It was 1° when we woke up, the lowest temperature was −8°, and we were freezing once we stepped out of our hostel. We packed energy bars, heating our heat pad and layered more clothes. I was wearing a layer of heat-tech inner-wear, two layers of sweaters, a wool poncho, three layers of pants and we brought extra scarves. Yes, I was so skinny (I still am), and the three layers of pants didn’t make my legs any fatter.
Wooden swing outside 24 Namsan Guest House
We were good for our next adventure, to the famous Nami Island, it became famous and received quite a number of tourists every year, thanks to Winter Sonata, the famous Korean drama back then in 2002. Nami Island can be reached by Shuttle Bus or Seoul Metro Subway trains. Both have their own pros and cons, let me list few for you
The Battle of Shuttle Bus X Seoul Metro
Shuttle Bus (ticket need to be booked in advance)
7,500 won one way & 15,000 won round trip
23,000 won round trip plus entrance fee
1950 won Metro Subway from Myeongdeong – Gapyeong
1100 won Shuttle Bus to Nami Wharf / 3000 won Taxi to Nami Wharf
Insadong or Jamsil Station to Gapyeong Wharf
Subway Line 4. Myeondeong – Dongdaemun
Subway Line 1. Dongdaemun – Hoegi
Subway Jungang Line. Hoegi – Mangu
Subway Gyeongchun Line. Mangu – Gapyeong
Taxi or Shuttle bus to Gapyeong Wharf
Around 50mins or more
An hour an half, or more depends on how fast you run and board into the next train during the transit
Note: I just found out that you can travel from Seoul to Gapyeong station using ITX, which is faster, there’s no need to disembark at any train station for transit but the fare is slightly expensive, 4000won, follow this link for details.
We choose to travel by train for more info about the shuttle bus, please refer to this link. Not only it was much cheaper, it was fun at the same time, but no doubt it was tiring. The thought of being lost while transferring from one line to the other line never bother us, I myself am an avid train user, knowing that Korea has the same subway system as Japan, made me feel even better. All you have to do is, keep the subway map with you, and follow the line color! As simple as that!
Once reached Gapyeong Station we took a taxi to Gapyeong Wharf. Tips: if you are traveling alone, you can opt for a shuttle bus that will cost you around 1000won, if you are in a group, taxi will be a better deal. We paid our ride using T-Money for 3000won. At the Gapyeong Wharf, we need to buy entrance ticket to travel to the Nami Island by ferry, the usual fare is 10000won, but they’ll give 2000won off for foreigners. The next time I get here, I’d love to do a zip-wire (38000won) to get to Nami Island from the wharf!
The so called immigration centre, you need to get your ‘visa’ to get into the “Nami Kingdom”
Nami Island was named after General Nami, who led a great victory against the rebels in the 13th year of the 7th king of the Joseon Dynasty, King Sejo (reign 1455 ~ 1468).
Ice Statue next to Namimaid Statue
I remember I took the Namimaid (mermaid) Statue but I couldn’t find it inside my iPad *sigh*
Nami Island Meeting Point
Another fire-stop to keep us warm. We grabbed Nami Island Map at the tourist information centre and follow the route. There are few options to travel around this island, you can either stroll and enjoying the nature with your own pace, or rent a bicycle and cycling can get even faster or with the Electronic Tour Car.
Tomb of General Nami
The First Kiss Bridge
If you watched Winter Sonata before, you would recognised this bridge, where they had their first kiss scene.
We stopped by at the Asian Food Restaurant Dongmoon for lunch. They served halal food, and there’s a place for praying at level two. The prayer room was clean and divided into two section (male and female) with a curtain.
I had Chicken Teriyaki, stated there, a meal for kids. It was delicious but quite spicy, and I couldn’t handle spicy food, it will lead me to a few toilet-session, but I wouldn’t mind having a second plate!
Love Affair Winter Sonata
Winter Sonata was the first Korean Movie showed in Malaysia, back then in 2002 (if I’m not mistaken), followed by Autumn in My Heart. Winter Sonata was a success, left the audience with tears in each and every episode, and they soon build Jun Sang and Yoo Jin statue on this iconic Nami Island, and people all over the world, flooding this island, every year.
The Other side of Nami Island
I’m not sure if it is possible for outsider to camp here, but isn’t is beautiful?
We spent the whole day at Nami Island and heading back to Seoul before wit’s getting dark, with half of our hearts left in Nami Island. We almost missed our train, as I less care which way are we should be heading to, I misplaced my map, and we just gamble and board to the next train. Thank God, it was the right train and luckily my sister brought a travel guide book with an extra subway map inside (we got it for free during MATTA Fair)
Matta Fair Tips: Instead of surveying a cheap travel deal, collect as many brochures as possible, including road maps, subway maps, and if you got lucky you can get some coupon voucher inside their brochure.
The best kebab, I ever had! I never was a fan of kebab, but we were hungry, the best offer we could possibly find, and certified halal. It was quite spicy, but was so good, especially during the chilly weather.
Ichie was having nausea and keep vomiting. We went back to hostel soon after and pack our bags. I slept with my mask on, my skin was getting dehydrated.
Star gazing and fall sleep, I wonder when will I able to do so.