Tag Archives: hallyu

Snapshots from Seoul: Nami Island

16 Apr

NOTE: Nami Island/ Namiseom is not actually in Seoul but in Chuncheon (the capital city of  Gangwon Province, in the northeastern part of South Korea) but for the sake of uniformity of my travel accounts in Seoul, I’m keeping the same heading.

After our quick stop at Provence Village, we headed to Chuncheon for lunch. Chuncheon is popular for dak galbi, it is a dish which consists of chicken, cabbage, rice cakes, potatoes, and scallions with gochujang, a red pepper sauce, cooked on a big pan in the center of the table.

dak galbi

And off we went to Nami Island, after our hearty lunch.

Nami Island or Namiseom is a “tiny half-moon shaped island located in Chuncheon that was formed due to the rising water of the North Han River because of the construction of the Cheongpyeong Dam.”

We had to ride the ferry, Nami Maid, for a five-minute ride to reach Nami Island.

Nami Maid – queue to the ferry – five-minute ride – winterscape

Welcome to Naminara Republic

Naminara Republic is an imaginary country where a “passport” is issued to gain entry into Namiseom. It declared itself a self-governing contry in 2006; it has also invented its own passport, currency, stamp, and telephone card”.

I actually did not see the “passport”, perhaps it was with our tour guide? I remembered just holding a Namiseom pamphlet (in Thai) when we boarded the ferry. I’m not sure about the currency, stamp, and telephone card either. I did not stay long enough to observe these things. I bought a steamed bun when I was there but I used the “regular” Korean won.

winter wonderland

Winter Sonata memorabilia

Nami Island is also one of the filming locations of the hit South Korean drama, Winter SonataTourists from far and wide, especially the avid Korean drama fans flock Nami Island for this very reason. But the time when we were there, there were also many Korean families with small children and groups of young adults or university students even on a Monday.

There were also art galleries, outdoor exhibitions, museums, shops, and small stalls selling food and coffee.

outdoor art sculptures and exhibitions

 “I see trees of green…”

Natural beauty abounds in Nami Island even in winter. I just cannot imagine how awesome it can get when flowers bloom in spring or when leaves turn red in fall.

I was not able to explore the whole of Nami Island but from what I have seen and experienced, the place is not only a feast to the senses but it also enables you to be attuned and appreciate the beauty of nature. Nami Island is a dreamy paradise that is definitely worth visiting especially with every season change.

Have you been to Nami Island or to a similar place that left you a lasting impression? Care to share?

Cheers 🙂

Haul from Seoul: Souvenirs

24 Mar

When traveling, it is a must for me to get at least a fridge magnet, keychain and a doll. It was my first time in South Korea so I had to buy souvenirs for family, friends, workmates and my collection.

Since I traveled with a tour group, we always, if not all the time, ate at a tourist restaurant. Yes, there are heaps of tourist restaurants in Seoul. I really didn’t like eating there because all I see are tourists, same groups of tourists even, and the food is set. We have no choice and we can’t order what we like. Anyway, I digressed…

Usually, there are shops or stands outside the tourist restaurants which sell souvenirs, food and what have you.

These are what I bought:

South Korean flag fridge magnets

I got the magnets from The National Folk Museum of Korea.


coin purses


fridge magnets



… and the freebies…

long spoon and chopticks set + pencils

I also got two I ❤ Korea shirts (not pictured).

The last, but not the least… these are requests from my workmate and cousin 🙂

Hyun Bin sticker book and Lee Min Ho sticky notes

They are popular actors in South Korea. And yes, outside tourist restaurants, they sell all fan goodies, too.

So, these are my traditional and not-quite traditional souvenirs from South Korea. What do you usually get when you visit a foreign country? Care to share?

Cheers 🙂