Ibike Korea People-to-People Program

   
 

   

Photo essay: Hangang Trail -
Seoul to Yangsu

    (20mi, 30km)  Start with a flat trail along the Han River; there are a few hills.
Points of Interest: Bongeunsa Temple, Olympic Sports Complex, Han River Valley, Pallang Dam
  Bicycling in Gangnam, Seoul Bicycling in Gangnam, SeoulCycling out of the concrete jungle.  Seoul generally has heavy traffic so it is unpleasant to cycle on the major arterials, but if you know your way on the back streets and some of the lesser arterials, a bicycle can be a practical mode of transportation.
  Bicycling on the Han Rive bike trail Hangang bike trail, Seoul, KoreaOne of the nicest features of Korea's bicycle infrastructure are paths along rivers.  In Seoul, along the Han River, and several of its tributaries have wide, flat, car-free bicycle and pedestrian facilities.  You certainly don't realize that you are in a greater metropolitan area of more than twenty million people.  Around the country, there are hundreds of miles of non-motorized facilities along rivers.  For more discussion of non-motorized facilities in Seoul and Korea see Korean: Non-motorized transportations.
  Han River and Seoul in the mist

Han River bike trailLooking back as we leave the city, the Han River, Olympic Bridge and some high rise buildings can be seen shrouded in the morning mist.  Though in the fall it is frequently overcast and grey in the morning, the clouds burned off and gave way to a sunny afternoon.

Along the river the trail passes a series of "pill boxes" (bunkers) looking out over the trail and the river.  They appear to be deactivated.  Presumably they are here in the event of a large scale North Korean military invasion.

High rise residential towers reflect in the Han River, KoreaWhen the sun breaks out Seoul's tallest building, 555m (1,821ft) Lotte World Tower, with 123 floors (fifth tallest building in the world (2017)), and high rise residential suburbs, across the river, shine and reflect on the glassy river. They are casings for stacking up a lot of people.

  Pallang Bridge bikeway approach ramp. Pallang Bridge bikeway approach ramp.Through Seoul, from Incheon on the west to Pallang Bridge on the east, there is 70 km bike and pedestrian trail along the Han River. To facilitate access to the Pallang Bridge they have built a new approach ramp (on the left -- the most forward three pillars across the center of the picture.

The Han River trail continues beyond Pallang on the east side of the river, but there is an alternative rural road route to Yeoju on the west and south side of the river, via Geumsa.

  Pallang Dam, Hangang, Seoul, Korea The Pallang Dam was built in 1960, primarily for flood control.  But it also served to blocked river boat commerce.  This was a time when roads into the interior were poor or non-existent.  The dam caused a changed to the economies of the village economies along the river in the interior.  Many of the "ports" along the river were flood and others have virtually disappear from inactivity.

 

  Rails-to-Trail, Korea National Trail System, Han River Rails-to-Trail, Korea National Trail System, Han RiverThe Namhangang Rail Trail goes from Pallang Dam to Yangpyeong, mostly on an old railroad alignment.  Presumably to tell the story they have left some of the tracks in around an old station.  The engineers have also taken advantage of the old tunnels.

 

    Beyond the initial section, the tracks have been salvaged and the path is a totally new facility to Yangsu.
  Rails-to-Trail, Korea National Trail System, Han River Rails-to-Trail, Korea National Trail System, Han River Rails-to-Trail, Korea National Trail System, Han River Rails-to-trail section of Han River Bike Trail, Korea Han River Bike Trail, Korea
  Small town retail street, Yangsoo weekly market in YongsooMain retail street in Yangsu (left).  Retail in Korea is almost exclusively small boutiques, so every shop in a small town has a different inventory and the street-scape is very diverse.  Window shopping is a delight.

The weekly market in Yongsu (right).  Venders display produce, clothing, utensils and other manufactured goods.

 

Continue along the River for the Central Heartland and Four Rivers routes.

 

Exploring Eastern Korea route.

 

  Incheon to Seoul

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