SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA is a metropolitan city buzzing with newness and excitement. With its historical sites and trendy shops, Seoul has become the ultimate travel destination for many.
But away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Seoul, not far away from the World Cup Stadium, stands a place that was off limit to the public for most of its existence … until now.
The Oil Tank Culture Park at Mapo-gu, west of Seoul, is a newly renovated public park that consists of a café, a restaurant, an exhibition area, a performing stage, and lots of open space for visitors to wander around.
Oil Tank Culture Park has initially been Mapo Oil Depot, an oil storage facility set up in the 1970s. It was shut down by the government when South Korea became the host country of the 2002 World Cup. Afterward, the oil depot was left abandoned for fifteen years.
The Seoul government took on the challenge and decided to turn the park into an environmentally-conscious space for visitors; it’s one of the several urban renewal projects that aim to transform abandoned places and give them a new life.
The park is made up of six massive oil tanks that are surrounded by trees. The place itself doesn’t look like much from afar with the rusty exteriors of the oil tanks and beige trails that connect them together, but it actually offers many hidden gems that are perfect for people who are interested in history and postmodernist architecture.
The tanks are turned into spaces for different purposes. For example, one of the tanks is now a café with high steel ceilings all around which gives the place a modern twist. The other tank became an amphitheater that has concrete seats on the ground for the audience to sit during performances.
Go ahead and take yourself out of the busy streets of Seoul and take a day trip to Oil Tank Culture Park. Enjoy a day that’s filled with open space, interesting exhibitions, and leisurely walks. It is the perfect place to spend your day off with family and friends.
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