Saturday, April 13, 2013

up and away to mt. namsan (n seoul tower)

Stairway to N Seoul Tower

i was in myeongdong for only half an hour and i just had a sneak peek of what it has to offer. i went around a few of its blocks before impulsively headed to what i perceived to be the main street and found several steps away, another entrance to my welcoming cocoon in seoul -- which came in the form of underground tunnels.

to feel again the much needed warmth, i descended down that underground tunnel and walked with confidence as if i was certain i knew my way. i noticed a sign for the metro (subway train) and without a second thought, i followed it. and what it seemed to be miles after, i surprisingly found myself back in city hall station! gahhh! i could have saved that previous train ride which had this route, city hall -> seoul -> myeongdong. this city literally has a parallel world, a few meters down!

Getting to Mt. Namsan By Bus

Bus Stop for Mt. Namsan

taking the bus to mt. namsan was never a plan and mt. namsan was not supposed to be on my first day but the day after. this just showed how i would still act on impulse even if i had already concocted an itinerary prior on my trip.

and the bus option was initially out of the picture because i intended to take the cool cable car. the cable car station is accessible from myeongdong but the directions on seoul's tourism website, were a lot to take in, requiring several turns with landmarks i'd hardly recognize. having actually felt what bitter cold was like, i had to drop the entire idea.

i just remembered that bus no. 2 can also get me to mt. namsan and the bus stop is just outside chungmuro station exit 2. i never took any note of this but lo and behold, my memory worked impressively that moment! i only knew this bus after reading it once from a travel forum.

Snow at the Bus Stop
I know snow is not exactly what it's cut out to be 'coz it gets dirty sometimes.

Bus No. 2 to Mt. Namsan

Winding road in Mt. Namsan

Seoul cityscape as seen on Mt. Namsan

Seoul cityscape as seen on Mt. Namsan
Courageously asked someone to take my photo (after a lot of hesitations)

Sunset and N Seoul Tower in Mt. Namsan

Snow slope of Mt. Namsan
I assumed that sign was a warning not to do a mindless walk down the slope.

N Seoul Tower in Mt. Namsan
An awkward pose after asking another tourist from Thailand, to take my photo.
In all fairness to him, he even suggested on my angles!
I wish I remembered how to say thank you in Thai. :(

N Seoul Tower in Mt. Namsan

Gazebo on top of Mt. Namsan

Artwork ceiling of the Gazebo

Frozen fountain on top of Mt. Namsan

Stairway to Mt. Namsan
Are you up for it?

Cold Stone on top of Mt. Namsan
I was a winter newbie that I had to ignore Cold Stone!

Cappuccino on top of Mt. Namsan
A cup of cappuccino instead please.

The Love Locks and Everything Cheesy

Trees of love locks on top of Mt. Namsan

An empty love bench on top of Mt. Namsan

A heart structure on top of Mt. Namsan

Love locks and sunset

Love locks on top of Mt. Namsan
A girl returning the favor after I took their photo

Sunset in Seoul
A glorious sunset over Seoul with Han river in the distance

Seoul at Nighttime

when the day almost turned into the night, i went up to the N Seoul Tower observatory in order to have an unobstructed 360º view of seoul, or so i thought.

Seoul cityscape at night

Seoul cityscape at night

Distance from Manila to Seoul

Distance from Singapore to Seoul

however, the reflection of the lights inside the observatory defeated my purpose. i was even too worked up to get decent photos by setting long exposures on my compact camera (the modest settings that it's capable of) and the sills as my tripod.

even though it was already frustrating, i stayed there for quite some time to make use of my admission fee and the almost-forced photo souvenir which i separately payed.

Seoul city at night

Seoul city at night

Mt. Namsan at night

the unobstructed view that i was looking for was in fact, out in the open. i had no regrets though on the observatory because i couldn't stay for a longer period outside, especially that the sun was already gone and it was made worse by night chills.

going to mt. namsan late in the afternoon was part of the plan because i wanted to see the cityscape by day with sunset as an added bonus and few hours later, the cityscape at night.

quite happy and fulfilled on my first day in seoul, i then made my way to the bus stop. just in time, i got on a parked bus with several couples huddled at the back seats and i had no choice but to take a solitary seat with my gaze towards the window. tomorrow would be another day, i reckoned.


N Seoul Tower Observatory Admission Fee (Adult) - ₩9,000
I got a discounted rate by one of the coupons provided together with my T-Money card.
My souvenir photo cost me ₩13,000. It's the same variety you get from any of those attraction memorabilia which I normally just ignore.

More on N Seoul Tower in South Korea's Tourism Website and Mt. Namsan here.


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