within the city that actually provides a space for people to slow down the pace and relax.
Here’s a video of my favorite Korean youtuber, Professor Oh explaining the abouts of the stream. Just one regret, WHY you no make this video earlier? Still.. for the benefit of others, it’s an awesome video.
晴天霹雳1 = thunder from a clear sky (idiom); a bolt from the blue.