Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Winter Sonata's Nami Island and Myeongdong Shopping in Seoul

Welcome to Nami, a tiny half-moon shaped island located in Chuncheon famous for its tree lined paths and where the famous koreanovela Winter Sonata was filmed.

Situated 63 km from Seoul in the middle of Han River, Nami Island looks like a leaf floating gracefully on top of Cheongpyeong Lake. 

The Island has an area of 460,000 m2 and a circumference of 5km. Formed with pebbles and sand, there are no mountains in the island, but there are trees tall enough to touch the sky. It was named after General Nami, a notable figure in Korean history who courageously fought in battles but died at the age of 26.

Banish the thought that coming here would cost you an arm and a leg. It is incredibly affordable to go here and our do-it-yourself tour was 100% successful. We took the ITX Cheongchun Line from Yongsan station in Seoul to Gapyeong station. Fare is 4,800 won or $4.80 usd. The ITX Cheongchun is a highspeed train that travels upto 180 km/hr and is the country's 1st two-story train. 

Cheongchun has attendants on board from whom snacks and drinks may be purchased from and has several facilities and conveniences including nursing rooms, restrooms and power outlets. The ITX-Cheongchun is the fastest train in Korea after the KTX.

From Gapyeong Station, we hailed a cab towards Nami Ferry Terminal and fare was 3,000 won or $3 usd. 

Entrance to the Naminara Republic costs 10,000 won or $10 usd for adults. Foreigners ( like us! ) gets a 20% discount, so we only shelled out 8,000 won or $8 usd. A special rate of 4,000 won or $4 usd for kids aged 3-13 while those aged 36 months under gets in for FREE. The entrance fee covers the round-trip ferry fare and taxes as well.

A guide to all the themed gardens, stages, restaurants, exhibition halls and seminar/ banquet facilities inside the Island.

The backdrop of the Koreanovela Winter Sonata first kiss scene still exhibits two snowmen in the image of the two characters. 

It has wide grassy gardens where deer, ostriches, squirrels, ducks and countless types of birds flourish. A place where not only nature but also human beings can coexist.

Sometimes a beautiful view in the middle of nature is the best refresher from this fast-paced world

In 1965, thousands of trees were planted by Mr. Byeong-Do Minn. Enjoy a leisure stroll at Nami. With its laid-back vibe, get to enjoy such wonderful sights and commune with nature!

OOTD: Zara Trench Coat

The most wonderful momento you could take with you, is a souvenir photo amidst the two rows of Korean pine tree lanes with the gorgeous sunset beaming at the back. I would definitely love to be here come Autumn to see leaves turning bright yellow. That would be soo romantic!

And various souvenir shops abound!

These are the cutest Nami snowman souvenirs ever!

Pretty hanging wall decors

I wish Nehemiah and I had bought Monopods or selfie-sticks with us. Anyways, amidst the language barrier we finally found a good soul to take our pic together.

Seasonal rain used to transform this land into an island, and with the construction of Cheongpyeong dam, it is now an island all year long. 

Oh! and if you are a fan of The Little Prince, you might as well visit the nearby Petite France. A spectacular and charming little European Town. Bye for now Nami. 

With Nehemiah and Marian  at Doota ( Doosan Tower ) a popular shopping mall located in central south Seoul.

Seoul is amazingly bursting with vibrance at night!

Seoul's Cheonggyecheon stream has become one of the city's most popular icons since the 6 km waterway was restored and reintroduced to the public.

Eeek! I think I just died and went straight to korean dress heaven. Such dainty and trendy finds! These and more at the subway underground shops.

Myeongdong is Seoul's no.1 shopping district. Think luxury big brands in fashion, skincare and the works!

To a Korean woman, beauty starts with healthy skin. A good skin care regimen is far more important than cosmetics.

Korea's skincare boom goes back to its famous beauty regimens, which, for the average Korean woman, includes roughly 18 products per day. Bright skin meant that you came from a noble family. The concept carries on. 

Some of the well loved Korean Skincare brands includes The Face Shop, Etude House, Tony Moly, Lainege, Skinfood, Nature Republic, Too Cool for School, Missha, Innisfree and a lot more!

Items are usually on sale and free samples are automatically given after each purchase!

Seoul is one of the fashion capitals of the world and Myeongdong is it's shopping paradise!

Tornado Potato and Twist Dog anyone? Night shopping is twice the fun when you get to try Korean street foods!

Winter Sonata's Nami Island and Shopping at Myeongdong