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near Ch’ŏngp’ail-tong, Seoul (South Korea)
Starting from Seoul Train Station, the track climbs Namsan via the footpath/stairs on its west side. The route follows a portion of the restored Seoul City Wall. It passes the "Namsan Baekbeom Plaza", the "Patriot An Jung-juen Museum", and the signal pyre station on the way to the summit and the Seoul Tower. The views from the base of the tower are great, and there is coffee, roasted sweet potatoes, and much more available there. The Tower would no doubt provide a much more spectacular 360 deg experience of the city (admission fee). The route down starts by following the road to the bus stop on the east side of the Tower, then down a footpath and pedestrian roadway back towards Seoul Station. The pedestrian roadway passes a Michelin-ranked Korean restaurant in a traditional wood building, where great Korean rice bowls are on offer.
There is an alternate cable car access to the Seoul Tower, from its north side, and access by Public City Bus on its East side (Bus has several hundred meters of moderately steep climb along a pedestrian road, gondola 100 m with little or no climb).
This track starts in the main lobby of the Seoul Train Station, upper level. Track was recorded using the off-line south Korean map download, which shows features including popular walking routes that are missing from Google Maps.
A pedestrian overpass was under construction (March 2017) and not yet open, so the track goes down escalators to the underground mall, and passes under the main street to the east of Seoul Station.
This way-point is located at the top of the two escalators going down to the subway (lines 1 and 4) and the underground mall network. The track follows the mall to the east, and emerges from Exit 8, heading towards the Hilton Hotel and Casino. The Sungnyemun Gate is also in this direction and this is visited on the return from Namsan Hill.
There is plenty of local subway wall art, much more interesting than advertisements.
Most of the subway art is towards this exit.
Our host took us directly to the base of Namsan stairs via a shortcut, proceeding up a curved ramp near the Casino entrance. The stairway can also be accessed via sidewalks on the main streets. There are views back towards the old Seoul Railway Station (now a museum) from this area.
At the corner there is a small plaza with a Namsan Park sign and a park map. The stairs proceed directly upwards from there.
Take first path branching off to right to access the wall path.
Civic art, large flat plaza area.
Museum, and inscription stones in Chinese and Korean. Some have English translations.
This section has a steeper, more continuous stair climb to the top station of the Cable Car and base of the Seoul Tower. the stairs traverse native forest with some steep granite rock outcrops. Views open up to the south and west.
Side trail accesses a deck with panoramic city views to north.
The location of signal pyres used by city defenders in the ancient times. These are restored and guarded by soldiers in period uniform and armament.
The Cable Car comes up from the north foot of the mountain to near this location.
Coffee, Korean orange tea, roast sweet potatoes, and many other things are available around the base of the Tower. A more spectacular 360 degree view is surely available up the Tower, with admission fee.
Public buses provide an alternate way up or down or both. Access road is apparently a mountain bicycle training route.
The Trail passes through native forests. Several short staircase sections. views of City and Seoul Tower on way down.
Mostly flat or gentle slopes along this easy walking roadway.
The small streams coming off Namsan have ice falls in winter.
A Korean folk-heritage village can be accessed on foot from near this way-point. However, it's not included on this track. This might add a 3 to 5 kms and take several more hours.
Detailed description on attached photo.
A small menu of traditional Korean dishes including rice bowls (Bimibap). Not expensive, simple self service. We got a small private room. Building is traditional all wood construction.
This is one of the two significant street crossings on route. A signal-controlled, striped pedestrian crosswalk. Proceed to right of building on opposite side.
One of the restored ancient City Gates. A top Korea heritage site.
The guard change ceremony was on at the time of our visit (mid-afternoon).