Destination: Paris Park / Omok Park

Parc de Paris in French, Pah-ree gong-won in Korean, or Paris Park - anyway you say it, it's still a beautiful park. Originally built in 1987 inside an area with many apartment buildings, it serves as a symbol of friendship between France and Korea. Leave it to Korea for getting the gesture right - it was built only a couple years after Seorae Village got its start (Frenchtown, if you will) - albeit on the other side of Seoul. In any case, the sentiment seems to have been appreciated.

Some very nice fountains - a little difficult to play in, but if there's any wind at all you'll feel a little spray depending on where you stand.

What I'd like to call the Korean sobriety test - walk these uneven rocks without losing your balance. Go ahead, just try. It's harder than it looks.

A fairly typical barefoot path - walking on these things while barefoot is supposed to stimulate the different parts of your feet. I like foot massages better...

A short but beautiful walking path. Not pictured just over the hill is the traffic - an unavoidable reality of living in Seoul and amongst the dozens of apartment buildings.

How they got the trees to cooperate with the shelter I'll never know.

The proper entrance to the park. While Paris Park itself is fairly small, the area between two one-way streets is pedestrian-friendly, and eventually leads to some more fountains:

A sun and moon fountain - with emphasis on the water. A couple kids found a way to stay cool even though we're only talking about ankle-deep water here:

While headed back to the subway station, I came across another pleasant surprise - yet another park located inside the pedestrian-friendly zone.

Called Omok park, it's beautiful if you live in the area, but not worth a special trip by itself.

Seeing a professional video camera pointed at someone is seen around Seoul every now and then. Since it's very much a 'get-the-shot-then-move-on' sort of deal, there isn't exactly time for making a set. In any case, it's occasionally entertaining to watch as something is being filmed.

For better or worse, the park is constructed for the local residents - perhaps a form of compensation for living in such cramped conditions in the first place. Go if you're in the area or like parks in all their shapes and sizes, or don't mind having the skyline filled with ubiquitious apartment buildings.

Directions to Paris Park / Omok Park: Take line 5 of the Seoul subway system to the Omokgyo station. Take exit 2 to street level; look right and cross the street. Keep walking straight, and you'll see Omok park on your left. Keep walking and you'll eventually come across Paris Park on the right. If walking a kilometer or so is too much, walk straight out of exit 2 and wait for a bus at the bus stop 100 meters away.

Creative Commons License © Chris Backe - 2009