Every year Seoul holds its international fireworks festival on the banks of the Han River. Year after year over a million people flood to this event, which is the main reason that I’d never ventured there before. (Living in Incheon makes it hard to get home from Seoul late at night, plus the addition of 1,000,000 people also trying to get home just seemed like a nightmare)
We headed towards Yeouinaru station and arrived at around 4pm, and already all of the good sitting spots were taken. (TIP! Take a mat. A waterproof picnic mat, not just a blanket. Luckily we managed to get one there but they were overpriced, and it had been raining that morning so the whole of the place was wet. It’s a must that you sit down to enjoy the event or risk being shouted at by people who want to see past you… so just take a mat ha)
We managed to get a floor space about 5 minutes walk from the main event, but we were still able to see it well. There are a lot of food vendors about, but the lines were loooong. Also I’d advise going to the bathroom 30 minutes before the fireworks start or you’ll miss the whole darn thing waiting in line to pee.
The festival included shows from Spain and Canada this year, both of which included a lot of the countries respective flag colours, and lasted about 5 minutes each.
After a lot of waiting around the show finally started at about 7:20 with Spain’s contribution, 7:50 for Canada, and Korea started at 8:15. The shows were impressive, with some creative fireworks including stars, hearts, happy faces, cats and cherry blossoms!
There was also a DJ after the show but we didn’t get to see much as we were on a time crunch to get home.
Ok now here’s the catch. Getting home. During and after the event the subway stations directly around Yeouido are closed, so you have to walk to another one. We cut through the crowd in the opposite direction (thinking we were smart) and headed towards another one about a 25 minute walk away. LET ME TELL U THIS WAS A MISTAKE. the queue for the subway was insane. like 300,000 people waiting to get into the subway station insane. We dodged around the back of the queue, cut through a housing area, through a set of stores like i was being chased in some action movie and headed towards a bus stop. LET ME TELL U THIS WAS ALSO A MISTAKE. every. single. bus. was. full. Like white gloved men trying to push you onto a rush hour subway in Tokyo full. it took me 3x the usual time to get home. What I’m saying is, if its local to where you are staying – go. If it’s not local, watch it on TV.
See ya soon!