Matsimitsu

Day Four

South Korea - Gwangjang market, Cheonggyecheon and Dongdaemun Design Plaza


Beijing > Seoul

After our 72 hours in Beijing it was time for our next destination, Seoul.

We got up at 05:00 today to get ready for our cab ride to the Airport. After a 1.5 hour flight we were in South Korea! It took us about 50 minutes with the subway to get to our hotel, where we dropped our bags.

With some daylight to spare we explored around our hotel, the Gwangjang market, Cheonggyecheon and Dongdaemun Design Plaza.

Beijing Seoul
Gwangjang market

Gwangjang market

Time for some delicious Korean street food at the Kwangjang market. You get to a stall and ask for (or in our case point to) the food you want and it gets cooked in front of you.

Korean Pancakes at Gwangjang market

Cheonggyecheon

Next to the Kwangjang market is the Cheonggyecheon River. A former "highway" that has been torn down and turned into a beautifull river through the city.

Cheonggyecheon
Shops/Restaurants at Cheonggyecheon Bridge at Cheonggyecheon

Very nice to see people relaxing and picknicking near the stream. Mostly under bridges for the shade.

Bridge at Cheonggyecheon
Bridge at Cheonggyecheon View from under bridge at Cheonggyecheon

Cheonggyecheon (청계천)

Cheonggyecheon is an ~8 km stream running through Seoul which was covered up with concrate and made into a 16 m wide elevated Highway.

In July 2003, then-Seoul mayor, Lee Myung-Bak, initiated a project to remove the elevated highway and restore the stream. 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 were to be pumped in daily from the Han River, its tributaries, and groundwater from subway stations.

It's been an example for other cities that started similar projects to remove or bury highways crossing the city. In all it's a very pleasant to walk around.

View of Cheonggyecheon View from under bridge at Cheonggyecheon Highrise at Cheonggyecheon Old factory at Cheonggyecheon

Dongdaemun Design Plaza

We were just aimlessly wandering around and stubmled upon the Dongdaemun Design Plaza.

Subway stop in Seoul Street view of Seoul
Area near Dongdaemun Design Plaza Area near Dongdaemun Design Plaza
Exterior of Dongdaemun Design Plaza
Art near Dongdaemun Design Plaza Exterior of Dongdaemun Design Plaza

The museum was closed so we wandered around this magnificent building.

Tunnel of Dongdaemun Design Plaza
Art near Dongdaemun Design Plaza Exterior of Dongdaemun Design Plaza
Tunnel/bridge at Dongdaemun Design Plaza
Lotte building Lotte building

Sleepy and hungry we headed back to the hotel through the maney alleys and underground shopping malls to freshen up and get dinner.

Streets of Seoul Shops of Seoul
Streets of Seoul Typical korean shutters
Seoul back alley
Street in Seoul with shops selling building materials Seoul back alley
Underground shopping mall in Seoul Alley in Seoul

That evening we discovered our hotel had a rooftop terrace, which made for nice photos.

Seoul skyline at night