Seonyudo is a recycled water treatment facility on the west side of Seoul. Located on a small island in the Han River, it is a green refuge bulging off the side of a heavily trafficked commuter bridge.
Once inside the park the traffic was inaudible. Instead, a thriving cicada population had transformed the trees into trembling maracas. Old water settlement tanks were converted into water-lily ponds. The remaining exposed concrete structures of this urban garden had been conquered by luscious plants. Fluffy wild rabbits scuffled under the shrubs while a sword-wielding cosplay group carried out a photo shoot.
Despite shading myself with an umbrella, (one of my newest pleasures that I get away with because I am in Asia) the sun was scorching. I ended up in a bathroom peeling off the tank top underneath my dress. I was sticky and flustered when someone knocked on the door. “IN HERE” I exasperatedly announced. Back outside the breeze did little to abate the stifling heat.
The tourism authority’s guidebook suggested that, “If you’re on your own, you might be lonely among the couples having fun with digital cameras in their hands.”
While Barret cracked open a cold beer and ate a disc of filefish jerky, I tried to suck the tea out of a frozen bottle. Our hair indolently clung to our heads while my face melted with a slow viscosity. The toddler I had accidentally tripped with my large Western feet was still crying a few tables back. The review was right, we were the envy of the park.
How to get there: Line 9 Seonyudo station exit #1 – walk towards the Han River Park