I’ve been to Nami Island several times, but somehow I just can’t get enough of it. The last time I was there was when I accompanied four Pinay tourists who are huge fans of Bae Yong Joon. They came to Seoul on a Friday night. On Saturday, I took them on a “walking” tour of Seoul and despite their worst walking experience they were still eager to visit the island (?) that became famous through the “legendary” Korean drama “Winter Sonata”.
The first day I met the four ajummas 🙂 I taught them how to use the subway system. We were supposed to meet at Cheongnyangni Station at around before 9AM but they arrived almost an hour late. It was fine with me since it gave me time to eat breakfast – kimbap!
We could’ve taken the shuttle bus in Jongro to go to Nami Island, but I thought that taking a Korean train is an experience in itself. We bought tickets to Gapyeong and there were so many college-aged students who got off the train at the same station.
When we got out of the station, we headed to the nearest street food vendor where my guests enjoyed “odeng” (fish cake) for 500 won a stick (700 won in central Seoul). They talked about the havoc that Typhoon Ondoy brought the previous night. They spent some time calling their relatives back home. We then headed to where the taxis were parked. I didn’t need to tell the driver where we were going. Taxi fare was 3,800 won.
The entrance fee to Nami Island is 8,000 won during the peak season. In winter, it’s only 6,000 won. The island has been called “Naminara Republic” since the beginning of this year. For me, it’s still “Nami-seom” 🙂
^^ got the tickets to Naminara Republic
^^ at the entrance to the “port” we were asked our nationality
^^ Can anyone believe they’re middle-aged? So different from the ajummas I’d gotten used to!
Since the group specifically came to see the “Winter Sonata” filming locations, I immediately brought them to where Bae Yong Joon and Choi Ji Woo biked in the drama.
^^ I think we spent about 20 minutes here just taking pictures…
The four Pinay ajummas had a fun time picking up the chestnuts that the squirrels throw. It wasn’t my first time to see a squirrel but it was my first time to actually see one climb up a tree and pick and open a chestnut. They were fast!
Here’s the UNICEF charity train. It’s only 2,000 won and the proceeds are donated to UNICEF. I took this train when I visited the island with my boys:
^^ tribute to Michael Jackson
^^ the tomb of General Nami, after whom the island was named
^^ “Catching Your Dreams” – colorful inverted umbrellas
^^ I can’t read Chinese characters but the garden is composed of Japanese maple trees
Our next “Winter Sonata” destination is the site of the “First Kiss”. Like in the previous location, we spent time taking pictures here.
^^ see the couple at the back? the guy is carrying the girl’s purse
^^ outside the Winter Sonata cafe
^^ outside a Korean restaurant
^^ outside the Winter Sonata Gallery
^^ inside the Winter Sonata Gallery
^^ Bae Yong Joon wrote it!
^^ Bae Yong Joon’s right hand
^^ can’t miss that Winter Sonata sign!
^^ Bae Yong Joon-Choi Ji Woo statue
^^ ostriches roam freely around the island…
^^ at the metasequoia lane… notice the couple at the right corner?
^^ love this place!
^^ perfect place for couples
^^ do they look like they’re enjoying all the walking or what?
I like how “game” the ladies were… they did whatever I asked them to do…
I asked them to repeat throwing the leaves several times and they did so with gusto. I even asked them to jump from the ledge and they didn’t complain a bit. If only I had a better camera…
I just love this row of “eunheng name” or “gingko trees” for their color especially in the fall. They exude a nasty odor when their fruit ripens, though.
At the UNICEF Hall, an exhibit of rag dolls from all over caught my attention…
I took about 101 MB worth of pictures at 2.5 megapixels resolution but I can’t just post all of them. I have five other entries on Nami Island…