Thing is when I set to stay somewhere for the amount of time that longer than what a tourist would spend there I tend to avoid all the tourist traps or anywhere that attracts lot of people. And this friend of mine also. We have been in Korea for more than half a year and never set foot to Namsan Tower or Nami Island.
I visited both places before on my first time in Korea though, which was 4 years ago (I went with a tour package, I didn’t have a say), I guess that’s why I don’t feel the need to spend time for it again. I don’t know about my friend but there is reason why we get along well, right?
I explained way too much, didn’t I? Let’s cut the background details, we got one day off on January 1st, we were looking for somewhere to go but the time was short it’s hard to plan, on 31st night my friend texted me “Let’s go to Nami Island, we never there!” and next morning we hopped on the train heading to Gapyeong.
Nami Island is located in Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do. It attracts lot of foreign tourists since the island was filming location for the infamous Korean drama Winter Sonata. Nami Island is being marketed with concept of a country named Naminara Republic with its own passport, currency and to visit Nami Island you don’t pay for ticket but pay for visa. (One thing that I don’t get is in Korean Naminara (나미나라) literally means Nami country, I have no idea why they need to put the Republic ending after it.)
If you search online for how to go to Nami Island from Seoul most of the result will tell you to use either ITX Train (which cost 4,000KRW and you’re supposed to buy the tickets in advance since there is change that there will be no seat left when you show up at the station) or Nami Island Shuttle Bus (which also requires you to make reservation in advance). We didn’t have time for any of those so we decided just go by the subway instead. It cost us 2,900KRW and around 1 hour and a half, just a little bit longer than ITX and shuttle bus.
We arrived at the ferry point around 7:30 and found out that the first ferry trip leaves at 8:30AM so we sat down at the coffee shop outside for some hot chocolate while waiting
And greeted the first sunrise of the year