At the border, entering the "country" of Transnistria. Photo taken December 8, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Tiraspol, Transnistria...the country that doesn't exist.

Where are they going next? Northern Moldova. Arrive December 11th.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Views of Seoul from our Han River cycling tour!

This is a fun and inexpensive activity for anybody wanting to tour Seoul a little bit differently. And, you can get some exercise at the same time!

Koreans love cycling. So much that they have transformed much of the shoreline of the Han River that runs through the middle of the city into park space and wide, well marked bicycle paths. On a beautiful day, it's a great way to see the city. And it really gives you an idea of what a big city this is!

We met out guide Adela right at 10:00am. She came and met us right outside the apartment building where we are staying in Gangnam District. We're really lucky with our location and it's right near a subway line. So we hopped on the subway with Adela and went to the waterfront. But, not the waterfront at downtown. We actually went about 10 kms (6.2 miles) east of downtown.

There are quite a few bike rental locations, and some of them are even free. But you will be able to ride a decidedly better bicycle if you pay the small fee. We rented our bikes at #6, and we dropped them off at #9...a distance of approximately 20 kms (12.6 miles).

Here's another view of the route that we took.

Can you see how many bridges cross the Han River? In the greater Seoul area, there are thirty bridges that cross the river. Some of them are very fancy, and some are very plain.

Here's where you rent the bikes.

Bikes for all shapes and sizes!

All along the riverside you will find exercise equipment. Free for you to use!

Here's Ruth, all set to go!

This is the Olympic Bridge.

Built for the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics, this beautiful bridge has had it's share of problems. When they started construction in 1985, the original structure collapsed and had to be restarted. Then, when a huge helicopter was installing the sculpture at the top, one of the blades hit the sculpture and the helicopter crashed, killing three crew members aboard.

One of the many fabulous views of Seoul taken from along the bicycle paths beside the river.

Looking back the other way.

There are a lot of apartment buildings in the greater Seoul area! Hey, those 25 million people have to live somewhere!

This huge construction project on the left is destined to be Korea's tallest building. It is scheduled to be 123 stories when it's finished. On the right side is the Olympic stadium where the 1988 summer Olympics were held.

The city just continues forever!

Getting close to the financial district.

Can you see how spotlessly clean everything is. It's absolutely amazing. There are 25 million people living in this area! Hardly any trash lying around anywhere. Certainly the cleanest city we have ever been in. I don't know how they do it, but they are doing a great job of it!

We did a fairly long ride, at just over 20 kms (12.6 miles). Most of it is an easy ride without any strenuous hills and I think we only had to downshift three or four times, and even then for very short stretches. The entire trip took us two hours and fifteen minutes and we stopped quite a few times along the way to take photos and talk about some of the things we were seeing.

Other than a bit of a sore bum, we had no ill effects from the fact that we haven't been on a bicycle in quite some time! 

Bike rental rates.

It's a pretty good deal to do one of these bike tours. The bikes are very reasonable priced, at 3,000 won ($3.45) for the first hour, and 2,000 won ($2.30) for every hour after that.

After the bike ride, we needed some nourishment. The best thing about having a guide in a city you're unfamiliar with? 

They know where to eat!!!

Without a guide, you would have a hard time knowing what to order! Close your eyes, and point. You would probably end up with something delicious anyhow.

Adela and Ruth, waiting for food.

And here it is!

Is your mouth watering? Mine is!

These little "hole in the wall" type of restaurants are the best. Definitely not many tourists in this place!

This is the spot!

The Korean financial district. Anything here remind you of Wall Street in New York??

What a great day we had. Adela is also available as your own tour guide! You can contact her by email at adela.shin@outlook.kr or by phone at 82 (0)10 5600 0483

For more information on Korea, please visit the Korean Tourism Organization at www.visitkorea.or.kr 

We highly recommend that when you visit any new country that you've never been to before, you contact that country's official tourism office. They are there to ensure that you get the most out of your visit and will bend over backwards to help you out!


26 comments:

  1. Way cool, touring South Korea "Gangnam Style" in those stylish Tilley bike helmets!

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    1. You are definitely in the know, if you knew about "Gangnam Style"! We hadn't even heard about it until June was telling us about it in the car on the way to the apartment from the airport. Guess we are just a little behind on music and videos going viral!

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  2. Loving the tour of Seoul, but where are all the people?

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    1. They must have been working! While biking we did see quite a lot of people out and about and some of the subways stations had quite a few people but I guess when Kevin was taking the pictures they all went into hiding. Today was a different story!

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  3. I just can not get over how clean it is. There must be a "bad" part of town somewhere. Even the air looks clean and clear. All those people.

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    1. We had asked June about that and she said you can pretty much go anywhere in the city without any problems, there are some areas she said are not as good at night so maybe there aren't any "bad" places.

      It definitely was very clear yesterday but we do see quite a few people walking around with "medical" masks on. Today was much more hazy/smoggy.

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  4. What a beautiful city! And the food looks awesome!

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    1. So far we are very impressed with Seoul. The food is delicious!

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  5. What a great tour you had, great pics and awesome looking food.
    Love the free exercise equipment too.

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    1. Canada could learn a thing or two about this exercise equipment. We have seen it in Mexico for at least the last 3 or 4 years and there is a lot of it here in Seoul and we see it getting used a lot! I think we have seen it in Canada maybe once, and I am not positive it was in Canada, it could have been in the US.

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  6. Any challenges yet with the Gluten Free diet?

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    1. It has helped having June and Park around and yesterday Adela was a big help but no it really has been pretty good. We now know of several dishes that we can have that are gluten free! Today was a different story but we just dealt with it.

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  7. It is very clean and beautiful, love the food pictures!

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    1. We can't get over how clean the city is. It has been a very rare occurrence when we have spotted a bit of garbage, which we think is incredible with a city this size. You love the pictures of the food and we LOVE the food in the pictures!

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  8. That looks like great fun! I wish we would have had time for something like that!
    The food is amazing, delicious and so inexpensive.

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    1. Sorry, you didn't get the chance to do that. Maybe next time when you come back to visit Brady and Jiwon you can set aside some time to bike along the river. We were totally amazed with the network of bike trails that they have here, it's really incredible.

      Love the food!

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  9. Usonians (Americans from the US) take heed; it is possible to live in a garbage=free environment! What a wonderful time you're having. A bike tour would be right up my alley - exercise and lots of interesting things to see as you go. Any info about Adela would be appreciated as South Korea is on my bucket list. The food does look amazing - a bit of it is quite spicy, though. Gotta' take it slowly with that kim chee, etc. Love your post friends.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I wouldn't say "garbage free" environment, like any other country they make their share of garbage, they just don't throw it on the ground or if they do it must get picked up very quickly.

      We have wanted to bike in a number of cities but just never seemed to make the time for it, I am so glad that we did in Seoul. They have done a great job on developing the riverside to make it a wonderful spot for biking/walking but still being able to do it without "over" developing it.

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  10. Nice "hike" around the city. That bull looks much healthier than the one on Wall Street. ;c)

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    1. Luckily it was more biking than hiking! You can certainly cover more ground on a bike than you can on your feet.

      Healthier in that fact that it works out because it is definitely much more muscular than the Wall Street Bull!

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  11. Another perfect day - my goodness - all that food - I'm gaining weight just looking at it!!! Love all the photos!
    B&C in PA

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    1. I think I am gaining weight! We are going to have to get out there and get more hiking in!

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  12. Replies
    1. Yes, it was and we really enjoyed ourselves! Our bums were a bit sore the next day though.

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