Seoul may seem kind of soul-less when you first get there; travelling from airport to city. Not much greenery, lots of drab concrete tenement-like buildings on the outskirts, then into the vehicular chaos of the CBD. But after a couple of visits there, I started discovering pockets of oases amidst the urban sprawl. Places where Seoulites find sojourn to recharge and rejuvenate. Places with great finds to just discover and explore. Places which enable one to just take it slow with nature. So maybe the next time you head to Seoul, you can take some time out from all the frenzy of shopping and eating to just chill for a bit.
This man-made stream runs for about 11km from Cheonggye Plaza to the Hangang River and passes through some major points of interest and under 22 bridges. At lunch-time, it is an oasis for busy office-workers to step out for a breath of fresh air, before heading back to the grind.
The Fortress Wall of Seoul
Built back in 1396, the Seoul Fortress Wall runs for 18.6km around the Seoul city centre. There are a few gates from which to enter the trail but we started off at Hyehwamun Gate and our leisurely stroll brought us through Ihwa Village to end in Dongdaemun.
Ewha Woman’s University
Wait, what? Why go to a university, and a woman’s only university, at that? Good thing we went too, if not to rediscover our lost youth but also to marvel at some bold and spectacular architecture, beautiful grounds and stylish and accomplished young ladies. Oh, and we nearly did not make it to the University, being waylaid by these cute shops plying really cheap ladies wear, accessories and skincare, the minute we exited the station.
N Seoul Tower
You should not miss the Namsan (that’s what the “N” stands for) Seoul Tower because it is the highest structure in Seoul city. So, unless your eyes are only focused on the cute cafes, ubiquitous skincare shops and sizzling street food, you will see this tower in the backdrop. Even if you’ve been here before, it is always a pleasant and refreshing walk uphill (you have been warned!) from Myeong Dong. Oh, and the cafe at the bottom of the tower serves up one of the best waffles in town so yes, another reason to go!
Do you have any favourite nature spaces in Seoul that you enjoyed? Do share it with us for our next trip to Korea 😉