Nami Island; Walking in Nature’s Art
One of the most frequented vacation spots in South Korea is Namiseom Island (or just Nami Island) and there’s no way we would miss it. We’ve seen so many pictures in the net (including pics of our friends) and all we can say is, wow! This is one of the destinations that we’re so very excited to visit.
Namisum is a tiny half-moon shaped island located in Chuncheon and is about 1hr and 30 minutes from downtown Seoul. The island can only be accessed by riding a ferry boat or zip line. There are lots of trees, flowers and even animals like chipmunks freely roaming around in the island. The place is very peaceful where you can just relax and enjoy nature. So what more does Nami Island has to offer? Read on to feel our experience and a guide on how to get there!
For travel guides to South Korea, Check out our 2015 6D5N S. Korea Itinerary and Expenses here! and our 2016 7D6N Winter trip here!
Looking for budget friendly accommodations in Korea? Check out my review of Zaza Backpackers Hostel here and Hotel Maui here! For more recommended accommodations, click here or search for more hotels/hostels here.
Directions / How to get there / Ticket Fees:
- Take the subway and alight either at Yongsan station or Cheonggyanni station whichever is nearer to you.
- Once in Yongsan/Cheonggyani station, go to the ITX Cheongchun line and buy your tickets going to Gapyeong Terminal. You can either buy at the vending machine or at the ticket counter. This is what we did and there was no hassle. Just check the time of the train departure as you need to be at the train platform on the dot, else, the train will leave without you. So walk a little bit faster and don’t linger around. Lucky for us too that we were all given seats. I think it is because we went on a weekday.
As an alternative, you can also buy your tickets online at letskorail.com. We didn’t do this but let me guide you a bit. See below in italics.
Select English language, then click ‘Rail Tickets’ in the menu, then click ‘Booking Online’. Select Yongsan or Cheonggyanni in the Departure, then Gapyeong in the Arrival. For the Train, select ITX-Cheongchun.
Ticket fare from Yongsan to Gapyeong – 4800 KRW one way
Travel time from Yongsan to Gapyeong – 55 minutes
- Upon arrival in the Gapyeong Terminal, you can grab a brochure of the Gapyeong Circle tour bus at the Tourist Information Center or in the actual tour bus instead (wait for its arrival in the bus stop). The Gapyeong tour bus will take you to the ferry departure point to Nami Island and other tourist spots in the area as well. Click here for the timetable. A little outdated but still similar.
- Once aboard the bus, you can buy your tickets from the driver.
Ticket fare is 6000 KRW unlimited ride for one day.
- Once you are in the ferry departure point, you can then buy your tickets for a ferry ride (around 5-10 mins) to Nami Island. Ticket fare is 8000 KRW for foreigners and 10000 KRW for locals. Alternatively, you can also zipline your way to the island! I think it cost 38000 KRW based from this site.
If you don’t want to commute and have a convenient service and tour guide with you, you can book a tour via Klook. See links below:
Boarding the Ferry
When we got to the wharf to buy our tickets, we were surprised to see an Immigration sign so I thought we should bring out our passports. Then we found out that Nami Island declared itself as a micronation! It is called Naminara Republic! They even have their own passport and currency. Whoever visits Nami Island is called a Naminarian! We actually found it cute and by the way, no need to show your passport. Though the staff asked us from what country are we and when he found out, he greeted us in our language. That’s just awesome. 🙂
Start of the tour
The very first thing we noticed about the island is the trees. There are many beautiful trees here and it was so relaxing to be one with nature. My wife and I immediately took our very first photo together in Nami in a small traditional house. Wish we have something like this at home lol.
The island is a photographer’s delight. Everywhere you go there’s something beautiful to shoot. I’m no photographer but I love taking pictures in Nami island. It feels like even if you shoot with a bad angle, the picture naturally becomes beautiful because of the scenery. It’s also a good thing that we are with a couple who knows how to take pictures!
Besides plants and trees, there are also animals like ostriches and chipmunks! It’s hard to take pictures of those adorable chips because they run so fast!
We also went to the Winter Sonata place. I haven’t watched the TV series but my wife did years before so I really can’t relate. But after spending some time there, I became curious and told myself that I think I might have to watch it. The TV series is one of the reasons for the boost of tourism of Nami Island.
Don’t worry about getting hungry here. There are lots of restaurants in the island and for me, the price is just reasonable. It’s here that we’ve tried the Cold Buckwheat Noodles! It’s so good!
After lunch, it’s more walking and picture taking. I really love the trees here especially the Metasequoia trees!
Love the maple trees too!
At the side of the island, you can see the beautiful river surrounding it.
It was really a nice place! We enjoyed so much and we hope to stay longer but we need to go to our next destination; Petite France. So bye for now Nami Island. We hope to visit this place in all of the seasons of Korea. Next target is Winter season for that real Winter Sonata feel! 😉
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