When Winter Sonata became a hit and people start noticing about Nami Island (南怡岛), I had to admit that I have yet to watch this drama, up until today. Nevertheless, being someone crazy about Korea, the words came to my ears pretty quickly. Yes, I have been to Nami Island twice, though not in the winter. Back in the year 2012 and 2013, during the same season in the Autumn, we find our way to the island by ITX train and taxi. It might sound difficult and troublesome to transit and catch a taxi, but never let these fool you. In my opinion, it’s probably the easiest place to visit out of Seoul on your own.
We woke up early that day, puffed eyes and drowsiness swarm in without hesitation. We took a subway to Cheongnyanni station and transit to ITX. Hoping to catch the first train to Nami, yet we were slightly too late, so, we bought the tickets for the next train that leaves at 8am plus.
Note to readers: Follow the ITX sign when you leave the subway train (see the walls for the signs if you couldn’t find it on the top), it will somehow lead you to the entrance for ITX, buy your tickets from the vending machine, if you aren’t really sure, you can always ask the staff whom basically stationed right beside it.
Ticket to Nami cannot be bought using T-money. You need to tap out if you’re using T-money on Seoul subway when transiting to ITX line (there’s a device beside the ITX ticket vending machine to tap out).
The train usually waits around for 15 minutes before departing right on time, not a minute late. Therefore, do your business before it arrives or you can do it on board as well. You don’t wanna miss the train you know. It was a pleasant autumn morning, our eyes were drawn towards the soothing sceneries outside, running passed us, until we saw the ahjummas beside us and their seats were facing each other. We tried to look for the leveler to turn our seats around, but failed. But the ahjummas were kind enough to help us turn the seats. We thanked them and continue chowing down the snacks we bought earlier while chit-chatting throughout the way.
It felt like my fingers aren’t mine anymore, I can barely move it and when I did, it hurts so bad.
Journey took around 45 minutes before we set foot at Gapyeong station. We caught a taxi to the jetty, cost about 3,000 won as listed on the fee table that the driver showed us. I think it’s rather cheap, and also safe from being charged unfairly. As usual, packed with tourists, we bought our admission tickets (8,000 won for foreigners, remember to carry your passports or ARC), hit the ferry and arrived at Nami island. It was slightly colder than it was in Seoul, so do bring gloves and wear a little more layer if you plan to visit this place on Autumn or Winter. My first experience taught me the lesson since there are not many, more like no information about this. It felt like my fingers aren’t mine anymore, I can barely move it and when I did, it hurt so bad. Can’t be happy enough that they are functioning well right now. Pine trees and maple trees lined neatly along the sidewalks, though not as yellowish red as the first time, but the greenish trees still carries a different aura and beauty to the whole surrounding. It has a fresher ambiance than when they changed colours. A more back-to-nature-feel. If you wish to see the fiery red leaves, I recommend you to go around end of October to early of November. Any earlier than that you might only see green and yellowish leaves. Trust me, since I have experienced it before, one week could make a huge difference. My less favorable tree, the Gingko. In my previous post, I slightly mention that it carries an awful smell. Maybe it’s just my nose being too sensitive or the scent just irritates me, but they smell like poop when the fruit is crushed! You didn’t read it wrong, it’s poop smell that makes you have to take a peek at your sole. I can practically spend my days on this tiny island although there isn’t much here, but the serenity, calmness and everlasting beauty of this whole place makes me doesn’t want to leave forever.