My sister-in-law recommended we visit Nami Island via public transport from Seoul (over 1.5 hours to 2 hours or more to travel). As we had two teenagers travelling with us, we decided to take the easy route by booking a day tour instead (around £50 each person, along with these two other locations: Gangchon Rail Bike and Italian Village & Petite France). Therefore, we didn’t need to look out for trains, platforms, exits and walking in the hot sun!
Nami Island was named after General Nami, a notable figure who fought in many battles. His body is believed to be buried in a pile of stones on the northern hill of Nami Island.
It is a half-moon-shaped island in the middle of the North Han River, located in Chuncheon, Gangwon Province, with breathtaking scenery. It has an area of 460,000m2 and a circumference of 5km. The place is formed with pebbles and sand, but no mountains. It’s lined with forests of pine trees, ginkgo trees, redwood giants and more, making it an Instagrammable hotspot!
They also have a number of shops, restaurants and activities to do dotted all over the island. There are countless types of birds, ostriches, rabbits, squirrels and ducks that flourish in these grassy gardens. This place was a filming location for the famous K-drama: Winter Sonata 2002.
There are three ways of getting yourself across from Gapyeong Wharf to the island: ferry, skyline zip-wire or motorboat.
As we bought the tickets (prices start from 10,000 to 69,000 KRW) through our tour group, we had an easier way to go across the island by ferry. Our entrance tickets also included a ferry ride. The first ferry starts at 8am and runs until 9pm.
If you are travelling there ‘free and easy’, then you should try out the zip-wire (49,900 KRW including entrance fee). Although I could hear people screaming when they zipped across, it does look exhilarating! Note though that it’s only one-way, from the 80 metre high tower to the island and operations may cease without prior notice due to bad weather.
As for the motorboat, the fee (10,000krw – 12,000krw) does not include the entrance fee to the island. But you can do one of the island round tour packages (entrance fee not included): Nami Island Round Tour (40,000krw per boat – seats up to 5 people), Jara Island Round Tour (60,000krw per boat – seats up to 5 people) or Nami Island + Jara Island (80,000krw per boat – seats up to 5 people).
If you like water sports, then try out their latest Flyfish (25,000krw each – 2 persons) where you are strapped onto a big blow-up mat and flown across the river.
After our Korean BBQ chicken lunch, we walked across the road into Gapyeong Wharf to take a ferry. We didn’t have to wait for long (roughly 10-20 minutes during peak hours, every 30 minutes during off-peak hours) to board the ferry.
Then it was free time to do as you please. As this place is a popular tourist area plus the fact that it was the Summer holiday, it was packed with a lot of people. Trying to get a photo without any tourists in-shot was nearly impossible. Luckily, our phone has an app where you can just delete people from your photo.
It was an extremely hot day and we were walking around mid-afternoon as well. It was a struggle to walk. We managed a few good spots for photos and had to leave our daughter in the air con cafe to rest. In one of the areas near the cafe, they have a row of cold mist sprinklers and resting areas to rest and cool off too.
These are some of the photos we took while we were there. Also, we had to take a photo with the poster of Winter Sonata. We only had 1.5 hours there (on a very tight tour schedule) before we took a ferry back and continued our journey to Italian Village and Petite France. There are many more places to explore but we didn’t manage to check it out. You need a full day to explore this place to do it justice! So do plan a whole day there if you are visiting!