[Chuncheon] ~ People and Tree Colors at Nami Island

I am no fan of crowd, except when there is too much color  — 10.25.14

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Nami Collage

Second day started early as I went off-Seoul for the Gapyeong City Tour which for only 5 thousand won (roughly 250 pesos) gave me access to various stops around town. First stop at this island famous for its being a location shoot for a Korean drama which was aired years back. Initially did not how place to me is way too tourist-y and crowded but later on loved its festive vibe, not only due to the many colors but also with quite a range of people roaming around – from fellow foreign tourists to local families and barkadas to professional photographers to people having some team activities on those vast fields covered in fallen leaves. Everyone’s busy-ness to me is amusing, especially in trying best to enjoy and capture what which on that morning we all had to share.

My second day in Korea intended for this long overdue visit at the famous island most visitors to Korea do not miss to see – Nami Island. Since preparation days for my travel the previous year, I have discovered this tour that allows one to visit not just the island but other places in the town. Sadly though, my schedule then did not allow. I know I needed at least a day but my trip then was packed with some to-gos around the city and some meet-ups with family and a friend.

My trip to Gapyeong was a well-planned one I could say. Another do-it-yourself.  But it was relatively easy and predictable, thanks to Korea’s very useful railway planner online.  I knew it would be a looong subway ride. What I just failed to anticipate though is this waiting time at the station outside Seoul, as well as how it gets colder as we go farther from the city. I vividly remember the feeling of it getting colder whenever the train doors open as we reach the non-city parts.

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Subway ‘selfie’ at the metro station

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Just so I remember (ironically though, I already forgot. Must still check my travel print-outs to remember)

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What a face, ahjumma ^ ^

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Unbusy morning. For some reason, found it interesting that there are vendors inside the train too. Check that cart over there!

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Chilly.

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It was a cloudy (and really cold) morning upon reaching the terminal. I had a bit difficulty looking for the city tour bus stop but I trusted my gut and went with this group of girls who looked like tourists who were seemingly in line in front of what I would eventually realize to be the tourist center that is located on your right as you exit from the station. It turned out that the office was not yet open.

As I wanted to be sure that I was at the right waiting area, had to ask the group but they did not seemingly get my question so I just trusted my gut and well, those flyers about Nami, Petite France and Garden of Morning Calm that were tucked on a stand in front of the closed office.

I was lucked out to be right and even got to score a seat by the front. There was just some moment of panic when I realized I lost my rechargeable subway card. There was a quick turn-around to that though when a nice lady found it underneath my seat. Funny story how I learned : on my way to gate to ferry to Nami, I heard someone seemingly shouting “card, bus” at me. I didn’t get it but when I turned, she was looking at me. She pointed at the bus and for some instinctive reason (if there is such a thing!), I got it that she wanted me to go the bus. The driver then made a short stop and handed me my, voila, card!

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At the Gapyeong Subway Station / Terminal

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Gapyeong City Tour Bus

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Early bird gets the front seat

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Entrance of our first stop. This is around here when I heard someone ‘calling’ me

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So this is the zip line the online articles were talking about

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Didn’t even bother checking the cost though

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Crowd as early as on the way to the ferry

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Photobombs.

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This kind of chill and foggy morning

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I was so cold then I envy those bubble jackets

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Touchdown

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I had my brochure with me but didn’t expect the island to be that big that I did not know where to go at first. My ‘plan’ was to go see the must-sees first before spending a more relaxed time. Of course, I had to look for the famous Winter Sonata location shoot – which funnily I thought was the first lane of trees I saw.

I remember this tinge of disappointment as it was not as scenic as I thought it would be. In hindsight though, why didn’t I wonder that there were not that many people.

So apparently, I was first at Tulip Tree Lane.  It was not instantly lovely (or maybe, I was just still dizzy from the ferry ride), but its beauty is the kind that grew on me.

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Greeted by this squirrel

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At the Tulip Tree Lane

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This scene. This.

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Abandoned

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Walked along the lane and reached certain areas that are being ‘cleaned’ or renovated until I reach yet another lovely spot where most leaves are yellow.  I don’t know what it’s called but I shall name it Sunshine Lane. 😀

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And it was a busy day for them too

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Kept.

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Some renovation going on.

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And there was more yellow

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Because I wanted proof that I was there.

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…and more

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Was this the same vehicle earlier?

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An attempt at panorama

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I was on the side of the island when visited the two lanes then went inward and well, hello there, more people. If the island a town, I could sense that I was getting to the center.

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Awww.

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Creature-like vase

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Torn between it’s its position or the barcode that makes this interesting

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Oh those white balloons are love.

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So of course, there has got to be I with the balloons
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Some books to shush the kids

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Is yellow the season’s color?

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Because I thought I would want some time to read these

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Leaves were colorful, so were they

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Stationary

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Couldn’t explain it well but this reminded me of a Filipino expression : Ganon?! (closest translation is : Really?)

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Preparing for what seemed to me a noontime show

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Wit points to he or she who added “567”

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The famous lane where Winter Sonata was shot, except that well, this wasn’t in winter

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And this time I was right

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So right.

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I haven’t even seen this in the Koreanovela but I did in a Thai film Hello Stranger

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Perspective

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This some kind of museum

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I wish I experienced this when I was  little

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As if I know how to ride the bike

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Joining the line to try that Nami sausage

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Almost there

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Another  Winter Sonata significant location

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Failed to capture but this family enjoys a shower of leaves.

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Howkey, so there was a map

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An interesting Christmas tree

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And this time with an interesting group of 3.

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She is imagining

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Bye, Nami!

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Quick Guide to Gapyeong Tour

If you prefer to DIY, riding the subway is likely the most budget-friendly way to go. Given Korea’s efficient subway system too, I personally appreciate how it allows travelers to estimate the length of time they need from Point A to B (in this case, except some waiting time at the station outside the metro railway. (Maybe it would not work well with big groups or it could, if everyone in independent. There  is relatively quite a number of transfers.)

Forgive me as I still need to look for my map print-out of my subway route to Gapyeong but according to some notes in my travel pad, here’s route from the center to Gapyeong.

Hapjeong (station where my hostel then was nearest) then to Wangsimni Station. Transfer then to line to take you to Mangu and from there transfer to Gyeongchun Line that could take you to either Cheongpyeong or Gapyeong depending on your preferred Gapyeong tour route. I went down at Gapyeong because my route is Nami -> Petite France -> Garden of Morning Calm.

Check this amazing online subway route planner for your own : 

https://www.smrt.co.kr/program/cyberStation/main2.jsp?lang=e

Also found this brochure online with details on the tour. This is the same brochure that you will get prior to riding the bus or on the bus itself.

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Hope these help and enjoy Nami Island!

 

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