Seonyudo Island… At Night
Every summer I find some time to head to nearby Seonyudo Island (선유도)and this summer was no exception. I just happened to be working on the other side of the river and wondered if I might be able to walk home crossing over the island that sits between Hapjeong Station and Dangsan Station. I planned a path from Mokdong over the walking bridge to Seonyudo to my home near Hongdae. I wondered what the island would look like at night and how late people were even allowed there as I would be crossing around 9PM myself.
The island named Seonyudo, meaning “an island where Taoist hermits play” was once covered with cliffs and Confucian scholars who enjoyed the cliffs. During the Japanese occupation the cliffs were destroyed and then in 1978 the island was turned into a sewage treatment facility. During the Hangang Renaissance Project it was reformed and now pipes and cement walls from the treatment plant that once was are now covered with plants and bamboo. It’s a beautiful island and a great example of what urban restoration with an ecological twist can look like.
At night not as much of the green can be seen and with only a few lights here and there it can seem peaceful while also slightly creepy with very few people walking around. More than once I found myself walking down a very dark path on the island and turned around to see that there was no one there, yet I could hear voices. The voices came from couples hidden away on some of the dark benches and seating enjoying the breezes and their couple time as I found out as I awkwardly came upon them and then slowly backed away.
Since the island features two children friendly playgrounds, during the day it can be noisy with children’s squeals, which may not be for everyone. At night however, there weren’t any children that I could spot, just people enjoying a quiet dark area in the middle of the Han River. I would definitely recommend the island in the evening to any of my friends looking for a place to get away that’s not that far away.
영등포구 양화동 95
95 Yanghwa-dong Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul, Korea
Bus: 60, 60-3, 70, 70-2, 70-3, 88, 88-1, 602, 603, 604, 605, 642, 661, 670, 760, N26, N62, 5616, 5712, 5714, 6514, 6623, 6631, 6632, 6712, 6716, 7612
→ Take subway line 2 to Dangsan Station (exit #1), then take a bus (605, 6623, 6631, 6632, 6633) and get off at Hanshin Apts. Cross over the Rainbow Bridge.
→ Or, take subway line 9 to Seonyudo Station (exit #1) and walk until the large intersection. Take a right and walk towards the river. Eventually you’ll see the ramp spanning the freeway to Rainbow Bridge.
→ Or, take subway line 2 to Hapjeong Station (exit #8) and take a 20-minute walk across the Yangwha Bridge and enjoy nice views of the city while inhaling lots of vehicle exhaust. Or get a bus going south. There are a few that stop in the middle of the bridge and let you off to get to the park entrance. It’s free. Open 06:00-24:00.
Hours: Everyday: 6:00am – Midnight