Bike Riding Along the Han River in Seoul

Hyeuk-Ku Kiml승인2011.11.01l수정2015.04.15 15:45l310호 4면

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After the hot and rainy summer has passed by, with the advent of autumn, the blue sky and sunshine have approached. However I have not yet been able to enjoy this autumn season as I am obligated to go to school four days a week to take my classes. After beginning this semester, I could not find time to take a rest even on weekends because of murderous loads of homework. So I decided to see all bridges over the Han River in Seoul from Chunho Bridge to Gayang Bridge, behind my all studies and homework, on the second Sunday in October... on my bike.

First, I left my home and arrived at Chunho Bridge. Olympic Bridge, which is next to Chunho Bridge, is about 88 meters and has 24 cables. Each is a symbol, the former of the year 1988 and the latter of the 24th Olympic Games. Next, on the Jamsil Railway Bridge, the bike road finally appeared, and the view of Han River was great as the sky darkened and the lights turned on. I recommend the view of Jamsil Railway Bridge at night! Passing by Jamsil Bridge, there is Ttuckseom Resort, which is nearby my house, between Yeongdong Bridge and Chungdam Bridge. It provides lots of places to relax and enjoy leisure sports like the mirror-fountain and wind boats. After passing the bridge, I came to Seongsu Bridge. It was formerly known as an icon of poor construction, but now it is balanced by red reinforced construction, so I think it is the most beautiful bridge over the Han River. Also this bridge connects the city with ‘Seoul Forest.’ As I passed the  ridge, I made a note to myself to take a rest at Seoul Forest someday.

Next, even though it is not the Han River but Jungnangcheon, I recommend a visit to this stream in autumn rather than in summer because there are fields of reeds along the street on the way to Dongho Bridge across Jungnancheon. They will help you to enjoy the autumn before it gets too cold! Passing by Dongho Bridge, I pedaled into view of Hannam Bridge, which has a deep connection with DKU. Hannam Bridge was known as ‘The Third Han River Bridge,’ and the biggest bridge, with its 12 lanes of traffic. After I passed by it, I came to Jamsoo Bridge, which is under Banpo Bridge. This bridge is connected with a fountain called ‘Moonlight Rainbow Fountain.’ It was obviously going to be a better place to visit at night than during the daytime. Indeed, it is a quiet and solemn place, which made me feel as if I had strayed outside of Seoul. So it is great to stop there and enjoy the view of the Han River. The 63 Building gradually appeared after passing by Dongjack Bridge and Hangang Bridge. I had been here before, so I felt familiar with this place. At this point, though, my excitement began to grow along with my concern because it was my first time to go beyond these bridges I had already passed.

Following my excitement, I moved on to an unfamiliar place. Actually, I had thought Wonhyo Bridge was the oldest because it looks so old. However, after later researching the overall history of Han River bridges, I found that Hangang Railway Bridge was, in fact, the first Han River Bridge! Despite this fact, Wonhyo Bridge is famous for being the setting for the movie ‘The Monster,’ so quite a few people were taking nostalgic pictures there. After passing by that bridge, the National Assembly Building could be seen behind Seogang Bridge. I focused hard to catch a glance at Dangsan Railway Bridge, over which passed a subway train. As I kept going on my trip, there appeared Yanghwa Bridge, which has been under construction for some time. I felt great as soon as I saw the deep red of Seongsan Bridge, which looks like Seongsu Bridge. I could see just one bridge left just as I arrived at Seongsan Bridge. No, my journey was not finished! The final bridge was the most recently constructed and the longest one - about 180 meters - called Gayang Bridge. To go to Gayang Bridge, I passed through Nanjido Resort. As soon as I reached the final bridge over the Han River, I was simultaneously happy and afraid of turning around to head back home in the dark. In total, the journey took almost three and an half hours.

Thanks to this experience, I am so proud that we have a world-renowned river in Korea, and it offered me a great time to escape from my monotonous daily life for a moment. I absolutely recommend this one-day trip in Seoul to Dankookians who love to bike.


Hyeuk-Ku Kim  dkherald@hotmail.net
<저작권자 © The Dankook Herald, 무단 전재 및 재배포 금지>

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