Top choice river in Gwanghwamun & Jongno-gu

With its landscaped walkways, footbridges, waterfalls and a variety of public artworks, such as the enormous pink-and-blue shell entitled Spring in Cheong-gye Plaza, this revitalised stream is a hit with Seoulites. People come to escape the urban hubbub day and night, whisper sweet nothings under one of its 22 bridges or, in summer, dangle their feet in the water. It is a relaxing way to avoid the traffic while traversing the downtown area, passing near places of interest such as Gwangjang Market, Dongdaemun and Insadong.

A raised highway was torn down and cement roads removed in this US$384-million urban renewal project to ‘daylight’ this stream. The clear water that flows for 5.8km down this beautifully landscaped oasis is actually pumped in at great expense from elsewhere, inciting the ire of environmentalists.