Nami Island Once Again

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…


  1. Hi,
    Remember me, I’m the big fan of BYJ…
    I really envied that you’re in Korea at napapasyalan mo the places
    like Nami Is. where the “Winter Sonata” TV Drama was shoot.
    Me kaya kailangan kaya makakarating dyan. Really wishing to go there lalo na at si BYJ ang Ambassador of tourism this 2010 – 20012.
    I enjoed looking at the photos.Thanks for sharing..
    Take care…… Leny
    .-= leny´s last blog ..[Photos and Video] Skyperfect TV – 7th of Nov. ’09 =-.

    1. Hi leny! thanks for visiting.. daming fans ni BYJ akong nakilala kahit hindi ako fan (dahil ako ay maka-JDG!)

  2. oh wow.. ang ganda.. i really envy you since gusto ko talaga makapunta ng korea, actually hindi lang sa korea pero isa yan sa dream destinations ko.. 🙂
    i’m only 19 but sometimes i look at cheap tour packages or volunteer abroad programs since gusto ko nga talaga makapunta sa mga lugar.. libre naman mangarap hehe..
    i enjoyed drooling over those photos hehe.. thanks for sharing them.. areej

    1. hi areej! sure libre mangarap! LOL… don’t worry paghusayin mo lang pag-aaral mo at pag propesyonal ka na at kumikita, punta ka rito at iba pang bansa at pagyamanin mo ang iyong karanasan 😉

  3. Your site is really very helpful!
    I was looking on the KORAIL map, trying to locate the train stations you mentioned. Pero hindi ko makita. Could you please help me locate it? I am going to Seoul next week, and Nami Island is a place I’d like to visit.
    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Angel! Cheongnyangni is at the eastern side of central Seoul. You can get there via line 1 and Jungang line (from Yongsan). Gapyeong is on the way to the eastern coast of South Korea.

      1. Thanks so much Betchay! Just a few more questions, do you think we have to spend the entire day for the Nami Island trip? There are so many places to visit, yet so little time! We only have 4 days and we want to make the most out of our vacation. Do you think that if we go to Nami in the morning, we could still go to other places like DMZ?
        Thanks again.

  4. Awww… this is one place i missed when i visited Korea. Ms. Betchay, how long is the travel time from Seoul to Nami Island by train? I’ll definitely go there on my next visit.

    1. hi adreuan! balik ka na bilis… Seoul to Nami is only 1 1/2 hours… tapos taxi is just 10 minutes or less pa 🙂

  5. the ajummas reminded me of a tvdrama titled ‘housewives holiday’ on youtube who went on vacation without telling their families they are not the ones or are they? they so happy to have escape it all.

  6. the ajummas reminded me of a tvdrama titled ‘housewives holiday’ on youtube who went on vacation without telling their families they are not the ones or are they? they were so happy to have escape it all.

    1. I haven’t seen that… but these ajummas really had fun. After the Nami trip, we went to Dongdaemun to shop for souvenirs. I left them at 11PM. They left Dongdaemun at 1AM!

  7. wow…..i really like these pictures…
    I love to visit korea especially jeju island….
    kailangan ko pa ba ng tourist visa dun?
    i just wanna see that island.
    please email me.
    can i print some of your pictures here?

  8. Hi,
    Good photos and pleased to see ajummas’ running like a child ^^
    But the signature in the middle of the photos is not Bae’s sign but Mr. Yoon SeokHo, the PD of the drama. ^^

  9. Hai Ana, really nice pictures! Hope can go to Korea someday ^_^ btw, which one is you on those pictures?

  10. hello! where do i take the train and how long’s the travel time? i’m going to Seoul on Dec 17 and wondering if it’s gonna by snowy in Nami island by then…so i can take nice shots mala-“winter sonata”! 🙂
    i just want to take pictures and that’s it..can i possibly tour half a day including travel time to and from Seoul?
    thanks a lot! 🙂

    1. hi mm! go to Cheongnyangni station (subway line 1 – blue)… take exit 4 and you’ll find the train station to your right… buy a ticket to Gapyeong… it takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes… it just takes about 3 hours to tour the whole island… you can spend just half a day including the travel time to and from Seoul…

  11. Hello,
    im visitng Nami on 04Jan2010.
    Not sure if u knew regarding the tour bus that departs from Seoul Insa-dong (Seoul) to Nami Island. As per their website, only 9.30am bus. Is there no other timing?
    Do you know how long it takes to travel from Seoul to Nami?
    Half day is enough for Nami Island?

    1. Hi Betchay,
      Thanks for having us featured here. . . Glad to see how your readers commented on the pix. We really enjoyed our visit there (thanks to you!) Hope to see Korea again on a winter.
      Nenet, Elena, Lina & Angie 🙂
      “the 4 ahjummas”

      1. hi ate angela! it was great meeting you… pagbalik ninyo don’t hesitate to call me…

  12. hi ms.betchay,
    i was so excited upon seeing those pics,me and my friends are planning to go in Korea in 2011 ha.ha. ang tagal pa noh,anyways can you help us visit nami isalng like what you did to those ajummas?this is exciting looking forward to see the beauty of Korea..sna mapprove visa nmin…thanks a lot….anyways when is the best time to go to Korea?

  13. Hi again, Ms.Betchay!!! Nami wasn’t on our “to-go-to-list” while planning our July visit to Seoul itinerary…but seeing how much FUN you & your 4 “ahjumma” friends had, we’d surely add that to our agenda!!!
    Our scheduled visit is from July 2-16, & we (4 “ahjummas”too!!)would love to meet you sana in person!!! that is if you’re not that busy!!! So that we could get your recommendations…you see, we’ve planning this trip for over 6 months already & your blog has had us even more excited!!!
    We’re all psyched up to make GREAT, unforgettable memories on our trip of a lifetime(cuz we’re all 1st time travellers!!!) & would love to get to meet you & other fellow Pinays, when we go there!!!
    Hope you can meet up with us,too!!! Thanks for your helpful tips…your blogs are GREAT!!!

  14. Ms. Betchay! I finally got a chance to visit Nami Island! Ang ganda-ganda nya…very peaceful and relaxing. I recommend tourists, esp. LOVERS to visit this place.

  15. hi po ms betchay,ano po bng magandang buwan mag apply ng visa kc po na na denied po ako eh,ano po bng mganda ko gawin?kompleto nman po ako sa mga papers na kylangan nila po sna po matulungan mo ko sa tanung ko salamat po

    1. hi richmond… six months after ka huling nag-apply… depende kasi sa reason mo yung application mo… kung magtu-tour ka just write in your application na magtu-tour ka dahil naging interesado ka sa south korea sa kakapanood ng drama nila… pero wag ka mag-aaply ng 59 days kung magtu-tour ka lang…

  16. Hi! I’m interested to visit Nami Island. I am living in Seoul. When you bought your Naminara Ticket with the 4 ahjummas, was the ferry ticket included? or do you buy it from the same ticket booth?
    Which is better transportation to Nami Island, train or shuttle bus? Where to take the shuttle bus? Thanks a lot.

    1. Hi Lilian! The ferry ride is included with the admission ticket to Nami. As for the transportation, it’s easier to take the bus as it goes straight to Nami terminal but like what I said in another comment, the train ride is an experience in itself. The shuttle bus is located is parked at the side of Tapgol Park. Naminara Republic has an office in Insadong where you can make your reservation for the shuttle bus.

  17. Hi, Dear Betchay,
    We will be 2 couples from Malaysia to Korea on 23 March 2011. If u dun mind, could you pls be our tour guide for 1-2 days to this destination. We are so worry of getting lost as we heard most of Korean not so fluent in English or mandarin or chinese?
    Can you?

    1. Hi Ivy! I’d love to tour you but I have work on those days. Don’t worry though. The Koreans are helpful especially to tourists. You’ll find someone who can speak to you in English. Most can also read Chinese characters. Just plan everything ahead of time.

  18. hi betchay are u a tour guide there? can i have your contact number and email so that in case we will be needing a guide i can contact you..thank you ill be in korea april 2-8

  19. Hi betchay, my friends and i are planning on a trip to korea this May 2011, part of our iti is nami island and petite france.. i hope you can give me some tips on how to go to those places using public transportation. Hope you’ll have time to reply back and discuss, Thanks and Good Evening!

  20. Hi, Betchay,
    My friends and I are planning to visit Korea sometime in November. I wonder if you are will be willing to be our tour guide. Since we are all Filipinos, we feel that somebody like you, a Filipino, can make the trip more interesting and pleasant. Please contact me.

  21. wah, really looks like fun! Would it be too cold in November, I wonder? I look fwd to autum, falling leaves…it’s been a while.:)
    Maybe if you are free, we can meet up and go together? But if you are not, I understand…the info you posted here are already helpful. We havent buy tickets yet, but likely on Oct-Nov 2011.
    Malaysian couple, who loves meeting new friend 🙂

  22. Hi Betchay! My friends and I are going to Korea this coming Nov. 7-12… i hope you have 1 day available to accompany us at Nami Island. Pls email me… Thanks! – Irene

    1. Sure! It isn’t difficult to go there though. You won’t get lost and the people are generally helpful, especially to tourists who look lost.

  23. Hi Betchay,
    I have been enjoying your blog for the past month in preparation for our family’s intended tour May 2- 6. I would like to ask your help though, if you can help us tour Nami Island on May 4? If you are not available, please , please , help us how to get there. We are staying at Zaza Backpackers in Seoul. Your kind help will be greatly appreciated.

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