September 30, 2012

South Korea : Nami Island

I think my love for Korea started way back in 2002 or 2003. It was because of Winter Sonata. How could I not? Choi Ji Woo was so pretty, Bae Yong Jun was such a heartthrob, and the beautiful winter scenery. Since then, I started watching a lot of Korean dramas and wished that someday I could visit the country (and meet my favorite actors and actresses too!).

So when I finally get to visit the country, of course I wanna go to NAMI ISLAND!!!

That was where some of the memorable scenes in Winter Sonata were shot. In fact, the island actually became famous after the drama was aired.

Located 63km away from Seoul, it is not an island originally. It was formed as a result of the construction of Cheongpyeong Dam. 

I took the MRT to get there. 

The journey was quite long and I had to change trains three times.

If you're coming from Seoul, take the subway to Sangbong Station (using Line 7 or the olive green line). Then, transfer to the Gyeongchun Line and take the train to Gapyeong Station. 

 Though I was alone, it wasn't a lonely ride. Why? Because the train was full of Malaysians. hahahaha... 

All in, it took me almost two hours from Hongdae to reach Gapyeong Station. From Gapyeong Station, I took a cab to Gapyeong Wharf which cost KRW 3000. It's quite near, just a 10 minutes ride.

From Gapyeong Wharf, you can reach Nami Island by ferry.
Or, for those adrenaline junkie, you can take the Zipwire.

From this 80m high tower, you will zoom down 940m above Han River to the island. Since I was on a budget, I had to forgo the adventure. The ride will set you back KRW 38000, incuding entrance to the island and the ticket back via ferry.

OK while looking at this picture and writing this, I totally regret not trying it. Gahh!! #reasontorepeat

I chose to go by ferry, so I had to get the entry visa.

Visa? Immigration? Confusing right??

It's actually because the island has become an imaginary country, Naminara Republic.

ferry to Nami Island

5 minutes on the ferry and we've reached the island already.

poem by General Nami

The island was named after General Nami, who led a great victory against the rebels in the 13th year King Sejo's reign of the Joseon Dynasty.

Oh my!! So many people. More and more Malaysians.. I felt like I was in KL. hahaha...

It's so obvious Malaysians (together with Indonesians and Singaporeans) make the largest visitors here.

The island has a wide grassplot, chestnut trees, birches, ginko trees, maples, etc. I guess the biggest attraction here is its beautiful tree lined path, where Yoo Jin and Jun Sang first dated.


 More of the tree lined paths.  

So beautiful!!

I can imagine walking here with my partner. So romantic kan? :p

 You can rent a bicycle to get around the island. The island isn't that big, you can actually cover it on foot.
But just do it la! It's fun!

People come here to enjoy the tranquil beauty of the island. But apart of that, I guess most people come here because of Winter Sonata.

Even the guide map highlights where the main filming locations for the drama are located.

the field where they played snow balls

OK what is this? hahahaha...

Anyway, the island is a popular retreat for Seoulites to spend their weekend. There's a cultural center, a small zoo and a botanical garden.

You can also spend your time peddling this duck boat around the river.

Naminara Republic is open all year round.
 Visiting hours are from 8 am to 9 pm.
Entrance fee is KRW 8000 for foreigner (by ferry).
Direction: Stop at Gapyeong Station on Gyeongchun Line . From there, you can take a taxi. 

 Going back to Seoul, I took the Nami Island direct Shuttle Bus. The fare is KRW 7500 per way and the bus will stop you at Insadong. It's much easier, and much faster. I was back in Seoul in just a little over an hour.


f i d a j a c o b said...

Hehehe... Hiii!

Yea me too! Suka winter sonata.. hahaha. Just recently i went to the ski resort... yang winter sonata tu jugak tuh.. hahaha...

Loved it!

rara said...

fida : bestnye... mt sorak eh? rasa macam nak kena repeat lagi trip to korea ni.. hehehe