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Seoul gov’t recommends 20 sites for family trips

Sept 12,2017
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The Seoul city government on Monday recommended 20 new sights in the city for outings with family and friends this fall, including the newly opened cultural park in Mapo District, western Seoul, where oil reserve tanks were renovated into a concert hall, and an underground bunker that has been transformed into an exhibition center in Yeouido, western Seoul.

“For families going on outings this September and October, why not try the Han River Hamsang Park, where kids can explore inside a Navy vessel and learn how to navigate the waters?” Seoul Metropolitan Government said in its press release. “For those all about science, the multi-story science museum Seoul Science Center, where kids have the chance to explore how the brain works, see the science involved in architecture and use 3-D printers to recreate what they learned, may just be the right place for your family this weekend.”

The 20 spots recommended by the city government have either recently opened this year or are set to open through next year. They are divided into three categories: history and culture, science and economy and urban architecture.

The city government’s history and culture recommendations include the newly opened Stonewall Road, or Doldam-gil of Deoksu Palace in central Seoul; the Culture Reserve Site in Mapo, an open space that equals some 22 soccer fields and contains six oil tanks renovated into concert and lecture halls for cultural events, open from this month; a secret underground bunker found in 2005 in Yeouido, that has since been reconstructed into an exhibition hall of Seoul Museum of Art, to be open from October; the Han River Hamsang Park in Mapo; and the scenic walkway along the 6.3-kilometer (3.9-mile) section of Gyeongchun Line railway out of use since 2010, which has been renovated section by section into walking trails since 2015 and is set to be completely renovated by the coming November.

For science and economy, Seoul Metropolitan Government’s recommendations include the Seoul Science Center in Nowon District, northern Seoul, open since May this year; the Seoul Startup Hub in Mapo, a type of startup museum for ordinary citizens and a hub to network for entrepreneurs; the Seoul Upcycling Plaza in Seongdong District, eastern Seoul, open since Sept. 5, where visitors can experience an upcycling process and attend lectures by experts; and the Seoul Sewerage Science Museum in Seongdong, open since Sept. 5, which is a museum renovated from a sewage disposal plant.

For urban architecture, its recommendations include Seoullo 7017, the overpass highway above Seoul Station transformed into a pedestrian walkway in central Seoul; Doneuimun Museum Village, a 9,770-square-meter (2.4-acre) area in Jongno District, central Seoul, with hanok-style houses and well-preserved lanes, which has partially opened this month and will be under further renovations to house a city architecture museum; the Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism held in the Doneuimun Museum Village and the Dongdaemun Design Plaza in eastern Seoul until Nov. 5; and the renovated Sewoon Electronics Department Store, which will be open from Sept. 19.

“The store area used to be so dilapidated, but we have renovated it to house 17 additional companies run by young entrepreneurs and have added a new pedestrian walkway that connects the second stories of Sewoon and another building next to it,” said Oh Seung-je, the city government official in charge of the renovation project. “By 2020, we intend to connect this walkway all the way to Namsan, so that people can walk from Jongmyo to Namsan on this pedestrian road.”

The city government is running a few programs to encourage more people to visit these sites and will, for instance, present 700 people who share photos from the 20 sites on social networks with gift cards for coffee.

BY ESTHER CHUNG [chung.juhee@joongang.co.kr]