Namsan Tower

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As April 14th approaches, also known as Black Day here in Korea (a day where single people can sulk with other single people about the possibility of being forever alone), it reminded me of my trip to Namsan tower aka the Seoul Tower. The Namsan tower is famous for tourists, and it is especially popular for being a couples’ hot spot. My mentor, JiHyun, was kind of enough to take me there at night, and we had to take a bus to get to the top of the mountain. Sidenote: the buses here are crazy. They drive really fast and when the bus is too crowded, people have to stand. It is really hard to stay on your feet with the bus drivers’ driving skills. Anyway, after getting off the bus, we still had to take a little climb to reach the top. The view from above is breathtaking. You can see all of Seoul at the top of the mountain. In addition, the Namsan tower is illuminated at night and changed colors every few seconds.

At the bottom of the tower, there are thousands of locks placed together to form the shapes of trees. They line the fences and are scribbled with couples’ anniversary on tiny hearts. There are even funny shaped benches that are bent downward in the center so when couples sit together, they automatically slide towards the middle so they are as close to each other as possible. After admiring the little trinkets, you can buy a ticket for 9,000 Won to go up to the top of the tower. To get to the top, you enter the world’s fastest elevator with about a dozen other people. The elevator operator tells you to look up at the ceiling, and there is a screen that plays a mini movie as if you are projected through space. When the clip stops playing, you are already at the top of the tower. You do not even feel the pressure of the elevator moving. At the top of the tower, you can see a 360° view of Seoul. The view at night is beautiful with tiny lights illuminating Seoul. There are also different countries with their distances from Seoul painted on the windows in the general direction that they are in. We made about three circles around the top before deciding that it was enough and headed down. We went one level below, and on that floor, there were wooden tiles decorating the walls, again with couples’ writings. All around the Seoul tower, you see couples holding hands or writing on a plastic heart to attach to a lock. It was difficult to find someone who was not part of a pair to snap a picture for you. After taking a loop with the same view from the top level, we headed back inside the elevator to watch a clip of us going from outer space and returning back to earth. Within a few seconds, we ended back at ground level.

Although the view was great at the very top, I do not think it is worth it to spend 9,000 for 5 minutes because the view at the bottom of the tower is just as good…you just have to walk more.

Most useful phrase of the week: 혼자 (honja) = Alone =(

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