The face of Seoul’s architecture is changing at a pretty rapid clip. In the midst of such progress, there’s been far greater attention placed on bridge design over recent years.
Banpo Bridge, for one, draws in huge numbers for its Moonlight Rainbow Fountain. It underwent a recent revamp and installed an impressive, Guinness Record-holding light system. Measuring 1,140 meters in length, it boasts nearly 10,000 multicolored LED bulbs and shoots out 190 tons of water per minute. No small feat. In terms of tourist attractions, those are mighty big shoes to fill.
But Seoul has a couple other bridges that are just as appealing.
Shutterbugs keen on shooting the cityscape will like the new Saetgang Bridge. The pedestrian-only overpass is Seoul’s first asymmetric, cable-stayed bridge. Stretching from Singil-dong to Yeouido-dong, it provides Seoulites with instant access to the verdant Yeouido Saetgang Ecological Park.
It really is a great vantage point for setting up the tripod and shooting the surrounding skyline as well as the light trails from traffic that streams by from underneath at night.
Getting there: Subway Line 1 or 5 to Singil Station (Exit 2). Alternatively you can take subway Line 5 or 9 to Yeouido Station and get out Exit 1.
Then there’s the beautifully lit, arching bridge that connects to nearby Seonyudo Park. Once an area of industry, Seonyudo Park is now an ecologically preserved setting that remains popular among couples. Keeping in line with preservation efforts, architects designed this bridge so that there would be little or no intrusion on the surrounding wildlife.
When it warms up, Seonyudo Bridge brings hundreds out during the weekend. An added bonus is the lawn just below the structure on the mainland. One really gets a sense of its sheer size when standing under the steely framework.
One of my favorite ways of passing the hours on a breezy summer evening is to sit beside bridges along the river bank, and gaze out at the distant skyline.
Getting there: Subway Line 2 to Dangsan Station and get out Exit 1. Take bus number 605, 6623 or 6631, 6632 or 6633 and get out at Hanshin Apartment.
Canada-born Gregory B. Curley is a professional photographer based in Seoul. His work has appeared in The Korea Herald, SEOUL Magazine, Elle, MTV, 10 Magazine, Morning Calm, CNNGo and CNN. You can find his work at hermithideaways.com and on twitter.com/gregorycurley.
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