We bid goodbye for the meantime on the modern and buzzing city of Seoul and traveled 90 minutes to Gapyeong province to see South Korea’s one of the famous islands – Nami Island. My parents were certified fans of Janice and Jun’s love story from Endless Love Winter Sonata, so I really can’t cross this one out of our itinerary.
HOW TO GO TO NAMI ISLAND
OPTION # 1: SEOUL METRO (FOR THOSE WHO ARE IN BUDGET)
Through the advanced train system of South Korea, you can smoothly go to Gapyeong Province from Seoul City. It is cheap too! It only costs 2,350 Korean won per way. It also opens as early as 5:30 AM. The downside was that it would take time and quite a hassle due to atleast three train transfers. If you’re staying near Dongdaemun Design Plaza like us, there will be two transfers. But if you’re in Myeongdong, you have to do three train transfers. The whole ride also takes almost 90 minutes.
Then outside Gapyeong Station, there’s a Gapyeong shuttle bus that stops at all tourist spots in the area like Nami Island, Petite France, and Garden of the Morning Calm. This 1-day bus pass costs 5,000 Korean won but only travels every 1 hour and is always overcrowded (standing trip). You can also take a taxi to Nami for 4,000-5,000 Korean won.
PRICE: 7,350 Korean won one way
OPTION # 2: KTX (FOR THOSE WHO CAN SPEND A FEW BUCKS FOR COMFORT)
If you hate the hassle of transferring trains, there’s a direct train from Seoul to Gapyeong province. You can take the KTX from Yongsan Station (Line 1) that travels directly to Gapyeong Station in 60 minutes. It costs 5,900 Korean won for the economy class, and 5,000 Korean won for the standing. Its first trip is at 6:15 AM.
The outside Gapyeong Station, you can again choose to take the Gapyeong Shuttle Bus or a taxi to Nami Island. Either way, you’ll spend around 5,000 Korean won.
PRICE: 10,900 Korean won one way
OPTION # 3: KLOOK’S ROUNDTRIP TRANSFER (FOR THOSE WHOSE PRIORITY IS COMFORT AND SUCKS AT DIRECTIONS)
Klook is offering a roundtrip transfer to Nami Island via bus from Insadong, Namdaemun, and Duty-Free Myeongdong for 21,000 Korean won. Pick-up time starts at 8:30 AM and more likely to arrive at Nami Island before 10 AM already. The price is almost the same with our option #2, but the con in availing this is that you have to stick with Klook’s rules and time compared when you’re in DIY.
PRICE: 21,000 Korean won roundtrip
OPTION #4: RENT A CAR (FOR THOSE WHO TRAVEL LUXURIOUS)
If you love to travel luxuriously, then option #4 is for you. You can rent a car from Klook for a 9 hours tour in the Suburbs, including Nami Island for 285,900 Korean won for a group of 1-6. Of course, this is the best option for it is convenient, comfortable and you control your own time, but the best always comes with a hefty price. 🙂
PRICE: 47,650 Korean won (if you’re 6 in the group)
HOW MUCH IS THE ENTRANCE FEE TO NAMI ISLAND
The entrance fee to Nami Island depends on how you wanted to enter it. You can choose to ride the ferry for 13,000 Korean won (10,000 Korean won for foreigners) or do the Nami Zipline for 44,000 Korean won. These fees already include the entrance fee. Most of the tourists take the ferry, including ours, for practical reasons.
NAMI ISLAND SIGHTSEEING
Nami Island is famous for its beautifully aligned trees, but since we went there in May, the ending of spring, the whole island was screaming of color green. The trees were still mesmerizing to look at, but it was said to be prettier at autumn foliage where the trees are all yellow and orange, and in winter where trees are all in snow.
The island is boat-shaped, and from the Gapyeong Wharf, you’ll be dropped off to the Northside of the island. There are three lanes – Pine Tree Lane, Maple Lane, and Riverside walkway – that you can take to be able to go to the Southside and see all what the island offers. We took the main but crowded one, which is Pine Tree Lane. Most of Nami Island tourist attractions are in this lane.
We didn’t explore more on the facility attractions and solely focused on sightseeing. We walked along the whole Pine Tree Lane and turned right to Metase Quoia Lane for the Winter Sonata Statue. We then explored the Bungalow Riverside then turned left to Gingko Tree Lane and back to Pine Tree Lane. If you wanted a perfect picture of the aligned trees, go to Gingko Tree Lane.
We walked for more than two hours, and our legs felt like jello already when we were at the Riverside. I recommend renting a bicycle in the Bike Center to explore the whole island with ease.
For lunch, we ate at a restaurant in the Gapyeong Wharf. There were many restaurants around, but Dak Galbi is a famous dish in this area. Of course, we ordered that to share as family and bibimbap for me. It was my first time trying Dak Galbi, and yes, it was heaven. Our meal here was my best meal ever on our whole trip.
Nami Island is definitely South Korea’s tourist attraction that you shouldn’t miss visiting. It is also a place that you’ll still visit for the second or third time. That’s how I felt about it. I wanted to go back again someday in the autumn and winter.