Yeouido Saetgang Ecological Park, the first ecological park in Korea, is a green botanical gem nested in central Seoul. Take a stroll from its stunning Saetgang Bridge and enjoy beautiful city views, ponds, flowers and birds-watching
The park was named after the word “Saetgang” (샛강) which means a branch of a river flowing around an island then joining back the main stream, i.e. the Han River. In this case, this serves as the separation between the island of Yeouido and Yeongdeungpo.
For many years until the mid 1990’s, this wetland stretch had been neglected and had almost turned into an open-air sewer. Luckily, following a complete green-friendly redevelopment, Yeouido Saetgang Ecological Park was opened to the public in 1997 and became the first ecological park of its kind in Korea.
We started our walk from Seoul bridge side (west of the park) and headed towards the new Saetgang Pedestrian bridge. It is a superb work of design and architecture, opened quite recently since Spring 2011. Actually, Saetgang bridge is fully worth the visit on its own for its beauty and the breathtaking panorama at Yeouido skyline and Seoul center in the background. The bridge is accessible both for pedestrians and bikers.
We were there on a beautiful blue-sky Saturday afternoon, but the bridge is also beautiful at night, judging from the great picture taken by a highly gifted fellow photographer.
Don’t forget your camera for those postcard-perfect pictures of the unusual asymmetrical bridge shape or just the most memorable family snapshots!
Getting back to the green, the Ecological park provides six kilometers of both walking and biking lanes swirling the lush wetland area. You will find charming water streams, ponds, wooden paths and several educational signs featuring the park fauna and flora. Many birds, ducks (and if you’re lucky even rabbits) can be spotted for the joy of our little ones.
During Spring and Summer, Yeouido Saetgang Park is nicely shady and fresh thus providing perfect spots for a family picnic. Although it is located close to the Olympic Highway, we were surprised that the traffic noise was barely heard – probably thanks to the numerous trees serving as acoustic insulation.
How to get there:
- Yeouido Station (Seoul Subway Line 5 or 9), Exit 1 or 6.
Go 370m forward to arrive at Yeouido Saetgang Ecological Park
For directions, go to Seoul Map for Kids & Families