Yellow Nami

The best time to visit Nami Island in a year is late October (usually October 20-30). Why? Because Nami Island is turning yellow for those days.

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Before you reach the main spot in Nami Island, you gonna pass this pathway with baloon lamp decoration. It’s already beautiful, isn’t it?

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Not only the ginko trees which are turning yellow, but other trees are turning into other colors such as red, brown, orange, etc. I love visiting Nami Island during  Autumn!

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Here’s the main spot of Nami Island. The lined ginko trees which look like a yellow painting on late October. These pictures were taken October 23rd, 2015.

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Taking hundred pictures in this amazing view is a MUST. Sometimes your camera can’t capture the real beauty of what you see in Nami Island, so bring a good camera and a photographer-friend if possible!

But Yellow Nami also attracts so many visitors during this period, the vistors can be 2-3 times more even on the weekdays. When I took picture, actually so many people behind me, luckily I got some moment when they didn’t appear on this picture which can ruin my wonderful picture.

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You can spend the whole day in Nami Island when you come when its peak. Why? Because it seems like not being in other place, not the usual Nami Island which is only green. So many beautiful spots with the yellow ginko trees like the lake and the single tree.

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[HowToGetThere]

  • Take ITX from Yongsan Station to Gapyeong Station for 55mins (cost 4600 won).
  • When you get out from Gapyeong Station, you can take taxi for 10 mins (3000-5000 won) or take the Gapyeong shuttle bus for 6000 won or normal bus for 1300 won.

[Tips]

  • Book the ITX through online on letskorail.com, even 2 weeks before because those period is usually fully booked, or juts take the normal train if you don’t get any.
  • If you’re planning to visit only Nami Island, it’s better to take the taxi to be faster. But if you plan to visit other places (Petite France, Garden of Morning Calm) you can take the Gapyeong shuttle bus for 6000 won (all day ride).
  • Come early in the morning! You might have to wait for more than 1 hour just to take ferry to Nami Island if you come after lunch time
  • I recommend you to visit only Nami Island and spare much time. I had to queue for 2 hours only to take the ferry back to the entrance when I visited last year (it was 2pm in the afternoon).
  • In 2016, my prediction (based on friends who went there & recent photos from instagram) the peak time would be October 22-30 this year. You can’t visit too late otherwise all the yellow leaves are already on the ground.

*more info

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Seorak Mountain (설악산)

Seorak mountain is the highest mountain in  Gangwon Province as it’s the third  highest mountain in South Korea. The main entrance of Seorak mountain is 30 mins away from the nearest Seokcho City.

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Seorak mountain is famous for its waterfall and peaks which you can reach by hiking for some hours such as

  1. Biryeong Waterfalls (2,4 km – 1 hour per way, difficulty 2 out of 5 )
  2. Biseongdae Cliff (3,6 km – 1,5 hour per way, difficulty 3)
  3. Ulsan Bawi Rock (3,8 km – 2 hour per way, difficulty 5)
  4. Cheonbuldong and Baekdam Valleys (3,5 km – 1 hour per way, difficulty 2)
  5. Daesung Waterfalls (0,9 km – 1 hour per way, difficulty 3)
  6. Baekdamsa Temple (7,5 km – 3 hours per way, difficulty 2)

** However, they also provide the easiest way to get to the Gwongeumsong Fortress by riding a cable car in Sinheungsa Temple area (1 km from main entrance) which cost you 10,000 won (round trip).

When you get off the cable car, you can follow the road and get to Gwongeumsong Fortress which is about 500 m away from the cable car station to get the full picture of Seorak mountains from 1200 m altitude.

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The best thing if you visit Seorak Mountain in mid-late October is that you can witness the colorful image of autumn foliage from above

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Seorak mountain is famous for its beauty and colorful maple trees during autumn season. For 2016, the autumn foliage first appeared on September 29 and get its peak on October 20 (earlier than last year’s autumn foliage).

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I visited Mount Seorak back in October 14, 2015, one week before it hit the peak time for autumn foliage. I took the bus from Seoul to the Seokcho bus terminal, proceed with local bus and arrive at the main entrance at 11am. I didn’t get the cable car ticket during the lunch time (packed of guests) so I decided to take the cable car later at 5pm as I planned to hike Ulsan Bawi Rock first (I bought the 5pm ticket at around 11pm).

I started hiking around 11.30am and arrived at two temples and a spherical rock Heundeulbawi at around 12.30pm (already halfway to Ulsan Bawi).

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Ulsan Bawi (울산바위) is a rock formation of Seorak Mountain, one of the famous peak spot for hiking. It takes you 2-2,5 hours total for 3,8 km (one way) from the main entrance. To get to the peak, you gotta climb over 888 steps before you can see such amazing view of the Ulsan Bawi Rocks and Seorak mountains.

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You can also see the Seokcho City which is exactly next to sea.

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I spent 5 hours long for Ulsan Bawi trip (2 hours climbing up, 1 hour rest, 2 hours going down) and managed to comeback before 5pm to ride the cable car to Gwongeumsong Fortress.

[HowToGetThere]

  • From Seoul Express Bus Terminal or Dong Seoul Bus Terminal, take a bus to Sokcho City ( 2,5 hours, 18.100 won)
  • From Sokcho Express / Intercity Bus Terminal, across the street and take bus No. 7 or 7-1.
  • Get off at Sogongwon Bus Stop (45 mins away)

[Tips]

  • If you want to take 2 courses (cable car and Ulsan Bawi) but for only one day trip in Seorak Mountain, you gotta leave Seoul early in the morning and comeback later in the afternoon.
  • If you want to enjoy more Seorak Mountain, you can stay over in Seokcho and play Pokemon Go!
  • Check the temperature before you come so you can prepare jacket if its cold.
  • Don’t forget to bring water and food.
  • Hiking during rainy day is dangerous, you can just take the cable car course instead
  • If you don’t like hiking, you can take the cable car course.
  • Come during weekday if you want to visit during peak autumn foliage. You might have to wait for a long time for cable car (1-2 hours to get your turn)
  •  The best view of autum foliage of Seorak Mountain is from the Gwongeumsong Fortress, which means you have to take the cable car for this.

[Recommended Itinerary]

  • 7.30 leave from Seoul Express Bus Terminal
  • 10.00 arrive at Seokcho Bus Terminal
  • 10.15 take bus no 7 or 7-1
  • 11.00 arrive at main entrance of Seoraksan
  • 11.30 buy ticket for 4pm cable car
  • 11.30 – 15.00 climb up to Ulsan Bawi
  • 4.00-5.30 take cable car, Gwonggeumsong Fortress
  • 6.00 go back to Seokcho Bus Terminal
  • 7.00 take bus to Seoul Bus Express Bus Terminal
  • 8.30 arrive at Seoul

*more info *course details

visited on October 14th, 2015

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