Wednesday, January 11, 2012


One of my favourite parts of my Seoul trip was wandering around the downtown business area. You can feel the bustle and energy of the city as you walk up from the City Hall plaza on a street adjacent to the main  Sejong artery. Here, I ran into the amusing discovery that McDonald's even does deliveries!

While it wasn't particularly early in the morning (I'd say around 9:30ish), there were still a fair number of people walking outside. Perhaps it was the beautiful weather, being not too cold and not too hot with a very relaxing breeze from the north, that made me feel particularly cheerful that morning. Humidity in Seoul was practically non-existent during my stay, something that unfortunately has to be dealt with in places like Hong Kong or Taipei.

The cool breeze lifted my sentiments as I continued heading northwards towards my destination.

And voila! The famed Cheonggyecheon stream, a public space that was intended to reclaim a section of the city where ran an elevated highway. Despite the controversy, I think the result is quite commendable, marking a real effort at city beautification, something that tends to get neglected in many cities around the world.

A view of the opening waterfall of the stream:

At the start of the stream is an odd-looking seashell-shaped sculpture designed by Claes Oldenburg. While the red and blue swirls certainly don't seem to gel with the surroundings, its uniqueness and symmetry make it an exotic addition to the plaza.

Here's a larger version of the sculpture and a comical looking version of the haechi, one of the mythological protectors of Seoul.

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