It’s always refreshing to take a jaunt into the countryside for a long, relaxing weekend of leisure sports, but what happens when you only have a day or even just half a day for summertime fun? Don’t overlook the nearby Hangang River, the new destination for water sports in Seoul. Just hop on the subway and take a short ride to the nearest Hangang riverside park for a refreshing and novel experience. Hangang riverside parks, beloved by picnicking couples, offer more than just quiet date spots—they are the perfect place for urbanites to break loose and embark on a water adventure that offers maximum thrills with minimum travel.
|Ttukseom Hangang Park – Windsurfing, Kayaking
The Ttukseom Hangang Park, known among children for its deer-feeding area and fountains, is also home to over 50 sports clubs. There’s a real sense of community if you go on a regular basis, but even first-time visitors can enjoy kiteboarding, kayaking, and canoeing for a small fee.
This park, in particular, is fast becoming a favorite among windsurfers. After taking beginner windsurfing classes (2-3 days) you’ll have enough skills (and confidence) to be able to hit the waves on your own.
Kayak Tours, on the other hand, typically run between Ttukseom and Yeouido or Ttukseom and Seongsudaegyo Bridge and take 6 hours to complete (theory class, basic orientation, and tour).
You can also opt to take a one-day or three-day program to learn windsurfing, water skiing, or wakeboarding. Of course, there’s no need to buy equipment since you’ll be able to rent it onsite.
For a less time-intensive experience in water sports (an hour or less), try out the banana boat, peanut boat, viper, or speedboat. After you’re done you can use the shower facilities (available at each sport club), but make sure to bring your own towel and shower necessities. If you’re really hoping to get serious about water sports, you may also want to bring gloves and aqua shoes.
|☞ Directions: Ttukseom Resort Station (Subway Line 7), Exit 2à Pass the swimming pool and walk about 10 minutes along the bicycle road towards the upper reaches of the Hangang River.
☞ Go to Ttukseom Hangang Park
☞ Major Sports Club
Leisure Dreams: Wakeboarding, windsurfing, waterskiing
Inquiries & Reservations: +82-70-8873-2370 (Korean)
Hours: 09:00 – 18:00 (March to November)
Homepage: http://www.leisuredreams.co.kr/ (Korean)
Gangnam Canoe Club: Kayak, Canoe
Inquiries & Reservations: 02-457-4757 (Korean, English)
Hours: 07:00 – 18:00 (March to November)
|Yeouido Hangang Park – Yachting / Boating
At Paradise Ferry, visitors can try waterskiing, wakeboarding, duck boats, and motorboats. If you want a chance to chat with friends, try the duck (swan) paddleboats. During the ride, you’ll be able to see Namsan and Bukhansan mountains at a distance and enjoy a refreshing breeze out on the river.
The Yeouido Hangang Park is also home to the Seoul Marina Yacht Club, which offers an array of boating options. Various yachts are available, including dinghy sailboats, power yachts, and cruise yachts. Prices depend on length of use and type of boat, but courses generally run as follows: dinghies travel between Dangsancheolgyo and Seogangdaegyo bridges, cruise yachts go between Yanghwadaegyo and Mapodaegyo bridges, and power yachts typically run between Yanghwadaegyo and Banpodaegyo bridges.
|☞ Directions: Subway Line 2, Dangsan Station, Exit 4 à Walk about 100 meters along Yeonyukgyo Bridge à Take the observatory elevator to the ground floor à At the Ocean Sports training center, turn right in the direction of Yeouido Hangang Park and walk about 500 meters.
(Hours differ by sport, so please check in advance. Closed on Mondays.)
☞ Go to Yeouido Hangang Park
☞ Major Sports Club
Seoul Marina Yacht Club
Inquiries & Reservation: +82-2-3780-8400 (Korean, English)
Hours: 10:00 – 20:00 (Hours vary by yacht type. Please check in advance. Closed Mondays)
Homepage http://www.seoul-marina.com/ (Korean, English)
|Jamwon Hangang Park _ Waterskiing & Wakeboarding
The Jamwon Hangang Park is close to Apgujeong-dong and Sinsa-dong, the busiest districts in the Gangnam area. The park has facilities for waterskiing and wakeboarding as well as banana boats and ‘fly fish’ boats, which are less time-intensive and just as thrilling.
River City, which looks like a cruise ship docked on the river bank, is the park’s main base for water sports and also conveniently houses a coffee shop and restaurant. The place even offers a package program that combines several water sports at an affordable price. If you make a reservation in advance you may be able to get as much as 25% off the regular package price. Other programs include a waterskiing class for beginners, wakeboarding class for beginners, and a two-ride package.
|☞ Directions: Apgujeong Station (Subway Line 3), Exit 6à From the Hyundai Department Store, walk in the direction of the Hannamdaegyo Bridgeà Turn right at Hyundai High School, go to the end of the road, and turn leftà Go past the tunnel on your right and turn right.
☞ Go to Jamwon Hangang Park
☞ Major Sports Club
River City: Waterskiing, wakeboarding, banana boat, fly fish boat
Inquiries & Reservations: +82-2-3442-3313 (Korean, English)
Hours: 06:00 – 20:00 (March to November)
Homepage http://www.hanrivercity.com/ (Korean, English, Chinese)
|Hangang Park Swimming Pools
Though the Hangang River is a convenient location for water sports, you might want to save your real swimming for the riverside pools located in Gwangnaru, Ttukseom, Mangwon, Jamwon, Jamsil, Yeouido, and Nanji Hangang parks. Open from July to August (9am to 8pm), the pools are often frequented by families, thanks to the relatively affordable admission fee (5,000won) and accompanying kiddie pools. To beat the crowds and enjoy a beautiful night view of Seoul, try hitting the pools around dinnertime.