on… Nami Island (남이섬)

Posted: 05/08/2012 in Asia, Travel
Tags: , , , , , ,

Nami Island 남이섬, or Namiseom is a nice day trip from Seoul. It’s a strange little place in the middle of the damned North Han River. The island is named after a General Nami who was killed for treason in the Joseon dynasty. Apparently they found his burial mound with some rocks. Anyway, it’s not really a historical visit, it’s a kind of fun nature reserve. The island is also famous for one of the first really big dramas in Korea called ‘Winter Sonata’. Many of the romantic scenes were shot in Nami Island and if you are a fan of the show you can have your photo taken with statues of the two main characters.

You can reach the island by the frequent ferries crossing the river or by aerial runway. The aerial runways seem pretty expensive but they are high and look quite thrilling. The island is a beautiful escape from the city and gets extremely busy at weekends with day-trippers from Seoul. You can walk round among the giant sequoia trees, relax by the river, and visit the numerous craft shops and restaurants. There is also a small water park and if you cannot be bothered walking you can hire a bicycle or get on a mini electric car. There are plenty of things to keep you occupied and even after you leave there are several dakgalbi restaurants on the opposite bank of the river.

I was pleasantly surprised by Nami and could have wandered around for a day. I even found a genuine wood fired stone oven in a pizza restaurant. The owner had travelled to Napoli to learn how to make perfect pizzas in the perfect oven. The pizzas are a little expensive but then how often do you get genuine Italian pizzas from a real wood fired oven? The craft places and cafes also kept me entertained.

Getting there:

Return ticket+Entrance+ferry 23.000W
Jamsil Station Exit 4 9:30am (Stops 216 and 814)
walk straight to Lotte Mart on the left side; bus stop is in front of Lotte Mart)
Cheongnyangni to Gapyeong (you could also get on in Yongsan station)
Sangbong to Gapyeong (Sangbong is in the east of Seoul but it’s direct from there on the Gyeongchun Line)
***If you travel on the weekend I would recommend taking the train because the traffic is so bad. On a weekday the shuttlebus is very convenient but you will need to book over the phone or online.***

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