[Cheonggyecheon] Aka. The Unicorn Horn Stream

Many years ago, the Cheonggyecheon Stream existed as a neglected waterway that was hidden by an overpass.

Thankfully, it was restored in 2005 and was a gem to visit during my trip to Korea.

A view of the Cheonggyecheon from the beginning.
The beginning of the Cheonggyecheon

A unique touch

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.

A view of the spirally masterpiece representing a Korean bojagi at the beginning of the Cheonggyecheon.
A shot of the spiralled masterpiece

Where it’s located

Now, this stream goes on for quite a while, 8.4km to be exact, and can be found in the heart of Seoul.

The Cheonggyecheon flows west to east through downtown Seoul and eventually connects to the Han River, emptying out into the Yellow Sea.

Side note: if you’re planning to visit one of the main palaces or go to Insadong, I would suggest also stopping by the stream since it’s quite close by.

A shot of the Cheonggyecheon stream

Beautiful year-round

The stream is beautiful no matter what season you’re walking along it. However, 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.

Some details of the stream

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 its history.

Some details of the stream
Some details of the stream
Murals depicting Korean history on the walls of the Cheonggyecheon stream
Murals depicting Korean history on the walls surrounding the Cheonggyecheon

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.

Calorie burning signs lining the stream.
Good job! You’ve burned 20 kcal!

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!

Have you ever been to the Cheonggyecheon?

For more of my Seoul adventures, click here.