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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Namsan Mountain: A Journey to Seoul’s Enchanting Heights

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As I wandered through the bustling streets of Seoul, I couldn’t help but be captivated by the majestic presence of Namsan Mountain. Standing tall in the heart of the city, this iconic mountain is crowned by a communication tower that commands attention from all who lay eyes upon it. Known as Namsan, meaning “South Mountain” in Korean, it has been a symbol of Seoul’s rich history since its founding in the 14th Century.

Intrigued by its allure, I set out to explore Namsan, a mountain that has witnessed the city’s growth and transformation. While most people opt for the convenience of the automobile tunnels that connect different parts of Seoul, I was determined to experience the true essence of this natural wonder. The journey to the top, they say, is the true reward.

As I embarked on my ascent, I discovered various options to reach Namsan Park, a beautifully landscaped haven nestled within the mountain’s embrace. Walking was the first choice, but the arduous city streets and the steep climb deterred even the most adventurous souls. Instead, I decided to take the Namsan Sunhwan Shuttle bus, which departs every 15 to 20 minutes from nearby subway stations. With a minimal fare, I found myself effortlessly ascending towards the park, eagerly anticipating the panoramic view that awaited me.

Alternatively, for those seeking a touch of nostalgia and charm, the Namsan Cable Car offered a captivating mode of transportation. This historic cable car, established in 1962, carries visitors from the Hoehyeon-dong platform to the Yejang-dong platform near the base of N Seoul Tower. As I boarded the cable car, a sense of anticipation filled the air. The gentle ascent revealed glimpses of the city below, teasing me with a taste of the breathtaking vista that awaited at the summit.

Finally, I reached Namsan Park, a haven of tranquility amidst the urban tapestry. The park beckoned me to explore its treasures—a botanical garden bursting with vibrant blooms, a library that whispered tales of knowledge, and the renowned Namsangol Hanok Village, a living testament to Korea’s rich cultural heritage. While these attractions held their allure, it was the promise of a spectacular view that drew me closer to my ultimate destination—the crown jewel atop Namsan.

Ascending the stairs of N Seoul Tower, I could feel my excitement building with each step. The tower, reaching a staggering height of 777 feet, stood tall and proud, a testament to human ingenuity. As I entered the observation deck, time seemed to stand still. The panoramic vista of Seoul stretched before me, a mesmerizing blend of ancient traditions and modern marvels. The city’s dynamic energy pulsed through its veins, visible from every vantage point.

Amidst the restaurants, coffee shops, and souvenir stores that adorned the tower, I discovered the heartwarming tradition of love locks. Couples from all corners of the world had left their mark, affixing locks adorned with heartfelt messages, a symbol of their eternal bond. It was a testament to the tower’s power to unite people, transcending language and culture.

As the day transitioned into dusk, the city transformed into a symphony of lights. Seoul’s skyline came alive, painting the night sky with a kaleidoscope of colors. I marveled at the beauty of the city below, its vibrancy echoing the spirit of its people. It was a sight that words couldn’t adequately capture, a moment of awe and wonder that etched itself into my memory.

As my time atop N Seoul Tower drew to a close, I realized that Namsan Mountain was more than just a tourist attraction. It was a journey, an exploration of Seoul’s soul and a connection to its past. It reminded me of the resilience and vitality of a city that had overcome countless challenges, emerging as a beacon of hope and progress.

Leaving the tower behind, I made my descent back to the bustling streets below. The memories of Namsan lingered in my heart, a reminder of the heights I had reached, both literally and metaphorically. Seoul had opened its arms to me, and I embraced it wholeheartedly, forever grateful for the unforgettable experience atop Namsan Mountain.

By Korea Travel News

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