From the January 2016 issue of The Rotarian
With more than 25 million people living in and around Seoul, you might think it will be difficult to find green space when you’re visiting for the 2016 Rotary International Convention from 28 May to 1 June. But Koreans are a nature-loving people and they have created numerous escapes from the pavement jungle to hike, bike, swim, and sail.
The broad Han River, which runs through Seoul, provides an easily accessible respite. Ride a bike along the wide trails that hug the river, or hop on a ferry or rent a boat for a leisurely cruise. The parks along the Han range from manicured gardens to wetlands, with spectacular views of the river and the skyline.
For a piece of history visit Bugaksan Mountain, which rises behind the presidential residence, the Blue House. The trail was closed for 40 years after North Korean commandos climbed the mountain in an attempt to assassinate the South Korean president and was reopened in 2006.
Seoul Olympic Park remains a popular destination. This is no small city park; it houses six stadiums and a huge wooded area. An outdoor art gallery holds more than 200 sculptures.
If you’re traveling with kids, stop at Seoul Children’s Grand Park, which houses a zoo, a botanic garden, a water playground, a musical fountain, and an amusement park – everything to keep the little ones entertained for the day.
Register for the 2016 RI Convention in Seoul at www.riconvention.org.