Traveling

Seoul-ful Spring 2016: Playing Lovers in Korea at N Seoul Tower

N Seoul Tower COVER - Seoul-ful Spring 2016: Playing Lovers in Korea at N Seoul Tower

Namsan Seoul Tower, more commonly known as N Seoul Tower, is one of Seoul’s most recognisable landmarks today. It’s frequented by both locals and foreigners alike, and is very popularly known as that place with all the love locks.

I don’t think you can rightly say you’ve visited Seoul if you don’t check in to N Seoul Tower, just because it’s so iconic. (One visit should be enough!) It appears in a lot of romantic K-Dramas too, and thanks to that it has become an integral part of the Korean popular culture. This tower is still being used to broadcast signals for big Korean networks like KBS, MBC, and SBS, but the tower is a frequented tourist spot nowadays.

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It’s fairly easy to find the lift that will take you to the Namsan Cable Car station by following the signages to Namsan Park. Leaving Myeondong Station through Exit 3, you’ll have to walk until you reach the Hoehyeon intersection and then turn left. The free elevator to access the Namsan Cable Cars can be found after a walk uphill. Again, just keep your eyes peeled for the arrows.

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To ride the cable car itself, you will have to pay a roundtrip fee of 8,500 won. This will take you to and from Namsan Mountain in under 5 minutes each way. It doesn’t land straight at the tower itself but will have you take a scenic route involving lots of stairs. About a hundred steps, if I remember correctly.

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Personally, I found myself enjoying the views a lot more this way, but it might be something to ponder on if you’re going with someone elderly or someone who has trouble with stairs. Or if you’re lugging around a stroller I guess.

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Soon enough, you will reach a courtyard (or giant terrace) of sorts holding all the N Seoul Tower lovelocks. There are so many! I think a lot of people tend to like these kinds of romantic concepts. The countless number of locks is a testament to that!

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You’ll see a lot of them with dedications in different languages, and I can’t help but wonder if all these couples really ended up with happily ever afters haha!

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At least this one seems more plausible:

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Following the path towards the tower’s entrance where there are even more locks, you will arrive at a plaza filled with energetic tourists and locals. There are lots of cafes and restaurants in this area as well– I remember ice cream, churros, and burgers– and it will probably be a little bit cheaper to eat here than if you wait to head up to the Tower itself. Still a bit expensive compared to regular places around Seoul, but that’s what you get when you eat at tourist spots.

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You have to shell out a separate 10,000 won in order to go up to the Observatory. I can’t remember why I didn’t take any photos of the plaza with the restaurants, as well as the ground level of the N Seoul Tower, but considering how this was our last location on our first day coming straight from a very early morning flight, I think I can forgive myself if my brain was already half asleep. Anywho, let’s go up!

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This is what the observation deck in the tower looks like. It’s not the best one I’ve been to and in fact I don’t like how much blue the tinted windows tend to cast against the light. (Makes it hard for a half-zombified photog like myself to take decent shots lol.) However, I liked how they put all the names and distances of cities located in a particular direction around the whole observatory. Cute idea!

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Awww look at my exhausted familia. We weren’t allowed to check into our AirBnB until late afternoon so we decided to just keep hitting all the places on our itinerary until then. I myself was running on adrenaline, sweet potatoes, churros, and lots of coffee.

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I guess that’s the problem with booking super cheap flights– you arrive at a ridiculous hour (4am) with minimal sleep because the plane is so dang uncomfortable for tall people. Unable to check-in to your lodgings at such an early time you decide to push through with your itinerary thinking you’re some bionic human. I mean, the stark difference between how good my photos turned out in my previous post (which is a location we visited after a good night’s sleep) and this one was an eye-opener.

Apparently, artistic brain functions really take a hit when one is sleep-deprived.

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You can spot the N Seoul Tower from nearly every place in Seoul thanks to its height. The tower’s length is about 236 meters on its own, but since it sits atop Namsan Mountain too, it’s a good 480 meters above sea level. It’s literally like a needle in the middle of Seoul when viewed from a distance. I hope you guys take some time to check out this Seoul landmark!

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I tend to enjoy the view of Seoul better when the N Seoul Tower is in it, so on my next trip, I will hunt down a good place to take an evening cityscape of the capital with this tower all lit up.

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N Seoul Tower

105 Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan 2(i)ga-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
How to get here by Subway: Take Exit 4 from Myeongdong Station and walk about 15 minutes towards the Hoehyeon intersection. DO NOT CROSS the street, but keep left. You will spot the N Seoul Tower in the distance so just follow it; there will also be a lot of signs along the way. Walk uphill towards the lift that will take you to the Namsan Cable Car Station.
Hours: 10AM to 11PM except Saturday, when it is open until midnight

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