Nami Island – the 4th time around!
Last May 8th (Parents’ Day), I met Tesha and Angela at the Cheongnyangni Station. I asked them to be at Dongmyo Station by 9AM, but I told them to call me first before they leave. Glad I didn’t go at the station at the suggested time or I would’ve waited for almost an hour! Hehehe…
We were at the subway station by 10:22 AM. There is a train leaving for Gapyeong at 10:30 AM. We rushed to the train station (with my son on my back) and we’re lucky to catch that train. I swear it was one of the most athletic things I did in my life!
Our destination: Nami Island (Nami-seom or Naminara Republic). One-way ticket to Gapyeong is 3,800 won. I was glad the car wasn’t full. The trip took less than an hour and a half. From Gapyeong station, we took a taxi to Namiseom for 3,700 won. (Taxi in Korea is cheap!)
The place looked different from the last time I was there. The vendors at the “harbor” are gone, replaced by the ticket area. The ticket price also went up. Ferry ride and admission fee used to be 5,000 won but it is now 8,000 won!
Nami Island is better than ever. The island became famous for the Korean drama “Winter Sonata” and the first three times I went there, you’d see a lot of references to it. That has changed quite a bit. I didn’t see the banners with the photos on the way to the “first kiss” scene. Instead, there is a small building that houses the images of the drama. The huge billboard on the way to the metasequoias is also gone. The statue is still there though, and in front of it is now a small pond.
The bike stations have been relocated. The restaurants and gift shops are now all situated in one area. You’d notice a lot of “recycled” stuff, like the wall used in a stage that was made of soda cans. I think the island is promoting eco-tourism. I actually like it better than before.
The toilet rooms are better. They were made to look more artsy, like with the “toilart studio”. You’ll find books inside the cubicles! There is a Secondhand Bookstore and Peace Library with lots of books and cultural stuff from different countries. There’s even an exhibit of “Arts from Mindanao”. (And ostriches and squirrels roaming the island freely!) Of course, if you’d like to stay for a night or two there are accomodations, but they aren’t vegas hotels.
Overall, I think Nami Island is a really good place to visit with your family specially with your kids. I hope Angela and Tesha enjoyed the trip there. Afterall, they had a nice chat with a really cute Korean guy (and that’s priceless).