A Trip to the Idyllic Nami Island

After our recent trip to Chuncheon, we decided to visit the famous Nami Island on our way home. Nami Island is famous within Korea and Japan because some especially romantic scenes from the Korean drama “Winter Sonata” took place on the island. It’s also said to be the most beautiful place in Korea, and it’s a micro-republic. Known as “Naminara Republic,” this little island claims to be its own country, although my research of micro republics tells me that they tiny “countries” are really only formally recognized by other micro-republics.

Side story: did you know there’s a micro republic in the USA? It’s essentially just some guys house and he has declared it a separate country called “The Republic of Molossia.” True (and weird) story.

Anyway. Nami Island is only accessible by ferry or zip line. The long zip lines that stretched from the mainland to the island looked awesome, but alas, we just rode the ferry to save money.

on the ferry

ferry to Nami Island South Korea

Naminara Republic South Korea

The island itself is small (with a circumference of 5km), but it’s covered in small museums, restaurants, public works of art, wildlife and nature. The brochure describes the island as “a place for rest and relaxation. Human beings, animals and trees share peace, love and harmony far away from crowds and civilization.” While I can’t say there were no crowds on the island (after all, this is a tourist destination in Korea), the rest holds pretty true! Here are the best things about Nami Island:

Activities

I already mentioned the zip lining, but there are also opportunities to raft, bungee jump, go boating, ride carnival type rides, and rent bicycles. We didn’t do any of them except rent a bicycle (a tandem bicycle!), but that activity alone was still pretty fun. We spent an hour riding around the island on our two-seater bike, which was surprisingly easy to ride!

Rafting at Nami Island South Korea

bungee jumping on Nami Island

bungee jumping at Nami Island

bungee jumping at Nami Island South Korea

bungee jumping at Nami Island South Korea

ride on Nami Island South Korea

riding bikes on the island

riding bikes on the island

riding bikes on the island

Art

The island is covered in art galleries, museums, stages for concerts and performances and public arts. It’s eclectic and bohemian–perfect for art lovers!

Sculpture on Nami Island South Korea

sculpture on Nami Island South Korea

sculptures on Nami Island South Korea

bathrooms on Nami Island South Korea

sculpture on Nami Island South Korea

totem poles Naminara Republic in South Korea

building on Nami Island South Korea

Wildlife

Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I realize that some squirrels and chipmunks might not seem like very exciting “wildlife,” but for Korea, it’s pretty impressive. Matt and I have frequently commented on the lack of wildlife in Korea–there are hardly even any birds (at least in our area). So seeing little squirrels, chipmunks and ducks roaming freely around the island was refreshing. We also saw some signs warning not to feed the rabbits, but sadly, we didn’t see any rabbits.

squirrel

chipmunk

Nature

And last but not least, nature. Hands down, the best part about Nami Island is the beautiful scenery and landscapes. I don’t think there is even a corner of this island that isn’t beautiful. Lush, green grass, massive weeping willows, and quaint little bridges over bubbling streams–no matter which way you look, this island is full of natural beauty.

Nami Island South Korea

Nami Island South Korea

Nami Island South Korea

Nami Island South Korea

Nami Island South Korea

Nami Island South Korea

Nami Island South Korea

Nami Island South Korea

Nami Island South Korea

Nami Island South Korea

Nami Island South Korea

Nami Island South Korea

Andrea South Korea

Which photo is your favorite?

To get to Nami Island, go to Gapyung station and either walk, take a bus or take a taxi to the Gapyeong Wharf. From there you can take the ferry to the island. Entry to the island is 10,000 won for Koreans, 8,000 won for foreigners and 4,00 won for children under 13. 

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9 Responses to “A Trip to the Idyllic Nami Island”

  1. Lori Finley August 15, 2012 at 11:18 am #

    My favorite pictures are the tandem bike pictures, but I also liked the picture with the tall trees on the side and someone is heading to what looks like a lake. It reminds me of my childhood around Mt. Rainier.

    • Andrea August 15, 2012 at 8:40 pm #

      The tandem bike was pretty fun! And yes, those tall trees were very pretty. A lot of Nami Island did remind me of the Pacific Northwest!

  2. mom August 15, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

    My favorite picture is that cute girl who carries her book everywhere! In this case, your kindle. The couple at the beginning with the cheezy grins is also a great one. Looks like you had a great time.

    • Andrea August 15, 2012 at 8:41 pm #

      The Kindle comes everywhere! It comes in so handy on long bus/subway rides, and it’s great for sitting and reading in parks 🙂

  3. Gram Anne August 15, 2012 at 12:58 pm #

    Beautiful scenes and beautiful couple! Tndem bike must have been fun!

    Hugs!

    • Andrea August 15, 2012 at 8:42 pm #

      Thank you! It was fun 🙂

  4. C Ohara August 28, 2012 at 5:19 am #

    That’s crazy pretty! How do you forma micro republic anyway??? I saw that episode of the Family Guy where Peter did it with his house, but…

    I like it!
    C Ohara recently posted…Top 10 Places to take Your Mom on a Trip to Japan – Pert TooMy Profile

    • Andrea August 28, 2012 at 9:20 am #

      I’m pretty sure you just declare it, haha! They’re not recognized by other countries, but most of the other micro-republics recognize each other. It’s a pretty strange concept…

  5. Leila August 1, 2016 at 10:57 pm #

    That looked awesome! seems you had a lot of fun. I went with a local tour agency called onedaykorea to do extreme sport in Gapyeong and Nami Island was also include. A frankly peaceful place with nature and flowers, I really enjoy my trip there even more with the adventurous activities especially the ATV one! Overall a really nice place to visit while in Korea 🙂

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