Saturday, May 9, 2009

071124 - Jongno, City Hall, Cheonggyecheon, Royal Guard parade

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I got to work today together with my Korean colleague and reached office around 9am. However he was late for 2-3 hours due to unforeseen circumstances. Since there was nobody in the office, I took out my camera and snapped my working cubicle and surrounding.

While waiting aimlessly in the office, I headed down to the downtown for a short tour around Jongno area. At the crossroad, I saw the statue of Admiral Yi Sun-sin who is the naval war hero of Korea. Behind the statue is Gyeonbokgung Palace and Mt. Bugaksan.

Across my office building, I bumped into a franchise coffee outlet called A TwoSome Place. Really don’t understand why they named it such a weird name.

As I walked along the road, I saw Cheongye Plaza opposite the road.

50 meters down the road, you will see Seoul Finance Center.

After another 5 minutes walk, passed by the Deoksugung Palace. I went opposite through the underground subway walkway and I saw a wide open space with a circular green field. Next to it is the City Hall which is the government building, incharge of Seoul administrative affairs.

Huge wall next to City Hall promoting Seoul tourism, Hi Seoul Soul of Asia which you can see in television commercial

Feeling reluctant to explore further, I took a stroll back to my office and on my way I bumped into a parade, The Royal Guard parade near Cheonggye stream

Cheonggye stream or Cheonggyecheon (cheon means stream) is a 5.8 km river flowing from west to east through Seoul downtown. This stream will later connect with Han River. On Discovery Channel, it showed how the olden Cheonggye Stream was covered with concrete and an elevated highway was built on top of it. Later in 2003, Mayor Lee initiated a magnificent project to remove the elevated highway and restore the stream. The stream now is crystal clear as tons of water being pumped into the stream daily. The succession of this project made Mayor Lee famous icon and helped him elected as the president of Seoul.

The beginning of the Cheonggye Stream

A long park is built on both sides of the stream. There are stone walkways on the stream for people to hop across the stream and also to slow down the speed of the water flow.

This is the night view version of Cheonggyecheon

Alright, time to drag my heavy feet back to office to continue my work. My office is located next to the Cheonggye Stream.

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