North Seoul Tower (Namsan Tower to some) is one of Korea's most popular tourist destinations and with good reason. The views from the tower observatory are quite stunning; every direction you look shows you a different section of the Seoul metropolis, always contrasted by a mountainous backdrop.
When visiting, you can walk up Namsan Mountain, get a bus, or take a cable car. My recommendation is to get the cable car up and enjoy a leisurely stroll down the mountain on your return. A daytime trip will give you a better view of the surrounding mountains, but visit between 7pm and midnight to see the tower light up in glorious illumination. There are a handful of restaurants at the tower, including a burger bar and the expensive N Grill, which slowly revolves and offers romantic panoramic views of the city as you eat. Booking a table for the latter is a must.
Tickets for the tower itself range from 3,000 to 7000 won. The cable car itself costs 4,800 one-way or 6,000 for a return ticket.
Google map: bit.ly/w7V7aI
A 10-15 minute walk (or a cheap taxi), take Subway Line 4 to Myeongdong Station and leave via exit 3. Take the wide road next to the convenience store and walk straight to the left of the Pacific Hotel. Keep going and you will soon find yourself at the cable car platform. Purchase a ticket on the 3rd floor of the building.
For those unfamiliar with Korean cuisine, ddeokbokki is a popular Korean snack of cylindrical rice cakes cooked in a spicy sauce. Traditionally street food - wonderful for warming up on a bitter Seoul night - there is one place you can visit in Seoul to try a real restaurant quality version; Ddeokbokki Town.
Located in Sindang-dong, Ddeokbokki Town is a long street with numerous restaurants dedicated to ddeokbokki. While most will provide you with a delicious meal, one restaurant is particularly worthy of a visit; the wonderfully named "I Love Sindang-dong." Dining at this restaurant is an easier affair than is typical for the foreigner in Korea, providing a full English language menu along with pictures of the individual dishes. You can choose from a variety of different options, including cheese-stuffed rice balls and the intimidatingly named "Tear Jerker." All the ingredients are brought out in a large pan to cook in front of you - each table having its own gas hob - so be ready to stir the mouth watering mix of rice cake, ramen, glass noodles, mushrooms, dumplings, 'odeng' (fish cake), egg, onions and more while it cooks. Then simply pick and choose which parts you like best, and tuck in!
A huge restaurant (the floor space was used by seven different restaurants up until 2002) "I Love Sindang-dong" gives you a fantastic chance to try some traditional Korean food well away from the more tourism-heavy areas of Seoul. There is often a wait for a table at weekends, though rarely longer than 5-10 minutes, and this really is a must-do for all visitors to the city.
Simply leave Sindang station (lines 2 & 6) out of Exit 8, take the first left (just before the firestation), and walk straight for about 200 metres. There will be a large sign with Korean script marking the entrance right in front of you.
South Korea, Seoul, Jongno-gu, Jeokseon-dong, 29
Google map: bit.ly/zCsf8A
Ingwansan is a 338 metres tall mountain located in the heart of Seoul. A short walk away from the nearest subway station, a brief 15 minute hike will see you encountering Buddhist temples, citywide vistas and a shamanist shrine to boot.
Be sure to pick up some kimbap (김밥 in Korean script) from one of the many small restaurants nearby to devour as a snack upon reaching the summit. Made of white rice and various other ingredients, wrapped together in dried laver seaweed, a kimbap is the perfect reward after a short and sharp climb.
Oh, and don't be surprised if you're offered a soju pick-me-up by one of Korea's numerous elderly hikers!
From Dongnimmum Subway station (Line 3), leave through Exit 2 and take an immediate left. Follow the winding road and you will, after 2-3 minutes walking, come across some steps on the right handside. Climb the steps and you'll find yourself at Ingwansan.
Google map: bit.ly/ziF6hT
I have just returned from teaching English in Korea after two years and I needed to send back a number of boxes from all the stuff I had collected.
Best company found was RSJ International in UK. Everything delivered on time and same condition.
RSJ International Freight Services,
Unit 16, Londonderry Farm
U.K. BS30 6EL
Tel: +44 (0)117 932 1160
Fax: +44 (0)117 932 6572
Send your feedback or queries to email@example.com
Search Been there
Your tips about Seoul