We had a mission to fulfill in Seoul. In our previous company trip to Seoul, we tasted one of our favourite dishes at a restaurant near Nami Island - Dak Galbi. It is a BBQ Chicken dish, where you cook it on a flat plate at your table and add rice or rice cakes to it. It was heavenly! This is what it looks like from 2007. I remembered Nami Island to be about 1.5 hours out of Seoul by bus, and the island was so beautiful in winter and we wanted to see it during autumn. Nami Island was also used in the filming of Winter Sonata.
|This is Pagoda Park at Jongno 3-ga. Where's the pagoda?|
|It's a tiny pagoda kept in a box!|
There is a direct bus from Insadong that departs at 9:30am daily except Tuesday. The bus stop is located on the left side of Pagoda Park, you may refer to the map from Day 1's itinerary. The fare was 7500Won per way, or 15000Won for return, or 23000 Won including ferry and entrance ticket. Everyone says that reservation was not required, so we arrived there by 9:00am, as it was just a 10-min walk from our hotel. We were greeted by a conductor who spoke no English, and asked if we had booked, and chased us away once he found out that we did not. So how now brown cow??
Nevermind, there's still the train or public bus. My research indicates the following:
Subway to Line 1 Cheongnangyi station, exit 4. Follow the sign to Cheongnangyi train Station (on right). Buy ticket(4000W) to Gapyeong train station, 1.5 hr ride. Fr Gapyeong station, take taxi to ferry station (say Namiseoum) for 3,500W 5min ride. At ferry wharf, buy the ticket which incl the Nami Island entry 8000W. Return Train timing: 13:23,15:03,16:43,17:53
Off we went to Cheongnangyi station, that part was easy via Subway. But alas, the next train to Gapyeong was 1.5 hours away. The customer service personnel suggested us to take a bus. She searched on the computer online and told us to take Bus No. X (I don't remember it now). We went down looking for the bus stop, and couldn't find it. After asking one group of people, the bus stop is actually a series of islands, where different bus numbers will stop at different islands. We asked them what bus number to take, they had a big discussion and told us Bus No. Y, please just follow us, we are heading along the same route. Not fully trusting them, we asked yet another person, and he said Bus No. Z. So how now brown cow?
A random bus came along, and the series was similar to Bus No. X. So I just walked up to the driver and asked "Gapyeong"? And he nodded. I asked again, "Nami-seom"? He nodded again. Yippee! We tapped our prepaid card and it deducted 1500 Won, which is approximately RM4.
I tell you, this bus stopped at every bus stop along the way, and took 2 hours to get there. About halfway there, many passengers got up to tap their prepaid cards on the fare machine. I had no idea why, and nobody asked us to pay anything more, so we just sat there and enjoyed the ride. On hindsight, RM4 is quite little to pay for a 2 hour journey right? Kakakakaka.
The driver finally told us to get off for Nami Island. According to my research, it was supposed to be a 5 minute taxi ride to the ferry. So we asked a grocer, and she supposedly said 1 hour walk from there! Either our communication was bad, or we're lost. Trusting the grocer, we got a taxi and he seemed to understand us. Along the way, I spotted our mission restaurant! STOPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP! The taxi driver was bewildered! I kept saying Stop Stop Stop Stop Stop. Then he probably said something like "But you said Nami Island". I kept saying Stop Stop Stop and he finally let us off, muttering to himself.
I felt SO HAPPY to walk into this restaurant again. I asked for a table for 2, and they spoke no English. They showed me a chart, which had some korean writing, and presumably the number of persons, and the time of arrival. It was fully filled up. Trying again, i asked again if I can have a table, and they ignored me. I was SO UPSET! I think this restaurant only caters to tour groups. So we walked across the street to another restaurant, which had not a single person inside (it was 12:00pm). Fine then.
|Look at all the kimchi pots on the roof next door. This is exactly how it looks like in Korean dramas|
It was still a great lunch, though not as nice as 2007's version. Instead of taking a taxi again, we walked the rest of the way to the ferry (about 20 minutes) and found many many restaurants all serving Dak Galbi as well. Ratssssssssss! *&#^$*&@^*&@#$^^*@#&
When we went to buy our ferry ticket, I took the chance of asking if there is a bus back to Seoul. She said yes, and I happily paid for the fare. The bus departs at 4:00pm. It was about 1:30pm now, that doesn't leave us much time at Nami Island! Here are our adventures on the island
|Ferry terminal to cross the island|
|Can you see the queue to depart the island? There were a few hundred people queuing!|
And yes we made it on time for the 4pm bus. I couldn't imagine taking the public bus again back to Seoul, and you betcha we made it on time. The bus was the very same bus that departed from Insadong and I saw the very same conductor who turned us away in the morning. Hah, you can't shoo me away now! But he took one last jibe at me by taking my ticket and switching it to the very last row of the bus. &@#*@#$*@*
When we reached back to Jongno 3-ga, it was about 6pm and quite dark. We walked towards the Cheonggyecheon Stream for dinner. Walking by this shop, HH remembered that it's rather famous and she read about it having very good BBQ. However, we weren't in a mood for BBQ yet, so we tried other things. Not bad, but not something to tell home about.
|Most restaurants we visited offered about 2, or 4 side dishes. Not like the 10 we get in Malaysia|
|Korean Ginseng Chicken. Tastes about the same as that in Daorae Garden in KL.|
|Why does it feel like Christmas in the start of November?|
|Many street vendors at night|
It was a long day with many adventures, thus the long post.
Other posts in this series:
Seoul DIY Itinerary - Day 1
Seoul DIY Itinerary - Day 3
Seoul DIY Itinerary - Day 4
Seoul DIY Itinerary - Day 5