The Ultimate Guide to Nami Island (Autumn)

Sunday, February 12, 2017



cool breeze, colorful leaves, bare trees.. it must be autumn.







I can't believe I checked off number one on my 2016 bucketlist, Autumn in Seoul. I may have said it countless of times in my previous posts but I'll write it still anyway; Philippines is a tropical country where we can only experience two seasons. And so, it's been one of my biggest target and dream to experience fall foliage. I don't know why, but there's something about the cool breeze, colorful leaves, and bare trees that makes my heart skip a beat all the time. It's that time of the year where the birds prepare to migrate, the ground starts to get filled with decays, and the sweaters hidden in our closet turns to be our best friend.  Seeing the leaves change it's color moment by moment is one beautiful reminder that life will start all over again, that we are all down to the last quarter of the year all bruised up by our own mishaps and that with all those challenges that the year has brought, we will make it, we will be better and we'll all have a fresh start once more.





Namiseom Island, named after General Nami whose remains lie in the island itself, is a half moon-shaped island that is 90-minutes away from Seoul (about 63 km). It is where the Winter Sonata, the korean drama that started the Hallyu wave around the world, was filmed.

First things first. Nami Island is a vast field with a lot of different sightseeing corners to explore and a lot of things to do. So I suggest that you go here the earliest you can. We stepped out of the hotel at exactly 6:30 am, yes, that early. There are a lot of ways to go to Nami Island, it just depends where is your starting point and how cheap, comfortable, or fast you want your trip to be. You can go by train or by bus, take your pick. For train, download the Korean Subway App so you don't get lost that much (lol). The whole step by step guide is at the bottom of this blog (both by train and bus).



We went by train since the bus is scheduled to leave at 9:30 am, and we wanted to really be earlier than that. As I watch the view change from urban landscapes to nature sights from my train window, I'm also starting to see autumn colors everywhere. I'm so happy!

I can still remember the feeling I got when I first stepped onto the island. All my dreams were starting to get real little by little. As you enter, you will see a stretch of metasequoia streets both in your left and right. We thought that it was the famous lane already so we took a lot of shots. Yet surprisingly, it wasn't. Looking at the map that were given to us when we bought the ticket, it's still a few minutes walk from the entrance. The real one has a balloon shaped lanterns!


METASEQUOIA LANE




After getting lost and some Seoul-searching, I've been able to see and walk through the most famous spot in Nami Island, the Metasequoia Lane. Though it wasn't snow covered, I am still in awe at its beauty.






Our second stop was to try out the famous korean pancake in Nami Island. We searched and searched and searched until finally, we saw the cafe. You have to try these out too!



 I consider Nami Island as one of my top dream destinations for a simple reason; it's because I'm an avid fan of korean dramas. I really wanted to see the famous Metasequoia Lane and of course, the foliage peak of the Gingko Trees. We didn't expect much for the Gingko Trees as we heard that it wasn't its peak foliage yet. That is why we were really surprised and amazed to see that 90% of the trees in that lane were all yellow already!

 Did anybody said bingo?


THE GINGKO TREES LANE











We actually wanted to head home already, but because of the constant search for the korean pancakes, we were lead to this 80 meter magical lane, accidentally. We were like, "Oh, I've forgotten about this lane!". I remember my mom's biggest smile popped out just by seeing it. It feels like we were in a background picture all of a sudden. Truly, our mother nature never disappoints. Probably my favorite spot in Nami Island to date is this one. I haven't explored all of the lanes but I'm sure to be back this 2017. 









Here's an obligatory picture with the famous snowman statues!





And..... as promised, here's the step by step guide on how to go there! 





Here's the step by step guide to go to Nami Island both by bus and by train. Note that I made Myeongdong as my starting point since my hotel is located there. If you're elsewhere, just take a look at the subway app or the city map, and from there head over to Myeongdong or Dongdaemun.


HOW TO GO TO NAMI ISLAND BY TRAIN

1. From Myeongdong Station, take the Line 4 bound for Chungmuro. Drop off at Dongdaemun History and Culture Park station.
2. From Dongdaemun History and Culture Park Station, change to Line 2  bound for Sindang Station. Drop off at Wangsimni Station.
3. From Wangsimni Station, head over to Jungang Line train bound for Cheongyangni Station. Drop off at Mangu Station.
4. From Mangu Station, change to Kyeongchun Line train bound for Galmae Station. Drop off at Gapyeong Station.

From Gapyeong Station, you can ride a taxi or a bus, go on a zipline, or just walk.
1. The taxi bay is right outside the station, so you'll never get lost. During peak season, there'll be long lines for taxi but in our case, there weren't. (Or only because we were the first one to get out of the station?) Tell the driver to take you to the ferry wharf going to Nami Island. It'll take you about 8-10 minutes.

2. I don't advice walking. Plus I can't remember the direction to wharf since it isn't a straight path :( But the station attendant told us that it'll take you 25-30 minutes.

3. There's a Gapyeong Tourist Resort shuttle bus outside the station. You can buy the KRW6,000 bus ticket from the driver, it's an unlimited ticket that you can use all day. Here's the bus route:
~ Gapyeong Station - Jarasum - Gapyeong Rail Park - Nami Island - Petite France - Cheong Pyong Station - The Garden of Morning Calm - Gapyeong Bus Terminal ~

From the Ferry Wharf, you can ride a ferry or the zipline.
 1. Ride the zipline. There's a zipline in the ferry wharf that will go straight to Nami Island. It's approximately 36,000KRW, entrance included.
2. The ferry will take you to Nami for just about 10 minutes. You can buy the entrance visa for KRW8,000, ferry ride inclusive.


HOW TO GO TO NAMI ISLAND BY BUS


There's only one bus a day heading to Nami Island from Seoul. And that bus departs at exactly 9:30 am from Insadong only and will leave Nami Island by 4:00 pm. Make sure you make an advance booking since it's only a one chance. It costs 23,000KRW, entrance visa to Nami inclusive.

1. From Myeongdong Station, take Line 4 to Seoul Station.
2. From Seoul station,  take Line 1 bound for City Hall and get off at Jongak Station.
3. At Jongak Station, take the Exit 3. Walk east for about 200 meters and you'll see the Tapgol Park and then the Bus Station going to Nami Island.

And viola, you're now in Nami Island :)  I hope I helped you a lot! :)







1 comment on "The Ultimate Guide to Nami Island (Autumn)"
  1. I'v heard about Jeju island a lot but this is the first time I saw a post about Nami island. Thank you for sharing!
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