Saturday, February 16, 2013

Asian Eyes' Korea - Winter Sonata

Poster of Bae Yongjoon 
and Choi Jiwoo as 
immortalized in the
 Winter Sonata drama 
tall firs winter scene
         Day 4, Nov/20/2012, 3.30 pm: We continue trudging inside towards the interior of Nami Island. About a decade ago a popular Korean TV Drama was shot here. The title of the drama - "Winter Sonata". The well-known first kiss in the drama was set on Nami Island. Here many tourists, especially from my country, come flocking to Nami Island to reminisce the scene in the romantic Korean TV sensation. A picture grab from the drama and a pair of bronze status of the 2 main actor and actress had being erected near the high fir trees that was immortalized in the movie.
         Winter Sonata drama was part of a 4-parts series, each named after the seasons of the year. Each part of the series had its own plot lines, characters, and actors. Later on, as the series progressed and was marketed outside of Korea, the moniker 'Endless Love' stuck and was used to identify all the series as one. The 4-parts of the 'series', using yearly 4 seasons, are: Autumn in My Heart, Winter Sonata, Summer Scent and Spring Waltz. This series was widely known in South Korea as director Yoon Seok-ho's pet project, dealing with 4 different seasons of love. The show's endings not only have evolved with the times (tragedy used to be the trend, but now lighter, happier endings are preferred), but have kept with the theme, getting progressively more positive as 'spring' approaches.
       It was said that this part of the Island is the most photographed area in the whole of Korea. I had seen it, felt it and witnessed it, and now I can vouched for it. The atmosphere is lively, vibrant, stunning and magical. Throngs of people clicking away or just being awed over by the view of the tall fir trees as immortalized in the Winter Sonata drama. On the sad note, there is a memorial site next to the tall fir, a stone monument for the memory of Park Young-ha, who co-star in the Winter Sonata drama. Apparently he committed suicide and a poster is erected by his fans to remember him. It is also sad to note that suicide rate in South Korea is the highest in the world.
        Here are the pictures I took at the most beautiful part of Nami Island:

Nami Island location: 1024, Bukhangangbyeon-ro, Gapyeong-eup, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea.
Coordinates: 37.79154°N 127.525435°
Tel: +82-31-580-8114, +82-31-580-8008

Dinosaur doing the teh tarik dance?? Did I sense Malaysian somewhere on the island. The answer can be found in my next blog posting.
The views are aplenty on the island as we walked leisurely the length of Nami Island
Eating places are many but the prices were on the steep side. It is best to bring your own if you can.
Ah, at last, the poster of Winter Sonata's stars beside Nami Island's fir trees scene.
A wish fountain for lovers?
A site for an "adult museum" in Nami Island? Obviously not really a good site choice as Nami island is a family oriented amusement park, no?
Kent pointing to the location where the filming of Winter Sonata most famous scene took place.
Little M had to make do with many people walked about to snap a photo of the magnificent scene. 
Scenery near the tall fir were the choice of many tourists taking photo.
Stone memorial for a dead co-star of Winter Sonata drama - Park Young-ha who died in apparent suicide. Apparently suicide rate in South Korea is among the highest in the world!
The magnificent tall firs with its orangey autumn color. This is my most favorite spot in Korea.
The bronze statue of Bae Yongjoon and Choi Jiwoo near the fir trees, which is also the choice of many visitors took their picture.
Middle M with his big pile of rocks. The higher the  rock, the better his chance to fulfill his wishes.
A tourist trying to build the tallest rock monument  while his girlfriend took his photo. Good luck, guys.
The tin man from the "Land of the Oz" in Korea?
Funny statues of breastfeeding mum and kid near the tall fir trees' vicinity

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