Namsan Mountain


Namsan Mountain is in the center of Seoul. Downtown essentially surrounds it. City Hall and Namdaemun Market are to the Northwest, Tongdaemun Market is to the Northeast, Yonsan (U.S.) Army base is to the Southwest and Itaewon (where we live) is directly to the South. There are various parks on the mountain and a sightseeing tower is on the peak. However, much of the mountain is off limits as a nature preserve. From the villa where we first lived, there is a convenient hiking route through the parks and to the peak. These photos were taken on the way up the mountain. Click on the small images to open the larger picture.


This is the stairway up to the fish/turtle pond in Namsan Park.

I'm sure I've seen fish in this pond but lately, all we seem to have seen is turtles. Turtle ponds are very popular in Korea, as well as the Koi and Goldfish.


These trees have been planted in a portion of the park. This bracing is very typical. The support is left on for a number of years to insure the trees grow straight.

Looking back over the park, on the way up, we can see our old Villa. In the blown up version, it is outlined so you can pick it up. In the distance, past the high rises, you can see the Han River. On the right side, the green area is the edge of Yongsan Army Base.



Another look at the villa. In the full size version, the arrow points at Melanie's room.

From the top of the mountain, this view looks northwest. The city has grown with high rise apartment buildings filling all the valleys moving away from downtown.



Looking south across the Han River from the top of Namsan mountain.

Here we are at the top of the mountain. In addition to the tower, there are rebuilt sections of the old fortress walls and the usual assorted vendors.



These are the watchtower signal fires. Each stone enclosure could have a fire built in it. The number of fires indicated the level of threat from an enemy.

This is a manual cotton candy machine. It has a small propane cylinder for heat and the tub is spun by a foot treadle. This old lady pumps the machine all day long and sells cotton candy for 1,000 won ($0.85) per bag.



This is a section of fortress wall along the road to the top of the mountain. Seoul was surrounded by walls which went over the mountains and linked watchtowers.

The base of one of the towers. You can see that more stones have been piled on the base as it was constructed out of large stones. Korean hikers place one small rock on top of another for good luck.