|DON'S ESL ADVENTURE!||
I love exploring the observation decks of tall structures—towers, monuments, buildings, skyscrapers—all across the world. It’s just something about being high up in the air and having a grand overview of a city or landscape that is one of the most humbling experiences in the world.
Back in November of 2015 I carried out a weeklong solo adventure in South Korea, Southeast Asia’s very own ‘land of the morning calm’. I explored the countries two largest cities, Seoul and Busan, respectively, and had the time of my life. What’s more, during my travels I had learned that both Seoul and Busan hosted tower attractions offering 360-degree views of their cities from high above the ground. You better believe that I was “in there like swimwear!” Let’s take a look at my awesome time visiting North Seoul Tower and Busan Tower in South Korea!
North Seoul Tower
North Seoul Tower, opened to the public in 1980 and standing 236.7 meters on top of Namsan Park, was the first tower I managed to visit on a late night shortly after checking into my hotel in Dongdaemun in the early evening.
By the time I arrived at Namsan Park night fell and everything was shrouded in darkness. Getting to the base of the park was easy—I had to climb a few stairs and walk across a sprawling lawn. That was simple enough. Yet, I was totally unprepared for the all the intense stair climbing that needed to be done in order to arrive at the base of the tower, which sat at the very top of the hill. F@#!
Let’s just say that I even as a pretty fit fellow I nearly fainted trying to reach the top, but on the way up I did get to check out some fantastic views of Seoul at night.
After a rough climb and having my t-shirt being completely drenched in sweat I finally arrived at the base of the tower where I was greeted by an area riddled with colorful love lockets. Families and couples could write notes and lock them onto a fence in hopes that their love would last “forever.”
Before long I arrived at the base of the tower, bought my ticket, and proceeded inside the shopping center below. A lift whisked me up to the observation deck in about 30-seconds as it played a cool animated video above our heads.
And in just a moment there I was, peering down on Seoul from 479.7 meters high. It was a very majestic experience. I don’t know, there’s just something about traveling across Southeast Asia that felt more special to me than any other region I had visited in the world.
From up above I had a full panoramic view of Seoul in front of me and I could see that the city was densely stacked with commercial buildings, towering apartments, and brightly lit skyscrapers at every turn. No wonder it was Korea’s largest metropolis.
After a long while I ended up exploring the observation deck.
It offered a colorful candy shop, souvenir shop, and a “Love Letter” space where guests could mail notes to their loved ones, both domestically and abroad. I managed to mail a postcard to my girlfriend in China (She’d receive it 1 month later)
After about an hour I left North Seoul Tower and, too exhausted to walk down the long flight of stairs I came up, hopped on the Namsan Cable Car to make my way down to the subway. It was a great way to finish the first day of my vacation!
Check out the N Seoul Tower website for more information!
Directions to North Seoul Tower in Seoul: Hop on Subway Line 4 to Myeongdong Station. Take Exit 3. Take Namsan Sunhwan Shuttle Bus No. 5
I made my way over to Busan Tower, built in 1973 and standing at 118-metres high above Yongdusan Park, on the 2nd night of my awesome trip to Busan.
There were two options for getting up to Busan Tower: the first was by a series of escalators that connected to the BIFF Square area situated below Yongdusan Park. The other was via “climbing” the winding pathway that enwraps Busan tower and leads to the top of Yongdusan Park. Having already conquered North Seoul Tower’s millions of stairs I was prepared for another tough workout session. It’s funny. I was once again drenched in sweat by the time I reached the top; however, I wound up passing plenty of local elderly that took on the trail without missing a beat!
At the base of Busan Tower sat a large public square consisting of a statue of a notable figure in Korean history and a shrine with an enclosed bell. Before long an elevator whisked me up to the observation deck.
From atop of Busan Tower I caught a remarkable 360-degree view of Busan at night.
Like Seoul, Busan was densely packed and brimming with neon lights spread out across every building in the immediate area. In the far distance I could spot Lotte Mall, Yeongdodaegyo Bridge, Jagalchi Market, and a cluster of mountain ranges.
Busan was definitely an all around beautiful city, and I was glad I got to see it from one of the best locations in town.
Check out the Busan Tower website for more information!
Directions to Busan Tower in Busan: Hop on a Subway to Nampo-dong Station. Follow the signs.