Seoul – Nami Island

The beauty of Nami Island is indescribable. This small charming Island is a popular tourist destination in Seoul. Known for its stunning scenery, this is a must-visit attraction and you need to set aside half a day for your visit. Nami in winter is simple picturesque

Nami Island or Namiseom or Naminara is a small ‘doraemon pocket lookalike’ island situated 63km from Seoul in the middle of the Han River. For those who are wondering, this small island is famous for ‘Winter Sonata’ drama in 2002. The island is gaining popularity thanks to winter sonata. Still, I have not watch it before but I’ve heard the famous theme song from the drama. Apparently, Nami Island declared its cultural independence on March 1, 2006. Like other independent republics, Naminara Republic has its own national flag, anthem, passport, postage stamps, telephone cards, written characters, papers, and currency. Do not fret, you don’t need a passport to get to the island. All you need is to pay visa aka admission fee.

Watch snippets of my journey to Nami Island.

There are various ways to get to Nami Island. Here are the options.

The best way to get to the Island is by rail. With the extensive railway system, traveling by train to the Island is a breeze. However, there are a couple of things you need to know if you’re traveling by train. For a subway person, this gonna be a breeze for you. Do take note of the station you need to tansfer and the direction the train is heading. Please refer to Real time rail map for your route. Again, iPhone users, please download the apps that I’ve recommended in my previous post.

1st option: If you are traveling by rail, above is the route that I took to reach Gapyeong station. From Chungmuru >> (Transfer) Oksu  >> (Transfer) Sangbong >> Gapyeong. Do note that from Sangbong to Gapyeong, you are traveling in Gyeongchun Line which is operated by KORAIL. You will find that Sangbong station or Gapyeong (Gyeongchun line) does not exist in your subway map because they operate individually. However, you only need to tap in your T-Money card from the station you depart (eg. Chungmuru) and tap out at exit (eg. Gapyeong). No additional ticket needed. The whole train ride cost me 1,950KRW.

While transferring at Sangbong to Gyeongchun Line, please take note of the line that you’re heading to. In this case you’re heading to Gapyeong. When I was there, apparently both track are heading to Gapyeong station. There was a bit of confussion but thanks to the local guy, he told me that both tracks are going towards Gapyeong.

From Gapyeong Station. Take a cab to Nami Wharf. Taxi stand is located outside Gapyeong station. The cab drivers understood well enough regarding the existence of Nami Island ferry terminal. This short cab ride will cost you less than 3000KRW per trip.

The total duration of the trip to Gapyeong station is about 2 hours ++

KORAIL. The train look exactly like a normal subway train. Apparently Gyeongchun Line  operated recently in 2010.

Gapyeong Station

2nd option: For those who wish to spend a little bit more. There are Shuttle buses departing from Insadong. Please refer here for more info. Round trip will cost 13000KRW per person. Depart from Insadong (Tour bus stop near Tapgol park) at 9.30am. Returning to Insadong from Nami Island at 4.00pm. To do so, you need to book your ticket in advance OR be there as early as 9.00am to purchase your tickets, subject to availability.

2 ways to get to Nami Island. The conventional way or adventurer way.

For adventurers, you can take zip lining which you bring right to the Island! It cost 38,000KRW including admission visa. Fastest way to reach and you can enjoy the adrenaline rush.

The conventional way is by ferry. Get your entry visa at the counter cost 8000KRW per person which include the round trip of ferry ride.

Wharf entrance to board the ferry.

The Nami Maid will ferry you to Nami Island. The ferry depart every 10 – 20 minutes from 7.30am to 9.45am.

To remind how cold the weather was, notice the blocks of ice floating on the river.

More of it here

Similar ferry to Nami Island.

Upon reaching Nami Island wharf, notice the statue wearing red top right in the middle of the river. This is one of the famous landmark to look out for.

Nami Island was named after General Nami, a notable figure in Korean history who courageously fought in battles but died at the age of 26.

Activities you can do there at Unchi garden aka Un-chi(Unicef+Child). Sky Bicycle, playground are some of the activities you can do.

The UNICEF train runs between the entrance of the island to the central station in the main square. 2000KRW per ride.

Wooden characters

Symbol of Nami Island, the imaginary nation.

Winter Sonata location. Bae Yong Joon & Choi Ji-woo

Trees reaching sky. Some of the location of Winter Sonata

Beautiful scenery of the lane

A stroll along the coastline. Enjoying the nature and white winter

While walking I saw this couple standing in the middle of the frozen river!

I saw more and more people on the frozen river and I decided to join in the fun. lol

Shortly after, we’ve been chase out by the police official for safety reasons. Anyway, I don’t want to die because of hypothermia in case the layer of ice breaks.

My Snow man!

There are different apartment to stay at Nami Island. This is one of them called Dahlia.

Same inner wear & shoes; a trend for korean couple

Ducks?

Ostrich!

A cafe to get a cup of coffee

err.. I don’t need to elaborate on this.

You read it right, Winter Sonata Gallery

Inside the galley contain all the photos of the winter sonata drama in 2002.

These thai girls trying to keep warm. Fireplace like this are provided at designated place

You can easily find a children story books! Even in the toilets cubicle.

If you’re up for an adrenalin rush. There’s a Bungy jumping activity, a 55-meter jumping tower near the dock to Nami Island.

 Related articles: Arrival & Chungbu Market | Gyeongbokgung  | N Seoul Tower | Shopping District & Cheonggyecheon | Changdeokgung & Changgyeonggung | Lotte World & Coex | Hello Kitty Cafe & Teddy Bear Museum | Iteawon & Seoul Central Mosque | Seoul Gallery

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Other destinations: Auckland | Singapore | Paris | Shanghai | Tokyo |  Malaysia

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46 thoughts on “Seoul – Nami Island

  1. thanks for the informative post, makes me want to go back to Korea and spend more time there, I didn’t realize it got so cold there ;-)
    thanks for stopping by my blog and liking my entry for the weekly photo challenge: light

  2. Hi, I enjoy so much reading your blog. Thx for all information. We are going to Nami this coming December, do you have any reference for guest house or hotel in Nami Island? We are traveling in 2 adults and 2 toddlers. Thx so much

    • Hi Pit. Thank you for your feedback. The reason why there are too many photos is because I want to share the scenic view of the Island to my readers. Then again, I apologise and point taken.

      • Thanks for replying and explaining. And don’t apologize, please. I can understand that one wants to put as many pictures online in a blog. I’m constantly in the same dilemma, either to have looooooooooooong postings or a few pictures only of the many I want to post. My present compromise is to put two or three pictures in a blog-entry by themselves and add the others from the same area in a gallery. I think that helps. Maybe you’d want to check the way I did it here [http://pitsbilderbuch.wordpress.com/2013/06/16/deutschland-reise-fruhjahr-2011-19-rugen-kreidefelsen-und-kap-arkona/] and leave your comment. Unfortunately the text of that blog is (mainly) in German. Sorry about that.
        Best regards from southern Texas,
        Pit

  3. Hi it’s me again, I hope I am not troubling you. Just read The Lonely Planet and it mentioned that 19 – 21st Sept is a National Holiday in Seoul. As my planned trip will be around those dates how will that affect my trip? I planned to go to Sorak Mountain from 19 -20 Sept. Should I do my booking early, as I planned to spend a night at Sorak Mountain? This is my first visit to Seoul and I want to see as much as possible. Thank you.

    • Hi Amy sorry for the late reply. You might anticipate crowd during the public holidays. If you’re staying a night at mount sorak, I would suggest you book your accommodation early to avoid disappointment.

  4. Hi thank you very much for the lovely photos on Nami Island. Will be visiting Korea in September 2013, and my daughter said Nami Island is a must. Never knew why but after seeing your photos I can understand why! What type of weather should I expect in middle of September? I am from Malaysia and our country is very hot.

    • Hi Amy. Yes a lovely island indeed. September will be the starting of Autumn season.You can expect mild weather and a bit chilly in late sept. I’m sure you gonna enjoy Nami Island as much as I do.

  5. Hi…i ve been to Seoul every two or three times a year for the past 6 yrs gosh l never been to tis part of the Korea and the good news we might be going coming 27 dec 2012 nice pics and precise information…..tks a lot…

  6. Interesting place. Winter sonata was a hit TV series in our country back in my college days. Thanks for the all the info that are both historic and historical. No wonder it’s a place to be …

  7. As always, thank you for introducing me to such an amazing city! I never knew that Korean couples wore the same inside layers and shoes! Fun! My son would never come out of public restrooms if there were books outside. He loves reading in the restroom!

  8. You really capture my heart to visit seoul eapecially nami island! Commendable job regarding your photos here including the other galleries. Keep up dude!

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