A Quiet Escape to Seonyudo Island

 In blog

Sometimes life in Seoul can become very overwhelming, and it begins to seem hard to get away from all the buildings and crowds. We all need a getaway from the hustle and bustle, and this is just the place.

In the middle of the Han River between Hapjeong-dong and Yanghwa-dong lies a small and quiet island named Seonyudo. This small island is quite beautiful, in fact, “seonyu” means ‘a place of scenic beauty’ in old Korean.

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Seonyudo’s main attraction is the picturesque Seonyudo Park. Both the park and island have come quite a long way; Seonyudo was once home to a large peak which was then flattened for minerals during the Japanese Occupation of Korea, and after it was turned into one of Seoul’s water purification plants. The island was then turned into an ecological park in 2002, the ruins of the old purification plants were transformed into ecological wonders, tanks being turned into fish tanks and purification ponds turned into water gardens.

The main entrance to Seonyudo Park.

Former water holding tanks turned into living gardens.

Former water holding tanks turned into living gardens.

Scenic view overlooking Seonyudo, with the National Assembly Building & Yeouido in the background.

The park comes alive during the Spring when the many trees on the island blossom in bright hues of white, red, and pink. The island is very picturesque, and has become very popular with photographers.

Trees blossoming in Seonyudo Park in Spring.

Trees blossoming in Seonyudo Park during Spring.

Every evening (except during the Winter) there is a fountain show at the Angae Fountain every ten minutes between the hours of 20:00 to 23:00.

Peaceful walkways and fountains are abundant on Seonyudo.

Peaceful walkways and fountains are abundant on Seonyudo.

There is no vehicle access to Seonyudo, so although completely surrounded by Seoul’s large metropolis it appears as if you’re far away from the busy city life. There are two bridges connecting to the island, the large Yanghwa Bridge (Yanghwa Daegyo) that runs between Hapjeong-dong & Yangwa-dong, and a smaller pedestrian bridge, Seonyu Bridge (Seonyugyo) which connects the island to Yanghwa-dong. 

Seonyu Bridge from Yanghwa-dong.

Seonyu Bridge, as seem from Seonyudo Park, at night.

Seonyu Bridge (As seen from Seonyudo Park) at night.

What’re you waiting for? Go ahead and get away to this relaxing hideaway!

Directions: From Hapjeong Station (Lines 2, 6) walk to the Yanghwa Bridge, and cross the bridge to Seonyudo. From Seonyudo Station (Line 9) take exit 2, and walk for 700 meters crossing over the Seonyu Bridge to Seonyudo.

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