CONTRIBUTED BY KELLY GARCIA
Every day driving home, I went out the Coiner Gate I wondered what would happen if I turned left at the intersection. There’s a sign that says there’s a park that way, Hyochang Park. I always dismissed it and continued on my way.
But one afternoon, I was lost and found myself right next to it.
First of all, what a cool surprise the little neighborhood around the park was. It’s Sookmyung Women’s University, just minutes from Yongsan. And it’s full of cheap eats and boutiques: at least three bubble tea shops, a Caribou Coffee, Annie’s pretzels, Vietnamese pho, Italian, Japanese Izakayas, art shops (like Alpha), Body Shop, cute boutiques. It’s great.
Secondly, the park is wonderful. I took my kids back ASAP and we’ve been several times since. The last visit, my husband said it’s his new favorite park…I think because of all the exercise equipment there.
I love it because, while not as expansive as Seoul Forest, Children’s Grand Park, or even the Han River park, it has a little bit of everything. It’s shady and pretty. Plus it’s close to Yongsan. And it’s close to food.
It’s just a lovely place to spend an afternoon.
Here are some pictures of both our winter and spring outings there:
The people watching is excellent. Old people are here, children are here, teenagers. People feeding birds. People playing basketball. Moms watching kids.
I LOVE that food options are convenient here. Down the stairs from the playground (still in the park) there’s a small shop with cafe tables for noodles, chips and ice cream. Across the street from playground, there’s the college strip lined with cafes and cheap eats.
Address: 255 Hyochang-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul 서울 용산구 효창동 255번지
Directions: By car from South Post, The easiest way to get here from Yongsan is to turn left out the Dragon Hill Lodge Gate, passing War Memorial, crossing Samgakji intersection and going over the overpass. Go straight through light after overpass. At next light look for sign for Hyochang Park Stadium and turn right. You’ll see stadium lights ahead. Go straight toward them and park in stadium parking. Gate to park is across the street. (OR, you could park in the garage on the university street. Follow same directions but don’t go in stadium parking, follow the road right, up the hill with park wall on your left. Take your first right and parking garage is on your right.)
By car from Camp Coiner, Take a left out of the Camp Coiner Gate 19, and left at your first intersection (where Yongsan High School and a Thai takeout place are). Go straight through the big intersection with the climbing wall (you’ll also see a sign that says Hyochang Park straight). Keep going straight under a tunnel and continue straight again up the hill. There will be lots of little stores on it and the Sookmyeong campus toward the top of the hill. You can park there. OR At the T-intersection at the top of the hill (you’ll see the playground there) make a left and parking will be at the stadium on your right. (I paid 3,000 for about 2 hours.) I’ve also parked illegally on the road around the park, but wouldn’t recommend it on a weekday.
If parking at the stadium, go through the gate. The stairs to your right will lead you up to the playground/basketball courts.
By subway, Hyochang Park Station (Seoul Subway Line 6), Exit 1 – make a U-turn out of the exit, turn Left onto Hyochangwon-ro, and walk straight up the hill for about a half mile. (I think it’s pretty steep, too.) You will see the entrance to the park on your left after the stadium.
By bus, The bus drops you off right across from the playground! 400 & 405
Here’s a good map!
Additional Resources: (Much better pictures than mine here!)_ http://designforbyofkorea.wordpress.com/2013/11/18/hyochang-park/