One of the best day trips to take, so long as the weather permits, is to Nami Island. Situated in Chuncheon, 60km east of Seoul, Namiseom is a small oasis of culture and tranquility (when it's not packed with people).
When my mom was visiting recently, I knew that it would be the perfect place to take her mid-trip to give her a break from the hustle and bustle of Seoul, as well as introduce her to a beautiful area offering a truly unique cultural experience. After making reservations, we hopped on the shuttle bus that took us from Insadong to the ferry terminal in Chuncheon. We purchased our tickets- err "visas" (8,000won/$7.50 for foreigners)- and were welcomed by "immigration officers." One of the novelties of Nami Island is that it claims to be an independent entity and even uses its own currency, though it's only for fun and not mandatory. We hopped aboard the ferry and got out first glimpses of the beautiful rolling hills of Gangwon province. A few minutes later, we were arrived and were greeted by the mermaid of Nami statue at the jetty.
Ferries run regularly from 'immigration' to Nami Island. And they are so cool looking, aren't they? (Photo: Seoul Searching)
The tree lined walking paths of Nami Island were made famous by the Korean drama "Winter Sonata." For this reason alone, couples flock to the island to reenact romantic scenes.