Thursday, March 20, 2014

[Seoul, Korea] Spring Series : N Seoul Tower at Namsan

 A sense of carefree and freedom felt, from a location that sees the entire Seoul ~ That nowhere other than at N Seoul Tower, the symbol of Seoul.

Seriously, the place would have been excellent for some self-reflection, if it wasn't as crowded.  Constructed some 45 years back, the tower was ranked, by foreigners, the number 1 attraction in Seoul in 2012.  Being on top gave me an opportunity to appreciate the city at a bird's egg view, appreciating how different parts of the city had been developed at different times and the harmony of nostalgic and contemporary.  In the day, it is tower that stands proud, the pillar turns into media art piece in the night.

Arrived at the roof terrace, what I saw was hundreds and thousands of love pad-locks!  In this unique culture, couples "declare" their love through messages on these pad locks.  After that securing the padlock on the padlock wall or tree, they would then do a long-shot throw for the padlock keys, symbolising "locking" their love for each other forever.

Below the roof terrace is the N Terrace, a place for some snacks and cocktail.  During the freezy winter or the blazing summer, I suppose this place will be exceptionally crowded, for obvious reasons.

Magnificent and serene view of the cosmopolitan city.  Love the silhouette against the sunset.

Enjoy a meal at the café that serves a variety of local and western meals, while watching the sunset.

An hour into my meal, the sky turned almost totally dark.  The dazzling lights covering the city was amazingly pretty.

At 8pm, N Seoul Tower transforms into a colourful pillar, a total contrast from it's solemnness in the day.

A final note of advise - The Terrance is an open area and hence, it can get rather windy and chilly after sunset (from early to mid April even though winter is over).  Scarf, gloves and heatpad will come in handy if you plan to stay at the Terrace area to enjoy the scenery.

Getting there:
N Seoul Tower has dedicated bus services "Namsan Sunhwan Shuttle Bus" from subway stations such as Myeongdong Station, Chungmuro Station, Seoul Station, Itaewon Station and Hangangjin Station.  The bus frequency is about 15 to 20 mins.  It costs 950 won (if paid in cash) or 850 won (if paid using transportation card).

Details can be found here.

Related Posts:
- Hangang Yeouido Flower Festival (click here)
- Downtown Tax Refund (click here)
- Singapore to Korea Airfare Promotions (click here)
- Nostalgic Samcheong-dong (Click here)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

[Seoul, Korea] Spring Series: Yeongdeungpo Yeouido Spring Flower Festival

Immersing amongst spring flower is probably one of the best travelling experiences I have had.  In Korea, the biggest spring events are the Yeouido Spring Flower Festival in Seoul and the Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival.  Jinhae is about an hour from Busan by bus.

For 2014, the Yeongdeungpo Yeouido Spring Flower Festival will take place from 3 to 13 April.  If you are wondering if it is worth making a trip there, take a look at these photos that I took last year.  But let me also qualify that spring flowers can be seen at many other places and not just limited to along Hangang (Han River).

If you take the subway to Yeouido Station (Line 5 or 9), take a stroll in Yeouido Park (여의도공원)itself.  If you have time, having a leisurely picnic in the park is not a bad idea.  After that, enjoy the big shady trees filled with spring flowers along Yeouiseo-ro (여의서로) that runs along the Han River Park (한강공원).  The first subway station that you will hit along the Han River is Yeouinaru Station (Line 5).

1) At Yeouido Park

The entrance of Yeouido Park is very prominent, with its huge Hangeul characters which you will not miss.

Mobile carts selling snacks is a part of the Korean culture.  Such carts are commonly seen at the park entrances.

This map provides a brief overview of the facilities available in Yeouido Park.  This park is popular amongst the locals, particular for cycling, skate-boarding, playing basketball etc.  The park is divided into theme-based sections: Traditional Korean Forest, Grass Square, Culture Square and Nature's Ecosystem Forest.

The end of Yeouido Park meets a cross-junction that connects Yeouidong-ro and Yeouiseo-ro.  Cross the road and walk along Yeouiseo-ro. 

2) Along Yeouiseo-ro

Both sides along Yeouiseo-ro are lined with white and light pinkish spring flower trees.  This is part of the Han River Park.  Although the park may not look as big on the map, be prepared for a long walk.  The leisurely walk was about 3 hours from Yeouido station to Yeouinaru Station!

As part of the festival, street performance, art exhibitions and food stalls can be found along Han River, enjoying the river view.

The spring flower tress near the National Assembly added to the spring mood.

Even during mid day, weather would still be cooling enough to enjoy outdoor performances or a picnic.

With such good weather, what could be better than to spend time to bond with family and friends?

(Note: The photos in this post were taken in April 2013 ^^)

Related Posts:
- N Seoul Tower  (Click here)
- Downtown Tax Refund (Click here)
- Singapore to Korea Airfare Promotions (Click here)
- Nostalgic Samcheong-dong (Click here)

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Win Asiana Air Ticket at Lotte Mart ( Singapore)

Minimum spend of S$10 for 1 chance... From now until end 30 April.

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