How to go to Nami Island from Seoul
Nami Island was one of the places that my friend, Trish, recommended we go to. She described it to be a very picturesque island. A picture perfect island? I will never say no to that. I love a good photo opportunity (My friends can attest to that). She also said that this island was where the Korean telenovela, Winter Sonata, was shot. Unfortunately, I never watched that show. Despite the island being two hours away, I researched enough for our group to find our way there.
So how do you go to Nami Island?
There are 2 ways to go to Nami Island:
1. The first is via a Nami Island shuttle bus that you can get in Insadong or Jamsil Station – Exit 4.
Departure from Topgol Park is at 9:30 am, but then you have to be there earlier than that. You’re free to stay on the island as long as you catch the bus going back at 4:30 pm. This will cost you 23,000 won (including the round trip ferry to/from the island).
2. The second option, which we took because we wanted to have more control over our time, is via train. Basically, from whatever station is closest to you, find your way to Gapyeong Station.
Tip: If you have an iPhone, the Seoul Metro application helped a lot.
Once you get to Gapyeong Station, walk towards the entrance until you see the taxi stop (around 5 minutes away). Tell the taxi driver to take you to Gapyeong Wharf for Nami Island. They normally know that you’re headed there anyway. The taxi ride should take around 15 minutes and cost you around 3600 – 4000 won per taxi of 4.
Finally, once in Gapyeong Wharf, there are two ways to enter Nami Island itself. One is to enter in style via zipline (32,000 won inclusive of zipline to enter and ferry to exit) and the second option is the ferry (10,000 won roundtrip including the entrance fee to the island). They call the entrance ticket a Visa.
Honestly, we wanted to try the first option but unfortunately, it was too foggy that day. We had no choice but to take the ferry. The ferry ride lasted for 10 minutes. Or you can book a day tour for your Nami Island adventure in this link.
Nami Island: Always Picturesque
What to see in Nami Island
As soon as we stepped inside Nami Island, we are immediately confronted by lots of sights that we deemed photo worthy. Naturally, we went crazy. Upon looking at the map, we realized that it was a lot bigger than expected.
Nami Island is a small half-moon shaped island which was named after General Nami, a soldier who was falsely accused of treason. These days, it is more well-known for being the setting of Winter Sonata.
Thank you, Google Maps!
It’s decorated with cutesy displays and works well as a setting for prenups.
Okay, so these aren’t prenup pictures. Doesn’t stop a girl from being a happy tourist!
Aside from the breathtaking view, I enjoyed Nami Island because I got to do something that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time, but haven’t out of fear of losing my balance. That’s right, I haven’t been on a bike for years! Fortunately, Nami Island offered tandem biking (among other options), which tamed my fears a little.
Aside from getting to feel the breeze on this inexplicably warm day, it also allowed us to reach sites that would have been impossible to reach on foot has given time constraints and the size of the island. Within an hour, my friend Shar and I toured the whole island, stopping here and there for pictures. It was truly a great experience.
Although Nami Island is a high volume tourist area, the food they served was not really as expensive as you’d expect. We had ramen, Korean-style omelet, and dim sum (kimchi siomai and pork). They were good and we were all filled to the brim.
Rain began to pour just as we decided to leave the island! Good thing we were prepared. We all had our trusty umbrellas. As we walked through rows of trees towards the ferry, my friend came up with the “brilliant” idea of racing to the docking area. All four pairs (except Kay and Shar) started in an imaginary starting line and off we went!
It was hilarious! In the end, I had to do my walk of shame after my trusty umbrella broke. Well, what do you expect from a cheap sidewalk umbrella? It can stand rain but not its crazy owner running with it.
Nami Island was one of my favorite destinations on this trip. More so when I saw it again during the fall (will write about this soon). It’s true when they say that Nami Island has something to showcase no matter what season you come to visit. Someday, I’d like to see this place during winter, and well, spring too!
Photography by Kay Dulay