T he sun shone strongly on me from an intensely azure sky on that warm autumn day as I trudged up the wooded hill known as Namsan Mountain from the bus stop to visit the observation deck of N Seoul Tower.
Often hidden behind the multicolored canopies of seemingly endless trees peeked the spire of the N Seoul Tower — as if to guide me towards it.
The gardens and works of art in Namsan Park — whose ecosystem is fiercely protected and valued by Seoul-mates — comprise a worthy destination in and of itself without the N Seoul Tower.
After paying 9,000 South Korean won — which is approximately $8.15 in United States dollars — at the ticket booth…
…I then headed towards the entrance to the observatory — when I stopped to crane my neck and stare up towards the top of the tower itself. Construction on what was originally called Seoul Tower first began in December of 1969; but the observation deck was not completed until July of 1975 and opened to the public until October of 1980.
I then passed my way through the entrance and rode the elevator to tower level 3F. If it were not for the French restaurant n.GRILL on tower level 5F, the observatory would be on the highest level of what is now the N Seoul Tower, where the letter N represents both the name Namsan and the word new.
On the level of the observation deck are two gift shops. There is Weeny Beeny — presumably for the kids…
…and there is THE BA : NG, which “sells hot items with themes of love, travel and the N Seoul Tower”…
At least the girls shown below did not use one of those annoying “sticks” to photograph themselves…
…and if they did, they could send a card which is titled “sorry ;”. After all, why else would anyone want to purchase a card which reads sorry from an observation deck — unless there was an injury due to a shocking step?
Printed on one of the windows — underneath the name South Pole, which is one of the many directions towards where you are viewing, depending on which window you are using to view — is “Send your best regards to your beloved ones from Seoul’s highest post office from N Seoul Tower.
You can search for stars in the observatory, where the “stars are aligned above the sites mingling with the brilliant city’s lights and roads.” You are also advised to “search for the ‘star’ aligned with a vertex of Yongsan’s main street.”
I am honestly not sure what is a “shocking step”, which is nothing more than a platform on which you can stand within the observation deck. Perhaps too many people did not heed the warnings adhered to the steps and injured themselves — which means it is time to purchase that aforementioned sorry card…
…but the 360 degrees of panoramic views of the greater Seoul metropolitan area was indeed breathtaking, in my opinion.
Custom guided audio services are available for a rental fee of 3,000 South Korean won — which is less than $2.75. Wheelchairs can be rented free of charge by people who are disabled but advance reservations are encouraged for weekends; while baby carriages are available for rent. Medical support and nursing rooms are available as well.
I recommend taking at least a couple of hours out of your schedule to visit N Seoul Tower, factoring into account any possible lines if you arrive on a busy day. Feel free to allot extra time if you want to experience views of Seoul during the day, into sunset and after dark. I unfortunately did not have the opportunity to stay through sunset; but if I do find myself in Seoul again, I will consider doing just that.
As for the views itself from N Seoul Tower, I took plenty of photographs which I intend to post in a future article.
Admission for adults and children 13 years of age and 64 years of age is 9,000
Admission for adults 65 years of age and older is 7,000
Admission for children between three years of age and 12 years of age is 7,000
Discounts of up to 30 percent for both people who are considered disabled and people who have national merits are available; and patrons of the n.GRILL French restaurant enjoy a complimentary visit to the observatory with an advance reservation. Picnic package programs are also available for groups.