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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Teddy Bear Museum & Namsan Tower @ Seoul, Korea

Located at the outskirts of Myeongdong stood the landmark of Seoul - Namsan Tower, a 777ft tall communication and observatory building that cost approximately $2.5m to build. Officially known as CJ Seoul Tower (or better known as Seoul Tower), it was built in 1969 but only opened to the public 11 years later at 1980. Since then, Namsan Tower has become a favourite hotspot for tourists and romantic young couples who would hang named padlocks (and throwing away the key) on the tower fence as a symbol of love.

As for a tourist and kiasu Singaporean like myself, it is with pure sensible thinking that I have to make a trip up to Namsan Tower during the cold winters of 2010, when I was a student volunteer in ACM Siggraph Asia. 

Besides the superb view and lovey-dovey, in year 2008 - the Teddy Bear Museum was introduced into the Namsan Tower. Using amusing bear miniatures, it exhibits the chronicles of the capital of Korea, from the Joseon Dynasty to present, as well as the developments of Seoul.  

As they say, pictures speak a thousand words..

There is even a "green-screen" platform where you get to take pictures with the bears. Just simply choose the settings and snap away!

Besides the cute miniatures, the museum also housed a few human-sized bears. Good for taking photos (and hugging) with! There is also a small section with luxury teddy bears from the past made by premium toy-maker, Steiff.

Can't "bear" to leave them? How about buying one at the gift store at the end of the museum trail? Some are limited edition and might cost a lot, but when your inner child is begging for it, who cares about the little money spend?

We bought the "Observatory Package" which includes entrance to the Teddy Bear Museum as well as the observatory deck. It offers paranomic 360 degrees of the city landscape from the observatory of Namsan Tower. Although there is no doubt that it would be magnificent in the morning, I highly recommend to visit around 6pm to 9pm when the tower transformed itself into a beautiful light emitting beacon.

Even the view from the restroom is impressive!

The Namsan Tower also houses several cafe and restaurant, including the well-known N GRILL which serves steaks and grills at the highest location atop of the tower. The cool factor? It is a rotating restaurant with a rotating speed of 100 minutes per round.

Admission / Participation Fees
Teddy Bear Museum
- Adults (19+): 8,000 won
- Teenagers (14-18): 6,000 won
- Children (13 or younger): 5,000 won

Observatory Package (Teddy Bear Museum + N Seoul Tower Observatory)
- Adults (19+): 12,000 won
- Teenagers (14~18): 8,000 won
- Children (13 or younger): 6,000 won

Click here for directions.

For more information on Teddy Bear Museum, please visit their official website: