In the stifling heat of the summer, visitors will find a unique sight stretching along the Hangang River. In Seoul, there is something called “Hangang Culture,” which can only found and experienced on summer nights at the Hangang River, referring to how the riverside becomes filled with places to watch movies, have a drink, or even sleep for a night.
On summer nights at the Hangang River, you can sit outside a convenience store and drink a can of beer or spend a night in a tent, enjoying the cool breeze from the river. You can also watch movies all night under the Hangang Bridge or go on a moonlight bike ride along the riverbank.
Here we will introduce a number of ways to have fun on summer nights along Seoul’s Hangang River. In the summer, the “Hangang Summer Festival” is held at all 11 of the Hangang Parks. The nights are short and there is a lot to do. It is almost a crime to go to bed early when there is twice as much fun to be had during the summer nights in Seoul.
Summertime Fun on the Hangang River!
There are unique movie theaters all along the Hangang River that only open in the summer. Under eight of the bridges that stretch across the Hangang River (Seongsandaegyo Bridge in Mangwon, Cheongdamdaegyo Bridge in Ttukseom, Wonhyodaegyo Bridge in Yeouido, Cheonhodaegyo Bridge in Gwangnaru, Banghwadaegyo Bridge in Gangseo, Yanghwadaegyo Bridge in Yanghwa, Dongjakdaegyo Bridge in Banpo, and Hannamdaegyo Bridge in Jamwon), visitors may sit down and watch movies free of charge. The films screened vary by theme and venue, offering visitors a wide variety of films in some of the “coolest” theaters in Seoul.
Also, the Hangang River is the only place in Seoul that features high-quality, outdoor performances of street artists at night in the middle of summer. After the hot sun has set, comedies, exotic performances, b-boy music, flash mob performances, and other exciting events are held along the Hangang River, which appears to embrace the shadow of the moon. The Hangang Street Performance Festival is held between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. on summer nights along the Hangang River.
Another way to enjoy the summer in Seoul is by pitching a tent at one of the many campgrounds along the Hangang River. There are a total of 530 sites at five campgrounds in the Ttukseom, Jamsil, Jamwon, Yeouido, and Yanghwa Hangang Parks. Campers are permitted to stay overnight from 3 p.m. to 11 a.m. the next day and are charged only KRW 20,000 for a four-person tent, making it a perfectly affordable activity for tourists.
Tables, chairs, and an icebox can be rented separately, and various amenities, including shower and barbeque areas, are also available. These campgrounds are great places to enjoy a summer night, free from the stress and pressure of everyday life.
In the summer, inflatable waterslides and outdoor pools are set up along the Hangang River, making it a great place to beat the heat with the whole family. The water quality is strictly monitored and maintained, and a variety of pools, including baby pools and standard-sized pools, are available for all kinds of water activities. Shower facilities, changing rooms, and beach umbrellas are also available. And with the wide range of snacks and foods available, visitors are guaranteed to have an all-round good time.
Yachting, kayaking, and rides on inflatable boats are available free of charge for everyone at Yeouido Hangang Park, as well as the “Blob Jump,” where you jump onto a huge inflated cushion (the “Blob”), bounce high into the air, and fall into the water. Also, anyone who attends the Hangang Water Fight Festival will have a great time on the massive waterslide and enjoying water balloon and water gun fights, working up a sweat while avoiding the scorching heat.
The Hangang Box One Race is a popular and unique boat race, and similar races are held at festivals in various parts of the world, where participants use recycled cardboard and paper boxes to make boats and race them across a body of water. The boat race in Seoul is held at Jamsil Hangang Park, next to the gateball field.
During the Hangang Summer Festival period, an array of performances is held on weekend nights for three hours, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., for the month of August at the Yeouido Floating Stage in Yeouido Hangang Park. Visitors will be treated to fusion Korean traditional music, musicals, jazz, pop music, and instrumental performances free of charge.
In the clear, open sky above the Hangang River, Saturn, Venus, and the moon are all visible, making it a great place for stargazing. There is also a place where you can learn how to perform amazing magic tricks for free. Additionally, classes are offered that teach visitors how to observe dark spots on the sun during the day, stargaze at night, and use a telescope. People can also participate in star face painting, star quizzes, star painting, zodiac origami, and zodiac fortune-telling on cloudy days. There is never a lack of fun things to do at the Hangang River.
Activity and nature learning programs that are ordinarily difficult for children to join, such as water sports classes and the Hangang Ecology Summer School, are also available. Summer activities designed especially for families, the Duck Boat Race and water sports classes are also a lot of fun for all.
Chanting “Faster! Faster!,” the families who try out kayaking for the first time at one of the water sports classes on the Hangang River usually talk faster than they row, amid their children’s cheers of excitement. The families that take part in the festival always leave with unforgettable memories. The Blob Jump and the other water activities available throughout the Hangang Summner Festival period are not only popular among Seoul citizens but among foreign tourists as well. And for the elderly, there are pansori performances, namsadang nori, and other traditional performances.