I’m dreadfully behind on updating my blog, but this week I am determined to catch up and post about all of the fun things I’ve experienced during the past two weeks.
Today’s blog post is about my trip with the ISA group to Namsan. We went there Sunday, July 10, and we spent our time exploring two landmarks: Namsan Hanok Village and Namsan Tower (also known as Seoul Tower). Namsan Tower was on my list of places I really wanted to visit while I was in Seoul, so that’s one more thing checked off of my Korea bucket list.
Namsan Hanok Village
The Hanok Village was fun to explore. We had a tour guide, but his microphone/speaker system wasn’t that great, so between that and his accent I wasn’t able to hear much of what he said about the history of the Hanok Village, but I was still able to take lots of pictures.
Next to the entrance of the village was a large stage, and a Taekwondo performance was taking place. Thankfully our tour guide let us sit down for a few minutes to watch it, but then he made us get up and continue with our tour. I definitely wouldn’t have minded just skipping the tour and watching the performance — it was Taekwondo mixed with choreographed dance, and it had a cool storyline. I’ve included a video of part of the performance that I was able to watch. Watching black belts like these makes me wish that I hadn’t quit Taekwondo in the 2nd grade (or that I could at least touch my toes…).
[People block the view of the camera at the very beginning, but they sit down after a few seconds.]
Time Capsule for the Seoul Millennial
There is also a section of the Hanok Village that is a time capsule. The time capsule was buried in 1994 as a celebration of the 600th anniversary of Seoul being the capital city of Korea. The time capsule will be reopened on Seoul’s 1000th anniversary, which will occur in the year 2394.
Namsan’s official name is actually N Seoul Tower, but it’s usually referred to as just Seoul Tower or Namsan Tower. Namsan Tower is an observation tower built on a mountain in the middle of Seoul. The elevator to the top of the tower is supposedly the fastest elevator in the world, and the view is spectacular. Our group tried to stay until it got completely dark outside, but we ended up leaving just after sunset, before the sky truly got pitch black.
The views were incredible! Part of me wishes that we had stayed just a little while longer to see the pitch-black night view of Seoul, but we had already been at Namsan for several hours and were all feeling rather tired of it at that point. While scrolling down you can see Seoul’s transformation from daylight to sunset to nighttime.
Namsan Tower is also famous for its couple locks. There’s a deck area next to the tower that people (typically couples) place locks onto. I didn’t purchase a lock for myself, but several of my friends did. It was cool just seeing the millions of colorful locks decorating the railings with the entire city sitting picturesquely in the background.
Namsan Cable Car
I was really disappointed when I realized that we weren’t going to the Namsan Cable Car. I had been really excited to go, mostly because of the drama Boys over Flowers. I was really excited to buy a cup of the same coffee that 금잔디(Geum Jandi) and 구준표 (Gu Junpyo) bought (even though I don’t like coffee), to ride in the cable car, and to see if the inscription that 구준표 (Gu Junpyo) wrote was still visible. The closest I got to the cable car was taking pictures of it from the top of the tower.
Overall it was a really fun day. We got to ride a public bus for the first time and visit two Korean landmarks. I would definitely recommend both sites as good places to visit — especially Namsan Tower. The views are always more impressive when you see them in person.