Thursday, 16 May 2013

Walking the Cheonggyecheon: Part 2

Click here to read Part 1 of this post if you haven't already.

This photo shows the delapidated shantytowns that lined the stream in the 1950s, before it was covered over with concrete for several decades.

These concrete columns were formerly part of the highway that ran over the Cheonggyecheon for several decades. You can see how they looked in the 1960s in the photo below this one.

The romance bridge, where lovers are encouraged to propose.

Reproductions of the old shacks that once lined the stream.
These square doors open to let flood waters into the stream during heavy rains.

The Cheonggyecheon Museum, which we didn't have time to explore, sadly.

Exploring the shacks, which are filled with 1960s Korean memorabilia.

As one goes further along the Cheonggyecheon, it intersects not only with other streams and rivers but with many overpasses and highways. Despite all the concrete it's still a very pleasant place to walk.

At this point the stream becomes very wide just before it joins with the Han River, which itself flows into the Yellow Sea and the Pacific Ocean.
On our journey back home, we found ourselves on a train which was in between journeys and being cleaned. We weren't actually supposed to be on board, but consequently we got to ride the metro with no other passengers around us, something few Seoulites ever get to experience. We couldn't help but celebrate the momentary peace and quiet!

Most visitors to the Cheonggyecheon only visit small portions of the stream, but I'd highly recommend walking its entire length if you ever have the time. It's an incredibly serene place, so far removed from the chaos of the cityscape surrounding it. It's also impressive to see how this formerly neglected place could be restored to such beautiful conditions in the space of just a few years.

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