December has suddenly come with the cold winter wind. Since the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has raged this year, it is certain that Kingos had a busy and arduous year. Now, how about going on a trip with some precious people to wrap up 2021 and prepare for a new start? To warm up the winter, the Sungkyun Times (SKT) visited Nami Island. This beautiful island harmonizes nature and culture, and it is the filming location of the famous Korean drama Winter Sonata.
A Special Place Near the City, Nami Island
Introduction to Nami Island
Nami Island is a beautiful island, located in Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do. As it is famous for being the filming location of the drama Winter Sonata, it is a popular attraction for both Koreans and foreign tourists from Japan and other Asian countries. It was established as a recreation area in 1966 after being purchased in 1965 by Sujae Minn Byeong-do, a financier and cultural art supporter. The island was naturally named “Nami” due to the long folklore that General Nami, a warrior of the early Joseon Dynasty, was buried in a pile of stones on the northern hill of Nami Island. Nami Island has a unique tourism concept, Naminara Republic. In March 2006, Nami Island declared its independence as the Naminara Republic, a special tourist attraction professing the idea of a country built on Nami Island to strengthen various eco-friendly cultural art projects. As the Naminara Republic promotes itself as a country, the ticket office is called the “Immigration Center”. In addition, instead of selling a ticket, they also issue a passport, allowing passengers to enter Nami Island without any restrictions within the given period. This unique tourism concept has made tourists feel like they are traveling to another imaginary country in Korea. As the only imaginary republic in the world, they implement their own tourism diplomacy and cultural policies.
|Nami Island’s Ferry|
How to Get to Nami Island
From the Humanities and Social Sciences Campus, Kingos should take bus No. 272 at Myeongnyun-dong 2-ga, Sungkyunkwan University Entrance Stop, and get off at the Cheongnyangni Station Transit Center Stop. Then, walk to Cheongnyangni Station, take the ITX-Cheongchun, and get off at Gapyeong Station. After that, get on bus No. 10-4 at Gapyeong Terminal Stop, get off at Nami Island Terminal Stop, and finally enter Nami Island via zip-wire or ferry. Kingos from the Natural Sciences Campus should take subway line No. 1 at Sungkyunkwan University Station, get off at Gasan Digital Complex Station, and transfer to subway line No. 7. After getting off at Sangbong Station, transfer to the Gyeongchun Line and then get off at Gapyeong Station. At Gapyeong Station Stop, take bus No. 10-4. The route is identical from then on.
A More Special Way to Enjoy Nami Island
Nami Island's Thrilling Attractions
Generally, a ferry is used to enter Nami Island, but a zip-wire can be another option. It is an eco-friendly leisure facility that descends about 1km from an 80-meter-high tower to Nami Island. If Kingos choose to ride the zip-wire, they can enjoy a refreshing river breeze while looking around the Bukhan River. There are two courses: a family course that travels to Nami Island by zip-wire and an adventure course that travels only to Jara Island and arrives at Nami Island by ferry from Jara Island. Therefore, Kingos can freely experience various ways. Since Kingos can see Nami Island from a higher view than when using a ferry, the SKT recommends entering Nami Island using the zip-wire to Kingos who want a more memorable trip.
|Zip-wire to Nami Island (namisum.com)|
2. Bike Center
The most effective and leisurely way to tour Nami Island is to use a bicycle. People can look around the island in an hour if they ride a bike, and they can rent a bicycle at the bike center located on the east side of Nami Island. There are various options, such as couple bicycles (tandems), the electric tri-way, and a sky bike. People can breathe in the fresh air of nature and heal themselves while riding a bicycle. In particular, the sky bike is recommended because Kingos can see a different landscape that cannot be seen from the bottom. However, as the safe biking routes are set separately, bicycles cannot travel on frequently visited roads, such as Metasequoia Lane. Therefore, it is recommended to check routes in advance before renting one.
|View from the Sky-bike|
Nami Island with Nature
1. Metasequoia Lane and White Birch Lane
Metasequoia Lane, located southwest of Nami Island, is the first place that comes to mind when talking about Nami Island. The magnificent appearance of trees that change from season to season is extremely attractive, and the formation of a tree that looks like a tunnel is a very famous photo spot. The White Birch Lane extends along the riverside from the Cheongyeongwon Garden, located at the northern end of Nami Island. As it is located near the wharf and zip-wire arrival point, it is good to start the trip by walking this lane. Otherwise, Kingos can finish the trip by heading toward the wharf using this lane. In particular, the quiet appearance of the birch trees gives people a sense of stability when covered with white snow. Hence, the SKT recommends walking the White Birch Lane and enjoying the various types of trees and scenery slowly.
|Metasequoia Lane||White Birch Lane|
2. Memorial Gardens
There are various memorial gardens throughout Nami Island to remember the founder Sujae Minn Byeong-do and his family, who took many efforts to reform the island into its current form. First, if people go up to the east of the island through Metasequoia Lane, they can see Sujaewon Garden, a garden built to honor Mr. Minn. In Sujaewon Garden, there is a statue of him made by sculptor Lee Geung-beom. The statue is in harmony with trees behind it, allowing people to feel the noble meaning of Mr. Minn more deeply. Also, the aforementioned Cheongyeongwon Garden, located around White Birch Lane, is another memorial garden. Cheongyeongwon Garden is a garden built in the northernmost part of the island to honor Mr. Minn’s mother. It is said to contain the meaning of “Let Nami Island flourish by preventing the cold north wind with the sincere care of the mother.” These gardens are located apart, but as it is possible to visit one another riding bicycles, it is recommended to rent bikes and look around the gardens.
|Statue of Mr. Minn Byeong-do in Sujaewon Garden|
3. Various Ponds and Animals Living in Nami Island
There are about 10 ponds on Nami Island with different meanings. For instance, the Yeonji Pond means a gift to lovers, and the Mongyonji Pond wishes for a good dream. Among them, the Eco Farm Yeonryeonji Pond is a pond that recycles sewage, located in the middle of the road from the island’s entrance to the bike center. Kingos can feel the special beauty of Nami Island, which pursues eco-friendly tourism by harmonizing plants growing in the pond and the gazebo located behind it. In addition, various animals such as squirrels, ostriches, peacocks, and rabbits live on Nami Island. Only ostriches that have a risk of causing trouble are separately raised in cages, and all the other animals live in the wild. Therefore, tourists can freely touch or feed them. By enjoying nature with animals and fresh air, people of all ages will be able to feel the peace and tranquility of Nami Island.
|Nami Island, Famous for Winter Sonata|
|Eco Farm Yeonryeonji Pond|
|Rabbit and Ostrich Living in Nami Island|
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