The Han River is a major river that flows 514 kilometer (319 mile) through the heart of Seoul dividing the city into a northern and southern half. The river, which flows from east to west as it continues to the Yellow Sea (West Sea), is formed by the confluence of the Namhan and Bukhan rivers.
The river separates Seoul into two sections. Most of the historical sites including palaces and older traditional markets can be found to the north while the newer part of the city, including Gangnam, can be found to the south.
At a time, most business, shopping, and entertainment was conducted in the north while many residences were found in the south. This changed in the 1980s when Seoul was awarded the Summer Olympics and new office towers and shopping malls opened south of the Han.
During the summer months, tenths of thousands of residents escape from the big city to the Han River and its many riverside parks to enjoy activities both on and off the river. Those who want to get out on the water can enjoy swimming, sailing, windsurfing, water skiing, and fishing.
On the banks of the river visitors can enjoy almost endless selection of trails perfect for walking, jogging, and inline skating. Many of these paths are lined with large trees and grass and offer amazing views of the city. The banks of the Han River are also a great place to have a picnic or to go on a date while watching the sunset while the city lights up.
What to See
Banpo Bridge, the location of the Moonlight Rainbow Show, is a girder bridge that spans the Han River connecting the districts of Seocho and Yongsan. The real reason people come here is to see the falling and dancing water, lights, and music of the Moonlight Rainbow Fountain show.
Banpo Hangang Park
Banpo Hangang Park is located on the southern side of the Han River and has one of the best views of the Banpo Bridge Moonlight Rainbow Show. The park features many stunning views of Seoul and an assortment of walking and biking paths.
Seonyudo Park is a popular park and open space located on an island on the Hangang River that use to feature an industrial water treatment plant.