Cheonggyecheon (청계천) is a stream that runs through Seoul. The stream starts near City Hall and runs all the way down by my school. The stream is located below the city so one can feel at peace with nature and mute some of the bustling noise of the city. The stream is a beautiful sight both at night and during the day.
Located at the beginning of the stream is Cheonggyecheon plaza, which has a giant sculpture of a seashell, a fountain, and a waterfall that lits up at night. There is also a wishing tunnel for people to toss in coins and hope for their wish to come true. Some days, I like to take the subway to the start of the stream at the plaza and walk home. It takes roughly 2 hours to walk back to my dorm, and the distance is about 5 miles.
Along the stream, there are various bridges erected above the water, as well as large stone passways in the water, for people to cross to the other side. There is also various forms of artwork on certain walls alongside the stream, including a wall made up of individually decorated tiles and murals, such as the one depicting a king making a voyage. There’s even a section of large, flat rocks to show the traditional way people used to wash their clothes. Above the stream, there are many areas for tourists nearby, such as Insadong, Folk Flea market, and Dongdaemun markets. It is a convenient way to enjoy the scenery while seeing some of the popular areas of Seoul.
Despite the hot days, the stream gives off a cool breeze and is home to many living creatures. There are lots of fish and ducks who call the stream home. Once, I even saw a heron. The sides of the stream are lined with trees, willows, and long, tall grass. There are also lots of different people by the stream. In the evenings, the stream is especially popular with exercisers and couples. You will see a few couples cuddling by the water or a few friends with some bottles of Soju enjoying each other’s presence.
Within this past week, I already walked the length of the steam three times. It was always a really nice, cool, and peaceful walk. Although I walked alone and it was nighttime, I felt really safe because there were always other people around, especially older people and people out exercising. Closer to my dormitory, there is a path along the stream for bikers and walkers. There is a free bike rental area for the public where you can rent a bike for 2-3 hours and bike all the way to Hangang river.
As my time here is Korea is getting shorter, my friend and I decided to spend the night playing along the stream. Our playing consisted of hopping across the pathways and eating ice cream. We even bought snacks and drinks and sat right in the middle of the crossways, enjoying our time together and making plans to meet each other again in another country next time.