Namhansanseong or, Gate South of the Han

Namhansanseong. Quite a mouthful, eh?

It has its own subway stop on the Bundang Line, but I never saw it. I had never heard of it before either, but my school director recommended it as a staff outing day. Now, we've only had one other of these to the Suwon Korean Folk Village in the fall, but I accidentally on purpose slept through that. However, I am glad that I did not sleep through this.

Namhansanseong literally means Gate/Fortress South of the Han River. It was a gate that was pretty important from the 1600s when it served a major role in defending a Korean king during an attack from the Manchus until the mid 1700s. It also has a few temples and such scattered throughout the mountain area. The gate eventually was left unattended and crumbled until the mid 1950s when the government decided to rebuild it, as they have rebuilt virtually everything else in this country.

It's a nice walk up a mountain that's not very steep for about an hour. It overlooks the Jamsil area and on a clear day you can probably see all the way into central Seoul, but it's never clear here. The interesting thing was at the top of the mountain, off to the side in the woods was a little community of hikers enjoying vegetables and Makali (Korean Rice Wine). I don't know about you, but after a pretty physical walk/hike booze is really the last thing I want - especially when you still have to go back down.

My head teacher wound up getting drunk, so we had to make sure she was ok to walk back down. It was slow, but she eventually made back into the little mountain town to have a nice Bimbibap lunch. Overall, a nice way to spend a couple of hours outside.