With some extra time on my hands these days, I had made plans to take a day trip out of Seoul with a Danish friend who’s also living here. We decided to go to Nami Island since I had never been there before even though it’s only a relatively short drive out of Seoul.
Nami Island is a very small island situated in the north Han River in the Gangwondo province east of Seoul. It’s famous for having been a filming location for several Korean drama series, which attracts a lot of fans from south east Asia. To get there you can take the train to Gapyeong station and then take a cab from there, but the easiest way is to make reservations online and jump on one of the buses that leave daily from both Insadong and Myeondong in central Seoul.
We got on in Insadong and had paid 28,000 won (less than 28 dollars) for our tickets, which would then also include entry to the island when we arrived. We happened to be the only ones on the bus and thought that we could then take any seat we wanted but our driver wasn’t having any of that. Our tickets clearly said seats 5 and 6 so that’s where we had to sit(!) We couldn’t help but laugh at this obvious lack of flexibility but then politely did as we were told.
90 minutes later we arrived in Gapyeong in Gangwondo. From there we had to get on a small ferry which would then take us across the river to Nami Island. The ferry ride was less than 10 minutes and then we were on the island. We arrived late in the morning but well before the island got crowded with visitors. That gave us time to walk around in peace and quiet before finding a place to have lunch. Because of the many visitors from muslim countries, the kitchen catered to all tastes and it was very easy for us as vegetarians to pick from the menu. I ordered a bibimbap that was listed as vegetarian (I usually have to tell them to leave out the meat) and my friend had a bowl of cold buckwheat noodles.
After eating we walked around exploring the island some more. It’s really small but there are so many cute photo spots that would make it ideal for a romantic date out of the city. We then discovered a traditional Korean house that had two Danish flags hanging from it. This obviously sparked our curiosity and upon closer inspection it turned out that inside there was an exhibition with Hans Christian Anderson and his famous fairytales.
We took tons of pictures and before leaving we each bought a cute keyring with the signature Nami Island snowman mascot as a souvenir. If you wonder why they have chosen a snowman as their mascot, the reason is that the most famous Korean drama filmed on the island was called “Winter Sonata” and was filmed in, well you guessed it, winter.
Around 3 in the afternoon we took the ferry back to the Gapyeong side where we boarded our bus bound for Seoul. The trip home took a little longer because of traffic – about two hours.
If you have some extra time to spend while visiting Seoul, I highly recommend checking out Nami Island. It’s the perfect distance to give you a much-needed change of environment from the ever bustling city.
Here are some of the pictures I took that day 🙂
Absolutely stunning nature!
Clear blue skies over Nami Island and the Danish flag blowing in the light breeze.