We took the shuttle bus from Jamsil at 9:40 am. The bus is easy to book, I think you just ring a number on the Nami Island website, transfer the money and they send you an email receipt, which you give to the bus driver and he gives you your bus and ferry tickets. Our bus driver was worried because we didn’t have return tickets, but we explained that we weren’t coming back on the shuttle. The bus journey was really quick. I’m sure it only took about an hour. Once we arrived at the ferry terminal, we headed straight to the coffee shop to get our caffeine fixes and have a good natter.
We finally managed to drag ourselves away from the cafe, and we got on the ferry to head across to the island. The journey was really quick and only took about ten minutes. For the more adventurous, you can zipline across to the island. I think it is pretty expensive to do though, but it’s one way of making an entrance!
The first thing we looked at one the island was the tomb of General Nami, who the island is named after. General Nami was falsely accused of treason during King Sejo’s reign during the Joseon Dynasty and was executed. Later his remains were brought to Nami Island. His tomb is set back, so you can’t get close to it, but there is a stone with a poem he wrote inscribed on it, the poem is written in both Korean and English.
Nami Island is a quirky, little island. It’s a very green and environmentally conscious, all wires are buried under the ground. It a peaceful albeit busy place, full of day trippers from Seoul. I was surprised by the amount of foreign visitors there were, as it doesn’t really feature on the English teachers’ radar. But there were lots of Chinese and Filipino visitors.
We meandered around the island. We saw a music museum, but didn’t enter. They had a funky guitar mural inlaid on the ground by the entrance. We also saw the ostriches and the warning signs about them. Some of the others, who’d been last year, said that the ostriches looked to be in a better condition than they had been. I have to say they do look pretty menacing as they are heading towards yo, and because the zoom is buggered on my camera, I had to let them get quite close. Luckily. they din’t go mental and try to peck us.
We walked around for an hour and a half maybe two hours looking at different things. The island is a mismatch of different things, but not in a bad way, it all kind of works. There were some thatched huts, with a non-pc English translation. We had a good chuckle at that. Also they are big into recycling and there were pieces of art made from old soju bottles, beer and fizzy drinks cans.
We were all starving by this point, so we decided to get some lunch. We went to a galbi place and feasted on samgyeopsal (pork belly) and all the sides of kimchi, rice, dwenjang jjigae, and some veggies. The food was really good, and we all enjoyed it. Then we headed to the ice cream stand for coffee and ice cream for dessert. After lunch we continued our walk around the island. The lasses said there seemed to be more restaurants than there was last year, an Italian place seemed to have just opened up.
We walked up to the hotel on the island and had a neb around the reception area. It looked fairly posh. Maybe one day… There are also some cabins on the island that you can stay in. We had a good nose around them. They looked really nice, right by the water’s edge. We decided that we would come back and rent one in the future, as they weren’t too expensive. Something else added to our huge on-going list of weekend plans.
After looking at the cabins, we reached the end of the island. The island is pretty compact, but we were in no rush so it probably took us longer than most to get around it. We walked back along the path by the water. It’s a shame the day was overcast and hazy, was it a pollution haze? Probably, it’s been pretty smoggy recently. I want to come back when the weather is nicer. We walked along the path and saw a cafe, so we headed in to have a drink. I had a smoothie that nice, but a bit too sweet as it was made with mango syrup, not actual mango.
Time was getting on and it was getting a bit cold, so we headed back to the ferry. There was a huge chuck of ice, still, by the ferry terminal. Winter hasn’t quite left let. From the ferry we took a taxi down to Gapyeong station, it wasn’t too far. Well too far to walk, but cheap enough in a taxi.