In the old days, Mt. Inwangsan used to mark Seoul’s western limits. The fortress walls that once ringed the city still snake along the mountain’s ridges—to hike the wall, sections of which are still manned by soldiers and police, gives you an extraordinary sense of historical continuity.
In addition to its strategic and feng shui importance, Mt. Inwangsan is considered a sacred peak, particular with shamans. David Mason’s page on the mountain explores the spiritual importance of the mountain better than I ever could.
The peak of Mt. Inwangsan offers some of the finest views of downtown Seoul—the sunrises, sunsets and nighttime views are especially picturesque. A warning, however—since the peak overlooks the presidential palace of Cheong Wa Dae and is home to a good many military installations, expect to get your camera examined if you’re shooting with a tripod, and don’t photograph in the direction of Cheong Wa Dae or anything that looks like a military facility.
Ah, the sun sets over the Hangang River beyond the hills. The peak with the radar installation on the left is Mt. Ansan, the peak of which offers some of the best sunrise shots in Seoul.
Yeouido’s 63 Building probably requires no introduction. What I like about this shot is that it really gives you a sense of the rugged topography on the outskirts of Seoul.
As the sun set and twilight set in, Mother Nature treated us with some lovely blues, reds and purples. It sometimes helps to get above the urban jungle to appreciate just how beautiful the world really is.
Speaking of the urban jungle, this is the view people come here for. As you can see, the weather was considerably clearer than the last time I came here (in the middle of the spring hwangsa season).
And a little bit later in the evening.
If you zoom in, you can even get a shot of Seoul Square, the public art space that covers the old Daewoo Building in front of Seoul Station. I have another shot of this Seoul landmark which I will post later.
View Mt. Inwangsan in a larger map