The Island of Winter Sonata – Nami Island (남이섬)

The Island of Winter Sonata - Nami Island feature photo

If you’re an avid fan of Korean Dramas, then you would have heard of the hugely popular TV drama, Winter Sonata (Gyeoul Yeonga) which was first released in Korea in 2002. Nami Island is the location of where many of the scenes were shot and fans from all over the world visit it every year to have a glimpse of it.

Most fans fell in love with the winter scenes but I feel that autumn would be the loveliest time to visit because of the beautiful poplar tree lined roads and chestnut trees. And with a burst of different autumn colours, you’re bound to capture incredible photographs. Nami Island is about 63km away from Seoul in the direction of Chuncheon, which might take you about an hour and a half to two hours of travel time.

I happened to travel during the summer and it can be quite crowded because the island is seen as a summer holiday destination for families. Visitors can rent bicycles around the island or enjoy boating around the island and various water-sports during the summer.

IMG_0019 The snowmen you see at the entrance are just adorable. Look at the one with green heart-shaped eyes, the one with the giant smile, the one with the smug smirk, or that one with the “It wasn’t me” look. Super cute. It really tempted me to steal one, but of course, I didn’t.

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The other snowman just reminded me of PSY. Gangnam Style is just too viral.

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And just look at that snowman cake it’s holding! Adorable! I didn’t get a chance to try though but I did see quite a lot of people eating it. These snowmen are in front of the Nami Island Snow Cafe, and you can purchase the snowman cake and cooling ice flake sundaes from there.

I guess the snowmen are sort of a mascot for the drama because of the famous snowman and snowwoman kissing scene in Winter Sonata, so you will see several of them around the island and mini snowman trinkets in souvenir shops on the island.

IMG_4853Look at the faces of the snowmen greeting visitors. The sun must have been too harsh.  –_–

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To get to the island, you would have to get on the ferry or if you’re adventurous enough, you can get on the NAMISEON Zip Wire which will take you across the waters in no time. You would need to pay a little extra for the zip wire though.

Nami Island Entrance Fees

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As I was about to get off the ferry, I spotted this warning sign about wild ostriches. Yes, you read that right. Ostriches. Why are there ostriches on an island in South Korea? I have absolutely no idea.

Apparently there is supposed to be a field of ostriches, but I guess I missed it along the way. I read online that the ostriches are only allowed to roam the fields if there aren’t too many visitors and you can try and race them when you ride your bicycle along the edge of the field. I’m guessing there’s a fence. There has to be one right? Can you imagine getting harassed by ostriches? Even if you’re on a bicycle, you had better have powerful legs to try and get away from one.

IMG_4771Nami Island looks like a leaf or half a moon, as you can see on the map. If you’re just walking straight through the island on the main path, it would probably take you a good 2-3 hours to have a good look.

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IMG_4777IMG_4778In case you didn’t already know, these two are the main characters in Winter Sonata.

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I almost didn’t notice these. There are teddy bears in the trees. I repeat. There are teddy bears in the trees!

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I’m not really sure why they have this breastfeeding statue.

20140701_122031This is one of the main attractions for Winter Sonata fans. A poster shot of the couple from the K-drama. There was a line of people waiting to snap a photo with it. The funny, or sad, thing is that most of the girls would sit in front of the female actress (Choi Ji-woo) and pretend that the actor (Bae Yong-joon) was holding them instead. Poor Ji-woo.

IMG_4791IMG_4804This is another main attraction for Winter Sonata fans. A statue of the couple. This time, people were hugging the statue.

IMG_4798“This sculpture ensures that the memory of ‘Winter Sonata’ will remain on Nami Island forever.”

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What comes next is the Winter Sonata Gallery.

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IMG_4811 editI think that this is the famous kissing snowmen from the drama.

IMG_4818IMG_4819IMG_4822IMG_4823Snowmen again! This time with a cute face and a cheeky smile.

IMG_4824IMG_4827IMG_4829Here’s a little back story of the General that the island was named after.

IMG_4830IMG_483120140701_125600IMG_4835If you look closely at green tree on the right, you would notice that it’s made up of green bottles.

IMG_483620140701_12580020140701_125825IMG_4839Bye snowmen!

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How To Get There
[Taxi + Ferry]
From Gapyeong Bus Terminal or Gapyeong Station, take a taxi to Namiseom parking lot. (Travel time: 10-15 min)
Take the ferry from Namiseom Dock to Namiseom Island. (Travel time: 5-6 min)

[Shuttle Bus] * Bus stops
1) Insa-dong (Jonggak Station (Seoul Subway Line 1), Exit 3): Next to Tapgol Park
2) Namdaemun Gate (Sungnyemum Square Bus Stop in front of Namdaemun Market)
3) Namiseom Island (Parking lot in front of ticket booth)
* Bus schedule (Insa-dong/Namdaemun Gate ↔ Namiseom Island)
– Available days: Mondays-Sundays (* Note: the service is not unavailable on Chuseok).
– Departing time: Insa-dong at 09:30 / Namdaemun Gate 09:30 / Namiseom Island at 16:00
* Fares
Adults 15,000 won (round-trip), 7,500 won (one way) / Children (age 24 months-12) 13,000 won (round trip),
6,500 won (one way)

HOW sign - amanda

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