It is the height of summer now. If you are looking for a place to escape from the scorching heat, there is an ideal getaway right in the heart of Seoul. The Hangang has become a hot spot in summer thanks to its scenic parks, camping grounds, swimming pools and resting areas. The Seoul Metropolitan Government has established a variety of resting facilities around the Hangang. And those facilities are gaining popularity among citizens and tourists from home and abroad.
According to the metropolitan government, more than 6 million people visited the 12 Hangang Parks in July, 2010, which is a 148% increase compared with last year. If you don’t have enough time to travel long distances to spend an exciting summer on the beach, visit the following popular attractions of the Hangang.
Swimming Pools of Hangang Park boast amusement facilities which almost match those of fancy water parks at affordable prices
The swimming pools of Hangang Park boast amusement facilities which almost match those of fancy water parks, attracting a great number of people. Moreover, they offer the best rates when it comes to admission fees: 5,000 won for adults; 4,000 won for youths; 3,000 won for children; and free for children six years or under.
An outstanding example is the Ttukseom Swimming Pool, which features diverse facilities, such as slides, aqua rings, cascades and fountains that make it fun for visitors. Aqua rings and air slides are the most popular attractions among children. The refreshing sound of the water and the happy voices of children are a pleasure to hear.
The sunbathing section of the Ttukseom Swimming Pool opened on July 31. Without the saltiness of sea water, it is refreshing to sunbathe here. The place is gaining a reputation as one of the best places to sunbathe because of its affordable price.
Nanji Camping Ground: you can spend a night in touch with nature in the heart of the city
Recently, camping trips are gaining popularity among people in their thirties and forties. And the Nanji Camping Ground which was remodeled and opened last year is drawing a good number of people everyday. You don’t have to travel long distances to enjoy nature and the fresh air.
The Nanji Camping Site has become an ideal getaway right in the heart of Seoul. Moreover, the Nanji Hangang Park bus station was established on July 23, making it easier to get to the site using public transportation. So, it is expected that the number of visitors will increase this summer.
Hangang Bridge Cafes are crowded with young couples in the evening
Observatory cafes at the bridges over the Hangang are perfect places to bring a date. There are 9 bridge cafes over the Hangang such as Café Rio on Hangang Bridge, Café Aritaum on Yanghwa Bridge, Café Sunset on Dongjak Bridge and Riverview 8th Avenue on Gwanjin Bridge. And those cafes are gaining popularity among citizens.
Most notable among these is the Riverview 8th Avenue, an observatory café located beneath the Gwanjin Bridge, which is very rare in the world. The place is also famous as a location for the recent TV series IRIS. The observatory deck of the café will enthrall as you walk on the glass floor looking at the running river under your feet.
Floating Stage : Enjoy a free outdoor concert
The Floating Stage of the Yeouido Hangang Park was opened in September, 2009, and a variety of concerts, performances and movies are presented on the stage every weekend. Many citizens come here to enjoy free outdoor concerts and movies at night.
The sound of music doesn’t stop here, even when there is no concert or performance, because there are always some gifted citizens giving volunteer performances on the stage.
Cultural complex, ‘Jabeolle’ offers plenty of arts and cultural exhibitions
The Ttukseom Hangang Park boasts an exquisite cultural complex called ‘Jabeolle’, inchworm, which offers a variety of arts and cultural exhibitions as well as a magnificent view of the Hangang. These days the place is crowded with families who drop in to see an animation exhibition after swimming at the pool in the park. Children are fascinated by 3D images and colorful photo zones, and parents by the beautiful sunset over the windows.
The Hangang Animation Festival will run till August 31 at the complex. The exterior of the complex looks like a giant inchworm, and you can experience fantastic 3D and 4D animations within.
On the second and third floors of the complex, there are restaurants and cafes. So when you get hungry after hours of playing in the swimming pool, you don’t have to leave the park to eat something. You can have a meal and relax here.
Bicycle Path : It takes 2 hours from Banpo to Yeouido by bicycle
It is unusual to see people riding bicycles on the bike paths of the Han River. The bicycle paths were built around the Hangang area last year, and it takes about 1 hour from Jamsil to Banpo by bicycle. Riding a bike along the Han River is refreshing and healthy.
Enjoy water sports, cruises, water taxies on the Han River
Recently, more and more people enjoy water sports, cruise ships and water taxies on the Hangang.
Six cruise ships are operating up and down the river 30 times a day. Most of the passengers of the Hangang Water Taxies have been commuters. However, as the weather gets hotter, it is gaining popularity among tourists from home and abroad.
The Moonlight Rainbow Fountain, the world’s longest bridge fountain, has become an international tourist attraction
The Moonlight Rainbow Fountain of the Banpo Bridge has become one of the most popular international attractions in Seoul. It was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s longest bridge fountain in 2008. Nowadays, there are some tourists who visit Hangang just to see this fountain.
The Moonlight Rainbow Fountain first spouted in April, 2009, adding some excitement to the serene river.
The World Cup Fountain was built to commemorate the 2002 FIFA World Cup. The fountain has been moved near Seonyudo to improve access to the fountain in September, 2003. The fountain jets water at a height of 202 meters, and that makes it the second tallest water fountain in the world.
The Plaza Fountain of Yeouido is popular with children. During the day, children play in the water spewing from the fountain, and LED lights illuminating the fountain catch the eyes of visitors at night.