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Seoul's Sanctuary of Water
Like much of the city, my neighborhood is under the constant assault of modernization
Robert Neff (neff)     Print Article 
Published 2009-05-17 11:09 (KST)   
The artificial waterfall
©2009 Robert Neff
Whether for better or worse, Seoul is a city of constant change.

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Like much of Seoul, my neighborhood is under the constant assault of modernization and it is hard to find a place to just get from the sounds of construction and just relax for a few minutes. Of course, there are parks near my house, but most of them are small and filled with small children playing on playground equipment and not very conducive for relaxation.

Surprisingly, my favorite spot to get away from it all is located right next to a busy street leading to Gimpo Airport -- in fact, most readers residing in Seoul have probably seen it while on their way to or from the airports. Despite the heavy traffic, a mere 20 or 30 feet away, I am unbothered by noise, but am, instead, surrounded by the soothing sounds of falling water -- my sanctuary is the Artificial Waterfall Park.

©2009 Robert Neff
This park is also the site for a memorial established by the Korean War Veterans to commemorate the valiant efforts of the ROK 18th Infantry Regiment (Baeggol Regiment) during the opening days of the Korean War.

According to the memorial: On June 25, 1950, when North Korea began to invade South Korea, the ROK 18th Infantry Regiment (Baeggol Regiment), stationed in Samgakji, was dispatched to the front lines. The 3rd Company, under the command of Lieutenant Kim, San-duk, was responsible for the defense of the regimental headquarters.

As the North Koreans continued their invasion into South Korea, 3rd Company fell back to Samgakji where it made a valiant attempt to stem the North Koreans' advance, but, vastly outnumbered, it was again forced to retreat to Youngdeungpo. Here, along the southern banks of the Han River, the unit fortified its position in an attempt to prevent the North Koreans from crossing the river.

Despite being outnumbered and outgunned, the 3rd Company was able to "single-handedly" defend Youngdeongpo for seven days and was effective in helping to delay the North Korean's advance.

Greenery and water
©2009 Robert Neff
Just a short walk from the waterfall is the Han River Park -- another oasis of greenery and falling water as evidenced by one of the largest fountains in the world -- located in the center of the river.

The Han River fountain
©2009 Robert Neff
With a little bit of patience and effort, one can find a sanctuary of greenery and water even in one the most crowded cities in the world.

Flowers and butterflies
©2009 Robert Neff

©2009 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Robert Neff

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