Tag Archives: Seoul parks

Yeouido Saetgang Ecological Park (여의도샛강생태공원) from Saetgang Bridge

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

Yeouido Saetgang Bridge - modern architecture

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.

Yeouido Saetgang at night - source: http://www.nightview.kr/night/new_gallery/1781172

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.

Nearby, you may also want to visit the Yeouido Spring Flower Festival during Cherry Blossom season, or Yeouido Park.

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

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Seonyudo Park

Beautiful ecological park located on the Hangang river right in the middle of the city. Seonyudo Island is a popular destination for families and school tours proposing many enjoyable and educational activities – the Ecological Water Playground, Aquatic Botanical Garden, Green house, World Cup Fountain, Wild Plant Life Zone and more.Seonyudo ParkSeonyudo Park

Seonyudo Park (Korean website only) was created by a conversion of a former water treatment plant operational from 1978 until 1998. In 1999, the Seoul Metropolitan Government decided to convert the island into an urban park as part of its ‘New Seoul’ initiative and the result is just awesome.

The existing water treatment infrastructure was repurposed to frame and guide the design of the new ecological park. For example, former basins and conduits are now the settings for a variety of native aquatic plants. Chemical decomposition vats now house an aroma garden, a moss garden and a fern garden. Multi-level walkways and boardwalks provide interesting views over the gardens and take visitors on an informative and leisurely journey through the park. In an another area, circular water containers have been transformed into an ecological children’s playground.

You will also find a museum dedicated to the Hangang River and the reconversion process of the island.  For delicious food, cafe latte or just superb views, we recommend a stop at the riverside cafe-restaurant converted from a pump station. Continuing to explore, you can also find an art gallery, a greenhouse, and a 200-seat amphitheater.

The park is accessible from Hangang’s southern bank by the beautiful Seongyugyo footbridge – the ‘Footbridge of Peace’. As there are no cars allowed on the island the Seonyudo Island is a quiet and perfect place for walks, plays and picnics in the centre of Seoul.

How to get there:

  • Dangsan Station – subway line 2, Exit # 1 >> Take bus #605, 6623, 6631, 6632, 6633 and get off at Hanshin Apt. >> Cross over Seonyudo Bridge
  • Hapjeong Station – subway line 2 or 6, Exit # 8) >> Take bus #604, 5712, 6712, 6716 and get off at Hanshin Apt. >> Cross over Seonyudo Bridge

For directions, go to: Seoul Map for Kids & Families

Yangjae Citizens Forest

Yangjae Citizens’ Forest has been opened in 1986 and at this time before the opening of the Seoul Forest, became the largest man-made forest in Seoul. Yangjae Citizens’ Forest is located in the southern part of Seocho-gu and is well stocked with 10,000 trees of 45 species such as pine, zelkova, metasequoia, maple and ash trees giving off fresh oxygen to the air and providing cool shade. Meanwhile, 52,000 shrubs and small trees of 15 species, such as rhododendron, azalea, winged euonymus, beauty berry and rose vines fill the forest with different colors and scents in every season.

There are many things to do in the forest. You can just relax while walking along the trail, you can refresh your mind and body by walking in the barefoot park on the wooden trail, pebbles and red clay trail, or you can just have a family picnic in the shadow of the trees.

There is also a lovely playground, the water fountain and small man-made stream in the middle of the forest. From the beginning of spring with its warm sunshine through the end of hot summer, you can see children playing with water on fine days.

An outdoor swimming pool located between Yeongdongyo of Yangjaecheon and Yangjae Citizens’ Forest has become a haven for children during hot and humid summer.

Directions

Take exit no. 7 from Yangjae Station on subway line no. 3 -> Take a taxi (less than ten minutes) or take a bus headed toward Seongnam and get off at “Shiminae Sup.”
Address: 236 Yangjae-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul

Small parking lot available at the eastern entrance.