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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

What to do in Nami Island, South Korea

What to do in Nami Island


How to get there: Seoul to Gapyeong
Two options: Yongsan or Cheongyangni Station Station , then take the ITX train. 

I choose Yongsan Mrt Station as its closer to my guesthouse. 
1. Boa Travel House From Hongik Univ. Station (Green Line and Light Green Line), Take the Light Green Line to Gyeongui-Jungang Line all the way to Yongsan Station (3 Stations) Travel time: 9 minutes. 
2. In Yongsan Station  (Seoul Subway Line 1) ,buy ITX-Cheongchun tickets at the train ticket station to Gapyeong Station. Ticket fare: 4,000 won
Travel time: 45 minutes

Two options to Nami Island : Zip Wire or take the Ferry. 
Namiseom Zip Wire 940 meter long
Ziplining from Gapyeong Wharf to Nami Island for 38,000 won/47 SGD (including entrance and return ferry)
Closed every 1st and 3rd Monday of each month.
Opening Hours: 9:00 - 19:00

Ferry Route: from Gapyeong Wharf or  Namiseom Dock to Namiseom Island. 
Round-trip fare (including entrance fee to the island: 10,000 won
Ferry Schedule: 07:30-09:00 
Travel time: 5-6 minutes

1. Be Brave. Take the Namiseom Zip Wire
I wanted to try a thrilling adventure going to the island so I choose the Namiseom Zip Wire that goes straight to Nami Island. It's fast, safe and an exciting way to reach the island, my backpack was placed in front of me and I zipline all the way down. 

Ziplining from Gapyeong Wharf to Nami Island for 38,000 won/47 SGD (including entrance fee and return ferry)

2. Walk. See. Listen.
I leisurely walk around when I got there, taking my time and taking it all in. The place was beautiful with towering trees lined perfectly parallel to each other. Some of the trees has started to embrace the winter season, leaves were falling and the ground was cushion with crispy,brown leaves. 

3. Take lots of Pictures
I sat in a bench, took out my camera and started goofing around with myself. Going on a solo trip doesn't mean you only end up with a few pictures of yourself, there's always a way. I used the camera's timer to capture shots with me in the picture, I played with it like pretending I'm walking and looking at my surroundings. I even manage to capture perfect time jumpshots.

4. Food Trip
When you're around the winter season in Korea having a hot fishcake is a heavenly experience, most especially when that paper cup full of fishcake soup base runs down your throat. It brings to life the warmth sensation of your body, orienting you of the time lapse of the day. I was that cold, funny as it may sound it's my first time to experience winter and I'm sort of loving it, yet my heart still belongs to the summer season. 

5. Share a Bonfire with Strangers
How to make friends when you're traveling alone? Mingle with strangers. I shared a bonfire with these lovely couple. Even thou I wasn't able to utter a word, it gives you the feeling that you are not alone and what brave fella you're for being in a foreign country. So much for the word "mingle with strangers," sometimes it really doesn't work out that way. Language Barrier is the main culprit, if only we live in a world that speaks one universal language, yet still keeping the authentic local dialect. The world will totally be a better place and we will certainly have World Peace and wars would have never been started. Nonetheless I'm better off alone, I'm a happy traveler and I can definitely entertain my own self. It may sound a bit strange. I guess I can create my own world when I'm traveling alone.

6. Explore. Rent a Bike.  
In the afternoon I rented out a bike, I cycle here and there, I even made it as my tripod in taking pictures of the beautiful scenery and with my jump shots. In other words, the bike became my partner. Nami Island is actually famous for lovers, couples flock here in numbers to have their pictures taken. The island was made more popular because of a Korean series with an Endless Love Season-themed entitled "Winter Sonata." 

Looking back I've never really thought about visiting the island thou it was a perfect place for couples to stroll around and have some relaxing day together. But I was already in Korea and Nami Island is one place that should be visited in this beautiful country.

Bike 5,000 won - 10,000 won (30 minutes-1 hour)

7. Find your own Chill out spot
Being alone wasn't that bad, I got to see the island at my own pace, find my own chill out spot and some peace of mind with nature. I spent the whole day in Nami Island mesmerize with its beauty so I didn't manage to check out the other places besides The Garden of the Morning Calm was still not open until Dec 5 during my visit. I ate the roasted egg I got from the couple in the Mrt station. Not bad for my first trip and first tourist spot in Korea. 

8. Mark your Name
I didn't plan to have my name written anywhere in the island, or even in my other trips. It just so happens that I came by to this board which was pinned to a tree just nearby the entrance of the ferry dock. I saw his name written in such large fonts and thought of putting my own name creatively over his name. It was a perfect fit! I went to the ferry with a big grin on my face.

9. Mange your time wisely
Hop in the tourist shuttle bus and check out other attractions like: Petite France and The Garden of the Morning Calm.

Gapyeong Tour Bus: 5,000 won, purchased the ticket once you board the bus. 
Tour Bus Schedule: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm (hourly interval)

10. Take the Ferry and See the Sunset 
I took the heart pumping zipline to the island while going back I settled with a relaxing sunset view of the ferry ride.

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