|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.