South Korea – Namsan Park, Awesome Views of Seoul

Seoul, South Korea, April 2017: Its a mountain, its in the middle of town and its where visitors go to get a birds eye view of Seoul. According to Google there are 3 ways to get up to the peak – cable car for £7, bus for £1 or walk for free. I’m not a fan of cable car rides, specially the expensive gimmicky type and since there’s no information on where the walking trails start, I’m inclined to take the bus. Shuttle bus number 3 to be precise, from Itaewon (Google Map). So, armed with what I hope is reliable information (if you can’t trust Google, who can you trust?), its off to the for another adventure in South Korea’s capital city, Seoul.

Well, you’ll be pleased to know I’ve made it to Itaewon station in one piece. Heading up to street level and looking out for the landmark Hamilton hotel and opposite that should be a bus stop.. Its easy to spot, a giant square block dominating the place. 20 minutes for the next bus says the electronic flashing sign – well, part assumption here since the only characters in English are 20! And while waiting for the bus a quick look around and my first impression is – well, this could be a high street in England! MacDonalds, KFC, Body Shop, it’s all here and filled with white folk. Additionally there are quite a few US soldiers running around, must be an Army camp nearby.

As soon as passengers leave the bus the views across Seoul are just amazing. There’s an immediate sense of exhilaration as the vista beyond unfolds in every direction…

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And here’s the view looking towards Gangnam…

The N. Seoul Tower, a communications tower situated right on the peak. Those with head for heights can take a ride to the viewing deck for an even greater birds eye view of Seoul. Personally, the only thing to be gained here is a better view of the Gangnam area and Han river, partly obscured by the neighbouring hill.

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Its a nice place to relax, even though at times one is jostling for space on the photo platforms/ Yes, hundreds of pensioners and school children make the short trip up for a lunch picnic and to watch a little bit of Korean culture…

Getting There: Shuttle bus 2, 3 or 5 from various points in the local area – info here. From Itaewon, Yellow Shuttle Bus 3 from opposite Hamilton Hotel, Itaewon station exit 4. (Google Map)

Cost: £1 all the way to the tower. £8 entrance to the N. Seoul Tower elevated viewing deck. The park itself is free.

Eat and Drink: Very expensive burgers and BBQ chicken. Even more expensive restaurant food. Coffee same as in downtown at around £3.30. 

 

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