Cheonggyecheon Stream, Seoul, South Korea

Cheonggyecheon is a 10.9-kilometre-long, modern public recreation space in downtown Seoul, South Korea. The Cheonggyecheon Stream is a modern restoration of a natural stream flowing through the heart of Seoul. City planners had the foresight to tear down the 1960’s freeway that had been paved over the stream, and have created a wonderful urban parkland, with flowing water, walking paths, ponds, sculptures, green lawns, trees, flowers and shrubs. Beginning at Cheonggye Square, its starts with a small waterfall then it cuts through Seoul for almost 10 kilometres.

This is a fabulous urban oasis in the heart of busy city, a testament to visionary thinking. Great for a walk any time, but get up early and enjoy it, see the wildlife that is making it home. A walk with a difference in such a busy and crowded city. We loved it and were great to walk through it. It gives you a special view of Seoul. We walked one way to the other end in just an hour and a half. Walking along this stream was like a little urban adventure.

It was a major undertaking since the highway had to be removed and years of neglect and development had left the stream nearly dry. 120,000 tons of water was to be pumped in daily from the Han River. There were safety problems due to the deteriorated concrete. Still, restoration of Cheonggyecheon was deemed important as it fit in with the movement to re-introduce nature to the city and to promote a more eco-friendly urban design. Other goals of the project were to restore the history and culture of the region, which had been lost for 30 years, and to revitalize Seoul’s economy.

It was amazing how the hustle and bustle of the busy intersections above disappeared. All you hear is the sound of the running stream, which you can cross at different sections by hopping on stones and decked path. There were locals as well as tourists like us, who were strolling along the Stream. For some, it appeared as though this was their daily routine. For others, it was a chance for them to relax in the shade under trees or under the overpass on beautifully set stone areas. It is wonderful to think how this was all man-made and restored few years back.

We Totally recommend it when you are in Seoul.



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