Namsan Seoul Tower

Despite being an iconic landmark, Seoul Tower is so inconsistently named it’s a wonder anybody can find the damn thing.

The literature and travel guides had this place listed as:

  • N Seoul Tower
  • Seoul Tower
  • Namsan Tower
  • Namsan Seoul Tower
  • YTN Seoul Tower

I’m just going to call it Seoul Tower since it’s not like there are more than one to be confused by.

Getting there

There are a few ways to get to N Seoul Namsan YTN Seoul Tower. The preferred route for most people seems to be:

  • Take the subway to a shuttle bus terminal
  • Take the shuttle bus to the base of the mountain
  • Hike up the rest of the way.

Or, if you don’t abhor comfort and convenience, you can:

  • Take a taxi to the cable car terminal
  • Take the cable car to the top of the mountain
  • Relax and enjoy the view.

Cable Car

N Seoul Tower Cable Car
The cable car is admittedly kind of expensive when you consider the actual experience you’re getting from it. There is only one car that goes back and forth so the wait times are rather long, and if you aren’t first or last in you won’t be able to see anything since the car gets packed tight. The waiting area was also hotter than the sun itself. Both of us had to rotate stepping outside just to fend off anxiety attacks.

We lucked out in that it wasn’t a busy day so the ride up was not crowded, and on the way back down we were surrounded by children whose heads we could see above so we had a full panoramic view.

Buying passage via cable car does not cover entry to Seoul Tower. Admission must be purchased separately.

Locks of Love

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Atop Namsan Mountain, at the base of Seoul Tower, there is a patio lined with chain-link fences to which lovers can attach locks as testament of their affections.

Having originally planned a trip to Paris but nixing it because neither of us really wanted to go to Paris, we saw that many of the bridges over the Seine were becoming landmarks due to the volume of love locks being attached to them. I thought that this European tradition had crossed over to Asia but as it turns out it is hardly a tradition or unique to Europe. The trend having started in Asia in 2008 before migrating west to Italy, France, Germany and the U.S.

Either way we paid USD $5 to leave our own on the fence.

Seoul Tower

Seoul Tower
Inside Seoul Tower, is an observation deck. They have a few restaurant/cafe type places inside, as well as a gift shop. Seoul sprawls outward in all directions.

Seoul Tower

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Seoul’s Highest-Altitude Mailbox

Seoul's Highest Mailbox
If you were so inclined, you may buy postcards and stamps from the gift shop and leave them in the mailbox inside the observation deck. This mailbox is the highest-altitude mailbox in Seoul.

They say it is the highest-altitude post office, but that may be a mistranslation– I don’t think they provide any postal services beyond selling stamps.

We sent a few postcards to family back in the US; they took an entire month to arrive so don’t feel bad if you decide to send some off and nobody receives them promptly.

Restrooms

The restrooms here are a sight in and of themselves.

Seoul Tower Restrooms
Try the urinals. It’s like shooting a golden stream into eternity.

Seoul Tower Restroom
Plus, they have green soap! What’s not to love?

For more pissing-in-the-sky action, check out the Mandarin Oriental in Tokyo.

Departing

We set our sights on our next conquest and left the tower. 1,164.19 km to go!

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On the way out we got caught up with a bunch of elementary school kids visiting the tower for a field trip. Korean and Japanese kids get to go on the coolest field trips.

I went to the Tennessee Aquarium in 1993, and that was the last field trip I remember. A new elementary school was built every four years and we kept getting redistricted. I’m guessing with all the construction there was no money left in the budget for field trips. Our oldest daughter’s school is building an observatory and they go to the Georgia Aquarium every year. How times change…

Some kids
Not that it matters. We’re compensating for lack of field trips as children by getting to see the world as adults, so it’s a fair trade.

Leaving the tower, we caught a train to Gimpo. PROTIP: They look close on the map, but it takes about an hour to get from Seoul Station to Gimpo. We barely made our flight…

Johnny

Pro-family and anti-drug, when he's not too busy living with four beautiful ladies, he likes long walks on the beach and poking dead things with sticks.

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