Among all the places I have been, I can say that United Kingdom and South Korea both earned a place in my heart. Let’s talk about South Korea, more particularly my trip to Nami Island (located in Chuncheon).
Okay, so brief history: When I was in third year high school, I fell in love with the Korean drama entitled Winter Sonata. I’m not actually sure what I really liked about it, to the point that even seven years after, I made it a point to visit the place where the series was filmed. Perhaps it’s the setting, the actor (I love Bae Yong Jun!), or maybe the plot itself? I don’t really know. I guess all three were contributing factors.
So anyway, I was so happy when I found out that we could actually avail of the Nami Island Tour during our stay in South Korea. Click here for the link.
Here’s the deal, you have to send an e-mail Nami Island Seoul Center (firstname.lastname@example.org) ahead of time to reserve seats on the tour bus. They will send you a confirmation via e-mail, together with the total price, map, and instructions. It already includes roundtrip bus and ferry fares, as well as the entrance fee to the island. When we went there last November, we paid KRW21,000/pax which isn’t bad. In Philippine peso, it costs approximately around Php840 only.
By the way, you have to claim your tickets at least two days before your scheduled tour, or else your reservation will be forfeited. First thing we did upon check-in at our hostel was to look for the Nami Island Seoul Center to claim our tickets. Fortunately, the place was just within walking distance from our place. It doesn’t mean that it was easy to find though.
If you see this sign, then you’re at the right place.
It takes about 1-2 hours travel time from Seoul to Chuncheon, so better empty your bladder before you ride the tour bus. If you’re going during winter time, like what we did, make sure you are covered from head to toe (including your face). It was freezing cold when we went there, and the heavy rain did not help at all. Watch out for the chilly gusts of wind!
Taken inside the tour bus, with my two good friends (and travel companions).
Already covered from head to toe, and equipped with an umbrella…but it still wasn’t enough. It’s up to you on how you would shield yourself from the cold.
Once you arrive at the island, you are free to roam around and explore. First thing we did was take pictures (of course!) and look for a place to eat. We settled for a small restaurant that serves noodles and rice cakes. It was very, very, very relieving to finally find a place that is warm enough. However, while it is true that the cold didn’t reach us, something else did…
Ostriches are on the loose in Nami Island. Don’t worry, they’re harmless.
There are also squirrels running around, but this ostrich was quite an attention seeker. It knocked on the door and we were stuck inside for a long time just because we were scared it would hurt us. It didn’t.
Souvenir shops and museums can also be found in the island. We entered almost all establishments in exchange for a few minutes of warmth.
Another famous landmark in Nami Island is the statue of the two main characters in Winter Sonata. Of course I wouldn’t leave the island without exploiting the statue.
Me, my love Bae Yong Jun, and the bystander Choi Ji Woo
For me, the main event however, is the snow. Coming from a tropical country, my friends and I haven’t experienced snow yet. We witnessed snow fall when we were inside the bus, on our way to the ferry dock. There weren’t a lot, not enough to cover the road, or even cover our bus. All throughout the tour, it only rained, no precipitation at all. It was disappointing at first, until we saw the snowcapped mountains.
I dragged one of my friends for a photoshoot near the water, when I saw it. I must have looked crazy, jumping around. But who could blame me? The view was wonderful.
That’s not me in the picture. It’s a statue, fyi.
I promise, I would go back someday, when the island is already covered with snow. I have no idea how I would survive the cold, but still, I shall return.