Monday, October 15, 2012

Bike trip from the Cheonggyecheon to Ara Canal

While I haven't been doing nearly as much biking as I'd like, I have managed to get in a few good bike rides recently. On Saturday afternoon after getting out of work we decided to make a trek across the city, starting from our house and going all the way to the ocean in Incheon. As usual, we didn't quite make it, but we did make it all the way to the entrance of the Ara canal which now connects the Han River to the ocean in Incheon, part of the Four Rivers Project.

The most lovely part about this trip was that there was a bike path the entire way. People say that Seoul is a terrible city for biking, but that is not true as long as you're not using bikes as a form of transportation to get from here to there. For those folks who just love riding bikes for pleasure, Korea is a great country for biking. Nearly every stream and river has a bike path that runs along its side and it's possible to go quite far inside Seoul or even to other cities by bike.

Bike path along the Han River

For this trek we started at the beginning of the bike path on the Cheonggyechong stream, between Sindang Station and Dongmyo Station. For a while the path follows the road, but about two km later it goes down to the stream and you never have to come near a car again for the rest of your journey.

Crossing Banpo Bridge

We followed the Cheonggyecheon down to the Han River and then continued along west until coming to the Banpo bridge (also known as the water bridge for its water shows at night) where there is a large bike/pedestrian crossing on the lower level of the bridge. There were quite a few people around due to an F1 event going on at the Han River park on the other side of the bridge. We squeezed our way through the crowds and continued on our way toward Yeoido.

Yeoido within sight... 

Upon reaching Yeoido, we found more huge crowds, we had totally forgotten that it was the evening of the International Fireworks Festival. Even though the show was not set to start for another four hours there was already swarms of people juggling for the best spots to watch the show from. But, again, we squeezed through and continued on our way further west.

So close to the canal.... 

Finally we reached the entrance to the Ara Canal. We really wanted to ride to the end, but it was getting late, the sun was setting and we were starting to get hungry so we decided to wait for another day for that adventure.

Finally made it to Ara Canal

The only problem was getting to a subway. Gimpo Airport is very close from there, but it was impossible to get to without getting on a highway on our bikes. Finally, we used the smartphone to cut through some farms in order to find Gaehwa station at the very end of line 9.

Sunset over the canal

All in all, it was a great ride, but I hope to get an earlier start next time to make it all the way to Incheon, it's not far at all!

1 comment:

  1. This really sounds like fun.... although I don't think I would be able to ride for so long u_u haha
    But I'll practice and maybe we can do something like this when I go back to Korea :)