Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Trip to South Korea - Day 4

Previous posts: Day 1&2, Day 3

My trip to Korea continues with us jetting back to Seoul on Day 4 in the morning and heads straight to Nami Island. We reached the harbor at Gapyeong Wharf at about noon. We were told that Nami Island is apparently now an independent republic, having its own passport, flag and currency. I was a bit confused there since we were freely able to go there without any real 'immigration'. We took a boat ride across icy waters to the island known to many as the shooting location of the popular drama Winter Sonata.

The welcome sign to Nami Island at the Gapyeong Wharf before taking the boat
The icy river we're crossing to Nami Island
We decided to stay on the balcony of the boat to take a good look at the scenery. Braved the freezing weather for that. You can even see the ice in the river breaking apart as the boat steers towards the island. At the entrance, a fountain still spewing water while ice has built up reaching the water source. We were told that visiting Nami Island in the autumn season would've been nicer as you can see the red leaves decorating the trees around the island. Since we went during winter, the trees were all naked and unpleasing to the eyes. But the arrangements of the trees still is an awesome sight. Before we got to see the rest of the island, we head off to lunch at a restaurant in the middle of the island. We were treated to Kimchi Fried Rice where it was placed unmixed in a box and we were suppose to shake it to make out the rice. The food was satisfying. At least it didn't taste as sour as Kimchi.

One of the fountains at the entrance still running with frozen water
The 'Shake in a Box' Kimchi Fried Rice we had for lunch

Right after, we took our prayer at the opposite hall. Seems there are a lot of Asian tourists that come here that they made facilities to cater Muslims like us. Once done, we continued exploring the island heading towards more lines of trees and the lake. The scenery was nice, postcard moment in tow. The lake was frozen and all the trees were naked. We played around the area for abit until it was time to leave. A long way back it is. Back to the ferry and back to land. Then it's off towards Pyeongyang for some snowy adventure.

The beautifully lined trees makes a great postcard picture moment.
Didn't get to take an unblocked view of the statue of the main characters of Winter Sonata
The journey took approximately 2 hours. On the way we stopped by a market in a town but I forgot its name already. Chuncheon maybe? The weather was freezing and there really wasn't anything much. Just that we spotted Rotiboy in one of the streets and bought some to enjoy on the bus. By the time we reached Alpensia Resort it was already dark. We stopped by the ski shop to get the ski gears for tomorrow's ski lesson. It costs a total of 50,000 KRW to rent the suit and gears. If you don't have ski gloves, it's 15,000 KRW to purchase one. Goggles are available for rent as well for about 5,000 KRW i think. We rented it but realised that it wasn't really necessary when we skied. It even made it uncomfortable to see clearly.
I think this was the streets of Chuncheon market
The view of the slopes at Alpensia Holiday Inn Resort
Once we arrived at Holiday Inn Resort, we checked in and got ready for dinner. Hotel room was top notch. It was very modern and the bed was really comfortable. Dinner was the usual Korean cuisine. We couldn't wait to walk around the resort that we just breezed through dinner. Don't even remember what we had. Right after, we set out to play with snow. And boy there were lots of 'em. Like immature kids, we had snowball fights around the resort. Before coming back, we head out to the nearest convenience store to stock up on snacks again.
Snowball fight!
The bed at the hotel was super comfy. Too bad it was only for 1 night
I was gonna post more continuing the next day but I just thought it might stretch the post too long (man I need to learn to write less). Will follow up with Day 5 shortly.




Update: Here's Day 5