Since then, South Korea was on our list of must see places. Plans didn't push through a couple of times, not until a few weeks ago when there was a sudden rush to make it happen. As I always say, if there's a will, there's a way. We booked a package tour with Rakso Travel, in a week's time, we landed in South Korean soil. :)
Unfortunately, our package tour did not include a visit to Nami Island. For me, a visit to Korea won't be complete without a visit to Nami Island, where Winter Sonata was filmed and autumn season should be the best time to go. So we had to forego one day of our package tour and explored Nami Island on our own.
A week before the trip, I have a travel buddy who was in Seoul and advised that I need to book a tour ahead. Autumn is peak season for Nami Island, getting there the earliest possible time is a must.
I booked a train from Cheongnyangni Station to Gapyeong Station on http://www.korail.com/; we were left with no better option than to book the 6 am train; that's the only available trip for the morning. (Read this post on how to get to Nami Island.) Getting there early was great, we had the place to ourselves for an hour or so; later the rest of tourists and locals started coming in, thousands of them.
Nami Island used to be a deserted island, the owner started planting trees (lots of them) and fortune came when Winter Sonata was filmed here. Winter Sonata probably is one of Korea's best tv series. Now, the island is adorned with anything and everything related to that tv series. It has also become the local's weekend getaway. They picnic, bike, row, eat, play... it is especially pretty (and romantic) during autumn when leaves turns red and yellow and fall off the ground.
|soju bottles turned art piece|
|bank of Naminara Republic|
|kalbi was just great! don't miss this Sum Hyang-gi (Fragrance Restaurant) across the Unicef Hall. There's no english sign or menu; you just hope that one of the staff can speak.|
You can walk around the whole of Nami Island in two to three hours; but it is best enjoyed doing activities or simply doing nothing. For more information, visit http://www.namisum.com/
Curious about the story? Here's the storyline of winter sonata, i had to read it again to relive the memory: http://bestuff.com/stuff/winter-sonata