Feeling Winter Sonata on Nami Island
A confession about Winter Sonata.
I’ve never been a big fan of K-pop or its’ drama series. However since most of my friends were crazy in love with the ‘Winter Sonata’ episodes, I listened to their comments on how Min-hyeong is actually Joon-Sang, and how they can’t wait for him to realize that Yoo-Jin is his first love. Oh the twists in this drama! Most of the scenes from Winter Sonata were shot on Nami Island or Namiseom as it is called locally.
Although I have never watched Winter Sonata, I didn’t mind visiting Nami Island since it was recommended by a Korean friend we met in Seoul. If you’re a big fan of Winter Sonata, I would highly recommend you visit here to reminisce all those moments from the drama series.
Getting there by bus.
I’m not sure if there’s another way to the island (by train) but for us, we took the shuttle bus from In-sadong area. Actually we were walking around this town and saw an information counter for the island. We went up to their office to book a roundtrip ticket for the next day. You need to book or buy the tickets at least a day before, to avoid any disappointments.
Here’s the breakdown:
- Find out where the bus departs from. They have pick-up from In-sadong (West gate of Tapgol Park) & Namdaemun so it’s best to plan ahead. (We departed from In-sadong by the way).
- Check the departure timing from Seoul and Nami Island to plan your day.
- Prices for adults are
W15,000 (round-trip) and W13,000 (round-trip) for children aged 3-12 years old. That’s about RM48 (children) to RM56 (adults). Anyways best to budget around this or more, since the ticket price might have changed since my last visit.
- If you need more information or wish to book online, you can visit Naminara Republic website.
- The bus will take you to a pier, and from here you’ll depart to the island by a ferry. Check here for the map.
Here’s the best bits about the theme park.
As soon as we arrived on Nami Island, it felt like a private paradise. A family of snowmen greeted us at the entrance which stamps the place as a family friendly theme park. Nature is the best asset of this island as we saw tall trees shadowed high above us and this is a popular spot for wedding photographies, group photos, especially during the four seasons.
There are plenty of walking paths with different trees for visitors to explore. My favorite was the pine trees, which always reminds me of white Christmas. If you love trees then you’ll love the gardens that can be found on the island. There’s 20 of them! It’ll take you half a day to explore the entire place.
We stopped at the Song Village to see gardens and then rented an electric scooter to drive from one place to another. It was quicker too. The most popular icon is the couple statue which is the symbolic love scene in Winter Sonata. Many people can be seen taking photos here so we had to wait awhile for our turn.
I lost most of my photos from the hard-drive disaster, therefore there isn’t enough photos to show you what was experience there. I guess this means you’ll need visit Nami Island and see it with your eyes.
Other tips for the Nami Island tour:
- Wear comfortable shoes because you’ll be walking around a lot.
- There’s a cafe for break time, in case you’re hungry or thirsty.
- Nami Island became an official micronation in 2009, naming it the Naminara Republic. You’ll get a visa approval when you purchase the ticket to enter the island.
- Rent a bicycle or electric scooter if you want to save time.
- Visit the island during the four seasons where you’re bound to see colorful scenes of nature.
*Year of visit: 2012
About Yafieda Jamil
A Malaysian girl currently working abroad in Phnom Penh city. I love a good road trip, hot cappuccinos, spicy food and staring at old buildings. My mission is to inspire people to see the world differently before we all get any older. Oh and giraffes are the most beautiful creatures on earth.