Journals from Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea
2013-05-19 Seoul Romance Culture
In front of our lock at Namsan Tower
The Seoul Namsan tower is one of the landmark locations of Korean tourism, not just because it gives a great view of the city (especially at night) but also because it reflects upon popular Korean culture and how it views love and affection. When you look at the Seoul skyline there are also various places to lock a lock, which represents the love or relationship of a couple, a bond that cannot be broken. There are four tree-like poles where there are literally hundreds of locks attached on top of each other because of how many people go there and if you climb up the stairs you have a better view of the city where there are more locks on top of locks on the fence. It’s pretty hard to find a good area for a lock; people also get creative and use phone cases (more space to write) and even coca cola cans and such. It's literally the ideal date spot and to us foreigners it might seem cheesy or overrated but it's all the rage here. Thankfully I had a friend to do the whole “couple experience” with, so I felt very Korean. You will see couples taking a billion pictures together, cuddling, kissing, etc. it all happens regularly in Seoul but this is to the next level. Public displays of affection live and breed here and most everyone loves it.
Once inside you can see how far you are from other major cities in the world as well as a breathtaking view of Seoul. On the way up on the elevator, which is approximately thirty seconds, you look at the ceiling where there is a video that basically pretends you're going up into space as the elevator emerges on the top level. After seeing the view and how far you are from different cities around the world, you can see the teddy bear museum, make a wish in a "well" where you have to attempt throwing your wish (a token which you receive upon buying your ticket which is approximately $9) into the well. I did not succeed; it's a lot farther than you would expect. Also, there are various restaurants in the area and on the way down to ground level. There is no shortage of shops and souvenir stores up there and beauty retailers were the last thing I expected all the way up there in the sky, but they were there and running well, apparently. Koreans really love to take care of their appearance and especially have a high regard for skin care; Korean women and brands are known throughout Asia and the rest of the world for having incredibly beautiful and enviable features.
Overall the Seoul Tower is very cliché but well worth the experience; it gives you a great view of the city that is Seoul and shows how expansive and beautiful the area is whether during the day or not. I plan on going back someday and looking for the two locks I left up there and hopefully will find them; if not I’ll just plant another one.