At 63 km away from Seoul, Nami Island is perfect for either a day-trip or a weekend get-away from the big city. Nami Island, or Namiseom, or Naminara Republic (the island goes by many names), provides a great experience for a variety of people. From young children to aging seniors, the island has something for everyone.
Make no mistake, Nami Island is a tourist destination. It is not a place you should go if you are looking to get away from the crowds. Everything on the island is there for the sole purpose of entertaining visitors, which there are usually a lot of. Basically, if you like touristy nature stuff and don't mind sharing a small space with a horde of people, go to Nami Island. You will have a good time.
Unfortunately, South Korea does not always develop its land with preserving a natural landscape in mind. Fortunately, that is not the case here. Nami Island is a beautiful place. And they work to keep it that way. So much so that you will not see any utility wires strung above you. Everything is underground in order to preserve a natural feeling.
Nami Island is a pleasant place to aimlessly wander and enjoy the scenery. Be sure to keep your camera on you. There are plenty of shots to be had.
Either from the mainland, or from a number of spots on the island, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy boating on the river that surrounds Nami Island.
Some of the options include water skiing, banana boating, and taking a scenic tour on a motor boat. There are various packages available that include different combinations of water activities.
This activity isn't actually on Nami Island. It is on the mainland near the boat dock for the Nami Island ferry. The 55-meter tower stretches over the water and provides a great view for jumpers. There is also a zip-line tower that provides a more adventurous way than the ferry for people to get to Nami Island.
There is no shortage of great picnic spots on Nami Island. Choose either a spot near the water or one closer to the middle of the island where the grass fields provide plenty of room to spread out. And don't worry about packing all your food and carrying it to the island (although that might be cheaper). There are stores and restaurants on the island that sell food.
Sometimes you just need a pool to jump in or lounge around. Nami Island has that for you, too. At no additional cost, visitors to the island can freely enjoy the public pool. It is divided into different sections so that swimmers of all ages and skill levels can enjoy themselves.
Renting a bicycle and exploring the island on wheels is a great experience. You won't find any difficult or challenging trails here, but that isn't the reason to bike here. Instead, just relax and enjoy the scenery. There is always something special and memorable about riding a bicycle through beautiful scenery.
How To Get There
-Ride either the Gyeongchun Line or the ITX-Cheongchun Line to Gapyeong Station. Nami Island is just under 2 km from the station. Follow the signs.
By shuttle bus:
-Shuttles leave from Insa-dong and Namdaemun daily at 9:30 in the morning. The return shuttle leaves Nami Island at 4:00. Adult 2-way tickets cost 15,000 won. (1-way = 7,500 won)
-Plug the following address into your navigation: 1024, Bukhangangbyeon-ro, Gapyeong-eup, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do. The parking fee is 4,000 won.
Where To Sleep
The island has a limited number of rooms available that are a part of Hotel Jeonggwanru. As is to be expected, the rates are a bit steep. Rooms in the main building run from 77,000 won to 150,000 won. There are also bungalows and cottages which cost a little more. The bungalows run from 160,000 won to 380,000 won while the cottages run from 100,000 won to 130,000 won.
If this is all to expensive, don't worry. On the mainland, between the ferry landing and Gapyeong Station, there are several pensions.
Also keep in mind, that a visit to Nami Island can easily be done in 1 day. If you don't want to spend the night....don't.
Oh, there is one thing you should know. You must pay to get onto Nami Island. Koreans must pay 10,000 won while foreigners are given a 2,000 won discount (yay!). The ferry ride to the island is included in the price.