Having slept to my heart desire at the neighbourhood bath house. I was all ready to start the day with a hike up Mt. Nam-san.
Nam-sam is a symbolic mountain located at the heart of Seoul. Although it is not as high as other surrounding mountains, Mt. Namsan is very popular as both a tourist attraction as well as a community park for walks jogs, picnics etc. The top of the mountain based on my understanding comprise of various facilities such the Seoul Tower, Teddy Bear Museum and cable car station.
There are many ways of making your way to the top of the mountain. One may take a bus, cab, cable car or simply walk up the numerous stairway path from many parts of the city such as Namdaemun, Hoehyun-dong, Taegyero 3(sam)-ga, Jangchung Park, Itaewon, Huam-dong etc.
Raymond had to work today so he gave me specific directions on finding the way up the mountain. I was to start from the coffee place ‘Standing Coffee’ and head east from there for around 15 mins until I hit a main road and turn left in from there …. Blah blah…
I did start from ‘Standing Coffee’ and head the right direction. But on the way, I was waylaid by a local market place. Spices, condiments, kimchi and other essentials were made available and the local aunties were happily chatting with the vendors in native Korean. Everyone were pretty shy about me taking pictures hence I just stopped at 1.
Emerging out from the market place, I lost my bearings. No biggie, it took me just 10 mins of walking in the direction of Nam-san to hit a steep road that heads up to somewhere.
An Indian lady was also making her way up the slope. I approached her for directions and was pleasantly surprised to know that she was also heading to Nam-san park for her daily morning exercise. Her husband works for the Sri Lanka Embassy in Seoul and her family has been staying in Seoul for over 5 years. She loves the city and local Koreans.
With her guidance, we soon make our way to the foot of the mountain. She explained that there are 2 paths up the mountain from Itaewon. I can either choose the faster but less scenic route or the longer path that boost of beautiful flowers and elevated view of the city. With time not an issue, I opted for the latter and she was kind enough to accompany me on my selected route.
A little drizzle started around 30 mins after we started our journey. She decided that she had enough exercise for the day and headed down. Before she left she guided me on the direction to reach the mountain top.
The temperature begin to drop as I ascend. Away from the traffic, air has never smell fresher. There are side pavilions along the route that offers fantasic view of the city and the south tower.
I reached a rest point where it pointed 800m to the Namsangol Traditional Korean Village which showcase 5 traditional Korean houses. But I decided to give it a miss, my legs are beginning to turn wobbly from all that walking and it was only 11am in the morning!
I pushed on for the final lap and conquered Nam-san summit at 11.45am! The summit was buzzing with activities! Tourist buses were arriving and there were also kindergarden children on excursion. Korean kids are extremely adorable. 🙂
The Seoul Tower was the highlight of the summit and S$10 have to be paid to go up the tower for a bird’s eye view of the area. I decided to give that a miss. I have been up towers in KL, Tokyo, Shanghai etc and they have never left an impression on my travels memories. I am sure the Seoul tower will be no different.
I did visit the Teddy Bear Museum. The bears were too cute to resist. 🙂
Besides these tourist attractions, Seoul Tower is also a popular spot for lovers. Lovebirds declare their everlasting love and dedication to each other and ‘lock’ their promises for eternity on the ‘trees’ and fences around the tower premises and throw the keys away! Aww… Too bad I can’t read Korean. Should ask Hao Zhen Jie, must be really mushy stuffs.
And if love locks are not enough as a testimony of their affection, one can also explore the love tiles.
The Seoul Tower was also decorated with unique art pieces and outdoor furnishing.
That’s pretty much all that Seoul Tower has to offer. I took a convenient and scenic pathway down from here to Namdaemum. I was supposed to be able to hit Namdaemun Market directly but failed to do so and I was too exhausted to search more…. So I took a bus down instead. :p
That’s all on my trek up Nam-san. Next stop, Namdaemun Market!
You may also like to check out my posts on other exciting travel destinations here