Bicycle Ride around the Hangang River
If you’re feeling outdoorsy and adventurous, a fun way to spend a morning is a bike ride around the Hangang river in Seoul! The full loop would take about an hour to two (depending on your fitness and how many photo stops). We took the train to Oksu station. We then took a 10 min walk through the residential area towards the river where the bike rental place was located. Plenty of public toilets available. Rental is from Oksu is free!! The trail around the river goes under Banpo Bridge and past the Sevit floating islands.
Traveller’s tip: Do ask locals for directions as bike rental places can be a little tricky to find. Remember to bring an ID to rent the bikes!
Korean spa / jjimjilban
If you’re in for an interesting Korean experience, try out a jjimjilban or a Korean spa. We went to Silloam which is about 10 minute walk from Seoul station. We paid about $15 entry. Men and women are separated and sent into the locker room. Wondering what to do, I wandered around the locker room trying to figure out what to do next (while procrastinating stripping off in public). Eventually, after getting out of my clothes and attempting to cover myself with a mini sized towel, I asked the assistant what to do next and was directed to go down to the basement. There they had a bunch of old school communal showers. After a quick rinse, I tried out the various pools in the basement. Some were HOT, some were freezing, some had special minerals, etc. Strangely enough, Koreans seem do this as a group or family activity :S.
After the pools, I checked out the next few floors. There was a restaurant, random communal sleeping rooms – seemed quite hygienic with clean towels and mats being provided. There was also other mini rooms with entertainment stuff like table tennis, karaoke and pin ball. The fomentation floor had many smaller spa rooms some filled with hot clay, charcoal, salt and even a refrigerated room! Some rooms had people sleeping in them! Koreans believe that spending time in these rooms have various benefits to circulation, health, etc. It was definitely an interesting experience!
Traveller tip: Frequent Korean travellers often spend the night here. If you’re on a budget and don’t mind sleeping on a mat on the floor in a communal room, it’s definitely worth the $15 entry fee. Sleeping rooms have plenty of space, are air-conditioned and seem pretty clean.