An Unforgettable Evening at the Han River

Before coming to Korea, I knew that going to the Han River was pretty high up on my bucket list! I’m a person who loves visiting places with friends that allow you to take in the views around you, enjoy each other’s company, and appreciate the simple things about life. And, as an added bonus, in almost every K-Drama I watch, the Han River serves as the backdrop for most scenes! I would be lying if I said I wasn’t excited about having my own main character K-drama moment.

The Han-gang River, better known as the Han River, is the fourth longest river in Korea. As it runs through the middle of Seoul, there’s many places where you can admire the river’s views. When my friends and I went, we decided to go to Banpo Hangang Park! We specifically went so we could see the Banpo Bridge Rainbow Fountain Show in which multi-colored waterfalls span across the side of the 1,495 M length of the bridge! The show only runs from April-October, and the times vary depending on the day and period. I’m so glad that my trip fell during the summertime where I could see the show! See the other times the Banpo Bridge Rainbow Fountain Show runs below.

  • Off-season (April-June, September-October): (Each show lasts 20 minutes) 12:00, 19:30, 20:00, 20:30, 21:00
  • Peak season (July-August): (Each show lasts 20 minutes) 12:00, 19:30, 20:00, 20:30, 21:00, 21:30

I was told by many people that picnicking at the Han River is a very popular activity to do in Seoul! When we arrived at Banpo Hangang Park, around 5:00 PM, we saw tents, tarps, blankets, and different spreads of food everywhere across the grass! 

It took our group some time to figure out how and where to rent our tents. We stopped some of the handful of folks who we saw carting their rented picnic materials in a wagon and went to Picnic 109 Banpo Bridge. It was very convenient, and only a ten minutes walk away from the picnic area. I was preparing myself for the hefty prices of our tent rental.  But for a group of 7 people, we rented a set that included a tent, a mat for inside the tent, two tarps for the grass, two folding chairs, a mini table, and a portable fan for only 25,000 won! It came out to only $2.73 per person!

The next challenge was getting food! For some reason, our Naver App said that the nearest chicken spot was over 35 minutes away near Itaewon! Two of our friends had to commute quite a distance for dinner. In addition, there was only one convenience store near the side of the park we were at. With thousands of people at the park, you can imagine what the lines looked like! 

I highly recommend bringing some snacks before you arrive at the park and doing research on where you would like to rent your tent and order food! This will save you a lot more time and allow you to enjoy your time at the river! 

After everything was settled, we chose a spot at the park near the river and bridge that overlooked the city buildings and even Namsan Tower! 

I will say that the show seemed to be different than what I thought it would be! The music was quite faint, and the lights illuminating the water weren’t as colorful as I thought they would be. However, as the month of June was approaching the end of BTS Festa and 10th year anniversary, I loved seeing the bridge light up purple in honor of my favorite Kpop group. 

It was beautiful getting to watch the sunset and the skies of Seoul turn from day to night. The company made it even better. I hope to return to another park and picnic at the Han River before I go back to the States. Next time, I’ll bring more snacks and bring my journal and a book to read! 


Written by