Cheonggyecheon Stream

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

After dinner, we went to see the Seoul Lantern Festival (서울빛초롱축제) at the Cheonggyecheon Stream (청계천), which is a 11km long man-made waterway that runs from the heart of downtown Seoul all the way to the Han River. It was originally formed during the Joseon Dynasty in order to provide drainage for the city, but after the Korean war in the 1950s, it became heavily polluted with rubbish and sewerage. It wasn't until 2003 when it was restored as part of an urban renewal project. Now, it's a landmark that brings much pride to its citizens as a leisurely public space for tourists and locals alike.

The lantern festival itself is held every year for 2 weeks in early November. Maybe because it was the last day of the Festival when we went, but our visit wasn't nearly as enjoyable as it might have been because it was packed with people. Everyone was basically forced to walk along the stream in a line—which I know it was a way of controlling the crowd—but just wasn't fun there was always someone there to usher "walk along" if you're standing in one area for too long (like 30 seconds). The rain didn't make things better either.



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