Week 10 – Biking the Han River

Read all the exciting things our scholars have been up to!

A lovely and calming ride down the Han River will certainly make your day. When I went cherry blossom hunting in April this year, my friends and I decided to take an impromptu trip along the Han River.

We started the day off by meeting up at Bongeunsa Temple near Coex Mall. The beautiful temple is laded with colorful lanterns and beautiful buildings and statues. Buddha’s birthday was on April 8th, 2022 so the temple still had their paper mache statues around the temple that celebrated Buddha’s birthday. We also learned that it was possible to do a templestay at Bongeunsa Temple and that they had a special cultural program where you could participate in the Lantern Festival on April 30th, 2022. There are a lot of things to see at the temple, but we got hungry and decided to make our way to Coex Mall to grab some lunch and join with some other friends! We danced to the Gangnam Style statue and music in front of Coex and made our way to one of the many city bike stations in Seoul. It is easy to rent a bike because you just need to download the city bike application and pay with your credit card. Fortunately, you are not required to have a domestic card or an Alien Registration Card, so any foreigners can purchase the bike to use. The ride is affordable where you can buy a pass for 5,000won for 24 hours, or shorter passes. Make sure you clock in your bike at the bike stations within each hour because they will charge you a penalty fee if you miss it!

When we found one of the many city bikes, we took off towards Seokchon Lake near LotteWorld. We biked East and found the lake which was packed with a sea of people. The cherry blossoms were beautiful and the backdrop of LotteWorld was surprisingly nice. However, there was a LOT of people and little place to find some quiet. The convenience stores and surrounding coffee shops were all packed with people and huge lines out the door. Be prepared with your own food and drink or you’ll be waiting awhile. There is also a fun public gym where a lot of people were exercising and playing around.

When we had our fill of the cherry blossoms and rested long enough, we biked the entire way along the Han River where we stopped at the famous Floating Starbucks on the Sea, aka the Seoul Wave Art Starbucks Branch. The bike along the Han River was beautiful but we were on the wrong side so we couldnt get a good view of the sunset. However, we managed to find a few spots to take photos on the Southern part of the Han River.

Afterward, we ended the ride and made our way to a Myeongnyun Jinsa Grill branch, a popular chain of all-you-can-eat food. For only 12-15,000 won, you can eat as much meat and other goodies as you want. This is a fun place to grab food with friends, especially if you are extra hungry after a long day biking.