Back in the day, the Cheonggyecheon Stream existed as a neglected waterway that was hidden by an overpass. Thankfully, it was restored in 2005 and was such a gem to visit during my trip to Korea.
At the beginning of the Cheonggyecheon Stream, in Cheonggye Plaza, you’ll come across a unicorn horn… or a party hat?… a spikey seashell?…nahhh, definitely a unicorn horn.
Okay… so maybe it’s not actually a unicorn horn, but I’d like to think that the architects wanted it to be. In reality, this spirally masterpiece was based on a design of traditional Korean bojagi (a colorful wrapping cloth) – or so Wikipedia tells me.
Now, this stream goes on for quite a while, 8.4km to be exact, and can be found in the heart of Seoul (aka: downtown Seoul). So if you’re planning to visit one of the main palaces or go to Insadong, I would suggest also stopping by the stream if you have some time because it’s quite close by.
The Cheonggyecheon flows west to east through downtown Seoul and eventually connects to the Han River, emptying out into the Yellow Sea.
I think the best time of year to come down to the stream would be during the spring and summer. I can only imagine how crazy busy this stream gets during the hotter days of the year! When I visited, it was quite windy, so there weren’t actually that many people walking around.
What I really liked was the mix of nature and art at the stream. As you walk down the path, you’ll come across murals, paintings, and even plaques that write about the history of the stream.
Interestingly enough, there are also signs on the walls every now and then that let you know how many calories you should have burned if you walked up to that point.
I wish I had been able to come on a warmer day to explore more of the river, but I’m still thankful that I got to have a glimpse of it before having to go back home!