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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Seoul and the Eight Mountains

Seoul is surrounded by eight mountains from south, west, north, and east side and devided into two parts, inner and outer mountains. They are :

Outer mountains :

Northen side : 북한산 Bukhansan/Bukhan Mountain
Bukhansan means “Mountain north of the Han” is also called Samgaksan or Samgak Mountain, it is located at the northen part of Seoul. As  the outer mountain, that surrounding Seoul from the north side with height  836,5 m above sea level and approximately 10 km far from the Han river. This mountain is popular for mountain sports and bird observation.

Eastern part : 용마산 Yongmasan
This mountain has 348 m height from the sea level and located on the eastern part of Seoul.
People will see the view of Han river from the top of this mountain.

Western part : 덕양산 Deokyangsan

Southern side : 관악산 Gwanak
Gwanak (Ganmoe) means the mountain which looks like a Gat’s shape. Gat is a traditional Korean top hat for male. With 632 m height, this small mountain is standing as the outer border of Seoul from the south. Buddhist temples and Seoul National University main campus are not far from this mountain.

Inner mountains :

Northen side : 북악산 Bugak san
Bukaksan with 342 m height is located at the north of the Blue House and the southern part of Bukhansan. Seoul fortress wall with the north gate of Seoul named 숙정문 Sukjeongmun and Changuimun, also can be found at this mountain. It is a restricted area, and the trail is open only in certain hours. Mountain hikers must exit the trail by 5 pm.

Eastern side : 낙산 Naksan
Seoul fortress wall can be seen from this 100 m height mountain.

Southern side : 남산 Namsan
Located in downtown area of Seoul, it is easy to access by vehicle or cable car or even by walking to reach at the top of this mountain which has 262 meter height. Some well known tourist spots are available at Namsan. The most popular spots are Namsangol hanol village and The N Seoul Tower.

Western side : 인왕산 Inwang san
This mountain literary means “mountain of generous king”  has 338 m height. It is located at the centra part of Seoul and has many huge granite peaks and named based on the characteristic form. Inwang san is also a sacred mountain in Korean shamanism.

References :
Seoul, Robert Koehler

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