“Heading to Seongbuk gu”
Everybody probably has their own memory of Seongbuk dong. However, to me, this is a place that reminds me of the word ‘Tranquility’
I make such connection because Seongbuk dong has a very differing image from urban and more glamorous area of Mapo gu and Gang nam gu. When I visualize Seongbuk gu, I see mountain temple and many housing complexes dotted across the area and streets visited by people taking a casual stroll.
To view such scenery once again, I decided to go for a walk in Seongbuk dong on early May weekend along with my loved one. I was hoping to be immersed in another refreshing tranquility along the trail after 2 years since my visit.
The tranquility along the path to Seongbuk dong
“Trail to Bukjeong Village”
The area around Bukjeong Village is still visited by many people as it is known for its walkways and Shimwoojang, the old residence of Han Yong-un. Since the main theme I intended for this particular trip to Seongbuk dong was ‘Taking a walk,’ I decided to follow along a longer hilly path connecting to Dahangno from the entrance of Bukjeong Village. As I was walking past a bookstore along the path, I could feel the welcoming trees signaling the turning of the season from Spring to Summer.
Trees in Bukjeong Village
The true charm of May roots not only from shade of green trees but also blossoming flowers inviting their guest. Our path is embroidered with welcoming site of beautiful azalea and other floras resembling roses. Every step with take along the hill, we had to delay our walk a little more to indulge the beautiful flowers. As I pondered upon the thought of these flowers welcoming every guest visiting this pathway, I could sense a mixed feeling of both sympathy and envy arising in my heart.
Although hilly pathways of Bukjeong Village is visited by those looking for a good stroll, its uphill roads are also loved by cyclists as well. This probably is the best season along with autumn to enjoy the beautiful sight as well as build strength as people cycle through this path. We continue on with our walk gazing upon cyclist passing by.
Bikes passing through Bukjeong Village, Seongbuk gu
“A trail connecting Bukjeong Village to Seoul mountain fortress”
As I have mentioned earlier, the best part about this pathway is its tranquilness. Seoul is always filled with crowd of people and you are expected to be surrounded by even denser crowd in any weekend during May as it the season of festivities. Area near Seongbuk dong starting from the entrance of Hansung University is not an exception. However, being located in the most inner side of Seongbuk dong, Bukjeong Village can still retain its quietness. Even as we walk along the uphill we did not spot any crowd. This quietness gave us a chance to stop by and say our greetings to small yellow flowers blossomed among small houses.
Yellow flowers along the corners of the alleyway
As we continue on along the uphill, we are starting to see the whole view of Seongbuk gu beyond the hill. Villas and housing complexes dotted along Bukjeong Village are starting to create a beautiful scene as we walk higher.
Residential area of Bukjeong Village
When you walk along the uphill, you may find places like material disposal facility. Although such scenes can be as far off from the ideal image of a romantic walkway, I like the fact that I get to be welcomed by adorable friends in places like it. Even that very day, I had been welcomed by a dog with yellow fur taking a ride on the back of a truck parked in the disposal facility. This is a joyful moment you can only experience in a small and quiet walkways but not in crowded city.
Yellow dog at the disposal facility
We have reached the Seoul mountain fortress as we walked along a longer uphill path. The 25 minutes we spent as we walked from Bukjeong Village to Seoul mountain fortress had been filled with a bit of physical work and many refreshing sound of nature. We rest for a moment on an octagonal pavilion and start heading toward Seoul mountain fortress. We can see the whole view of the city of Seoul from here.
Gazing upon Seoul fortress
After a break we headed down to Daehangno. Walking down for 10 minutes from Seoul fortress, we are faced with a pathway leading toward the back gate of SungKyunKwan Unviersity. This last path which has the most beautiful scenery of trees is known to be welcome its visitors with beautiful green colors starting from the month of April.
How did you enjoy walking along the path leading form Bukjeong Village to Seoul fortress? The best part about walking this path is the tranquility it grants. This is a place where you can indulge the beauties of natural free from the stress of walking among busy and crowded city and share your intimate thoughts in more comfort. How would you like to take a walk along Bukjeong Village and Seoul Village this May and experience the precious moment it gives you?
Writing, Photography / Kyung ho Park, 2019 Seoul Storytelling Team