Seoul Searching 101: Nami Island

On our third day in South Korea, the weather for the day wasn’t actually in our favor; and as much as I love the rain (especially to walk along with it is one of my favorite things to do back home), I wasn’t just up for it. For when you’re in an exploring adventure and you’re in that kind of weather, of course, it’s really going to be a bit difficult to go on sightseeing.

The first thing that we did on that day was to rise up early, so that we could have an early head start on our journey to Nami Island. Moreover, we also wanted to be earlier than those couple who we’re going to guide us there. And while we were having our breakfast at the lobby at around 6am. I did noticed that it’s still quite dark outside. I guess I’m quite used to it back home in the Philippines to see the light of the day at around 6am.

Well I must say, even if it was raining and the weather just keeps on getting colder than ever. But it still didn’t stop me from getting way too excited. I mean, talk about having the opportunity to visit one of the famous shooting locations of this awesome Korean drama entitled Winter Sonata. Of course, I was totally giddy and all!

For our journey on the way to Nami Island, the wife has said that the fastest way to get there is to ride the K-Rail/KTX at the Seoul Train Station. So we rode the subway from Myeong dong to Seoul Train Station. And from the moment that we’ve arrived there, I was in total shock! Why? Because I still can’t believe that I’m actually seeing right before my very eyes the famous SEOUL TRAIN STATION! I mean, it’s just a building that I only get to see in the series. So to stand and actually see it in person feels like a defining moment for me. And for that I was totally grateful for that wonderful experience.

By the time that we’ve arrived at the Seoul Train Station, we’ve purchased our tickets (which cost for about 4,800 won per head) that would take us all to Yongsan, and from Yongsan – that’s where we took the KTX for Gapyeong. It was a one hour journey, and along the way I was totally amazed that such a train contains for about 3 floors! Plus, it’s very fast. But even if that were the case, it was a smooth journey.

Moreover, I really enjoyed my time watching such views outside. So while the rest of us in our group we’re doing their own thing like using the free WiFi on board, taking pictures, taking a rest, playing games with their phones and etc. As for me, I took out my phone and headphone, then played some music from my playlist while absorbing everything that I’ am seeing. Again, it was truly a very defining moment for me, and it was also an experience that I can never truly explain.

Then after an hour journey on the rail road, we have officially arrived at Gapyeong! And from the moment that we’ve stepped foot outside the train, it was one of the coldest weather that we’ve truly experienced. I mean, it was so much colder than in Seoul, and it’s still raining. Which is something that we’ve truly did not prepare ourselves for.

As I’ve written earlier, the weather was totally not in our favor. But since we’re already there, we might as well go for it. So we went outside of the Gapyeong Train Station so that we could find a ride going to the Ferry Station that would take us to the famous Nami Island.

We took a taxi instead of the bus on our way. And it was such a perfect timing, for by the time that we’ve arrived there. The ferry was still waiting for some passengers. By the way, the cost for the ferry ride back and forth is 8,000 won per head.

While inside the ferry, I was totally amazed of all those people around me. For I have never had that experience of going on a journey with tons of people with such different nationalities. And most of the passengers were totally from the different countries of Asia. So while we were already on our way to the Island, I was fascinated with all the different languages that I’ve been hearing around me.

So we’ve officially set foot into the famous Nami Island! And that would also mean, that we had to say goodbye to the couple who’ve been our guide on our journey. At that moment, I knew that it’s either we may never get to see them again, or if fate would have it. We might be able to see them back in the Philippines. But who knows. We took some group pictures, and I’ve also asked for their number. Plus, at the very last minute before saying our goodbyes, the husband just told us that his wife is a lawyer! Wow! Well that explains why she speaks in a smart and confident manner. I may never know where they are right now, but I always be forever grateful for them for being so kind to us, and for being part of our journey. And if there was one advice that was given to me by the wife was that when it comes to traveling “JUST GO WITH THE FLOW.”

After going on our separate ways, we were at the first part of exploring the Island. Well, if there’s one word to describe the place, I think it would be “Enchanting”. Even in such a cold and rainy weather, it seems like it’s the kind of place that really pulls you within. Something that I myself couldn’t truly explain. Unless you’re exactly in that moment of just standing between those tall trees and just absorbing everything around you. Just simply amazing.

As your any typical traveler, we took our time exploring and taking pictures of the Island. But let me tell you this, we had a huge struggle! It’s because as time passes by, it seems that the weather just keeps on getting colder and colder than ever. Plus, the rain had made it worst. So while we were walking, we had to stop from one bonfire onto the next so that it could keep us warm. But we’ve also reached that point that we just couldn’t take it anymore. So we had to go inside a restaurant in order for us to rest and eat since it was almost lunch time. And we were totally relieved that they had a heater inside! Oh that heavenly feeling of being warmed again!

Inside the restaurant, we took our time warming ourselves from the cold, choosing such different varieties of food to order for our lunch, and of course! Updating our Facebook accounts! We were there for about an hour. The place is quite nice, for there’s a mini library at the other side of it. However, I actually did noticed that in South Korea, whenever a waiter would actually take your order, he/she would also place it right away in your table the total bill of your orders. And as their customer, it is you who should go to the cashier to pay the bill; which is quite different from what we’re used to in the Philippines.

Before I forgot, I had a weird experience inside that restaurant. What happened was that, after taking our lunch, I went back to the heater to keep me warmed again. Then suddenly, there was this girl who works at the restaurant (who is totally pretty), and she approached me. She was asking from what country I was, so I told her that I’m from the Philippines. At that moment, I thought she was actually the one who was curious, and I was surprised for she went to her friend and told him something about our mini conversation. And both of them went back to me and we’re already asking me some questions which I was happy oblige.

After an hour at the restaurant, we were back once again to continue the last part of our exploring (which was also the very main purpose as to why we have to visit Nami Island); and that is to see the exact shooting location of the famous Bicycle scene in the Winter Sonata TV Series. So our first stop was a Souvenir Shop that sells a lot of memorabilia items from the said series. And also inside the shop is a free wall in where you can write anything you want into it.

Then we’ve finally arrived at the land of Winter Sonata! So even if it was such a rainy day, the place totally looks so beautiful. And for one moment, I just couldn’t contain myself from such happiness that I’m feeling. I know it’s been more than a decade since that famous Korean Drama have been aired in Asia, but to have the chance to actually set foot and to have the actual experience. It is definitely a dream come true.

While we still hav the time before we set off to our next destination, we took our time taking pictures of the area. And after that, we’ve decided to go back to the ferry so that we could go on to our next destination which was the Petite France.

So even if it was a total struggle in our part, but over-all, it was totally fun. And hopefully, when I go back to visit Nami Island, it is definitely going to be in the season of autumn.

That’s it for now and to be continued.

Thank you so much for reading! 🙂

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