……………We are micro-nation and our exports are mainly imagination and fairy tales
These are lines from Naminara brochure. So….. some countries do sell dream and fairy tales, and apparently South Korea is one of them. And they sell it good!! Almost all Indonesian knows Naminara/Nami island from K-series, “Winter Sonata”. Since i’m not fan of K-series, i don’t really know what Nami island is. All i know was, i have to go there, cos it is the IT spot, in South Korea. So, i tried to figure out where is it actually. I was thinking, it won’t be that hard finding a famous island. Well, I guess Korea have not much islands – unlike Indonesia – i would spot it quick!
And i was wrong! Hahaha!!
I could not find it, so, i let google map pointed it out. And i realized, i was looking at the wrong place! Actually, Naminara is an islet! So, It is in the river, and it is tinny……..
It is quite easy to get there from Seoul. First, get to Sangbong Station, in line 7. From Sangbong, take Gyeongchun line train, stop at Gapyeong station. From this station, cross the street, take bus to the Gapyeong wharf. In my case, i took taxi, cos i have miss Mini with me, so, we can share cost. It was not much, though, around 3000 KRW, besides, miss Mini was dragging her suitcase.
At the beginning, we were concern about the luggage. Because, after Naminara, we would continue to Seoraksan Mountain, so, we need to bring our things with us. Wandering around Naminara with luggage sounds not cool at all!! Good news! They have locker, behind the ticket booth! Yeahhh!!
So….. what is the so called micro-nation of Naminara? For me, it is an extra big park. This park is really big, so they can have some sub-theme inside, some cluster of restaurant, museum, stage, shops, and hotels. They seriously manage this islet into piece of republic, that embrace greenery and arts. They put “Immigration” notification in the ticket booth. And they called the entry ticket, “visa”! They have their national flag also. I noticed, they have their currency, named ‘Nami tongbo’, but i didn’t see them at all. May be they stop using it? So, Interesting, isn’t it! Right after we bought our visa (it was 8000KRW) we went to the port, waiting for the ferry to send us to the Naminara republic, the imagination and fairytale land….. So….. what to do in Naminara, if you are not a K-series psychopath? Well, like me, simply walking around. Enjoy the greenery, enjoy the breeze, makes pictures. It was spring already, everything is green, and fresh. Nami islet was a waste land, until Mr. Byeong-Do Minn planted thousand of trees in 1965, and turned the islet into unique cultural spot. Nami is clean, barely no trash, even in public toilets! That’s seriously awesome! There are some “winter sonata thingy” here and there, of course. Artworks are all over the place as well. They are works of international artist! And the last but not least, the tomb of general Nami, a great figure in Korea history.
Korean people really enjoy Nami. They goes to Nami for picnic, relaxing, biking, reading, selfie-ing, or i would say selca-ing. The Korean use selca, instead of selfie. Occasionally, Nami held exhibition, and concert.