Much of the artificial city of Songdo, South Korea is modeled or recreated after famous landmarks located in other parts of the world. Incheon’s Central Park is a fair comparison to Manhattan. The Songdo Convention Center is supposed to resemble Australia’s Opera House, and from the right angle it’s spot on.
But I haven’t even been to Venice, and I know the Songdo Canal Walk is too big of a stretch for comparison.
Bringing Venice, Italy to South Korea
Songdo Canal Walk
There are four sections of the NC Cube Songdo Canal Walk, or Venice Canals in Songdo to be as far from accurate as possible, and they are set in the north part of town near Central Park.
► Ranking: #wetdiaper
NC Cube Songdo Canal Walk
87 Art center-daero, Songdo-dong, Yeonsu-gu, Incheon
Hours: Monday thru Thursday 10:30am – 9pm | Friday thru Sunday 10:30am – 10pm
Italian Venice Canals
Everyone knows the iconic images of gondoliers escorting couples through the waterways in the most idyllic of romantic settings in Italy. The Venice Canals in Songdo don’t look like this.
Even calling the canals a stream might be a stretch.
Songdo Canal Walk
The water at the Venice Canals in Songdo is stagnant and shallow. Of course it’s shallow, all water in Korea is shallow lest someone have water touch their ankles without a life vest on.
But this water is so shallow you couldn’t fit a toy boat in the Venice Canals in Songdo, let alone a gondola.
Each section is named after a season: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. Except, there is absolutely no reason why. There is no theme to coordinate each section with a season out of the year.
This is a real missed opportunity here.
Seasons of the Year
How fun would it be to have winter food restaurants serve classic Korean dishes like hottek or hot soup year round? Even better yet, winter activities like frozen water or fake snow gently falling from the rooftops!
In Autumn the trees could be shades of red and gold, and rooms with blankets and book sharing opportunities to spend the afternoon watching the leaves fall.
Of course, Bingsu should be served in the summer section all year long, and pathways through the canals to simulate a splash pad to beat the heat. Fresh fruit skewers and popsicles would only be expected.
As is, there is just absolutely no reason why the Venice Canals in Songdo are named after a season; unless NC stands for national climate.
Nicholas Cage on the Songdo Canal Walk
Which by the way, what does NC stand for?
- Nasal Cavity?
- Neighborhood Commercial?
- The NC Dino’s Korean baseball team?
- NCsoft Video Game Developer?
- It could be Nicholas Cage for all I know!
What I do find interesting is that as an American the first thing that comes to my mind is North Carolina, and consequently, every year North Carolina has a summer Korean Fest!
Things I would never have known had we never come here, so there’s that.
Interrupted on the Songdo Canal Walk
Not to mention, each section is divided by a major thoroughfare road. There is no way to walk through the full 1 kilometer walkway without having to leave the canal walk first, go to the stoplight, wait for the traffic, cross the road, and then walk back to the next section of the canal walk.
Spring, Summer, Winter or Fall?
The one thing spring has is a horse. No cherry blossom trees or tulips, no umbrellas or inspiring music wafting through the sidewalks as people begin to emerge from their cocoons after a winter of hibernation.
Summer has some warm night lighting. Autumn has sculptures of people walking cross the water in a hurry with a shadow trailing behind them.
I can’t tell if winter is Noah’s Ark or Song of the South.
They really went to town in winter.
But why though?
These sculptures must’ve been on clearance at Home Goods or something.
Bingsu on the Songdo Canal Walk
The one redeeming factor of the Songdo canal walk is there is lots of Bingsu, so we can’t be all down on the Venice Canals in Songdo.
From the Venice Canals in Songdo we walked home through Central Park and stopped at An’s Bakery because for the World’s Smartest City built for families, there are a surprisingly few places to eat.
► For Kids: Kids will love it. They don’t know the difference. I’m sure technically you aren’t supposed to play with the animals, but good luck with that.
This would be a great attraction by itself. It’s just the comparison to Italy that leaves a lot to be desired.
► What We Learned: Venice is a long way from Korea, both in terms of distance and reality.
Do you wish you’d found the clearance sale at Home Goods first? The prices on rugs there are phenomenal!
► Nap-Time Version: Who did it better? Comparing the Venice Canals with the Songdo Canal Walk in South Korea.
Check out all the other fun family friendly activities there are to do in Songdo: Popsicle Stores, Kid Cafes, and the Giant Free Slide at Square 1 Mall.