Olympic Park in Seoul was the host of the 1988 Olympic games. A truly disheartening Olympics from a Canadian perspective (Ben Johnson: “I did not cheetah”). However, it was one of the first moments that Seoul opened it’s gates to let the world glimpse into the Land of the Morning Calm. After being decimated by the Korea War, many foreigners were unfamiliar with the modern resurgence of the southern neighbor of the divided peninsula by the Pacific Ocean. The Olympics were an example of modern architecture at the time and established Seoul as an international metropolis.
LP’s Description: The guidebook focuses more on the museums that are in the park, as opposed to the park itself. This was not my goal for this visit. My goal for this visit was to focus on the beauty of the park and the structures and landscapes found within. On a later date, I’ll focus on each museum in their entirety.
How to get there: Olympic Park can be reach by multiple subways, but to access the Environmental Eco-Park and the Leisure Sports Complex, take the subway to Olympic Park Station (Line 5) and depart from Exit 3. This will lead you to the entrance of the park and sports complex. You can’t miss it. The other way to enter the park is to take the subway to Mongchontoseong Station (Line 8) and depart from Exit 1. This will take you to the iconic World Peace Gate.
Sports Complex: We started at the sports complex as we made our way into the park. There isn’t too much to see besides the Olympic pools and various other sporting complexes. But it was interesting to see the architecture at the time.
88 Lake and the Cherry Blossoms: In my opinion, the highlight of the trip. I loved 88 Lake. Maybe it was the spring bloom or maybe it was because I hadn’t been around water in close to six months, but 88 Lake left me feeling refreshing. Logan was playing in the grass for the first time. It was warm. The lake was crystal clear, reflecting the sun and Jill was chilling with Judy and Susan. It was one of those moments I wish I could bottle up and save for later.
The Walking Path and The Lonely Tree: We started to walk along “Youth Lane” which was near 88 Lake, but as plans always seems to go, we veered off to other parts of the park. Youth Lane right around the entire park. We decided to cut to the middle to check out the Lonely Tree and other various sculptures and exhibits. Also, we ran into some really friendly cosplay kids who let us take a picture!
On Our Way Out via The World Peace Gate: We had enough walking for one day. Logan was getting restless. We departed through the World Peace Gate. Along the pathway leading to the gate are statues of various Olympic sports and Native American themed structures.
Final Thoughts: The start of spring is a time for change and reflection. Olympic Park provided a nice, relaxing place to stroll about in the warm spring sun. The park is massive. If are you plan to tackle the whole park, including the museum, you are truly a tourist warrior. In my opinion, Olympic Park needs to be enjoy in small periods of time to truly appreciate its beauty.
Who Should Visit Olympic Park: Olympic Park is suitable for all types of visitors. Jill and I had no trouble pushing Logan’s stroller around, as the paths were smooth. If you are in need of a relaxing break from the suffocating city, and in need of some open space, I would suggest Olympic Park.
Who Should Avoid Olympic Park: This is not a theme park with rides and attractions. There is Lotte World just up the street though if your family is looking for an amusement park!
English Website: Olympic Park