Korea trip – day 3

Posted on: May 24, 2011

So, day 3 began by waking up very early in the morning at 5 am! We had to meet with the tour group from Indonesia who was scheduled to land at 8.30 am. Since the trip from Myeongdong back to Incheon Airport was about 1.5 hours, we had to catch the 6 am bus. We bought some breads and milk the night before for the breakfast, so I wouldn’t get cranky hahhaa… Hey, to make me happy, just feed my stomach 😛

We arrived at Incheon Airport at about 8 am. We then had to wait for an hour to meet with the rest of the group since the immigration took quite some time. Once we met with the group, we got to the tour bus to begin our next journey 🙂

The first stop was Nami Island (Namiseom). Nami Island got its name from General Nami, one of the bravest soldiers in Korean history who died at a very young age of 28 years old. His tomb can be found in the island. Nami Island got famous because of Korean drama called Winter Sonata that was pretty popular in 2002. Some romantic & memorable scenes were shot here, so that’s why many young couples in love go to Nami Island for a date or picnic. When we went there, a lot of families also had a picnic in the park.

General Nami’s tomb

In order to get to the island, you have to take 5 minutes ferry ride. From the sign, the entry ticket & ferry ride were about 10000 won (since I was in a tour group, the tour leader took care all the ticketing & I just had to follow her… Hassle free! YAY!). One thing that was pretty confusing was that the sign said that Nami Island is a Republic and you need a visa to enter. However, it seems just another term for entry ticket and ferry ride fees. So, don’t get tricked by it. I’m sure you don’t need a ‘special’ visa to get to the island. Another way to get to the island (only IF you are adventurous enough) is by Ziptrek! And it’s gonna be a long trip to the island :S

Nami Island map


Nami Island operational hour & ticket fee


Many tour buses; vending machine; the ZIPTREK!


The entry gate to ferry; cute ferry; SUPER CUTE Korean toddler…. !!!

The ferry was pretty big. You can stay inside or stand around the fence. We chose to stand outside – as usual, for taking pictures 😛 – although it was a bit windy. Once we got off the ferry, we could see the uniqueness of the Nami Island. It seemed like everything was made from recycle materials and fallen tree barks.


Tree from used bottles; Snowman from bottle caps; Toilet sign from glass bottles


Poem on tree bark; Lots of clay roofs as fence; Murals from used clay pots & flattened bottles

One thing that I like about Nami Island is that they seemed very sustainable. Although it was dry when we visited there (i.e. we only saw brown branches and dust), they tried to bring the green in a creative way: on top of the garbage bin!


It was very dry although it was spring season; Garbage bin with plants on top

Before we walked around the island, the group stopped at one of the restaurant to have lunch: BBQ Chicken! YAY!



After lunch, we had free time to explore the whole island (but obviously, there wasn’t enough time to circle the whole island). Here are some interesting pictures around the island.


Around the Nami Island ; Bunny… oh no…. 😦


Traditional kitchen ; Love poem on stone


Artistic side of Nami Island


Clay pots ; Toilets

We then tried to find some exact spots of Winter Sonata’s scenes from the map that we took at the ticket booth. They are actually pretty easy to find since they have some pictures from the scenes themselves.



Winter Sonata spots


Traditional Korean houses

Although it was hot and dry in Nami Island, we still saw some wild animals, like rabbit and birds. The rabbit was busy eating and didn’t care when I came very close to him. When we crossed a small stream, we saw a clump of black tiny tadpoles – which were quite interesting. The park also has 2 ostrich birds inside a huge cage. When you feel a bit tired walking around, you can rent a tandem bike with shade on top instead. Or you can ride a UNICEF train for a short trip and you can pay whatever amount you like.


Cute rabbit ; Tadpoles ; Ostrich bird


Bridge decorated with flattened glass bottles ; Cute security car


Flower everywhere 🙂 

Nami Island is perfect for relaxing and family picnic. There are lots of spot for taking pictures or just simply sitting down admiring the beautiful scenery. If you haven’t satisfied exploring the island for a day, you can stay in one of the resorts. We bought a cute mini orgel that can be assembled into a windmill. It has Winter Sonata’s theme song with it and I love it so much 🙂 What a great way to remember our trip! We  got hungry by time we gathered with the group, so I bought a box of chestnut ~ which turned out to be so dry 😦


Steamed sweet corn ; Chestnuts

We continued our journey to Daepo Fish Market before dinner. It was about 2 hours away from Nami Island. It’s a typical Asian fish market with small food stands and small stores on the side. They had different kind of seafood, dried products, such as anchovies, seaweeds, and kelps, and traditional food. The tour leader said that Ojingeo sundae (squid stuffed with rice and pork) is tasty. We tried a little piece of it and it was DELICIOUS! Must try if you find this!


Many kind of fish ; Crab nyummmm….


Dried anchovies ; dried kelp


Squid stuffed with rice and pork (Ojingeo sundae) ; Korean sweet- sticky rice filled with sesame or red bean

Again, my fiance spotted Sea Squirt that Andrew Zimmern ate in his program -_-” So, yeah, he tried it. What so funny was that other people from the tour group were watching us while we ate the sea squirt sashimi – as if the sashimi was a yucky food hahaha… The sea squirt itself was pretty tasteless. It got very tasty when you dipped it into red pepper sauce. The interesting part was the aftertaste. Your tongue would feel sweet sensation for couple hours – the same sweetness as artificial sugar.


Sea Squirt and sashimi

We then had a dinner of seafood hotpot… NYUMMMM….

After dinner, we went to our hotel, Seorak Daemyong Resort. The hotel was a semi-traditional hotel. In addition to regular beds, the hotel also provides traditional sleeping mats & pillows if you want to sleep like Koreans. The hotel has equipped with Ondol heating system in which heat radiating from the floor to warm the whole room. Because of this, you won’t chill if you sleep on the floor during the night. However, since it was late spring, the heat from ondol made the room felt so stuffy. We had to open the balcony door to cool the room during the night  and thankfully, there weren’t bugs outside. Korean pillow is quite firm since it’s filled with sunflower seeds. Koreans believe that the seeds help to maintain good blood circulation to the brain, so that you can feel refreshed in the morning. The hotel room also has a small stove, a rice cooker, and a dining table inside which is pretty unique. I guess many Koreans like to cook even during holiday 😛 Personally, I don’t like the firm bed and pillow in the hotel. However, I still slept like a baby during the night because it was such a tiring day.


The regular beds; The traditional sleeping mat & sunflower seeds stuffed pillow


Mini kitchen with stove; Mini fridge and a rice cooker! 🙂


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