31 August 2011

Day 11 - Namiseom and Insadong

How to get to Naminara Republic

Catch a subway to Cheongnyangni Station then change to Gyeongchunseon Line leaving to Gapyeong Station (KRW 5,200) that will take approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes. Once you arrive at Gapyeong Station, grab a taxi which just in front of the station (taxi fare is approximately KRW 3,500 - 4,000 and it takes about 5 to 10 minutes) or take a bus to Namiesom Island-Gapyeong Wharf (Fare is KRW 950 and double check with the bus schedule before depart). Then purchase the ferry ticket and entry visa at Namiseom Island Ticket Centre (ferry normally runs every 15-20 minutes).

If those sounds terrified, don't worry I got another much easier solution to go to Nami Island. Eventhough, it's a bit more expensive but it guarantee a piece of mind and away from those hassle bustle.. We only need to catch this direct bus from Insadong to Nami Island

Direct bus: Insadong - Nami Island (return) only once a day, 7 days a week
*price as per April 2011
Adult: KRW 15,000 (return trip) or KRW 7,500 (one way)
Child: KRW 13,000 (return trip) or KRW 6,500 (one way)

Bus departing from Insadong near Tapgol Park at 9.30 am
and departing from Nami Island (parking lot in front of ticket office) at 16.00 - The bus actually stops at Gapyeong wharf

Then we need to catch the ferry departing from Gapyeong wharf every 10 - 20 mins that will bring us to Nami wharf. The last ferry will depart at 21.45 from Nami wharf.

To get in to the Island, we have to pay for entree fee or it's called visa fee
Regular: KRW 10,000
but until 31 Dec 2011, foreigners only pay KRW 8,000

Visit this site for more information

Nami Island is famous not only because of their magnificent looking pine trees but also for this famed Korean drama series - Winter Sonata (It stars Choi Ji Woo and Bae Yong Joon). Have anyone ever watched it? Sssttttt..., I haven't even watched it myself. By the way, it doesn't matter we still can enjoy the beautiful and romantic landscape and plenty of sightseeing.

Enjoying Korean Instant Noodle from 7Eleven

Nami Island map

Top: Korean sausages stuffed with rice cake. Bottom: Fish Chips from Myeong Dong Market
The two best snacks that I've tried in Korea but unfortunately I just discovered them on the last day otherwise they gonna be my regular snack every single day like the waffles.  

In here, Insadong is famous for their hanok-style house restaurant and plenty of traditional tea house as well. The government tend to preserve this area to remain its Korean traditional condition for tourism.

Sinpo Woori Mandoo, Insadong
Insadong 37, Jongno, Seoul
Many branches across Seoul, incl Myeongdong and Dongdaemun
Hours: 10.30am - 11.00pm

Side dishes

Twigim Mandoo KRW 4,000 (about AU$ 3.60)
This seductive deep-fried dumpling on the hot pan is just a perfect starter for my appetite. It is actually deep-fried gyoza which crispy on the outside but yet keeping its own texture in the inside.

Top: Sogogi Busut Dupbab KRW 6,000 (AU5.45) and Bottom: Sinpo Kimchi Jigae KRW 5,500 (AU$ 5)
Sogogi Busut Dupbab is a rice dish with special dressed beef, mushroom and vegetables with a little sweet and spicy sauce (bimbimbap sauce).

Old Tea Shop, Insadong
We didn't have a chance to try this nice-looking tea shop, but I couldn't resist myself to take photo from outside this lovely tea house.

Insadong Chatjip Teahouse
Seoul-si Jongno-gu Gwanhun-dong 196-5 1F
Anguk Station, Seoul Subway line 3, Exit #6
Hours: 10:00 - 22:50

Bottom: Pine Needle Tea
The tea has this exotic smell and sweet taste, which would sooth the throat and keep you warm in this cold wintery day. And those sweet rice cakes are just the right compliment to go with the tea. Another plus side was the traditional tea house's decoration that will make you feel like having tea in the old ancient time. No doubt.. if you want to call it a night, this could possibly be the one you looking for.

Sticky rice cake with roasted bean powder

Out of the concept.. But just find this interesting for me. If you guys going to Korea, please be prepare for heap of stairs to climb.

Here's come the end of journey in Korea. We had so much fun and full of great moments to cherish, whether it be friendly people, beautiful landscape, clean city and of course yummy food. Definitely I will return again, but now lets move on to Hong Kong. So, Octie Appetie guys...

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