October 12, 2012

South Korea : Namsan Park & N Seoul Tower

I love watching a city from a higher point. Looking at the scenery and development around, it always left me in awe. And I believe this sense of amazement keeps me passionate about travelling.

Perched atop Namsan Mountain, N Seoul Tower definitely gives an impressive view of the sprawling Seoul. So, I listed it as one of my places to go during my visit.

You can take the cable car to reach up there. 

Alternatively, you can reach it by foot! For the more energetic, a hike or a climb up via the stairs is a good option. The locals prefer the stairs too. So being me, trying to do the local way, I decided to climb the whole way and save the cable car for the ride down. The peak is only 860 ft anyway. 

The trails along Namsan Mountain around the tower are covered with shock-absorbing material, so it is a favorite place for the health freak as well. I saw a lot of people jogging, speed walking, and exercising with their loved ones.

There is also a shrine here. 

Waryongmyo Shrine was built to honor a Chinese statesman and military strategist, Zhuge Liang.  

After walking along the trail, the stairs were waiting in front of me.

 It was OK la. I mean, it's not steep at all. 

And there are benches along the way, with ice cream sellers waiting nearby. So it is still climbable even if you're not that fit. The walk up took me about half an hour, including some pit stops to catch my breath and camwhore, of course. :p

The tiredness were gone the moment I reached the top. *Excited mode on*

First thing you will see once you reach the top if you choose to climb is this chimney-like structure. 

They are actually a part of the original fortress wall from the Joseon Dynasty. 

Walking around the tower, I got the 360 degree view of Seoul. It was spectacular, although the weather was a bit hazy. 

I decided not to go up the tower's observation deck due to that, as I was afraid I would be disappointed. Rugi kan dah bayar mahal tapi view tak cantik! 

If you go up the stairs next to the N above, you will come across the Lock of Love. I actually saw this place in one of the Amazing Race episodes long time ago; the contestants were given a set of keys and they had to try unlocking the padlock. Some of the contestants spent hours trying. So kesian.

It is actually a tradition; hang a padlock together with the one you love and then throw away the key. The key is thrown away after the padlock is secured, promising an everlasting love for the couples (cos you can't unlock it!). 

I didn't bring a padlock, nor did I come with someone I love, so I just roamed around and watched people doing it. It was quite fun actually! hehe... 

After a while, I went down and continued walking around. Oh ya... there's also a teddy bear museum inside the tower. Teddy bear museum?? It sounds funny and weird. I mean, come on... what shall a teddy bear museum be about? I didn't bother to find out so I didn't enter it. 

I also found a cartoon museum just before I started my climb. Also didn't bother to enter it. Perhaps if you come to Seoul with your kids, they'll enjoy these museums. 

I guess the best time to visit the tower is during late afternoon, and stay there until night time. That way, you can get the best of both day and night view. I wanted to do just that, but I only waited till it was almost sunset. 

Had to go back to my hostel cos Justin was preparing dinner for me (I told you how amazing my hostel manager was, right?!). I read that at night, the tower is brightly illuminated. I missed that! #reasontorepeat

Anyway, I went down by the cable car. The fare for that short ride was KRW 6000 per way. Quite expensive since return ticket cost only KRW 8000. 

N Seoul Tower observatory is open daily.
 Operation hours are from 10 am to 11 pm.
Entrance fee is KRW 9000.
Direction: Take subway Line 4 to Myeongdong Station and proceed to Exit 3. 
From there, walk 10 minutes to Namsan cable car.


BibiErr Karim said...

Scenery from the tower sangat lawa kan! Hihi I masuk Teddy Bear museum. Actually is not about the history of the teddy bears. Instead teddies tu guna to made a diorama depicting the past & present of Korea. Fascinating indeed.

Tapi x sempat gi Lock N Love! But as u said, reason to repeat!

cik izars said...

me too climb the stairs! owh felt i lose few kilos after coming back from Seoul hahaha

Angel said...

Awesome photos!!! I'm glad you enjoyed Seoul!

I think what makes Seoul Tower and Namsan Park really special is the fact that it's not just beautiful attractions. They're meaningful as they provide people with insights as to how wonderful Korean heritage is. :)

There are a lot more places to visit in South Korea, especially if you're a Korean drama fan. Check this out: Manager Hyung

rara said...

BibiErr: haha.. I thought the museum is about teddy bears :p

Izars: good exercise kan? hehehe

rara said...

angel: wish i can visit the city again! :D