Something about being near water is simply relaxing. When the weather finally agrees to reward Seoul, Korea with a mild and sunny day after a brutally long winter people tend to flock to the Han River. Here are 10 ways to enjoy the river in the coming months while teaching English in Korea.
photo credit: my cool friend, James
1) Banpo Bridge
The Banpo Bridge is home to the world's largest bridge water fountain show. Arrive around dusk and enjoy the multi-colored show of lights and water. It is amazing, this picture from last summer doesn't do it justice!
2) Walk, run, or roller-blade - just get out there and be active.
You will feel 100x better after an active river excursion on a day off from teaching English in Korea. Separate pedestrian paths line both sides of the river and you can cross the water at various bridges.
3) Yes, those are floating islands in the river.
The Seoul Floating Island (3 separate islands) is an artificial island in the river and was built in 2006 after a Seoul citizen, Kin Eun Sung, suggested the project. Kinda cool and random, huh? I love it. Make your way over to the islands while enjoying the Han River in Seoul.
4) Bike, bike some more, stop at a 7-11, and then continue on your bike.
I have yet to rent a bike and enjoy a leisurely Sunday ride along the water. I must do this before I leave Korea. Bikers are always smiling and I want to be one of them. Maybe it's the endorphins, or perhaps it's the numerous soju and snack breaks. Either way, count me in. Read here for more information on bike rental spots along the Han river in Seoul.
5) Chill out.
You can easily lounge for hours in the grassy areas along the river. If you need to use a restroom there is usually always one nearby (Just remember to bring your own TP.). Also, if you find yourself and your English teacher friends craving a pizza (or really ANYTHING) you can simply call and order delivery (You may need help from a friendly Korean.) and minutes later a motorbike will arrive at your blanket with food. It's simply amazing.
6) I'm on a boat.
There are many ways to explore the Han river via boat. Check out this write-up about a Hangang river cruise through Seoul while teaching English in Korea.
7) Go fly a kite.
I know you're a 'grown-up' now, but I promise it's still fun.
8) I really wonder where they find all the matching outfits.
I'm always down to people watch while I relax with a beer in hand and the sun on my face. I love spotting the adorably dressed matching couples strolling along the river hand-in-hand.
9) Stretch it out.
I'm a sucker for these friendly reminders to take time to stretch. After an activity-packed day on the river you deserve a little TLC.
10) Relax, but keep one eye open at all times...
Here is something I promise you will not experience at the Han River. Oh, but you just never know in Korea. I've seen some pretty outlandish things.
Devan Meserve, a New Hampshire native and St. Lawrence University alum, decided that after two successful post college years living and working in Boston she was primed for exploration beyond the East Coast. With encouragement from friends and family and Aclipse’s expert advice she landed an instructor position with Chungdahm April English. Devan is loving life in Uijeongbu: she is continuously impressed and entertained by her young students and spends her free time following Anthony Bourdain’s advice, “I’m a big believer in improvising and getting lost.”
Check out her blog!