Thursday, June 13, 2013

Lifestyle: Hangang River Park

These summer days in Seoul are hot and sticky, but come evening time, around 4 or 5pm, a cool breeze starts to blow, and it's time to go to the Hangang River Park. 

The Han River cuts through the center of Seoul, and on both banks of the river are lush grassy parks for the inhabitants to bike, sit, order fried chicken delivery, drink beers, play badminton, or frolic with their pets. 

I came armed with my standard Starbucks Green Tea Latte, my Ray-Bans for the waning sun, and this little noodle insisted on coming along.

Here he is, my little precious! Perseus loves being outside, as you can see. 

One of our favorite activities is to rent a bike (3,000KRW/hr, super cheap!) and ride it along the river. My dog and I have a deal: we go one way by the river with him chasing me as I ride my bike, and then when he's pooped from exhaustion, I pop him into the basket and he gets a ride back.

He loves riding in that basket. 

Pink shirt- Zara // Turquoise shorts- Zara // Tennis shoes- Adidas // Red bag- Zara // Hat- Birkenstock

These are some of the things I always encounter along my favorite route: these visually stunning bridges...

...fishermen trying their luck (although if you've seen The Host, you know nothing good grows in the Han River!)...

...a beautifully bloomed poppy...

...blue flowers peppered with a bit of yellow and red...

...daisies bobbing their heads to the sounds of the wind...

...and Korea's national flower, the mugunghwa, or the Rose of Sharon. Every time I hear it called the Rose of Sharon, I think of Steinbeck's "Grapes of Wrath". 

Whenever I see a particularly beautiful field of flowers, Perseus likes to plop himself right in the center so that I can take photographs. He really is the BEST model...

...when he's not trying to make friends, that is. This lady had three white poodles in a cart. Perseus felt the need to investigate, and got a yap in his ear for his troubles. 

Seoul is a buzzing, populous metropolis with bumper-to-bumper traffic and 24-hour shopping and eating, and while I LOVE the conveniences of city life, it's nice to have such a green area right in the center of town. Many Seoul residents agree- the Hangang River Parks get pretty crowded during the weekends. I would recommend going there 4-8PM on weekdays, and you get your pick of the rental bikes!

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