Escaping to the Han

I live in one of those really old, typical Korean neighborhoods.

The kind of dong without perfectly paved sidewalks.

The kind that on exiting the subway you can smell it all…

The dried fish the old lady is selling from her uncomfortable seat on the concrete.

The urine on the brick wall that the drunk middle aged man full of soju couldn’t hold in the night before.

The yellow Korean melons ripening in the humid air.

The cigarette smoke blowing in your face courtesy of the guy in front of you.

The street food being cooked in the little stalls. The pajeon, the oil, the mandu and the dukboki.


I love this neighborhood for its honesty.

But there are cards with pictures of naked ladies on them littering the sidewalks every morning… the children on their way to school probably have a collection of them.

The cheap neon lights of the numerous tacky love motels shine in my windows all night. The 3am screaming from a woman anon worries me.

So there are times when my neighborhood makes me feel claustrophobic. There isn’t any grass and it’s not too aesthetically pleasing.

At times like this it’s great to be able to go somewhere open.


Yesterday I decided to go biking by the Han River in Seoul. Somehow an expanse of water always has a soothing effect.

 A friend and I got the subway to Yeouinaru, and took exit 3. From there you can see the river and can walk down to the path, if you go right and follow the path for a couple of minutes you will come across a lot of bikes for hire. It cost us 2,000 won each to hire one for an hour. They don’t come with helmets, not that I was desperate for one, but if you have children and asked maybe they would have some available.

The Han River is so perfect for people walking or cycling. The paths are great, and there are some beautiful views, even on a humid and rainy July day.

If you need some laid back exercise and a break from your day to day scenery, this is a han-derful way to spend some time. haha sorry.