Cheonggyecheon stream is the right destination to find peace from the hustle and bustle of Seoul City

Cheonggyecheon stream is the right destination to find peace from the hustle and bustle of Seoul City.

Talking about rivers in South Korea, many people will probably mention the Han river, which is known as one of the main rivers in the country. But in the capital city of Seoul, there is a small river that has played a big role in South Korean history. 

The river in question is the Cheonggyecheon river. Currently, the river that flows in the middle of the splendor of the multi-storey building has become one of the attractions for local and foreign tourists. The river is about six kilometers long and is often used as a filming location for movies and dramas. 

Sitting along Cheongyecheon, accompanied by the breeze plus gurgling water is a fun activity in the midst of busy Seoul. This small canal-like area is one of Seoul's eco-friendly green landmarks. Cheonggyecheon is an 8.4 km (5.2 mi) long river that flows from west to east through downtown Seoul, and then meets Jungnangcheon, which connects to the Han River and empties into the Yellow Sea.

This Cheonggyecheon Stream stretches and is crossed by more than twenty beautiful bridges. Of the many bridges the most famous there are two, namely the Narae Bridge which represents a flying butterfly. And the Gwanggyo Bridge which symbolizes the harmony between the past and the future.

Cheonggyecheon Stream is close to Deoksugung Palace, Seoul Plaza, Sejong Center, Insa-dong Street, Changdeokgung Palace, and Changgyeonggung Palace, allowing visitors to easily visit major tourist sites after a leisurely stroll along the stream.

But it turns out, the river that flows from west to east across downtown Seoul is not a real river. The river was originally named Gaechoen which means "open stream". The river flow was used for irrigation systems during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1897). 

At that time a lot of work was carried out on riverbank restoration and bridge construction. But when Japan under Hirohito's empire occupied Korea, a crisis occurred which caused the river project to stop. At this time also the name of the river was changed to Cheonggyecheon.

Until finally, in 1958, the Seoul city government decided to relocate residents and closed the river. For 20 years the Cheonggyecheon river was closed and continued by making an overpass just above the former river flow. The Cheonggyecheon flyover was finally completed in 1976 with a length of 5.6 kilometers and a width of 15 meters. At this time, the city of Seoul began to enter a period of industrialization.

Until finally, in 1958, the Seoul city government decided to relocate residents and closed the river. For 20 years the Cheonggyecheon river was closed and continued by making an overpass just above the former river flow. The Cheonggyecheon flyover was finally completed in 1976 with a length of 5.6 kilometers and a width of 15 meters. At this time, the city of Seoul began to enter a period of industrialization.

For almost 30 years, the Cheonggyecheon river seemed to be forgotten. However, in July 2003, during the reign of Mayor Lee Myung-bak, there was an intention to bring the river back. At that time, a restoration project, which drew a lot of opposition and criticism, was launched. Lee Myung-bak, who later served as President of South Korea for the 2008-2013 period, wanted to revive Cheonggyecheon because it was considered important and in line with the movement to restore the region's history and culture.

Restoring the Cheonggyecheon river and making it flow again means tearing down the flyover that has been in operation for more than 20 years. Many people are worried that there will be traffic chaos if the project is actually implemented. However, Lee Myung-bak managed to convince many parties so that the river restoration could take place. For two years and two months, restoration work went on.

However, Lee Myung-bak managed to convince many parties so that the river restoration could take place. For two years and two months, restoration work went on. Until in September 2005, a new stream of the Cheonggyecheon river was reopened and quickly became the prima donna of the people of Seoul. Not only because it provides public space for pedestrians, but also brings water and plants back to the center of the metropolitan area.

Although it is becoming increasingly difficult for cars to enter the inner city, it is otherwise a better place for people who use public transportation or on foot.

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