Monday, February 11, 2013

Asian Eyes' Korea - To Nami Island

Famous Nami Island
scene from "Winter
Sonata" drama 
         Day 4, Nov/20/2012, 1.30 pm: We started on a one and a half hour journey to the next stop - Nami island, a tiny half-moon shaped island located in Chuncheon, South Korea. Nami island was formed when the land at the river center was inundated by the rising water of the North Han River as the result of the construction of Cheongpyeong Dam in 1940s. Its name originated from General Nami who died at the age of 28 after being falsely accused of treason during the reign of King Sejo, the seventh king of the Joseon Dynasty of Korea. Although his grave wasn't discovered, there were a pile of stones where his body was supposed to be buried. It was believed that if someone took even one stone from there, it would bring misfortune to their house. A tour company arranged the grave with soil and then developed Nami Island into an amusement park. 
        I alighted from the bus without a clue what to expect. The weather was cold and it was snowing the day before. Fresh snow were about on the floor and we saw a couple of snowman here and there. Finally after Kent showed us a picture of a famed Korean TV drama that I realized that I had seen some of the scenic view from this island. Nami Island was made famous by the Korean drama "Winter Sonata" indeed. It is a South Korean television drama series broadcast by KBS. It is the second part of the Endless Love installment directed by Yoon Seok-Ho. It stars Bae Yong-Joon and Choi Ji-Woo with some filming took place on this resort island. 
         The ferry arrived and we clambered aboard. There are open air upper deck and closed lower deck. Since it was cold outside I only spend some 5 minutes on upper deck before make my way to lower deck. The ride across the river were quick, and we reached Nami Island in less than 10 minutes later. Here are the pictures I took on the way to 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

First sign of snow fall that started to melt away on pavement.

2 small snowmen being build neatly side by side

Kent hiding in a cigarette shelter, puffing away happily at the designated smoking area.
We waited at Nami Island "immigration" counter while Kent bought 'passport' to enter Nami Island
Off we go after getting our "passport stamped" i.e. pay our entrance fee
Mummy M steal a photo time while waiting for the ferry's arrival
Our ferry had arrived. It looks like the submarine from Jules Verne's "20,000 leagues under the sea".

We were being 'swallowed' by the Nami Island ferry.

Middle M, all bundled up, on the upper deck which were decorated with many country flags
This is not Nami Island, but the bank opposite the jetty when we embark to go to Nami Island.
Bye bye mainland. We are off now to Nami Island at last.
Life buoys aplenty as part of the safety measure as required by the authority.
The island looming into view. It is just a short 10-15 minutes ride.
Initially I do not know what it was. thought it was for stunt shows on the island. Later Kent told us it was for transporting goods to Nami Island via high wire. 

All bundled up as it was cold outside the ferry. Brrrrr!
At the lower deck everyone sat closed to the glass window ledge
The welcome arch of Nami Island come into sight as our ferry approached the island.
Many international flags adorned Nami Island as we near its jetty. 
A mermaid in the water caught my attention. It looked like a long lost cousin of the Copenhagen's mermaid!
"Welcome to Namimara Republic", stated the signboard. It is not a sovereign country, but the amusement park management marketing ploy.

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