By the Hangang river

Spring by the Hangang River

Posted May 7, 2013 by Wanseon Yang in Travel



Spring by the Hangang River | 한강

A day following the lazy river at the heart of a workaholic city

Written by Ben Jackson
Photographed by Ryu Seunghoo


After spending its youth trickling and splashing through the mountains of Gangwon-do, the Hangang River enters Seoul as a fat, sedate, and middle-aged waterway, its lack of pace furthered by a variety of man-made interventions. Series of parks on each bank guide the Hangang through the city, punctuated by bridges, resorts, and marinas and linked by a network of walking and bicycle paths.

When the warm spring weather sets in, Seoulites hit the riverbanks with characteristic vigor, charging along the bike paths (you’ll even see the occasional chalk outline), power-walking off calories, skating, walking dogs, flying kites, eating, drinking and sleeping. Spending a day following the Hangang as it flows from east to west is a great way to discover Seoul from another angle while getting some hard-earned fresh air and exercise.



©Sungjin Kim


Ttukseom Resort | 뚝섬유원지

Located on the north bank of the river, this spot is easily reached from Exits 2 and 3 of Ttukseom Resort Station 뚝섬유원지역 (Line 7), making it a good place to start a day’s journey. There’s plenty to do here, including hiring “duck boats” for a 40-minute jaunt on the river (KRW 15,000/23,000 for pedal-powered/automatic), waterskiing and windsurfing (call T. 02-1330 for information), or relaxing on the embankments with snacks from one of the nearby convenience stores. Also worth a look is the Jabeolle (J-Bug) cultural complex, a raised, tubular structure whose innards are comprised of a gallery, cafés, a restaurant, and a gift shop; it offers a great view across the river.





Seoul Forest | 서울숲

A couple of kilometers west along the riverbank lies Seoul Forest, one of the capital’s major green areas. Designed with the aim of creating a local equivalent of New York’s Central Park, Seoul Forest is a combination of trees, lawns, gardens, greenhouses, a butterfly house, lakes, and more. It even has a deer garden, with deer feeding opportunities on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday afternoons at 2pm and 3:30pm (reserve by calling T. 02-460-2987; Korean). There are cafés and convenience stores in the forest itself and a collection of restaurants and cafés on the lower floors of the two giant green apartment blocks nearby.



banpo 2


Jamsu Bridge | 잠수대교

Another five kilometers west stands Seoul’s only “double deck” bridge: while Banpo Bridge carries most traffic above the river, like the Hangang’s other bridges, the Jamsu Bridge—directly beneath it—lies barely a few meters above the water level, making it an ideal point to cross the river from north to south along dedicated bicycle lanes (though crossing the river at other bridges is possible, too, thanks to various staircases, ramps, and elevators). On the way here, shortly after Seoul Forest and the mouth of Jungnangcheon Stream, is Mt. Eungbongsan, a favorite spot for photographers in search of the perfect shot of the cityscape.



_RYU3356Yeouido Floating Stage


Yeouido | 여의도

From the southern terminus of Jamsu Bridge, it’s a 6.5-kilometer journey west to the island of Yeouido. The journey takes in Banpo Hangang Park, as well as a possible short diversion to Seoul National Cemetery, a large complex containing the resting places of some of the country’s greatest heroes and most controversial figures.

Yeouido itself is full of things to see. Surrounded by bike trails, it is lined by Yeouido Hangang Park on the northern bank and Yeouido Saetgang Ecological Park to the southeast, a lush complex of wetlands, trees, and undergrowth crisscrossed with walking and bicycle paths as well as raised walkways and a very distinctive pedestrian bridge. Beyond Wonhyo Bridge are a couple of floating cruise terminals with a buffet restaurant, café, and fast food joint.

Further west, another large park crosses Yeouido at its center, and at its southern side stands IFC Mall, one of the newest additions to Seoul’s rapidly growing mall collection. Drop in here for food or a coffee, or even to watch a film at the CGV multiplex cinema on Level 3. The western tip of Yeouido is home to Korea’s National Assembly building and Yeouiseo-ro, a curved street lined with cherry trees. It’s also the location of Seoul Marina, which offers cruise yacht rides from KRW 15,000 per person, per hour. (Seoul Marina stated that this price may be amended in late April. Reservations must be made online [Korean] at least three days in advance. Seats may be obtained, if still available, by those turning up on the day of without a reservation: departures are at 3pm, 5pm, 6:30pm, and 8pm on weekdays, with an extra 1pm sailing on weekends.)





PARADISE | 파라다이스

By the northeastern bank floats Paradise, a restaurant serving fairly pricey Western-style dishes, alcoholic beverages, tea, and coffee. Paradise also has a collection of duck-shaped paddle boats, rowing boats, and motorboats for messing about on the water.

T. 02-447-3333 (Korean)
(86 Yeouido dong, Yeongdeungpo Gu, Seoulㅣ서울시 영등포구 여의도동 86)




Rainbow Bridge, Seonyudo Park


Seonyudo Park | 선유도공원

A short distance west of Yeouido is Seonyudo Park, an attractive complex set on the island of the same name. Seonyudo Park is famous for its innovative design, which makes extensive use of the giant concrete tanks, walkways, baths, and other structures remaining from the water treatment facility previously located there. The park comes to life from late spring onward and makes an impression on most visitors.



 alt=”75a월드컵공원47″ src=”월드컵공원47.jpg” width=”567″ height=”358″ />


World Cup Park complex | 월드컵공원

Yanghwa Bridge offers a good way to cross the river again, back to its northern bank. From here, the journey continues west to the enormous World Cup Park complex. If you’re hungry again, the World Cup stadium itself is home to several eateries. If not, make your way around the network of walking and cycling trails around the complex. Haneul Park is a high hill that offers great views across the western part of the capital and of the setting sun. Crowned with fields of reeds dotted with sculpture-like structures, it makes for an atmospheric end to the day. Nanji Hangang Park contains a variety of sports fields and a camping ground, which can be used for daytime picnics and barbecues (KRW 3,750) or camping at night in a variety of tents (reservation needed; call T. 02-304-0061; Korean). Noeul Park is a wide, grassy area that also boasts a golf course, while Nanjicheon Park features as its centerpiece a successfully restored stream, once heavily polluted but now a haven for local wildlife.


Seonyudo Park©Robert Koehler



Other options

The route above, from Ttukseom Resort to Nanji Hangang Park, is around 25 km long. If you’ve blasted your way through it in a couple of hours and are not even ready for lunch, there are various other options available. Heading back along the southern bank and continuing from Yeouido all the way to Amsa-dong, near the 1988 Olympics complex, is one 25-kilometer possibility; others include following bike paths up the various streams that flow into the Hangang: Jungnangcheon (near Seoul Forest) and Hongjecheon (just east of Nanji Hangang Park) Streams on the northern bank and Anyangcheon (3 km west of the southern terminus of Yanghwa Bridge) and Tancheon/Yangjaecheon (slightly east of Ttukseom Resort; cross the river via Yeongdong Bridge) Streams on the southern bank.

The Korea Tourism Organization recommends several other routes: go to and search under ”Recommended Bicycle Trails in Seoul.”

Seoul Metropolitan Government’s cycling page ( is in Korean, but has a useful map: click on 자전거지도 on the red navigation menu and you’ll be shown the cycle trails around the city (red lines are dedicated cycle routes, green are shared with pedestrians).


More information

The route described above covers a fair distance in central Seoul, but for more information on any of the places it passes through, see the Korea Tourism Organization website ( or call the Korea Travel Hotline at T. 02-1330.

Bicycles can be hired from 12 locations along the northern and southern banks of the Hangang, including Ttukseom Resort, the southern terminus of Banpo/Jamsu Bridge, two locations on Yeouido, and Nanji Hangang Riverside Park. Recent reports indicate that managers are reluctant to let bikes rented at one location be dropped off at another on weekends: this may change if Seoul authorities decide to intervene. Rentals cost KRW 3,000 per hour. Check the brakes, chain, and other basic parts of the bike before you set off!

The banks of the Hangang are highly exposed to the sun: protection is recommended.


* This article is from Seoulmagazine.

Boiling Crab – Southern U.S Louisiana style seafood restaurant in Seoul

Everyone misses certain foods from back home when they’ve been away for a while. Me, I tend to miss the food from the places I visited while I was away from home.

That’s one reason I love Seoul. It has so many foods I miss from the places I’ve been. I’ve been wanting for the flavors of one special place that has provided me with so many of my favorite gastronomic experiences. Thinking back, I recall the ecstasy of the crawfish Étouffée at Commander’s Palace and the crunchy, sweet meatiness of the fried soft-shell crabs out by the river near Jean Lafitte in Jefferson Parish.  I fondly remember helping to heft an enormous burlap sack of writhing crawfish into a purging basin as I learned how to do a proper crawfish boil in the back of a friend’s house that looked out onto the bayou.

I’m talking about the food of New Orleans, Louisiana. After regular exposure to such fare, not eating it for an extended period can result in a serious nervo-gastric condition called crustacean frustration. Luckily, The Boiling Crab has a remedy.

Down ’bouts N’awlins they boil up all manner of goodness in giant pots and kettles. Before your eyes, any sort of crustacean might be bubbled into a spicy mix of deliciousness. It’s best to not even differentiate between sides and mains; it’s all cooked in the same pot and served together, dumped onto newspaper in the middle of the table.

At The Boiling Crab, they do about as well as it gets outside Louisiana. Truth be told, when we first walked up and saw the sign – “Louisiana Style Cajun” – we scoffed.  How is anyone going to serve a proper crab boil (which takes hours to prepare) to the hurry-up diners of Seoul? It didn’t get much better when we saw a couple of girls wearing disposable gloves and lobster bibs trying not to muss their makeup at the next table. “Amateurs,” we thought. When paper was rolled out over our table we began to reconsider. Bibs were offered but we turned them down. We had come appropriately dressed, in clothes we didn’t mind dirtying.

The Boiling Crab has a number of options for your boil including combos and individual items. The three combos (recommended) include Korean blue crab, shrimp and snow crab. Along with your main you will find mussels, clams, scallops, corn, potatoes and sausage. There’s also a decent selection of fried items, which is a must if you really want to taste the South. We opted for the shrimp combo and the fried soft-shell crabs, ordered our drinks and settled down for the wait.

In the meantime, a bucket for shells and cobs was brought to the table along with my San Miguel. The wait for the boil wasn’t quick, but I wouldn’t call it slow. It told me things were being prepared fresh; seasoning wasn’t just being drizzled over the top of quick-made food.

Finally, our meal emerged: spicy boiled goodness, neatly contained in an oven-safe bag. They cut the bag open and dumped the normal mess out. We found cooking the seafood in a bag helped speed up the cooking process, and allowed flavors to mingle and penetrate more thoroughly in less time. From experience, we could tell that some things had been pre-boiled, like the potatoes. This was part of the time-saving solution they came up with to actually boil your meal while you wait. They were still good. The sausage was not andouille, but good quality. We could also tell that beer had not been used in the boil preparation, and asked, just to be certain. Both are nice to have, but not totally necessary.

The important stuff – the seafood – was tender and full of flavor. You can choose the spiciness of your dish on a scale of one to three. We chose two, which was just right. Especially notable was the use of garlic. In a normal boil, whole cloves of garlic are tossed in, then eaten later. Here the garlic had been chopped – showing more care than we expected – and it was terrific. The savory warmth was delicious. Although not authentic, this is an improvement that made up for the other shortcomings.

In all, it was thoroughly satisfying and enjoyably messy. Oh, and that soft-shell crab? It was exactly the hot, sweet, crunchy meatiness I had been longing for. Frustration ended, remedy enjoyed.



1. Big Size Black Tiger Shrimp Combo

대왕 새우 콤보 (Big Size Black Tiger Shrimp Combo)
대왕 새우 2마리 포함 (Big Size Black Tiger Shrimp 2 pcs Included)

PRICE : 69,000 WON (2~3인분,2~3 Person)

딱새우,골벵이,홍합,백합,가리비,옥수수,감자,소세지 포함
also includes Rock Shrimp,Sea Conch,Mussels,Clam,Scallop,Corn,Potato,Sausage (included)


2. Snow crab combo 

PRICE : 85,000 KRW (3~4인분 Person)
홍합,백합,새우, 골뱅이,옥수수,감자,소시지 포함.
Mussels,Clam,Shrimp,Sea Conch,Corn,Potato,Sausage (included)


3. Robster Tail Combo

랍스터 테일 콤보입니다.랍스터 테일 2개 (Lobster Tail  2 pcs Inc)
PRICE : 85,000 KRW  (2~3인분 Person)
홍합,백합,새우,옥수수,감자,소시지 포함.
Mussels,Clam,Shrimp,Corn,Potato,Sausage (included)


4. Seafood Combo

All in one…
PRICE : 44,000 KRW (2~3인분 Person)
Sea Conch,Scallop,Mussels,Clam,Shrimp,Corn,Potato,Sausage (included)

 (Korean Crab ) it’s not a combo.
PRICE : 15,000 KRW  (for one serving)

(Korean Crab Combo)
44,000원 (2~3Person)
홍합,백합딱새우,옥수수,감자,소시지 가 포함
Mussels,Clam,Rock Shrimp,Corn,Potato,Sausage (included)

Side Order(추가 주문)
*대게 한쪽 (Grand Crab 1 Section):20,000 KRW(크기에 따라  가격변동 있을 수 있습니다)
*랍스터 테일1개(Lobster Tail 1EA):20,000 KRW
*대왕 새우 한마리(Grand Big Size Black Tiger Shrimp 1EA):18,000 KRW
*감자(Potato):2,000 KRW
*옥수수(Corn):2,000 KRW

*소시지(Sausage):2,000 KRW
*자스민 라이스(Jasmine Rice):2,000 KRW

*위의 것은 물론,단품으로 판매되는 모든 것을 따로 추가 주문하실 수 있습니다.
상기 사진은 감자,옥수수가 추가된 사진입니다.(This picture is image cut with corn & potato)

6. Boiled Shrimp

메콤한 쏘스에 빠진 중하 새우…
PRICE : 15,000원(1인분  Per Person, Shrimp 15ea)

Side Order(추가 주문)
*대 게 한쪽(Grand Crab 1Section):20,000 KRW(크기에 따라  가격변동 있을 수 있습니다)

*랍스터 테일1개(Lobster Tail 1EA):20,000KRW
*대왕 새우 한마리(Grand Big Size Black Tiger Shrimp 1EA):18,000 KRW
*감자(Potato):2,000 KRW
*옥수수(Corn):2,000 KRW
*소시지(Sausage):2,000 KRW
*자스민 라이스(Jasmine Rice):2,000 KRW
*위의 것은 물론,단품으로 판매되는 모든 것을 따로 추가 주문하실 수 있습니다.

7. Boiled Rock Shrimp Combo ( Seasonal Menu)

Rock Shrimp from Jeju Island

평상시 쉽게 접하지 못하는 제주산 딱새우…(Seasonal).
PRICE : 16,000 KRW  (2인분 Person)
감자,옥수수,소시지 포함. 
Potato,Corn,Sausage included

Side Order(추가 주문)
*대 게 한쪽(Grand Crab 1Section):20,000원(크기에 따라  가격변동 있을 수 있습니다)
*랍스터 테일1개(Lobster Tail 1EA):20,000원

*대왕 새우 한마리(Grand Big Size Black Tiger Shrimp 1EA):18,000원

*자스민 라이스(Jasmine Rice):2,000원
*위의 것은 물론,단품으로 판매되는 모든 것을 따로 추가 주문하실 수 있습니다.

8.  Boiled Scallop

부드러우면서 매운맛….
PRICE : 12,000원 (8~9ea)
단일 품목으로 판매하지 않습니다. 추가 사항입니다.(Just add item)

Side Order(추가 주문)
*대 게 한쪽(Grand Crab 1Section):20,000원(크기에 따라  가격변동 있을 수 있습니다)
*랍스터 테일1개(Lobster Tail 1EA):20,000원

*대왕 새우 한마리(Grand Big Size Black Tiger Shrimp 1EA):18,000원

*자스민 라이스(Jasmine Rice):2,000원
*위의 것은 물론,단품으로 판매되는 모든 것을 따로 추가 주문하실 수 있습니다.

Getting there

The Boiling Crab is located in Itaewon, in the alleyway behind McDonald’s. Leave Itaewon Station, Exit 4, and find your way south to the alleyway, which runs parallel to the main street. Head west, toward Noksapyeong Station. It’s opposite Homebase. It’s closed on Tuesdays.


Find more information at

Magpie, a focus on simplicity ; Good brewery in itaewon, seoul

Photos by: 

As someone who reviews things food- and brew-related regularly, I’ve got a checklist. Yes, I know having a checklist for a brewpub sounds a bit uptight, but quality control in reviewing is nearly as important as it is in brewing. The point here is that you will find there are things that you need and things that you don’t need in order for a brewpub to be great. At the Magpie Brewing Company, the list of “checks” is a short one:

— Good Beer – check

 Good People – check

 Roof/Walls/Seats – check

There is a simplicity to Magpie that can’t be found except on rare occasions. For a beer purist, visiting Magpie is not unlike having an epiphany — a stroke of clarity. It’s similar to the feeling you get when you find something treasured that you had given up for lost. 

Started as a “brew kitchen,” Magpie has not developed its interior much past that. Upon entering, you will find it quite bare. The modern metal and concrete of the building have been dressed with little more than lights. Stools line the bar and a single standing table. Jars of barley and glass beakers sit out on the counter near the tap and large kettles rest upon a stove behind the bar. More beer brewing gear sits neatly about than there is equipment to serve patrons. Despite the sparse interior, there is an unexplainable warmth. Perhaps it comes from good vibes stored during the colder months. Perhaps it is the warmth of the kitchen, coming from the heat of the stove and the boiling kettle. Maybe it is just the warmth from my second or third pint of pale ale. Or was it porter …

In addition to whatever seasonal concoction has been conjured up by its crew, Magpie maintains two flagship brews. The porter is correctly described as warm and dark. Easy drinking for such a dark beer, it is gentle and not at all bitter, but still maintains a sufficient complexity to keep your interest past the first pint. It’s really enjoyable. The pale ale is a hoppy, citrusy American adaptation of an India Pale Ale (IPA), adjusted ever so slightly for Korea. What that boils down to is a dark, golden-amber color (a not-so-pale ale) with that cloudy hint that unfiltered craft beers should have. Nicely sweet, but not overly so, it is a dream come true for folks like me who enjoy the style. Both beers come in nice full pints.

My only reservation is thus. Having grown too big for its britches, most of the brewing is now done off-site at KaBrew, where other local notables do their craft work as well. While this does detract slightly from the overall authenticity of the ultra-micro-craft brewer, it is also a necessary step required to simply provide enough beer to meet demand (or most of the demand anyway). The beer is still great; the attention to quality and to preserving what was created in the original kitchen is still present. 

Also, because of the outsourcing, the owners need not spend 28 hours a day brewing beer. They can serve customers, teach brewing classes (contact for details) and have lives outside brewing. 

The growth in Magpie’s popularity has led to other changes as well, such as a need to expand physical space, not just brewing volume. 

Magpie’s new basement brewpub has just opened right next to the current location. This new location offers Magpie beers and homemade pizza, plus it’s open a little later. The old location is transitioning into a growler/bottle shop where you can get a pint while picking up a two-liter bottle (glass of course) for home. 

Magpie isn’t a place for a quick bite to eat or a romantic dinner (unless you brought your own food). Nor is it a cocktail bar to hang out in and look chic. It also isn’t a mega-bar with dozens of beers and scores of tables. While none of these other types of places are bad (in fact, some are now greatly improved as they carry Magpie on tap — be sure to ask at Reilly’s Taphouse, Maloney’s, Phillies, and Vatos to name a few), they aren’t simply about the beer. At Magpie Brewing Co. it is simply about the beer. Simply good beer.


Magpie Brewing Company is located in Gyeongnidan/Itaewon, just behind the Baker’s Table.

용산구 이태원동 691번지 (Yongsan-gu, Itaewon-dong 691)


Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 4-11 p.m. Visit or find them at


This article is from ‘groovekorea’




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