The Four Seasons of Seoul
January 1, 1970
by John Wilson
Every year for the past five years living in Seoul, we have lived through four seasons, the summer, fall, winter, and spring. Like a wheel of nature cycling through the four corners of the times, our experiences grew and shaped in a mold toward being great travelers. The following are great suggestions to go throughout the seasons. Along the way, you will find many interesting experiences that will be unfolded through your adventures.
Cheonggyecheon Stream (청계청)
“Jamkanmanyo, Cheonggyecheon odiyeyo?” — “Just a moment please, where is Cheonggyecheong Stream?” — “잠깐만요, 청계청 어디예요?”
Throughout Seoul, you will see amazing structures, just be in the moment to fully take in the artistry. It’s actually quite beautiful and all throughout a special meaning from the artists is shared for all of us. Within the metropolis city you can find the Cheonggyecheon Stream that can be enjoyed all year around. It can start from a tall spiral painted with blue and pink. It is actually an amazing structure to see and a great photography moment to remember.
From the awesome spiral, you can follow up the stream. It begins with a beautiful waterfall with side blocks within the stream.
Along the way, off and on throughout the day, you may see musical artists trying to share a sentiment of beauty. Along the path up the stream, it is a great venue for entrepreneurs of the many arts to get out and fill your moments with warmth as you walk up the stream.
During the mid Autumn seasons, there is the Seoul Lantern Festival placed from the beginning of Cheonggye Plaza all the way to Supyogyo Bridge. Over 3 million people visit the stream where the lanterns take you back in time to revisit the stories of themes regarding the history, culture, and arts. The lit lanterns are wonderful and toward the end you could make your very own paper lantern with a candle light to sail across the stream.
“Beingsu Jusayo!” — “Can you please give me Beingsu?” — “빙수 주세요!”
Beingsu is a popular treat among the summer times. It is usually composed of red beans mixed with snow like ice. Many times when you order, you get a huge dish with an assortment of flavors. It can be like a dessert of a small mountain of summer fun… If your cup of tea is not well digestive with red beans, you can opt for fruits and mochi balls. A very popular flavor is Mango Beingsu. It primarily focuses on Mangos, which is a great fruit and taste wonderful. Even though, there are many choices, just go with the flow and pick a flavor that suites you. Beingsu is great for couples as well as a group of friends. You can make an outing based on Beingsu. You can all enjoy, socialize, and just be with Beingsu! ^^
Han River (한강)
Map: Han River
“Gadchi Jajongo taugo gajayo!” — “Let’s ride bikes together!” — “같이 자전거 타고 가자요!”
There are many parts of Seoul, but from the view of the river, there is the north and the south. And in no relation to North and South Korea, Gangbuk (강북, North of the River) and Gangnam (강남, South of the River) Seoul both have a mutual respect as a bridge connects the two and is considered as the all of the city of Seoul. Along the rivers on both side, there are many parks and recreation activities. We can make a splendid day with a nice setting with a look toward the other side of the city.
If you plan on sitting for a bit, how about getting a cushioned mat good for a group of traveling companions and new friends.. It’s good to plan ahead especially for the sake of others. You can find them near the entrance of the subway stations as well as the convenience stores all throughout the river.
A great way to spend your trip is to rent a bicycle. There are bicycle stations throughout the river and it is easy to rent. Just make sure you have an ID to prove the real you. Starting from 9:00am to Sunset (or 8:00pm in the summer) you can rent with 3,000 won/hour, but can get a doubles bike for 6,000 won/hour. Full days can be 15,000 won/day. Make sure you get a good bike before you drive on. You can test it as you pick it up. Just make sure when you are riding the doubles bike, you know how to ride and steer the bike. Listen to your co-rider always and ride safe. It is really fun when you ride together in harmony giving a superb experience! Especially, close to the sunset times (try to arrive an hour before so you will be prepared), you will feel the natural breezes from the river and winds around. It will be a great moment for you.
“Hodeoke ohmmayeyo?” — “How much is Hodeoke?” — “호떡 올마예요?”
During the fall and winter seasons, Hodeoke is a popular treat to help give you warmth during the cold times. It is actually a dessert, but inside is a sweet caramelized center that will warm your belly. While many donuts we come across have a hollow center, a Hodeoke has that inner warmth that permeates throughout the shape and will surely warm up any cold hands.
Usually found outside in a populated area of Seoul, you can find a stand propped up and making a wonderful treat for you. The maker takes a ball of flour and puts a spoonful of sugar in the center. Pressed upon the boxed smoothed cooking area with a layer of oil to prevent sticking, the form becomes a circular disc perfect to fit in the palm of your hand. The sugar caramelizes in the inside and gives you a savory touch. Yummy for our tummy!
Seoul Tower (서울 타워)
Map: Seoul Tower
“Yogi we-eso areumdaweoyo!” — “From up here, it is beautiful!” — “여기 위에서 아름다워요!”
Seoul Towers stands on the north side of the Han River. You may also refer it to as Namsan Tower. Overlooking the city, the tower can give a grand view of Seoul. Seoul Tower Love Locks have locks glittered throughout out the upper decks of the view platform. It is a tradition to bless the union of couples. The bond of the Love Locks can be seen as a symbolic gesture of devotion. Two loves keep a key, though there could be a physical key, in the invisible, the real key links the love that keeps the bond together.
Even though these lovely ways to approach Seoul is layered throughout the year, all these places and experiences can be for you any time. All year around you can find great activities in Seoul. These are just examples of experiences that can give a wonderful reflection and insight of what you can do for your adventures.