Nami Island

Being a One Piece fan, I couldn’t help but associate Nami Island with Nami, the strawhat pirates’ navigator.  But it turns out that the island is named after General Nami, a key figure during King Sejo’s reign.

One very interesting fact to note too is that Naminara Republic is said to have its own diplomatic and cultural policies.  The official site says that Naminara Republic has declared its cultural independence from the Republic of Korea.  I can’t honestly wrap my head around it though, but I thought I’d share it since I found the different names confusing (Nami Island, Namiseom, Naminara Republic).

Nami Island has become very popular because Winter Sonata was shot here.  They have spots in the island telling you exactly where some memorable scenes were taken.  Personally, not a fan of Winter Sonata nor of K-drama, so I wasn’t really excited about this one 😐

Anyway, here are some pics of our half-day stay in Nami Island, or at least the parts I liked the most:

 

How to get to Nami Island:

[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)
* Advanced reservation required (inquiries +82-2-753-1247),and more information is found here.

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Gyeongbokgung Palace

It felt like a Hunter exam, the one where Gon, Killua and the rest of the gang tried to keep up with the examiner Satotsu.  Only that we’re in the huuuuuuge Gyeongbokgung Palace Grounds, and the Satotsu in this situation is our tour guide who looks like a retired soldier.  We had to brisk-walk else we’d lose sight of him.

Gyeongbokgung is in the heart of Jongno-gu, a place rich in cultural and historical significance to South Korea.  Of the four palace complexes in Jongno-gu, Gyeonbokgung is not just the largest but is said to be the most beautiful as well.  Here are some of the highlights of our stop:

Operating Hours
November-February 09:00-17:00
March-May 09:00-18:00
June-August 09:00-18:30
September-October 09:00-18:00

* Last admission: 1 hr before closing

Closed on Tuesdays.

Admission Fees
[Korean Citizens]
Adults (ages 25-64): 3,000 won / Groups (10 people or more): 2,400 won

[International Visitors]
Adults (ages 19-64): 3,000 won / Groups (10 people or more): 2,400 won
Children (ages 7-18): 1,500 won / Group (10 people or more): 1,200 won

**Source

Gyeongbokgung is near Gyeongbokgung station on Seoul Subway Line 3.