Autumn Adventures in Korea: Nami Island and Rail-Biking
The lush green foliage around Korea has finally turned into a vibrant array of beautiful fall colors! I'm trying to fit in as many outdoor activities as possible before it gets too cold here.
Over the weekend, some of my friends and I signed up for a full day of outdoor activities with Seoul Hiking and Nature group. They are wonderful with providing activities that are fun for every fitness level and also cater to multiple interests. So far every outing I've done with them has been organized, reasonably priced, and tons of fun!
Yesterday morning, a small charter bus scooped us all up from various subway stations in Seoul. After an interesting morning which consisted of sprinting through many stations, I finally made my way onto the bus with my coffee and some snacks.
Mini Road-Trip to Nami Island
The bus made it's way outside the city, and it was amazing to see the change in landscape after only about an hour and a half on the road. We had arrived at the popular area known as a Namiseom (남이섬), or Nami Island. This beautiful half-moon shaped isle was formed after some work had been done on the Cheongpyeong Dam. The isle happens to be the grave of the General for which the isle was named after,General Nami. General Nami was known for leading a great victory long ago during the Joseon period. We took a quick ferry to reach the island.
Nami is such a beautiful place that is brimming with picturesque nature trails lined by Ginkgo trees and fields of flowers and tall grass.
Our group got to spend a couple of hours at the island so some of us stopped at a restaurant for lunch, while others tried tandem biking. After lunch my friends and I walked around the isle and stopped to take many pictures of the fall foliage.
There are small condos along the water for rent during the weekends. It was nice to see people were out in the water enjoying the paddle boats too.
This quaint isle is a very popular destination for couples as parts of the famous Korean drama, Winter Sonata were filmed there.
You'll also see many families there playing in the parks or having a picnic.
Though small, Nami Island offers many things to do and is the perfect place for a weekend getaway.
Rail Bike Excursion
We caught the ferry from Nami Island back to the parking lot where the bus driver was waiting to take us to our next activity, rail-biking! Gangchon Rail Bike Park (강촌 레일파크) is about 45 minutes away from Nami Island.
There, our group rented many 4 seater rail bikes. Each person has a set of pedals in front of them, and there is a handbrake in the middle of the rail bike. My friends and I laughed because it was more work than we thought it would be...could be because we were just stuck with a broken bike. That, or we are collectively out of shape.
Rail-biking is a fun way to see the countryside and farms around Chuncheon area.
The rail bike track went through many tunnels , and each tunnel had a special theme. While I was there, we went through a bubble tunnel, kpop tunnel (live performance of BTS not included.), and a sparkle/starry night tunnel. It was really fun!
We stopped at the halfway point to take a break, buy some snacks and take more photos. The views of the mountains as the sun was setting served as the perfect backdrop for photos!
For the second leg of the rail bike trip, everyone hopped on a little train and that took us to the end of the line. We saw a nice view of a bridge that reminded me a little of the Zakim bridge in Boston! The easy ride back was heavily welcomed as it was getting darker out, the air felt cooler, and we were hungry.
I was marvelling at the landscapes and having so much fun on the rail bikes that I hardly noticed how hungry I really was until we had stopped. Conveniently enough, the train that transported us the rest of the way, stopped in Chuncheon near a subway station, where many restaurants were open. Our guide Mary, led us too a nice traditional restaurant that was a five minute walk down the road.
Upon entering the restaurant we had to take off our shoes. We were led to a low table were everyone was expected to sit on the floor. One of the most popular dishes in the Chuncheon area is Dakgalbi (닭갈비), a spicy stir-fried chicken. This local dish is often made by marinating the pieces of chicken in a spicy gochuchang sauce. Other ingredients added to the dish include, scallions, cabbage, Korean sweet potatoes, and tteok (rice cakes). This warm dish was perfect after a long day outside in the cool air.
After dinner, we all got on the bus to go home. My friends and I chatted away, and it was nice to catch up with everyone since it had been a while!
This has been one of my favorite trips in Korea so far. Although, I feel like I find myself saying this every time I go out on the weekend!
Thanks for reading! As always please feel free to ask any questions. Follow me @greyes09 on Instagram!
Check out other from my trip photos below!
#남이섬 #NamiIsland #Wintersonata #weekendtrip #daytrip #seoulhikinggroup #seoulhikingandnaturegroup #ellavakorea #ellavask #expatinkorea #cieeteachabroad #cieeteachinsouthkorea #chuncheon #dakgalbi #gangchonrailpark #gangchonrailbike #railbike #railbiking #강촌레일파크 #닭갈비 #chuncheondakgalbi #autumnadventures #autumninkorea #falllinkorea