South Korea in the Perspective of a Filipino Expatriate

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Tips for a Convenient Trip to Nami Island (남이섬)

Entrance to the Naminara Republic

Nami Island(남이섬) is one of the most visited places in South Korea. All my friends who are planning to travel to Korea will always ask about Nami Island. They asked how to go Nami Island or if there are travel agencies who can help them go to the place. I guess this place is really special for Korea and for the tourists because this is always present in the itinerary. Nami Island or also known as Naminara Republic is an imaginary country. It also has its own passport, stamp, currency and visa.

Nami Island at Fall


If you have watched the Korean drama “Winter Sonata”, you are probably familiar with Nami Island. Yes, this is the shooting place of that particular drama. However, the island is not only famous because of that, there are a lot of things that Nami could offer to people aside from it being the primary shooting location of a famous show. The beautiful tree lanes and the breathtaking view in the island are something to look forward to. To maximize your time and to enjoy your relaxing moment, here are my tips for those who want to go to Nami Island.

1. Know the most convenient direction to go to Nami Island

Just as there are hundreds of ways to cook a fish, there are a lot of road directions in going to Nami Island. If you are going to take public transportation, you can either take the subway or a bus but for your convenience, I would suggest to take the Subway. Why? Because it is much cheaper and you have the freedom to control your own time. There is actually a shuttle bus that would take you from Seoul to Nami Island but it is expensive compared to taking the subway and you should pay a round trip ticket, that means you need to leave Nami Island at a specified time so that the shuttle bus can take you back to Seoul. When you take subway, you can just go there at any time and you can also leave any time you want.

To go to Nami island via the subway station, get off at Gapyeong Station, it’s in Kyungchun line. The route is based on where you are from, I suggest you download the Metroid App, you can input the departure and the arrival stations and it will give you suggestion on how to go to that area. For your perusal, the subway map below highlights the location of Gapyeong station (see the red arrow on the right most part). Once you arrived at Gapyeong Station, Nami Island is just 20 minutes away if you will walk. You can also take a bus from the station, ask around where to get a bus ride to Nami Island. You can also take taxi but I don’t recommend because it’s too expensive compared to bus.



I also suggest another route which is also convenient at the same time practical. If you have ample time, you can take the shuttle bus from Cheongpyeong station, it is two stations before Gapyeong Station, please check the subway map above. Why this? Because the shuttle bus, which costs 5,000 won, will drop you off at the Petite France, another tourist attraction in Korea, which is just few kilometers away from the Island. So before you go to Nami, you can have the chance to see what’s inside Petite France. But there’s an entrance fee of 8,000 won, so if you are not interested, take my first suggestion for the direction then.

If you have your own car, use the navigation and search for this address:
Gyeonggi-do, Gapyeong-gun, Gapyeong-eup, Daljeon-ri 144-1

2. Buy  tickets first before lining up to the ferry ride

Don’t make the same mistake we did when we visited Nami Island. In order to go the island, a Ferry will be waiting for the passengers. This will take you there, but there’s a long line (depending on the season, usually there are a lot during autumn and spring) before you can get into a ferry. So you need to wait for your turn. It may sound stupid, but we lined up without a ticket. Good thing the ahjussi in charged allowed us to get out of the line first to buy our tickets and did not require us to line up again.

In the entrance area, look for a place where you can see the “VISA” booth. The tickets are called Visa in Nami Island. It costs 10,000 won for adults, 8,000 won for youth, olds and foreigners and 4,000 won for kids.

Again, secure your tickets first, go to the VISA booth before you line up for the ferry ride to Nami Island.

3. Rent a bike

Bike ride in Nami Island

Nami Island in the form of a half moon measures 462,809 miles. While it is good to walk around the island, I suggest to rent a bike. This is more convenient than walking plus you can even roam around the whole area especially if you have limited time. You can rent a single bike, couple bike and even family bike.

What if you have baby? You can also rent a stroller for only 4,000 won.

4. Rent a locker space

If you have bags or you brought things with you which is unnecessary for this trip, there are locker space where you can rent for only 1,000 to 1,500 won. I suggest you leave things there so you can freely walk or bike in the whole area. The lockers are located just in the entrance area so people could easily see it.

5. Bring some cash for food and rental fees

Nami Island has a variety of coffee shops and restaurants. You may find yourself hungry along the way, so cash would come in handy to buy you some ice cream or maybe coffee or if you want to dine-in in some restaurants in the island.

Last phase of autumn in Nami Island


Most of all, go to Nami Island with just one thing in mind, to have fun! It’s a place that will give you a chance to commune with nature and appreciate the beauty of the world. Naminara Republic has gained its cultural independence already. You can think you have visited another country, another world and another life in this island. It’s a place created for you to enjoy and to relax. So have fun.

44 comments:

  1. The subway map brought back good memories of Japan. I bookmarked your post for future reference. I'll make sure I visit Nami Island when I go to Korea. I will love the nature views.

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    1. I appreciate it Russ. And, don't forget to let me know when you come here. Let me know how I can help you with your itinerary. :)

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  2. Wow Nami Island looks amazing! I'd love to visit here, it looks so beautiful with all the different coloured leaves. Renting a bike and discovering this place would be a dream. Thank you for the tips, I want to visit :)

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  3. These are some great tips! It looks like such a beautiful place to explore!

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  4. It's so beautiful there. Hopefully, I'll have a chance to use these trips one day. Thanks!

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  5. Thanks for the tips. They will come in handy if I am ever able to travel here.

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  6. I would love to travel to South Korea. Thanks for these tips! I'll keep these in mind when I find myself out there :)

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  7. Not sure if I'll ever make it that way, but it sounds beautiful. Thanks for the tips.

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  8. This sounds like some really great tips, thanks for sharing. I'd love to go on that ferry ride.

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  9. This sounds like a great place to visit. I think I would get lost the subway map looks confusing.

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  10. I had never heard of Nami Island before, it sounds like an awesome place to visit. Thanks for the tips.

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  11. I think this would be a great place for my family and I to visit. Thanks for all these great tips!

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  12. That subway system looks kinda confusing hey! Love the red leaves in that last pic :)

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  13. Sounds amazing! What beautiful photo's, love the different color leaves.

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  14. Omg looks like such a fabulous place to visit!!!!

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  15. How wonderful that you can take the subway, it looks so well organized! I love the nature views and especially the last pic with red leaves is so beautiful!

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  16. I'd like to go biking here. The views are just scenic in Nami island.

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  17. I've never thought of visiting South Korea but Nami Island sounds lovely! You pointed out a lot of great tips for visiting and exploring!

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  18. Wow this place is beautiful :) thanks for sharing!!

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  19. It looks like a great place. I love learning about new places like this!

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  20. Looks like you had a great trip. It looks like a beautiful place to visit and I would love to go there someday!

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  21. Looks so pretty there!!! I have never heard of this place before. I would love to vista. Maybe one day! =D

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  22. Nami Island looks so beautiful, I'd love to go one day!

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  23. Looks like a nice "hideaway" and great relaxation spot. When is the best season to go there?

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  24. This looks like an amazing place to visit. I would love to go exploring here.

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  25. beautiful - I would want to visit too! One day, Oneday! haha!

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  26. The leaves in that last pictures were beautiful! What a pretty place to visit!

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  27. That last photo is beautiful! I would love to travel here one day.

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  28. Definitely need tips for a trip like this! Thanks for sharing.

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  29. The scenery there is lovely. Thanks for the tips. I know who to read before I travel!

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  30. Great tips. Your photos look really nice. Thanks for sharing these tips.

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  31. The image of the changing colors of the trees is very pretty. If I ever visited Nami Island, I would want to experience it while bike riding - I love bike-riding through nature.

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  32. I've actually never heard of this place before. Learned something new today. Great post for people who plan to visit. :)

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  33. Going to Korea is really a dream of mine! Cant wait to fulfill it. thanks for sharing this

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  35. Thank you for the tips! I love it. I will be going there this April 2015! I am so excited!

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  36. Hi,

    Just read your very helpful blog of Seoul trip.
    I am planning to visit Seoul around Feb 2016.
    Would the weather still unbearably cold?

    I only got 5days to explore Korea and since I could't find cheap flight ticket to Jeju, I think just skip it. Or shouldn't I? Is it really worth my time since I have limited time and tight budget :(

    Could you please share your itinerary? It would be a massive help for me :D
    My e-mail address is d_octalia@yahoo.com.

    Thanks loads..

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    1. hello,

      yes, weather is still cold on February. In fact, it's colder than December because weather is colder when the snow melts because of the wind. You can ear thick jacket to protect you.

      5 days and tight budget? Scratch out Jeju. When you go to Jeju, you have to stay there for at least 3 days to enjoy the place.

      I suggest you go to places in Seoul. There are a lot of interesting places just within the Seoul though. Checkout these places:

      Bukchon Hanok Village:

      http://www.saranghaekorea.com/2015/02/of-sanggojae-and-bukchon-hanok-village.html

      Gyeongbokgung Palace:

      http://www.saranghaekorea.com/2015/01/hanbok-tour-at-gyeongbokgung-palace.html

      Here's a mini itinerary that you can follow, good for half day or one day tour:

      http://www.saranghaekorea.com/2014/08/tour-some-places-in-seoul-in-one-day.html

      Myeongdong:

      http://www.saranghaekorea.com/2014/02/8-must-try-korean-street-foods-in.html

      Namsan Tower:

      http://www.saranghaekorea.com/2013/09/6-fun-acitivities-you-can-enjoy-at.html

      and of course, Nami Island.

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  37. Great post! I'm heading there in October 2016 and was wondering how the shuttle bus to Petit France works? Can I plan to leave Seoul early in the morning and will that give me enough time for both places?

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    1. Hi, that's possible. very much possible. check out this itinerary i made for Gapyeong


      http://www.saranghaekorea.com/2015/09/itinerary-for-gapyeong-city-day-tour.html

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  38. hi,i google map Gapyeong to Nami Island and it says 33 minutes while in this post you mentioned you can just take a walk from the station to the wharf in just 20mins. i'm a bit confused. hope you can clarify this :) Btw, your blog is really helping me plan our itinerary. thanks heaps ahead.

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    1. Hello. Thanks for that. I don't know what's wrong with Google map but i can guarantee that it would not take that long to walk from gapyeong station to nami island. Maybe if you walk slowly, it would obviously take time. If you will take a taxi, it will take around 5 minutes travel time.

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