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Enjoy a Tour of Namsan Mountain for Free
A "free tour site" appeals to everyone. Seoul's Mt. Namsan offers free tour courses that have not yet been discovered by many. To add to your Seoul travel experience, some of Mt. Namsan's free full-day tour courses have been recommended, especially for those of you on a tight budget. All you need to prepare is your camera, and some money for lunch and transportation.

Oh! Zemi-dong (오! 재미동) - Namsangol Hanok Village (남산골 한옥마을) - Lunch (Namsan Dongaseu, 남산 돈가스) - Cartoon Museum (만화의 집) - N Seoul Tower (Night View)
How to use the Yellow Bus, Mt. Namsan's sole transportation method.

Since May of last year, all cars and taxis have been prohibited to enter Mt. Namsan to protect the environment. Instead, the Yellow Bus operates every 5 to 10 minutes, stopping at 9 major tour sites. The bus stops at Daehan Cinema, Toegyero 5 (oh)-ga, Dongguk University entrance, National Theater of Korea, N Seoul Tower, Namsan Library, Mt. Namsan Walkway, Seoul Animation Center and Toegyero 3(sam)-ga. The bus runs from 8 am to midnight, and the bus fare is ₩500 for the metro-card, and ₩550 if you use cash. The bus stops are announced in English for the convenience of foreign tourists.
Course 1 11:00~12:00 Relax at 'Oh! Zemidong'
Course 1 begins at 'Oh! Zemidong' located inside Chungmuro Station of Subway Line No.3 and No.4. This cultural facility is open to everybody. The 'Oh!' in 'Oh! Zemidong' refers to the Korean number 5, which means this place has five types of fun. Foreign visitors will most likely find the video room and magazine corner the funniest.

The magazine corner has various movies-related reading materials, both domestic and international. You can also use the jukebox to listen to some music while reading. There are 40 types of magazines, mostly dealing with movies, design, cartoons, interior, travel, and fashion. The video room provides 400 movie selections ranging from movies and documentaries to animations. Each month, 10 to 20 new movies are added to the inventory. The screen is not very large, but the video room structure is unique. You can use the magazine corner and video room free-of-charge. However, you have to register as a member in order to use the video room. If you do not have much interest in movies, then move onto the next tour course.

[Detailed Information]
Opening Hours: 11:00~20:00/ Closed on Mondays
Location: Inside Chungmuro Station (Do not exit the subway, and follow the sign for Oh! Zemidong (오! 재미동), which is situated between the ticket gates.)
Course 2 12:00~14:00 Escape the City & Travel: Go to 'Namsangol Hanok Village'
The next stop after Oh! Zemidong is Namsangol Hanok Village, situated near Chungmuro Station Exit No.4. The Hanok Village is a restoration of five traditional Korean houses from Joseon Dynasty taking you back to Korea's past, situated in the heart of Seoul among many tall, modern buildings.
The village is quite large, and requires about 1 to 2 hours to tour the entire village and the Time Capsule Plaza. The ideal final stop in the village is the 'Mangboklu' pavilion located on the hill behind Time Capsule Plaza, which provides an overall view of Namsangol Hanok Village and downtown Seoul.

Lunch awaits the finish of your tour of the village. Head to the Yellow Bus as you anticipate the taste of the famous Namsan Dongaseu (pork cutlet). Yellow Bus No.02 (refer to the chart below) stops near Exit No.4 of Chungmuro Station. Because of its color, you will recognize the right bus easily.

→ For more information on Namsangol Hanok Village, cllick here.
Course 3 14:00~15:00 A Generous Serving of the Delicious 'Namsan Dongaseu'
Once on the Yellow Bus, look out the window and enjoy the view of Seoul as its passes by. As the bus leaves the peak of Mt. Namsan behind (for now stay on the bus and enjoy a night view of Seoul after sunset), you will come upon the bus stop for Seoul Animation Center. Get off at this stop and walk across the overpass located to the center right (when you are facing the center entrance). Walk up the slope about 100m to reach the alley lined with Dongaseu restaurants.

Dongaseu (pork cutlet) has been a specialty of Mt. Namsan for a long time, frequented by taxi drivers who spread the word making it a popular area known for Dongaseu. The restaurants have been introduced in the media many times. The Dongaseu are hand-made from scratch, so the shapes might not be very pretty, but the taste is amazing. The prices and taste are similar, so you will not go wrong with any restaurant that you choose situated in this alley. The prices range between ₩5,000 and ₩6,000.
Course 4 15:00~17:00 'Cartoon Museum', the Cartoon-Mania's Heaven
You may want to take a break and relax after lunch. Then, it's a good idea to head on into the Seoul Animation Center located near the bus stop you last got off at. Walk down the slope and you will find the entrance to the Cartoon Museum with cartoon character models erected at the its doors.

Cartoon Museum, which opened in 2002, is an affiliated facility with Seoul Animation Center. An average of 200 daily visitors come to the museum which provides approximately 27,000 materials. The museum houses a variety of cartoons, ranging from modern cartoons to 'classic cartoons' published in the 1980s.
If you like cartoons, then this museum will offer you a fun experience. If you don't know any Korean language, then browse through the cartoon books for a little bit, then head for the 'Cartoon Exhibition' located on the second floor. Displays of competition winners, cartoon character models, cartoon magazines, and more can be found in this room. Also, at the Video Information Center on the first floor of the main building (in front of the bus stop) you can watch not only Korean animations but also international cartoon videos. However, the Cartoon Museum and the Video Information Center requires you to show your identification card to enter.

[Detailed Information]
Opening Hours: 10:00~18:00/ Closed on Mondays & Holidays
It will be closed temporarily from 09:00 to 12:00 on March 9 (Fri.), 2007. Free admissions
Inquiries: +82-2-3455-8330 (Korean)
Location: in front of Namsan Yellow Bus Stop 'Seoul Animation Center'
Course 5 17:00~19:00 Embrace the Night View of Seoul at 'N Seoul Tower'
Today's tour course highlight is without a doubt the night view of Seoul City. You can reach the top of Mt. Namsan by three methods: either by taking the Yellow Bus (the bus operates in a circulating route, so you will have to pass Chungmuro Station again), or by walking up the hill, which you can use the stairway, or by riding the cable car. All three options have their own charm, but in the cold winter weather, the recommended choice is the 'quickest and most comfortable' way: the cable car! You will find it on the slope a little beyond the Dongaseu restaurant alley you visited for lunch. You will have to pay a moderate fee for a lift up (round-trip: ₩7,000, one-way: ₩5,500), but the night view of the surrounding areas of Jongro and Myeongdong is worth seeing.

It takes only 3 minutes to reach the top of Mt. Namsan (walk up a short flight of stairs to reach the N Seoul Tower). The N Seoul Tower is a must-see for those of you visiting Korea. The brilliantly lit N Seoul Tower is one of Seoul City's top tour sites. A lighting show begins at 6pm on the dot for 5 minutes every evening, so it would be ideal for you to reach the tower a little before 6 pm to enjoy the show.
Behind the tower, Seoul's night view spreads before your eyes. The headlights of moving vehicle, the lit skyscrapers and yellow street lights all come together to create a beautiful night spectacle. After taking in the magnificent night view, take the Yellow Bus to Daehan Cinema, which will bring your tour to a finish.

→ For more information on N Seoul Tower, cllick here.

Date 01/21/2008

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