Seoul Vicinity: Nami Island and Garden of Morning Calm (Trazy)

Thanks to Trazy.com, an English friendly tour booking website, we had the opportunity to visit Nami Island and Garden of Morning Calm. It was a day of pure autumn flora and fauna bliss being so near to nature, and being able to indulge in the  beauty of the autumn foliage!

Autumn hues on Nami Island
Autumn hues on Nami Island

There are 2 pick up points - Hongdae Subway Station and Myeongdong Subway Station. Since we were staying at Metro Hotel in Myeongdong, it went without saying that our pickup point was at Myeongdong. πŸ˜€

It was easy to locate the Trazy representative when we arrived at the meetup point, and we soon started out on our adventure. Since tour includes transportation, it definitely beats the hassle of having to take public transport and transferring here and there just to get to the destination. The tour included the following (which is definitely convenient and greatly appreciated):
  • An English speaking driver/representative, Howard. His English was good and he shared tips on how to make the most of our trip (e.g. trying the Dakgalbi, a Korean dish consisting of  spicy grilled chicken and vegetables on the mainland, rather than the overpriced tourist eateries available on Nami Island).
  • Entrance fee to Nami Isand and Garden of Morning Calm 
  • Option to either take the ferry or pay an additional 30,000 won to take the zipline and whizz your way to Nami Island 
  • Activities are free and easy and everything is at our own pace. Kind of like a DIY, but minus the hassle of making the arrangements on your own.
Before we arrived at Nami Island, the Trazy representative, Howard, made sure that we were prepared for the trip. It was interesting to know that the island is also known as Naminara Republic, a self-declared own governing micro-nation which issue stamps and visas that allow you to enter multiple times within a stipulated period of time. It was too cold in the morning to  take the exciting option of the zipline, so ferry it was.

Seoul Vicinity: Nami Island and Garden of Morning Calm (Trazy)
When we arrived at the jetty, Howard purchased the tickets on our behalf to Nami Island.
Seoul Vicinity: Nami Island and Garden of Morning Calm (Trazy)
There was not that many people in the early morning.
The queue waiting to get on board the ferry
Seoul Vicinity: Nami Island and Garden of Morning Calm (Trazy)
Off we go!

Nami Island 

Famous for its beautiful tree-lined roads, Nami Island is an artificial island that is shaped like a moon crescent. It is 63km away from Seoul in the direction of Chuncheon, about a 1 hour and 45 minute drive away. The island was formed from the results of the construction of the Cheongpyeong Dam and is also famous for being the filming location for quite a few dramas: Love in the Moonlight (2016), Smile Again (2010), Winter Sonata (2003), Wanderer in Winter (1986) etc...

Besides its beautiful scenery, the island is also a popular destination for some fun and relaxation. There are water-sports facilities for motorboats and water skiing, and even a theme park with a merry-go-round, shooting range and roller skating rink! For those who love the island and want to stay overnight, there are lodging facilities such as resort villas and bungalows are available too; there is something for everyone.

As it was the ending of autumn, the scenery which was transitioning to winter was really something to behold. Being free and easy, we could go in whichever direction we wanted. As we had arrived early the morning there was not much of a crowd but as it drew closer to lunchtime, it was a little challenging to avoid the large groups of tour groups. But what is a little photo-bombing here and here? πŸ˜‚

Seoul Vicinity: Nami Island and Garden of Morning Calm (Trazy)
Nami Island Entrance
Seoul Vicinity: Nami Island and Garden of Morning Calm (Trazy)
Just before you enter
Seoul Vicinity: Nami Island and Garden of Morning Calm (Trazy)
Snow 'people' from all over the world!
Seoul Vicinity: Nami Island and Garden of Morning Calm (Trazy)
There was faint wood smell in the air, which was pleasant till we saw the ajusshi burn plastic wrappers along with the wood! 😱
Seoul Vicinity: Nami Island and Garden of Morning Calm (Trazy)
Heart shaped autumn leaves
Seoul Vicinity: Nami Island and Garden of Morning Calm (Trazy)
Hello there... look who we found 😍
Seoul Vicinity: Nami Island and Garden of Morning Calm (Trazy)
Totally in love with the autumn hues πŸ˜πŸ’•πŸ’•

There were many picturesque spots throughout the island and before we knew it it was time for lunch. Taking the time to take in the scenery and appreciate nature from the hassle and bustle of city life is somewhat relaxing and enjoyable. [Nami Island Photologue]

Food

For the hungry, have no fear! Nami Island has plenty of restaurants to satiate your appetite, from Asian, Korean BBQ, and Western etc... There is even a restaurant, Dongmoon, which is halal certified for Muslim tourists. Being a tourist attraction, it should be no surprise that the food price range costs slightly more than outside of the island, but it is all within a reasonable range.

But since our guide, Howard, recommended us to try any of the Dakgalbi restaurants on the mainland, we made a trip back and had our lunch at the first restaurant we saw. It was a good choice too!

Dakgalbi
Sizzling and ready to be cooked!
Dakgalbi
The side dishes ( 반찬) and lettuce
Dakgalbi
We also ordered Acorn Jelly Salad: It was kind of blend but quite palatable.
Dakgalbi
The finale! Frying the left over spicy chicken with rice, seaweed, sesame oil and rice cakes! πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹
Dakgalbi
Don't forget to save a portion to have it fried with the rice and all to have the full experience. Yum Yum!

With our tummies satisfied, we still had some time before it was time to move on to the next destination - Garden of Morning Calm.

Garden of Morning Calm

The garden has 20 different themed sections and houses many plants that are native to Baekdusan Mountain; flowers are in bloom throughout the year. Besides the scenic walkways and beautiful foliage of the garden, there are a variety of festivals and displays held throughout the year. The garden is also known for being featured in the drama "Love in the Moonlight" which stars Park Bo-gum and Kim Yoo-jung.

As we visited in autumn, the scenery was simply breathtaking! [Garden of Morning Calm Photologue]

Garden of Morning Calm
Entrance to the garden, which we entered after Howard bought the tickets for us
Garden of Morning Calm
The flora sight that greeted us!
Garden of Morning Calm
Close to nature
Garden of Morning Calm
More beautiful flowers amidst the autumn hue
Garden of Morning Calm
Spectacular autumn!
Garden of Morning Calm
There's a cafe on premises and they have the yummiest ice-cream!
Garden of Morning Calm
Despite the cold weather, I really couldn't resist having one! Highly recommended! πŸ˜‹πŸ‘πŸ‘

Conclusion

The Trazy tour was not only convenient, it was not rushed and ambitious. It gave us ample of time to explore both Nami Island and Garden of Morning Calm within a day, and enjoy the autumn season leisurely. It was a bonus that the driver/representative was friendly and informative about the venues. πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

So, if you are interested in enjoying Nami Island and Garden of Morning Calm at a leisurely pace without having to crack your brain on which mode of transportation to take/transfer and the travel route, book your very own Seoul Vicinity: Nami Island and Garden of Morning Calm Tour; it is definitely worth the money spent and time saved. 😊

Highly recommended to visit during autumn and perhaps spring time too!

Itinerary from the Trazy website




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When travel collides with a byte, a unit of information made up of bits, TravelBytez is formed: snippets of ramblings on travel, food, shopping, living and anything else that comes to mind.
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