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Hot Summer Nights at Top-dong Coastal SquareCool breezes, live music and more make this a popular summer evening destination
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승인 2009.08.03  17:57:16
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▲ When it’s too hot to stay home, many Jeju city dwellers head for lively Topdong, where there’s always a seaside B-ball game going on, as well as skating, biking or just strolling along the esplanade and catching a nice sea breeze. Photos by Kim Gyong Ho

When the summer nights get just too hot and humid for sleeping, do what many Jeju natives do, and head for Top-dong.

The public square on the Jeju-si waterfront is a popular gathering place during the day, but it really comes alive at night, with live music, a playground and basketball court and fish restaurants featuring the catch of the day, often served raw. You can’t get fresher than that.

Top-dong is the site of the lively Midsummer Night Beach Festival, the most well-known of the many Jeju summer music events. This summer the festival will be held from July 20 to August 9, with free performances at the Jeju Seaside Art Center.

Many people choose to cool off with a moonlit stroll along Top-dong esplanade, which runs along the harbor beside the square, hoping to catch a cooling breeze off the water. The esplanade features a variety of sea-themed artwork, including haenyeo and larger-than-life octopus statues, and large art tiles of sea creatures such as clams, sea urchins and crab.

On the opposite side of the square, people enjoy the energy of the city with the neon-enhanced night view.

▲ When it’s too hot to stay home, many Jeju city dwellers head for lively Topdong, where there’s always a seaside B-ball game going on, as well as skating, biking or just strolling along the esplanade and catching a nice sea breeze. Photos by Kim Gyong Ho

Top-dong esplanade is also called “Jeju tourism theme road,” as it continues on along the harbor to the beautiful Yong-Yeon “cloud bridge” in Yong-dam dong. The bridge is lit up at night with colors more akin to the northern lights than the southern sky.

Kim Gwang-shik, a student of Halla College, is a regular visitor to the square, where many young men gather to shoot hoops.

“Top-dong is a cultural place as it has Jeju’s symbolic art tiles on the esplanade wall,” he said. “But it’s also a good place to enjoy sports games for a get-away during summer.”

▲ When it’s too hot to stay home, many Jeju city dwellers head for lively Topdong, where there’s always a seaside B-ball game going on, as well as skating, biking or just strolling along the esplanade and catching a nice sea breeze. Photos by Kim Gyong Ho

The square also draws foreigners, such as Ryan Brown, an English teacher at the Foreign Language Institute at Jeju National University.

“I go down to Top-dong to play basketball. There are always people playing down there so it's easy to get into a game. I can see that many people enjoying different activities come together, like fishing, walking, skating, riding bikes, or just watching the waves roll in,” he said.

Instead of tossing and turning on another humid Jeju night, consider taking a stroll around Top-dong Coastal Square. There is always something happening there.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
All materials on this site are protected under the Korean Copyright Law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published without the prior consent of Jeju Weekly.
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