A little slice of nature in the middle of Seoul, Namsan is a popular destination for both locals and foreign tourists. The mountain is well-known for its beautiful hiking trails which allow visitors to experience the local wildlife and to enjoy the view over the city. When autumn comes, Namsan is blanketed with vivid golden and red leaves, turning it into the city’s most scenic location.

Tiếng Việt

Lying south of Myeongdong, Namsan (남산), meaning “South Mountain”, is one of the four major mountains in Seoul. Together with Bugaksan in the North, Inwangsan in the East and Naksan in the West, it is believed to form a protective circle surrounding the historic core of Seoul. For this reason, Namsan was considered a sacred shamanistic site during the Joseon dynasty. As ordered by King Taejo, the first king of Joseon, a massive fortress wall was also built along the range of these mountains to protect the city from invasions, and the wall that ran through Namsan marked the southern boundary. Some sections of this wall still exist to this day, including five beacons at the mountain peak.

The fortress wall
Namsan – A sacred shamanistic site
A wall segment in Namsan
A wall segment in Namsan

Although Namsan (262m) is the lowest of the four mountains, its popularity far surpasses the other three, with around 20,000 visitors each day. Most people come here to enjoy nature, go for a hike, or to catch a view of Seoul downtown, while others travelled here to seal their love forever. A collection of “love locks” hanging on a wall close to the peak is the evidence for their (wishful) endless love.

The colour of autumn
The colour of autumn
Ginkgo tree
Autumn foliage
Love locks
Love locks at Namsan peak

At the peak of Namsan, you will find yourself standing in front of another landmark, the N Seoul Tower (also known as Namsan Tower or Seoul Tower). Soaring 236 metres to the sky, this tower was first built in 1969 as a broadcast tower to send out TV and radio signals. Eleven years later, it was opened to the public as the first tower-type tourism spot in South Korea. After an extensive remodelling in the 2000s, N Seoul Tower has become an inseparable part of Seoul’s skyline and one of the city’s most symbolic icons.

Seoul-38
N Seoul Tower
Seoul downtown
View of Seoul downtown
Seoul-41
Sunset in Seoul

Practical Information

  • Fall is an ideal time to visit Namsan as the weather is pleasant and the whole area is transformed into a carpet of golden and red autumnal leaves.
  • Namsan peak is easily accessible by three Namsan Circular Shuttle Bus routes. The bus departs from Chungmuro station (No. 02), from Seoul station (No. 03) and from Myeongdong station (No. 05). Payable by T-money card.
  • Alternatively, you can take the cable car which runs from the base of the mountain. The cable car station is 15-minutes walking from Myeongdong station. A one-way ticket costs ₩7,000, while a round-trip costs ₩9,500.
  • It’s recommended to take the bus or cable car to the peak, then walk back to the town. In this way, you can experience the park and enjoy the spectacular view of Seoul without the crowd. It’s a fairly simple walk and the trail is very well-maintained.

Thu về trên núi Namsan

Nằm phía Nam khu trung tâm Myeongdong, Namsan (남산) là một trong bốn ngọn núi quan trọng ở Seoul. Về mặt phong thủy, người xưa tin rằng Namsan, cùng với Bugaksan ở phía Bắc, Inwangsan ở phía Đông và Naksan ở phía Tây, tạo thành một vòng tròn bảo vệ hoàng cung. Do đó, những ngọn núi này được xem là những nơi linh thiêng trong suốt triều đại Joseon. Thậm chí, Vua Taejo – vị vua đầu tiên của Joseon – đã cho xây dựng một bức tường thành kiên cố chạy dọc theo bốn dãy núi này nhằm bảo vệ kinh thành khỏi quân xâm lược. Đoạn chạy qua Namsan đánh dấu đường biên giới phía Nam của kinh đô xưa. Tuy Seoul ngày nay đã phát triển vượt xa giới hạn của tường thành này, một vài đoạn của bức tường vẫn còn tồn tại, bao gồm 5 ngọn đuốc báo hiệu trên đỉnh Namsan.

The fortress wall
Namsan – A sacred shamanistic site
A wall segment in Namsan
A wall segment in Namsan

Mặc dù là ngọn núi thấp nhất (262m) trong bốn ngọn núi ở Seoul, Namsan lại là danh thắng nổi tiếng nhất, thu hút hơn 20.000 lượt du khách mỗi ngày. Một khoảng xanh giữa lòng thành phố náo nhiệt, đây là điểm đến hấp dẫn cho bất cứ ai muốn hòa mình vào thiên nhiên, nhưng lại không có thời gian để đi xa. Khi thu về, Namsan lại càng rực rỡ, thi vị hơn khi cả cánh rừng thay lá chuyển thành một tấm thảm với hai màu vàng và đỏ.

The colour of autumn
The colour of autumn
Ginkgo tree
Autumn foliage
Love locks
Love locks at Namsan peak

Trên đỉnh núi Namsan, bạn sẽ bắt gặp một biểu tượng khác của thành phố Seoul, tháp N Seoul. Tháp N Seoul, hay còn được biết đến dưới cái tên “tháp Namsan” hay “tháp Seoul”, được xây dựng vào năm 1969. Tòa tháp cao 236m được sử dụng làm nơi thu phát sóng TV và radio cho toàn thành phố. Đến năm 1980, tòa tháp trở thành một địa điểm du lịch và được mở cửa cho du khách tham quan. Sau khi được cải tạo và nâng cấp vào năm 2005, tháp đã đổi tên thành N Seoul (viết tắt cho New Seoul) và nó đã trở thành một phần không thể thiếu của Seoul skyline.

Seoul-38
N Seoul Tower
Seoul downtown
View of Seoul downtown
Seoul-41
Sunset in Seoul

Một số thông tin cần biết

    • Từ trung tâm thành phố, có ba tuyến bus để lên đỉnh Namsan. Những tuyến bus này được gọi là Namsan Circular Shuttle Bus và chạy từ trạm tàu điện ngầm Chungmuro (bus số 2), từ ga Seoul (bus số 3) và trạm tàu điện ngầm Myeongdong (bus số 5). Thẻ T-money có thể sử dụng được trên tất cả các tuyến bus này.
    • Bạn cũng có thể sử dụng cáp treo chạy từ chân núi. Trạm cáp treo nằm cách ga Myeongdong khoảng 15 phút đi bộ. Giá vé một chiều là ₩7,000 và khứ hồi là ₩9,500.

22 comments

  1. Love the colours of autumn, arguably my favourite season. So serene and poetic at the same time… Are you travelling again?

      1. How long did you spend in Korea? Did you go to the military zone between North and South?
        I have been doing a few short trips in Aus… Now in Hong Kong. Maybe thinking of Vietnam sometime (will dig out your previous posts for inspiration!) 😊😊

      2. Is autumn a good time to visit Hong Kong? I visited Hong Kong when I was 13-14. Hardly remember anything, except the unbearable heat. I spent 2 weeks in Korea. I was in Seoul, Busan and Jeju. Also took a mini-trip to Seoraksan National Park. A very beautiful place, especially in autumn. During my trip, all tours to Panmunjom were suspended as they were prepared for a meeting or something like that.

      3. Absolutely, early/mid November is the best time. After the typhoon season and before winter sets in. But it’s soo crowded, not great for people with claustrophobia.
        2 weeks is a long time, you must have had a very in-depth tour! I hear Jeju is beautiful, pls post about that in the future. Panmunjom would have been an interesting experience.

  2. Wow incredible photos as always Len! I can never be tired of autumn photos. Autumn looks beautiful in South Korea. My favorite photo is the one with TV tower. Did you take that panorama of Seoul from the tower?

    1. Nope, I made it at the peak of Namsan 🙂 There was a huge crowd in front of the tower, so I skipped it. Besides, it would be difficult to make photos from the top of the tower. Everything would be too small, and there were the (dirty) windows.

  3. Sooo beautiful! I didn’t have enough time to go to Namsan, and now I really regret it. But my visit was a very short one anyway and it was mostly cloudy during my stay in Seoul. I guess next time I go to the South Korean capital I should time my visit with the peak of autumn foliage. It must have been really cold, though?

    1. Not really. It was 6-7 Celsius degree. But it was sunny, so I didn’t feel cold at all. If you want to keep yourself warm, you can hike the mountain 🙂 I saw some people do it, only wearing short and a light jacket.

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