Seoul: Day 1 – Cityscape at N Seoul Tower
Travel Period : 30 May – 5 June 2017
7 DAYS 6 NIGHTS IN SEOUL/JEJU ISLAND
GETTING TO N-SEOUL TOWER
We headed to the Dongdaemun Station from Dongdaemun market and boarded the subway on Line 4 (Blue) towards Sadang Station. It was just a short ride of two stations before we arrived at the Chungmuro Station.
We exited from Exit 2 and found ourselves in front of the bus stop which we would be boarding Namsan Sunhwan Shuttle Bus No. 2 (Yellow in colour).
This was the first time we would be taking a bus in Korea so we were a little nervous. Having done our homework however, we knew it was nothing more than tapping our T-Money cards on the reader as we boarded the bus.
The bus arrived promptly and we boarded the bus as planned as we were on our way to Namsan Mountain where our destination is — N Seoul Tower!
The N Seoul Tower was first established as a broadcast tower to send out TV and radio signals in 1969 and is not opened to the public. The tower and the mountain are now popular landmarks especially for couples, given its romantic settings. The place was also featured in some Korean dramas which made it even more famous now.
We got excited when the bus turned in from the foot of Namsan and started making its way up the mountain road. The scenery along the road was nice and we were glad we did not need to ascend the mountain by foot! We already had enough walking earlier at Changdeokgung. ^^|
ARRIVED AT BUS STOP
Soon, we arrived at the bus stop. However, we discovered it was still some walking distance from N Seoul Tower and it was an uphill walk! Still, I thought it was a good idea for the bus stop to be located there since we could have a nice view of the tower and it was more interesting to be able to walk up towards the tower instead of having the bus bring us directly to it.
We were a little hungry then and mum took out the three rolls of gimbap (seaweed rice roll) she bought at the subway station earlier. It was surprisingly delicious and our spirits were boosted!
When we turned to look at the scenery behind some bushes near the bus stop, we were momentarily bedazzled by the beautiful city skyline as the orange setting sun shone down upon Seoul!
UP TO N-SEOUL TOWER
In high spirits, we began our walk along a moderate slope. A restroom was suitably located at the start of the road.
Instead of purchasing our N Seoul Tower Observatory tickets at the spot, we had already bought them online from KLOOK which was a cheaper option. With the printed voucher, we presented it to the Ticket Office at 5F (Observatory Deck Entrance) to exchange for the tickets. We then made our way into the entrance by the side.
N-SEOUL TOWER OBSERVATORY
Like the other observation decks that we have visited, we were asked to take a group photo before going up the lift. We always thought this would be a good memento if the photos were taken nicely so we would always be sporting to agree to the photographer’s request.
From there, off we went into the lift and up to the observation deck. There was a moderate crowd and as the sun was setting, visitors were gathering at the western side to take photos of Seoul under the setting sun. It was indeed a beautiful scene to behold.
Influenced by peer pressure, I also took out the camera to film the scenery as the sun was setting. ^^| It’s always fascinating why the sun in foreign countries always look better than back at home; perhaps it’s the mentality that ‘the grass on the other side is greener’.
As we moved around the observation deck, Dar spotted his favourite Lotte World Tower in a distance. This is the fifth tallest skyscraper in the world and our destination for the next day. Dar was very excited for our trip there tomorrow as he loved going up tall towers and skyscrapers.
When we passed by the souvenir shop, Dar was pondering over which souvenir for N Seoul Tower that he wanted. There were different sizes and materials of the tower models so it was a tough decision to make!
Finally, after he had decided on the type he wanted, we faced another challenge — finding the ‘perfect’ model with the least number of defects. We tried not to be perfectionists but it was hard to just ignore most of the slight imperfections on the models we saw.
LOVE LOCKS DECK
After finally finding the ‘chosen’ model, we went back to the ground floor of the N Seoul Tower and headed outdoors to the famed Love Locks paradise.
Woooo! It was pretty cold outside since the sun had set and moderate wind was blowing at us! We quickly put on the coats and jackets and were glad to have carried them along! They were unused in the day due to the warm temperature.
Just like in the Korean dramas and social media posts we had seen, the place was overwhelmed with love locks (sometimes mobile phone covers)! It was interesting to take closer looks at some of the locks as they came in all sizes and shapes! I wondered how the couples felt when they put on their locks, and if the love locks really work (that is, if they are still happily together). ^^
NIGHT-VIEW OF SEOUL
After we headed back to the bus stop, we turned around so that we could have a nice view of the N Seoul Tower once more, this time clothed in gorgeous neon lights as the moon hovered over it. The view of the cityscape was nicer at night!
While waiting for the Shuttle Bus No. 2 to arrive, another bus No. 3 had arrived instead. I took a look at its bus route and seeing that it would pass by several subway stations too, I encouraged our family to board this bus instead of the originally planned bus. The bus was quite crowded and most of us could only get a standing space throughout the ride.
After passing the Seoul Station, we alighted at the Namdaemum Station, believing we could take a subway to Ewha Womans University Station to get dinner. However, we noticed that it was already quite late and the restaurant could already be closed if we were to take a subway there. (Cat: Didn’t get to eat my porridge dinner! Sob! )
We tried to flag for taxis on the roadside but unfortunately, none stopped for us. In the end, we settled for dinner at one of the eateries along the street. (Cat: Again, it took way tooo long for our orders to be done. Waited around 30-40mins for our dinner to be served. Regretted ordering from there. By the time we returned back to Roinhome guesthouse, it was close to midnight…zzz. )