I can still remember that day, the air was crisp, and the sun was out. It didn’t rain for the entire week when we were in Seoul. Instead, we have witnessed the transition of the government; people mustered on the street loud enough to make a difference. To give you an idea, we were in Seoul in March 2017. A monumental event where former President Park Geun-Hye was on the brink of impeachment. So we thought of a place where we can escape from what was happening — fleeing the town to Nami Island.
Nami Island has been attracting countless visitors up to this day after it was featured in Winter Sonata, a Korean drama series. The primary filming location was the Metasequoia lane, is found in this tiny half-moon shaped island located in Chuncheon, South Korea. The name originated from General Nami, who died at 28 and have been falsely accused of treason in the 13th Century, by 7th King of the Joseon Dynasty.
HOW TO GET TO THE ISLAND
There are numerous ways to travel to Nami Island. You can choose from Shuttle bus, subway, or by car. We booked our roundtrip through Nami Island Seoul Center in Insadong and offered a special discount if you are a foreigner. They have English speaking staff that is happy to assist you.
FIVE WAYS TO ENJOY NAMI ISLAND
1. TAKING ZIP-WIRE TO NAMI ISLAND
After an hour bus ride, we arrived in Gapyeong Wharf, and we were given two options to get to the island. A 5-minute ride on a ferry or a zip-wire. Roundtrip ferry and entrance cost KRW 10,000/person for regular and KRW 8,000/per person for a foreigner. I would suggest taking zip-wire for it will give you a memorable experience by seeing the whole of the island. It cost KRW 38,000 / person include the entrance fee. Make sure to book ahead for zip-wire for they get easily overbooked.
2. RENT A BICYCLE
Although Nami Island is walkable, there’s plenty of ways to uncover its beauty. By bicycle, sky-bike, electric tour bus, UNICEF charity train, and electric tri-way. I would suggest renting a bicycle if you have a few hours to enjoy the island. Besides, biking is the most famous activity. You can quickly cover the entire island and ride the bicycle leisurely.
3. TAKE A WALK DOWN THE METASEQUOIA PATH
The island has five paths that you can unhurriedly enjoy the whole day. But I would suggest not to miss the Metasequoia Path where you will find the Winter Sonata statue, which makes the island famous to visitors. It’s the central location of the acclaimed Korean drama series, Winter Sonata starring Bae Yong-Joon and Choi Ji-woo.
4. ENJOY THE BEAUTY AND NATURE
This trip was a break out of the city; amidst the political situation and heavy pollution when we were in Seoul. We enjoyed the rich nature by walking near the lake and wandering through sequoia lined streets. Everything was perfect; from the weather, the crowd and the inclusiveness. It didn’t feel like we were in the way or being rushed anywhere. We were able to take our time and enjoy away from the bustle and hustle of the city.
5. TAKE TIME TO ENJOY THE ISLAND
Most of the people rushed going to Winter Sonata and looked for the trees. They miss out looking for other attraction on the island. We took our time strolling around by visiting some picturesque shops, had a decent lunch at the Nammoon Korean Restaurant, stop over in UNICEF Hall and cap off our activities with a hot cappuccino at Swing Cafe. There’s nothing more relaxing than drinking coffee on a chilly day and Korean song on the background.
We were even surprised that there are some spots on the island where you can borrow a book and find a perfect haven to indulge it. Such a great escape!
Although Nami Island claims to have its republic, it’s without a doubt a perfect paradise away. An outstanding place to enjoy nature and creativity, to chill out or read a great book. Plus, postcard-worthy! ♥
- Go as early as you can. Visitors peaks the most at 10 am. If you feel like staying longer, you can book a night at Hotel Jeunggwanru. Most visitors are day visitors. You can harmonize with nature at night under the moon and stars when the lights are out.
- Visit the island during Autumn and marvel a spectacular riot of colors of the leaves.