Cross-Country Routes icon.

Hanam & Guri Towers

Hangang Bike Path
Learn about two incinerator exhausts that double as observatories on Seoul’s borders.

Hanam (하남시; map) and Guri (구리시; map) live on opposite sides of the Han River on Seoul’s eastern border. They each feature a garbage incinerator with observation towers wrapped around their exhaust pipes.

Hanam Union Tower

Completed in 2015, Hanam Union Tower’s (유니온타워; map) crowns an 80,000-square-meter garbage incinerating complex.

Hanam Union Tower welcomes you to the city of Hanam and the rest of Korea.
Hanam Union Tower welcomes you to the city of Hanam and the rest of Korea.

Take the stairs below ground. Find waste burning, sewage treating, and recycling screening facilities. Each day they:

  • Incinerate 48 tons of garbage.
  • Compress 60 tons of trash.
  • Recycle 50 tons of detritus.
  • Recover 80 tons of food waste.
  • Treat 32,000 tons of sewage.

To counter-program against these unpleasant societal excretions, engineers built a Union Park (유니온파크; map) on top of the treatment plant. The family friendly space includes grass and sports fields, a pond, playground, and an indoor gym.

Hanam Union Tower rises 105 meters over the park and plant. On frigid days, you’ll find white clouds puff from its top (aerial view). That’s the exhaust vent from the garbage incinerator below.

Open from 9 AM to 9 PM (closed on Mondays and holidays), the tower features a multi-level, 360° observatory.

Upon reservation, everyday folks can also take tours of the garbage and sewage facilities Tuesday through Friday.

Guri Tower

Guri Tower (구리타워; map; aerial view) rises 100 meters above Wangsuk Stream (왕숙천; map) north of the Han River in Guri City.

Completed in 2001, the tower is an observation deck wrapped around an exhaust pipe for the adjacent six-story trash incinerator, which can burn up 200 tons of garbage per day.

Guri Tower holds two observation decks, open to the public from 9 AM to 11 PM.

  • The first level (30th floor) is a traditional viewing platform with an art gallery and binoculars that let visitors view the Han River, Guri City, and the eastern end of Seoul.
  • The second level (31st floor) holds Sky 100, a rotating restaurant serving pasta, salad, pilaf, and more.

Like the Hanam Union Tower complex, the site in Guri features a wealth of other facilities:

  • Community center with an indoor swimming pool and sauna.
  • Soccer and jokgu (족구; hand & foot volleyball) fields.
  • Solar panels with 50 kWh capacity and renewable energy hall (10 AM ~ 5 PM).
  • Sewage treatment plant.