Happy cycling along Hangang (Han River) in Seoul

I visited Seoul couple times before but all were business trips. I didn't really get to explore the city. But I have been eating lots of Korean food though - especially kimchi and bimbimbap. And of course, whenever local TVs show the Korean drama and I manage to reach home by 8.30pm from work, I would also catch a glimpse of Korean wave, K-Pop, etc.. 

Then I decided to make a holiday trip (no marathon! purely sight seeing! :) ) to explore Seoul and Busan on 15-20 June 2014. As I recall my memory, I would capture some of the unforgettable moments here. And I would like to start off with my unforgettable cycling experience at Hangang River in Seoul.

Strangely, whenever I travel, I like to do sightseeing on foot. And of late after I picked up running, I also looked for opportunities to ride bicycle at travel destinations so that I could explore more the nature. And cycling in Seoul was my third cycling experience outside of Malaysia. You can check out my other cycling experiences in Hualien and Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan.

About Hangang (Han River)

Hanging, also known as Han River, is a major river in South Korea and the fourth longest river on the Korean Peninsula. The lower stretches of Han River are lined with pedestrian walkways, bicycle paths, public parks, open gyms and restaurants.

Anyway, no one would miss the Hangang because any traveler from airport to Seoul would have pass across one or two of the 27 bridges on Han River. And the day view and night view are totally different - with its own charms on its own at different times of the day.

I stayed at a budget hotel in downtown seoul which was walking distance to all the major shopping areas and train stations. The hotel staff was very friendly and he encouraged me to explore Hangang through cycling. And what was more surprising was that I could rent a bicycle for free!! I really admire how Korea invests in eco-tourism, sports activities and facilities for its citizens and visitors. Very impressive!

Where to rent a bike for free?

There are several places where you could rent your bicycles for free. I was goggling and I found very useful information on mytanfeet.com. Thanks to the sharing on the bike rental location and the train line that I could reach the park and found the free bicycle rental facilities with ease. However, please forgive me because I couldn't quite remember which subway line that I took. I just remember that it was just a short distance walk from the subway line to the park. If I am not mistaken, I think it's subway line #7 and stopped at Jamsil Station. 

I wish I could speak Korean language! Traveling in Korea is slightly challenging due to language difficulty. I should have watched more Korean TV drame series to pick up some Korean daily phrases other than kamsahamnida, kimchi, bimbimbap, etc. :) 

Anyway, I used body language to express that I wanted to rent a bicycle at this facility. I was asked to give my passport then write down my name and contact onto a registration sheet. Then I could choose any bicycle I wanted. I finally chose a white color bike because it reminded me of my white mountain bike that i once had during university days.

Found this free bicycle rental facility! So nice! free for 2 hours!

Many bikes inside - all bikes with bell!

Happily pedaling along Hangang (Han River)

I don't quite remember the distance of my bicycle ride. But I was just riding it along the cycling path which was parallel to the Han River, passing through few "open gyms", river banks, recreational parks, and then over across a bridge to the other side of Han River. 

It was such a scenic route! The air was cool since it was still end of Spring time. And again, I was smilling from ear to ear and saying hi to cyclists coming my way along the cycling paths. The young ones were more receptive to my "hi" but the older ones pretended they didn't see me. I guess it was due to the language barrier. Hmm... next time I must learn more Korean phrases before my next trip there so that I could communicate better. 

So happy to be enjoying the nature at Hans River through cycling!

I love this shot! Love the white color bike too! 

I noticed some differences of the cyclists in Seoul compared to Malaysia or Taiwan.

Some (especially female cyclists) wore masks and long sleeves. I think it's due to the culture of promoting fair skin; and the masks and long sleeves would have protected them from the sun.

This is the wonderful part of traveling - learning about other culture and understanding each other better.

Nice clear cycling path!

Some of them are wearing masks and long sleeves - to keep the skin fair
and prevent from the sun damage.

Oh did I tell you about the public toilet? It was so clean!  The design was also very nice and modern!
I think if it's converted into a small house, I would be more than happy to stay inside. :) 
took this photo because I found the toilet very unique and modern.
I don't mind staying inside it.... lol!

I road about 30 minutes on one side of the river before crossing over the bridge to the other side. The fool below was taken across from the bridge.

There was a big compound - with some photo shoot by some camera crew during that time. 

I was told that this would be a perfect spot to watch the beautiful night view of Seoul when all the city lights and bridge lights are switched on. I have seen them in TVs and during the trip from airport to downtown Seoul. But I hope next time I would get to ride the bicycles in the evening here so that I could stay on to watch the beautiful sun set and the night view.

For have more travel information on discovering Seoul through cycling, please click Visit Korea 

Travel date 2014.06.19
Written on 2015.10.24


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