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Nami Island Without the Crowds

Nami Island Without the Crowds


Leaving Seoul at 5 am was a deliberate decision. The plan was to visit Nami Island before the crowd arrived, hoping for a peaceful and serene experience. Despite Nami Island being a popular destination, my intention was different. I craved solitude, a respite from the hectic life of Seoul.

People often say that Nami Island is such an overrated place. I can't blame them; it is a popular tourist destination, both for locals and international travelers, due to its stunning landscapes and charming walkways. Additionally, it's gained popularity as a filming location for a popular Korean drama. Everyone wants to capture the island's magic, especially during autumn when the trees display a breathtaking array of reds, oranges, and yellows.


However, I knew that with proper planning and timing, there was a way to experience Nami Island without the noise of excited chatter, and without hurrying from one spot to another. Before I left my hostel, the lady running it told me just to get a tour package since I was traveling alone. As enticing as that sounded, I wanted to explore at my own pace.


Also read: Early Morning Hike to Mount Namsan Park


Seoul to Nami Island


The journey to Nami was an adventure in itself. The cold autumn breeze sent chills down my spine. Growing up in a tropical country, I have never been fully accustomed to the cold. If I could avoid it, I would. But autumn in South Korea is magical, and I was determined to embrace it fully.


Upon arriving at Gapyeong Station, I immediately hailed a taxi to the ferry wharf. Without even saying anything, the driver knew where I was headed and immediately said, "I'll take you to Nami Island."


At the wharf, I bought the tickets and went on the ferry. The first thing I noticed was that there were no seats inside. Everyone was just standing. That was the first time I've ever seen a ferry with no seats. I found a spot near the railing, hoping to see the scenery towards the island, but the morning mist engulfed everything, so there was nothing I could do but wait.


When I finally arrived at Nami Island, the sun had just begun to rise, casting a soft golden glow over the landscape. It was as if the island itself was awakening from its slumber, and I felt fortunate to witness it in such tranquility. I strolled along the pathways, taking in the beauty of the changing leaves and the quiet surroundings. Staff and shop owners were just starting to prepare for the day. Few people were walking around but everyone was busy with their own tasks. It felt like I had the entire island to myself.

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Walking on the tree-lined pathways, the crunching sound of fallen leaves under my feet was the only thing that accompanied me. The iconic Metasequoia Lane, which is often crowded and bustling during the day, was deserted. 

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As the hours passed, I could see groups of tourists making their way to the island. I thought, "Ahhh, the tour buses must have finally arrived." Families, couples, and solo travelers were all eager to capture a piece of Nami’s magic. While I had a great time alone, witnessing their excitement reminded me of the shared human experience. We may come from different parts of the world, speak different languages, and have diverse stories, but some emotions, such as the wonder inspired by the beauty of nature, are universal.

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As more tourists arrived, I made my way back to the wharf. I left before I got overwhelmed by the bustling crowds. Sometimes, all you need is an early morning on an island, with nature as your only companion.

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To anyone looking to visit Nami Island, I’d say this: While the beauty of the island is undeniable at any hour, there’s a unique charm in experiencing it in solitude. I highly recommend following my itinerary and visiting Nami Island without the crowd.


Cebu Pacific has daily flights from Cebu to Incheon, South Korea! Book your flights here.


How to Get to Nami Island from Seoul


From Seoul, you can go to Nami Island by bus or train. I took the train to go there since buses usually leave the city around 9 AM. This was not ideal for me because I wanted to arrive at Nami Island before the peak hours of tourist activity.

1. Travel by train to Gapyeong Station.
2. Once you reach Gapyeong Station, take a taxi to the ferry wharf. Taxi fare costs around ₩ 5000. At the wharf, get your tickets which costs around ₩16,000. That fee already covers the roundtrip fare and the entrance fee to Nami Island. 

Note: Prices are subject to change without prior notice. For the updated rates, visit this page

3. Board the ferry to Nami Island.

Alternatively, if you don't want to commute by train, there's a shuttle bus in Insadong near Sungnyemun Square Bus Stop in front of Namdaemun Market. This bus will take you to the wharf in Gapyeong.


I hope my experience and tips help you plan a peaceful visit to Nami Island. It's truly a magical place, and I believe that experiencing it without the crowd can make your visit even more memorable. Safe travels!


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Disclaimer: This trip was sponsored by Cebu Pacific Air. All thoughts & opinions expressed in this post are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of the aforementioned sponsor.


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