Jun 16, 2016

Nami Island & Ewha Woman’s University

It probably took me 3 hours to get from Hapjeong to Nami Island. I had knew the distance was long so I woke up super early that day but I wasn’t prepared for the frustration ant pitfalls that accompanied the journey.

Official website: https://namisum.com/en/location/ 

 

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There are several ways to get to Nami Island.

Getting to Nami Island

  1. Shuttle bus:

    Board at Insadong/Namdaemun and goes straight to the ferry wharf closest to Nami Island. A return ticket cost KRW23,000 and includes entrance ticket to Nami Island. Bus departs punctually at 9:30am and leaves Nami Island Ferry Wharf at 4:00pm. It only has one bus schedule per day. Advance booking is advised to secure a seat

    Resource link: LINK 1
  2. ITX :

    High speed train that reaches Gapyeong station the fastest. Approximately 64 minutes from Cheongnyangni Station to Chuncheon Station Price depends on where you start and have a high frequency per day.

    Resource link: LINK 1 , LINK 2
  3. Metro Subway trains.


    Flexible schedule and cheapest option. Get to Gapyeong Metro Station via the Gyeongchun Line. Then take a bus or walk to Nami Island Ferry Wharf.
    Resource link: LINK 1 , LINK 2

Shuttle bus to Nami Island

Another thing you’ll need to pay for is the shuttle bus from Gapyeong Train station to the Nami Island Ferry Wharf which cost KRW7500 one way and KRW15,000 both ways. The journey is roughly 10 minutes via bus or 20 minutes on foot.

The Nami Island’s entrance fee (which they called a ‘Visa’) includes a return ferry that cost KRW 8000 for foreigners. So remember to bring your passport and claim your discount!

 

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But I’m going to stop talking about all the travel guide stuffs here now because that’s what every single blog post about Nami Island starts with (shit, I did the exact same thing too –_-||| ). But let me share my frustrating journey from Hapjeong up to Gapyeong train station.

I was ace that day. I woke up super early to grab a simple hostel breakfast and took the metro subway from Hapjeong to Gapyeong. I followed my trusty app’s instruction and took a longggggg series of trains to reach Gapyeong. I got lost halfway because I accidentally alighted at the wrong transfer station. And why did I do so? because the two names were too similar –_-; And then The app told me to get off along a line just to take the same train again on the same line –_-; I’m not sure if there was a fast train that I should have gotten but I didn’t find any instructions or clue at the station and so basically just wasted another 5 minutes or more waiting for the next train –_-;; And on the last stretch of the ride, someone accidetally spilled her milk on my pant o_o; Thankfully the lady who spilled the milk was very apologetic about it haha.

I finally reached Gapyeon at near 11am.

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There is a tourist office on the right, outside the entrance of Gapyeong train station. I popped in to get some information and I decided that instead of spending money on the shuttle bus, I would walk LOL. After all, I’m running out of cash and I don’t mind the extra scenery. And my legs are tough!

 

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Walked passed a restaurant that had pictures of Sarang and Yuto on it. Sarang and Yuto are two kids on the hit Korean reality show “Return of Superman”. It’s a family oriented program that shows how the celebrity dads take care of their own children alone. It’s an absolutely adorable and heartwarming show! I’m a big fan of the triplets borned to Actor Song Ikook. They are fraternal triplets so they don’t look the same , and it’s not just their face that’s different. Their personality and charm are totally different too! I really like how serious and responsible Daehan(eldest) is but I can’t bear to have a favourite because all three of them are adorable in their own way >.<!

I suspect my Korea trip is inspired by my love for them hahaha!

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And you know what are the triplet’s name? They are called “Daehan, Minguk , Manse” , which translates to “All hail the United Nation of Korea”. Seriously, this is one patriotic family! The triplets are so popular they even have their own calender and line emoticons – which sold out (calender) almost immediately ! That’s daehan on the right ^_^

I continued on my way despite my growling stomach because I wasn’t sure what the restaurant sells.

 

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Some lovely houses along the way!

 

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There was even a horsse stable that allows horse riding rental! There are some street food trolleys along the way but nothing caught my eye and I settled for a rice drink – which was disappointing  =(

 

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After slightly more than 30 minutes…. I finally reached the Namiseo Ferry wharf! The closer you get to the wharf, the more establishments, restaurants and hotels you will find. Something annoying about Korea compared to Japan is the lack of convenience stalls or restaurants that cater to solo customer. Unlike Japan where you can walk into a convenience store that is practically everywhere and grab a quick, tasty and affordable bite, Korea hardly have them.

 

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There’s a zip wire that brings you straight into Nami Island within 5 minutes. I really wanted to try it but alas, I’m too poor to LOL.

 

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Bought my Naminara visa for KRW 8000 and took a ferry over. Remember to bring your passport to claim your foreigner discount!

 

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Hello Nami Island!

 

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Nami Island is a crescent shaped island that was created when the Cheongpyeong dam was built.  The grave of General Nami, the man who led victory against rebels in the 13th year of the 7th king of Joseeon Dynasty was buried there. It’s gotten super famous because Winter Sonata (Kdrama) was filmed there. Unfortunately I don’t think spring is the best time to visit Nami Island since it was too early for autumn hues. The huge chestnut trees you see in the drama looks lacklustre without the autumn hues or the winter frost.

 

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The first set of trees just further up from the ferry wharf.

 

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There was an adorable row of snowmans wearing costumes that reflected different nations.

 

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And here is Singapore’s!

 

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Picnicking doesn’t seem to be as big a tradition in Korea as it is in Japan but I found this cute bunch of ladies celebrating something on the grass. Even though I was standing really far away, I don’t think they felt my camera was adorable hahhaa. Look at their stare 8D

 

I unexpectedly found a Cherry Blossom field!

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Let the Cherry Blossom spam commence!

 

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And then I spotted this signboard. Killer rabbits on the loose in Namiseo, citizens beware! LOL !! That said, I hope I can visit the bunny island in Japan one day >.<!

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A very chinese looking pavilion with fake rocks. Reminisce of Suzhou which I toured last June.

 

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A corner of a traditional korean house with urns outside. I think the store was selling pottery.

 

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And I finally arrived at the famous chestnut(or are these poplar?) tree range! While the trees were surprisingly tall, I found it hard to be excited since I wasn’t a fan of the drama. I guess I would be more impressed if they were covered in vibrant yellow leaves.

 

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And the statues of Bae Yong Joon and Choi Ji Woo eternally casted at this famous spot.

 

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I stood around like a suspicious person observing the random troops of tourists posing with the statues while secretly laughing at them ahhaa. There was too much people so I didn’t bother getting a proper shot with the iconic statues .

 

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I instead found an interesting pile of compressed metal cans! Those cubes are like a piece of art!

And then there was more sakura! I found a solo cherry blossom tree at a random corner of the field. Okay, now that I take a closer look, it doesn’t look like cherry blossoms LOL. But that doesn’t matter, it’s beautiful!

 

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I attempted to take some scenic selfies with it as the background. But 10 seconds timer with a 50mm lens meant I had a long distance to get to.

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My first shot was this. Why do I look like some emo suicidal bomber strapped to the rim with gunpowder and bomb?! I’m so ridiculously funny I cannot stand myself some times 8D. On a side note, isn’t my giraffe sweater cute XD? It was a pretty warm day and I had my uniqlo heat tech on too so my jacket was opened most of the time. It’s not often you get to show off what you’re wearing in a cold climate, the cold really forces you to zip up.

 

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* The suicidal bomber suspiciously monitered her surroundings *

I think I should photoshop a cleaver into my left hand xD

 

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* Security forces detected on all corners. Retreat in stealth! *

 

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* I’m busted! Time to pull the trigger! *

Hahaha. I’m damn boliao I know. This is how you entertain yourself when you’re travelling alone. In my defense, I was really just trying to do a levitating shot.

 

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I stopped when someone comes into the frame. Such a lovely picture isn’t it?

And then 2 other couple came. One was quite the joker, look at where his hand is in. Don’t think you can get away with doing stuffs like that in the public because murphy’s law always prevails xD I wasn’t deliberately trying to catch that moment okay? It just happened hahaha. I was trying to frame a beautiful photo of Namiseo with a beautiful flower tree and the lovers underneath it. But that guy just had to do something like that … and in front of another couple too @_@;

 

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I tried floating again after they left LOL.

 

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Since the only exports of Namiseo island are ‘imagination and fairytales’ , you can be sure there would be ways to cash in on those imaginations with imaginative merchandises.

Look! Namiseo Soju!

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Namiseo bunny keychains and sock puppets!

 

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It was way past lunch time so I picked a restaurant and went in. I ordered the ginseng chicken because I realise I haven’t had any in Korea!

 

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It was unfortunately too bland for me. Thankfully a plate of salt was on hand for me to down the chicken with. The meal cost me KYW 13,000.

 

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There was a swimming pool somewhere inside the island with really fancy mosaic designs.

 

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And a statute of a really rad buffalo breakdancing. IKR. HAHAHHAAH!

 

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And then there’s some daisies because, well it’s spring!

 

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Walked through a traditional looking wooden house with Namiseo and South Korea’s flag hung outside of it. I thought the moment the wind brought the flag up was really magical.

 

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I finally found myself on the southern edge of the island where I saw someone water skiing. Apparently there’s a wide array of activities to do in Namiseo if you can afford it.

 

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And then I met a dog! He was under a cherry blossom tree and when the wind blows, pink petals would rain down on him and his surrounding. I wasnted to approach him but was too afraid the owners would be upset.

 

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The group of young people after me were a lot braver >.<

 

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More snowman mascots and Winter Sonata promotional posters xD I wonder if that photo was originally coloured and fade over time =x

 

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And then I saw the merlion. Yes. a merlion along with two singapore flags. If the merlion was sprouting water I would probably ball over in guffaws!

 

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A small train for children runs around. I didn’t managed to capture the train but train tracks are pretty good too. Don’t you think there’s something strangely alluring about train tracks? I mean, it’s really just a route for another vehicle to move on yet the intricacy of its’ structure makes it so photogenic.

 

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Nami Island was a quaint and cosy little get away that imho, is best accompanied by a lover or at least family. I can’t say there is a lot to offer for the casual backpacker who isn’t into WInter Sonata and don’t have a lot of money to spend on activities such as zip wire or water skii. But it’s worth coming here on a slow day to get in touch with nature. I went on a sunday and the crowd was pretty manageable. The mix of local and foreign tourists seemed pretty even to me so a weekday trip here should be comfortable.

I wasn’t interested in the other attractions offered by the state so I returned to Seoul after a few hours on the island. Even though the queue for the ferry was astoundingly big, everyone managed to get on a ferry pretty soon.

It was 4:45pm by the time I got off the ferry. And I went back the same way I came – on foot!

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Spotted a hardworking local farming! The field was really small and he’s probably farming just for his family and friends. I wish I can have a plot of land to farm too =( Sadly that simple dream is next to impossible in expensive Singapore where land cost as much as stars.

 

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One of the street along the way was filled with cherry blossom trees on both sides. And in full bloom too ! I love fluffy pink sakuras!

 

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By 5pm, the sun was starting to set. Appreciating the beauty of cherry blossoms set against the setting sun was a new experience.

 

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For the trip back, I accidentally took an ITX train that costed a little more. But since I can’t tell the trains apart, I basically stepped into any train that came first. After all, other than a short lunch break , I was on my feet for a few hours!

 

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I couldn’t find any seats so I just plopped myself on a clear space in the train and fell asleep LOL.

I only realise I was on ITX when the train conductor came to check my ticket hurhur. I bought on from him from for KRW5100 (Gapyeong to Cheongnyangi) . I told him Cheongnyangi because that was the only place I could remember on the top of my head. But I was actually headed to Ewha Woman’s university.

And I got there after a long series of trains and train changes. It was 6:35pm by the time I arrived.

 

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Of course, the only reason I’m at the area is to shop! This area is known for it’s cheap fashion loots and affordable eats that caters to the budget of collage students. Sadly sunday seemed like a wrong day to come as most of the restaurants were close. The range of bags and shoes there were pretty big though none of them caught my eye.

 

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I did come away with a lot of skincare products though 8D.

You can read more about my Korea fashion and skincare loot in my previous entry : Click here!

 

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I had another one of these yummy egg with cheese pastry and a candy coated strawberry on stick (which I must say is the nicest I’ve had by far compared to China and Taiwan - the strawberry was so sweet and fresh! ). I didn’t managed to find a restaurant for dinner so I lugged my heavy legs back to the hostel and had instant ramen =(

I’m sorry if I made Namiseo Island looked really boring but I can’t say I was all that thrilled. Especially after all the effort to get there. But nevertheless, I hope you guys enjoyed the photographs!

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