Hiking Seoul Tower
March 26, 2008
As spring weather brings blossoms, greenery and warmer temperatures to Korea, the opportunity to get out and discover the local scenery has never been better.
Seoul's skyline is unique because of a landmark tower sitting atop Nam Mountain in the city's center. Nam Mountain is commonly referred to by its Korean name, "Namsan."
The tower, built in 1969, originally opened to the public in 1980. However, the facility received extensive renovations in 2005 and is now a must-see tourist attraction for visitors to Seoul. On a clear day, visitors can see for miles.
Seoul Tower is 777 feet tall. The observation deck rotates slowly to give a complete view of the city. There is also a restaurant above the observation deck. Two high-speed elevators whisk visitors to the top and back. Seoul Tower is also home to an underground aquarium, World Folk Museum, Fantasy Land and a 3D theater.
Visitors can ride a cable car to the tower, take a bus or taxi, drive or hike. Next to the Namsan Public Library at the base of the western slope there is a park with eateries and small zoo. The path to the staircase starts here. The stairs wind through the forest and up the side of the mountain.
Along the way, there are plenty of benches for rest and relaxation. An easier way to get up Namsan is the cable car, but the hike offers good exercise. Another option is Seoul City Bus No. 2. or a drive up the east road.
Hours for the tower observatory are 9 a.m. to 12:30 a.m., but ticket sales stop at midnight. There is a nominal fee for adults and discounts for children to visit the observation deck.
Korea offers many things to do throughout the year. A visit to Seoul Tower on a clear spring day is a chance to see the city in a unique and breathtaking way.