Nami Island, South Korea

nami island in fall with coloured leaves

What is Nami Island?

Nami Island, also known as Naminara Republic (a fake micro-nation), is an island between the provinces of Gyeonggi and Gangwon (it’s technically part of this one). Popularized from the filming of the Korean drama, Winter Sonata, it’s best visited in autumn when the leaves change colours.

Is it worth it to go?

Personally, this was one of the things I wanted to do/see because it was a Kdrama filming site, it’s near Seoul, and it sounded like a nice nature experience. But when I did more research, I found that I wouldn’t find it worthwhile for these three reasons:

Cost

The main reason not to go is the cost. Transportation is the first issue, costing 15,000 won round-trip with an official bus from downtown Seoul or around 6000 won round-trip by public transportation. Entrance into the island is 10,000 won with a round-trip ferry ticket for foreign passports. Another option is to zipline in for 44,000 won but that’s just one-way entrance – you’d need to buy a ferry ticket out too. Then there are food costs, potential one-off costs like souvenirs (not that I buy souvenirs), cultural activity fees, and more!

What to do

The second reason not to go to Nami Island is that it’s mostly just a place to take photos. Taking photos of myself with “pretty backgrounds” and finding the right pose while taking a hundred just isn’t me. Nor do I have the wardrobe for it! Apparently there are cultural activities to do, but again, these will have high price tags on top of the other costs above.

Nature

Third, you can find amazing nature even closer and (perhaps) better than that in Nami Island. Sure, they’ve got those two tree-lined avenues, the Metasequoia Lane and Ginkgo Tree Lane, but you’ll be sure that the many other tourists will impede you from taking that perfect Instagram photo.

In short: no, I wouldn’t consider a trip to Nami Island worth it. It’s basically a small island that is mainly for people to take photos. If you’re also dedicated to cheap travel with authentic experiences like I am, then you get why Nami Island just didn’t make the cut.

nami island in the summer

More info about Nami Island

However, don’t let me dissuade you. If you *really* want to go, then check out these blog posts have more information:

If you are planning on going, I would suggest you go on a weekend as that’s when there are regular cultural performances. If interested and have the budget, book some cultural classes in advance to get the most out of your visit.

Were you planning on going? Did I help you realize the costs or did this just dampen your excitement? If the latter, I’m sorry! I hope you have a nice time and let me know what you enjoyed. I can live through second-hand experience in this case~


Related Posts (TBA): What Not to Do in Korea, Touristy Spots in Korea, What to Wear in Korea, What to Pack for long term travel abroad

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