I don’t seek out parks back home. Maybe that’s because we lived in Boulder and we had access to stunning mountains within walking distance. For what ever reason though, I’ve discovered and fallen in love with parks this spring.
The first park we went to was Seonyudo Park, to see the cherry blossoms. Seonyudo Park is a small island in the middle of the Han River here in Seoul. The island was formerly home to a sewage treatment plant from 1978-1998 after which it was converted into a stunning park which incorporates the structures left behind from the treatment plant. It’s a peaceful place for a quiet picnic and a lovely walk. Every time I go there I am so inspired by what an amazing job they did turning a place that must have looked so industrial and devoid of nature into a calm and inviting atmosphere for people to escape the city. It’s a place that gives me hope; it’s possible to turn all of this concrete into something beautiful again.
Our latest park find is Boramae Park, which is a great park for athletics. You can walk, bike, run, and play on one of the numerous athletic fields and courts. There is even a climbing wall, which we didn’t actually check out because we couldn’t remember where it was located. Boramae Park was previously the location of the Air Force Academy, hence the retired airplanes onsite for visitors to check out.
If you visit the park, I recommend venturing over to the barefoot walking path. These are popular in Korea, but oddly this is the first one we’ve found in Seoul. I find the paths uncomfortable, but you have to give it a try. The paths have rocks grouped by shapes, sizes, and roughness along with a few sections of smooth wood pieces to get at your arches. I think these paths are supposed to increase blood circulation and massage your feet. My first encounter with a barefoot path was a couple years ago when I visited my friends in Jeonju and we brilliantly decided to have a barefoot walking race on the path. I don’t remember anyone lasting very long before crying out in pain and veering off onto the concrete.
Visit Dave’s blog to see one of my favorite pictures from our walk around Boramae Park.
To get to Seonyudo Park, take any of these buses: 605, 6623, 6631, 6632, 6633, 604, 5712, 6712, 6716 and get off at Hanshin Apartments and walk up the stairs to the Seonyudo Bridge to cross over to the park.
To get to Boramae Park, take subway line 2 to Sindaebang Station. Make an immediate left out of exit 3 and hang a left at the corner. There will be stairs going down to a bike path. Go down the stairs make a left and walk along the path until you reach Boramae Park. It’s about a 10 minute walk. You can also access Boramae Park from Boramae Station on line 7, exit 2. Sindaebang Station was more convenient for us, so I haven’t tried getting their via Boramae Station.