The summer in South Korea can be really hot with its notorious humidity. Although this hot season can be difficult to bear, the Han River offers plenty of activities that you can enjoy. This guide will introduce you to a few events held under the Hangang Mongddang Summer Festival, and other events and activities that will (hopefully) make your summer days and nights memorable at the Han River.
Hangang Mongddang Summer Festival (7.19-8.18)
The Hangang Mongddang Summer Festival is a 31-day long project run by the City of Seoul, aimed to provide a series of events and fun activities at the 11 Han River parks during the summer. A festivalmade possible by the participation of citizens, artists, and local businesses, it attracts more than 10 million people each season.
Some events from previous seasons includes water fights, waterparks, movies, performances, circuses, yacht festivals, and food festivals. There are many other events open to everyone such as Hangang Water Fight Festival, Hangang Fire Dancing Festival, and Hangang Jazz Festival. There are more planned later on so make sure you refer to the itinerary at their official site here (English version of the website still in process of updating).
Below is a list of some of the events announced for this season:
Making paper boats is one childhood pastime, and this Hangang Mongddang event puts it on another level. At this event, you are tasked to make your own life-sized, cardboard paper boat and race across the Han River. Make your imagination come to real life by using your creativity to make the sturdiest and fastest paper boat, and cool off all your hard work by crossing the Han River with your friends and family.
Anyone can participate, and children of Grade 4 and lower must be accompanied by a guardian. Apply for participation at the site on the day of, or check this link for details on how to RSVP (Korean only, English site in progress).
Date: 8.1 (Thursday) – 8.4 (Sunday) Location: Next to the fountains @ Yeouido Hangang Park Mulbit Plaza
In partnership with the Federation of International Log Rolling and the United States Aquatics Log Rolling Organization, the Han River is bringing you the Log Rolling Playground and the 2019 Log Rolling Tournament Championship.
Anyone can use the Log Rolling Playground to try out this unique water sport. You can also participate in the Log Rolling Championshipwith a small fee, and the winner is awarded a prize and souvenirs!
Date: 7.1(Monday) ~ 8.31(Saturday) Location: Banpo Hangang Park
Watching the city’s skyline from the Han River parks is one thing, but watching it from a Catamaran yacht is a whole different experience. Watch the sunset, Banpo Bridge Rainbow Fountain Show, and night skyline on board Golden Blue Marina’s Catamaran yacht. This experience is welcome to everyone. They also offer “wish bracelets” that you can make a wish with while touring along the Han River.
1 boat takes 30 people, and the boats run from 6PM to 10:50PM, and each ride runs 60 minutes. Price: Weekday KRW 15,000/person, Weekend KRW 18,000/person
For more information, click on this site here (Korean only, English in progress).
Date: 8.2 (Friday) and 8.3(Saturday) from 8:40 PM Location:Ttukseom Hangang Park, grass square next to Jabeolle (J-bug) Cultural Complex Center.
Ever seen a shadow art movie? Magicplay Theatre combines light, shadows, and music to create a never-before-seen kind of movie that everyone of any age can enjoy. With the Han River and skyline next to the location, this will definitely be a memorable experience. To see what shadow art is all about, check out their Youtube channel
If you are interested in this event, check out this website for more detailed information.
Date: 8.15(Thursday)~8.16(Friday) 6:40PM ~ 9:00 PM Location: Banpo Hangang Park, the Waterside Stage in front of Some Sevit
Enjoy an exciting nighttime performance in front of Some Sevit, the glowing islands near Banpo Hangang Park. Project Luminary brings to you ‘Nakhwa,’ a circus performance combining aerial art, fire art, dance, and music.
This combination of the arts will bring you an exhilarating experience on the Han River. Check out their video from 2018, and for more information click on this site.
These are not the only events under the Hangang Mongddang Festival! The City of Seoul has planned to bring much more to everyone throughout the summer. To explore more of the other events, make sure to look at the official website and check back for its updated English version.
The Bamdokkaebi Night Market is a series of night markets in different areas of Seoul where you can eat foods from various international cuisines at food trucks, shop for handmade accessories, gifts, and more while enjoying the Han River atmosphere. Active on weekend nights, catch 2 of the 6 markets along the Han River at these locations:
Two features to enjoy during the hot summer at Yeouido Hangang Park are the Waterlight Square (Mulbit Gwangjang) and Piano Waterway. On your way from Yeouinaru Subway Station to Yeouido Hangang Park, you will encounter the Piano Waterway, a 415m long strip of running water that leads to Waterlight Square and overlooks the Han River. Here, you can cool off by dunking your feet in the water and playing splash. At night, you can enjoy the Piano Waterway and Waterlight Square shimmer from the installed lights on the water floor and nearby city lights.
Make this trip more enjoyable by attending the Bamdokkaebi Night Market at Yeouido Hangang Park.
There are also many other attractions at Yeouido Hangang Park, including two lighted fountain shows and occasional performances on the floating stage.
5tardium is a conceptual EDM music festival happening for two days on June 29-30 at Nanji Hangang Park. The music festival features 5 different stages that form together like a pentagon shape, with EDM performers like SAID THE SKY, Darren Styles, SASASAS, Markus Schulz, Sullivan King, ZOMBOY, PEGBOARD NERDS and others. Experience quality sound, dynamic lighting and lasers, stunning visual stage art.
If you think that packaged ramen tastes better than cup ramen, you can make and eat your own packaged ramen at Hangang. Just go to any of the convenience stores nearby the river. Buy the type of packaged ramen you want, pay for it, and take it to the ‘Ramen Machine’ that will boil the ramen for you in a foldable, aluminum foil or paper bowl. There are also eggs, sausages, kimchi, and other add-ons to your ramen for sale. While taking in the night (or even day) view of the Seoul skyline along Hangang, why not try cooking and eating ramen?
You can easily find Sebitseom, the floating islands, when you go to Banpo Hangang Park. These islands have glowing features that change colors, and are also known for being Dr. Helen Cho’s Gene Laboratory in Avengers: Age of Ultron !
Of the three floating structures, Gavit Island offers the Tubester, a circular motor boat for 6 people that you can easily maneuver and enjoy foods and beverages while on the water and watching the beautiful night skyline. Make your summer picnics, parties, or events on the river with your friends and family even more special by riding the Tubester!
For more details about rates and times, check out their English site here.
6. Water Sports | Han River
The Han River offers many water sport activities, including yachting, surfboarding, water skiing, dragon boating, parasailing, wakeboarding, and more! Jamwon Hangang Park offers yachting, while you can find water skiing, wakeboarding, and windsurfing at Ttukseom, Jamwon, and Mangwon Hangang Parks! Note that you cannot find all of these water sports at all Hangang Parks, so make sure to find out before getting there!
Zooty Windsurfing and Waterskiing Club (02-444-8229) or Gangpoong (02-446-5077) are two water sports vendors at the Ttukseom Hangang Park.
7. Hangang Outdoor Swimming Pools
Another way to fight the humid summer is to jump into the outdoor swimming pools at the Hangang Parks. With a small entrance fee, you get entrance to the pools at Ttukseom, Yeouido, Gwangnaru, Jamwon, Jamsil, Nanji, and Yanghwa Hangang Parks. The picture above is the swimming pool at Ttukseom. Make sure to bring your sunscreen, bathing suits, towels, and sunny shades!
For more information on the swimming pools, check out this website.
The Rainbow Fountain at Banpo Bridge runs at a length of 1140m, and it was recorded as the longest strip of fountain in the 2008 Guinness Book Records. The fountain shows running every 30 minutes display dancing streams of water shoot out from Banpo Bridge and into Hangang below, accompanied with colorful lights and music.
In addition to the Mulbit Gwangjang Fountain show, there is also the Floating Fountain at Yeouido Hangang Park near the floating stage. This is a multimedia show with colored LED lights, videos, and music.