Day 1 Nine Tree Hotel Myeongdong, Gwangjang/Bangsan/Chungbu Markets, N Seoul Tower
Day 2 Hanbok, Gyeongbokgung, Tosokchon, Samcheongdong, Bukchon Hanok Village, Myeong-dong
Day 3 Namdaemun Market, Ewha Women's University, Hongdae Free Market / Hongik University Street
Day 4 King Sejong Statue, Jihwaja Royal Cuisine, Insadong, Cheonggyecheon Stream
Day 5 - Train from Yongsan station to Gapyeong > Nami Island
> Noryangjin Fish Market (late lunch) > Myeong-dong
For our second last day in Seoul, I decided to visit Nami Island because it seems like a must-go place for first-time tourists based on what I read in blogs. Apparently Nami Island was one of the filming site for a Kdrama "Winter Sonata" many years back. While I know about this drama, I wasn't really crazy for it. I guess I included this place because I heard that it's beautiful during autumn foliage and it reminds me of Miyajima island in Japan.
There's no direct way from Myeongdong or downtown area to Nami Island, unless I register for the direct shuttle bus service or private tour bus. But I find those options rather restrictive, departure timing is 9.30am whilst return is at 4pm (or longer), meaning we have to stay on the island for 4-5 hours or visit another attraction. Many visitors would include Petite France (famous for another kdrama
filming site) which is located 30 mins from Nami Island but I'm not
including that in my itinerary.
I don't think there are much things to do on the island and I figured we would finish touring the place in a couple of hours. Therefore, decided to go by train which is more complicated. There are many blogs which provide comprehensive instructions so I think it's quite ok.
The route goes like this: Yongsan Station or Cheonggyanni Station > Gapyeong Station > Shuttle Bus or Cab > Gapyeong Wharf > Ferry or zipline > Nami Island
First we took the subway from Myeongdong to Yongsan Station (change line at Seoul Station).
Basically we have to take a train (ITX-Cheongchun
line) operated by Korail
(http://www.letskorail.com/ebizbf/EbizBfTicketSearch.do) to Gapyeong
Station and it's advisable to make online reservations to secure a
designated seat as the train service is popular and seats might not be
available especially in the morning.
At the ticketing counter, exchange the train tickets using the reservation printout and passport that was used to register. Booked the 8am train service so that we could reach Nami Island by 9am to avoid the crowd.
Be sure to go to the platform at least 5 mins earlier because the train arrived 2 mins before departure time and leave the station promptly! It was quite crowded and the train platform seemed to be shared by a few trains so be careful to listen to instructions and look at the signboard for train service that's approaching.
Namiseom 남이섬 (https://namisum.com/en/)
We reached Gapyeong Wharf in 5 mins and proceeded to the ticket counter for our ferry ticket. The signage says "Immigration" as they are marketing Nami Island as a country known as Naminara Republic.
Steamed red bean bun for sale, using traditional firewood stove. We bought one to try, not bad.
We were done by 11+am, our train back to Yongsan Station was booked for 12.30pm. Decided to take the ferry back to mainland in case there was a long queue for ferry. By this time, the island was super crowded with busloads of tour groups coming in. After reaching Gapyeong Wharf, we chilled at a cafe for a while before taking cab to Gapyeong Station and took the 12.30pm train back to Yongsan Station (remember to exchange the reservation slip at the station office).
Our next destination is Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market 노량진수산물도매시장 (http://www.susansijang.co.kr/nsis/miw/en/intro)
From Yongsan Station, we took the subway to Noryangjin Station one stop away. Exit at the right side and see an overhead bridge.
The cockles here were big, very sweet and juicy.
The bamboo clams looked very fresh so we asked for some and the stall owner gave us a whole bunch! The clam meat was stir-fried with a salty-spicy sauce and some vegetables, not bad. In SG, when we order bamboo clams, it's usually steamed in garlic and soy sauce and only one piece per person. Here there were at least eight pieces and the clam meat was so fat! It was quite shiok to eat a whole bamboo clam like this, but after my third piece, I couldn't take it anymore.
The meal didn't come cheap, but we enjoyed a sumptuous seafood meal. Not quite used to the style of cooking here, so I guess one-time experience is enough, unless we come with a bigger group of friends in future to share more variety of seafood.
After lunch, we headed back to the hotel for a rest since we woke up early.
For dinner, we wandered aimlessly around Myeongdong area, had gotten a bit sick of Korean food, so decided to look for something western and chanced upon this underground pizzeria called Myeongdong Pizza (https://www.facebook.com/myeongdongpizza). Quite a cozy little cafe, and the food served here was excellent I must say.
The caesar salad was well prepared, lots of greens, cheese and with a yummy sauce.
That concluded our last night in Seoul!
Stay tuned for the final post on Lotte Department Store - Supermarket and my shopping haul!