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Nearly 10 Million People Visit Seoul’s Stream

Posted November. 21, 2005 08:40,   


The number of people who have visited Cheonggyecheon Stream, which is now the premier tourist attraction in Seoul, is almost 10 million. It has been less than two months as of November 19 since the completion of the restoration, but about 9,303,500 people have already visited Cheonggyecheon. In November, some 130,000 people on average will visit the stream a day. It is expected that the number of people visiting the stream will surpass the 10 million mark within this month.

There are other reasons for the stream’s popularity besides its beautiful landscape and great facilities. Another is the people who visit it. I met people gathering at the stream for photos, health and memories.

Great night view near Cheonggyecheon-

Haneul Park in Nanjido during the day, and Cheonggyecheon at night provide great backgrounds for photos.

Jang Gyeong-min, a 19-year-old freshman majoring in French at Hongik University, takes a camera with him once or twice a week and visits the stream after the sun sets. He says thanks to the lighting, one can take great pictures anywhere near the stream.

Choi Hyun-jeong (18), a third grader at Seongdeok commercial girls’ high school, also enjoys taking photos near Cheonggyecheon with a digital camera.

She said, “You can take great photos by leaning against a stone wall covered by vines near a light and with an angle of 45 degrees.” She demonstrated how to take good pictures.

Park Yoon-chang (64), a photographer, said, “Seoul Tower in Mountain Nam is one of a few places that have great night views for photos. Since the restoration of Cheonggyecheon, I take night view pictures on the roof of buildings near the stream.”

Cheonggyecheon is good for health-

Min Seon-ki (59), a housewife, walks fast everyday for two to three hours from 5:00 a.m. along the stream. When she has enough time, she starts from her house in Cheonggye 7-ga to Jungnang Bridge downstream of Cheonggyecheon. When there is not enough time, she walks toward the Dong-A Ilbo building in Sejongno.

There are many people who enjoy jogging near the stream. Lee Geum-ryeol (42, self-employed) said, “The real significance of the restoration can be found downstream where a willow marsh has been established. I feel grateful that I can exercise while enjoying nature.”

Citizens engaged in publicity campaign-

Lee bu-kil (45), who has lived during his whole life in Sungin-dong, Jongno-gu, set up a community on July 4 in an Internet café called “people who love Cheonggyecheon.” There are about 1,200 members in the community as of now.

He said, “Cheonggyecheon brings childhood memories back to me.” He mentioned an old lady who sold combs at the “black bridge” in Cheonggye 7-ga, and a gold fish farm in Cheonggye 6-ga.

One member whose hometown is Hwanghak-dong turned a place in a building of his own into a room for the community and for “people who love Cheonggyecheon.” The community plans to hold a “Cheonggyecheon photo exhibition” next month. It plans to clean the downstream area where ash trees abound. It is also working on making a map of good restaurants near the stream.

There are more than 50 Cheonggyecheon-related Iinternet café s or communities.

An Austrian photographer (45), who will hold an exhibition for photos of Barbie dolls at Seoul Arts Center from December 10, said, “It is amazing that such a great number of people enjoy the stream with their own taste.”

Jae-Myoung Lee egija@donga.com