Trip to Nami Island

Nami Island (Namiseom, 남이섬) is a Korean island on the river Bukhan (Bukhangang, 복한강) on the border between Gyeonggi-do and Gangwon-do (approximately one hour and a half drive from Seoul). Although this place is very popular among Koreans, and can be seen in most Korean dramas (specially in romantic scenes where the boy declares his love to the girl), it’s not usually visited by foreign tourists.

The island is small, but quite pretty, perfect to relax for a while and spend the afternoon walking around a beautiful scenery. Now there is a shuttle bus that goes directly from Insadong to Namiseom for around 15,000 KRW the round-trip (more info here), a bit expensive, but probably the most convinient way to get there for tourists, as it is not easy to get there by conventional bus or train (for instructions, check here).

The red star is where the island is located.

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With Jiwon, taking the ferry that took us to the island.

They sell all kinds of Korean souvenirs, from mirrors (a must-have accessory for any Korean woman) to musical instruments.

In the island you can also see performing shows. I really liked this one in which the artists mixed traditional Korean instruments and dance with modern techniques and styles.

One of the funniest restrooms I’ve ever seen. The walls were made out of soju bottles which had been previously melted down to make them flat.

These is one of the spots that always appears in Korean dramas. The trees change according to the season of the year (winter is not the prettiest one).

Another nice view of the montains surrounding the island.

Trip to Gyeongju

Some days ago we went to Gyeongju (경주), the old capital of the Silla Kingdom. We went on a minivan that we rented between 8 people and travelled for three days and two nights.

On the way to Gyeongju, we drove by Pohang (포항)… where is all this? Right here:


In Pohang, we went to the Bogyeong Temple (보경사, Bogyeongsa) and spent the first night at a resort called Ocean Views at the Wolpo Beach.

Woman praying to Buddha at the Bogyeong Temple.

Coincidentally there was a Buddhist funeral going on at that moment. I was surprised to see a black hanbok as they are usually very bright and colorful.

From left to right, Jairo, Alex, Ciro, and Itzíar.

Jairo, Alex, and Ciro at the river. There were also some waterfalls, but they were a little far, and it was getting dark:(

After visiting this temple, we went to eat raw fish. Being Pohang a coastal city, it is popular for its cheap and fresh raw fish. Next day, we left for Gyeongju:

In the island in this picture, Munmu King is buried. He was the first king of Korean Unified Silla period.

Korean Countryman at work (what you can see on the background are rice fields).

At the beach you can buy fresh and cheap seaweed…

…and also dried squid (those things hanging).

These ayummas were having fun drinking soju and makgeolli.

Under these tumulus there are some old Korean kings (their corpses actually).

We also went to the Bulguk Temple (불국사, Bulguksa). These stone piles are supposed to be made by monks when they pray (I think they put one stone every time they pray). But being this such a tourist temple, tourists were the ones who put the stones.

After four kilometers climbing on foot from the Bulguksa, we arrived at the Seokguram. This is the view from the top.

Seokguram Buddha, one of the most popular buddhas in South Korea.

An this is where we stayed in Gyeongju, a mini-ville in the middle of nothing (this is their website).