南山/Namsan/Nanshan

By greenteapanda

August 12, 2008

Category: Travel

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Seoul has a 南山(Namsan), located in the centre part of northern Seoul. It is where I have taken quite a few pictures, such as these most recent ones:

Awhile back, I was talking to a Chinese friend that said they wanted to go to 南山, but they actually meant the nature preserve and mountain next to Sanya, in the southernmost part of Hainan Island.

I decided I wanted to go there too.  What I figured might be a one hour stop on my long bike trip actually ended up taking six hours. Part of that was because my body was wiped out, but I was determined to climb to the top. Part of it was because once I came off the mountain, I got stuck behind annoying guides with megaphones shouting into the ears of people less than 1m away from themselves.

The fact that I only saw one other person climb the mountain meant that was the best part. Since I grew up next to the ocean, the fact this place had a clean beach wasn’t that important to me. It is definitely good for China, but this being a nature preserve, it is not a place I could actually reside if I decided I wanted to live there.

Much of the rest of the preserve has statues, pavilions, or rocks carved with Chinese characters.

There are also many spots to see the sea, with rocks forming various kinds of things like turtles and monks that got lost here.

On land, some rocks were named just to add more red dots on the map, such as a good luck stone and one which has taken the shape of a boat.

I shouldn’t forget the 6300 year old tree and the effects of some other trees…

The downside of it being both in Sanya and a AAAAA attraction by Chinese government standards was that things were severely overpriced. A coconut the size of my fist cost 10RMB. I paid 6RMB for two the size of basketballs the day before, and those tasted far better too. I should have brought my water supply with me into the park. Then again, closer to the city zone, I saw "The Ends of the Earth," but did not enter. No way I was going to pay 65RMB (10USD) to go and take a picture by the ocean. It isn’t even the southernmost point on Hainan Island.

Back to 南山, the one in Seoul seems to be more interesting. Besides the fact it is different in all four seasons, there are actual activities one can do in addition to seeing a few statues and a lot of rocks carved with Chinese characters. For example, people-watching, eating, drinking, watching performers, etc.

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