Nami Island

During our Chueseok in Seoul, we took a day trip to Namiseom, or Nami Island. The island is an easy train ride from Seoul, we got there using the metro which was great and cheap too. The island is half-mooned shaped in the Han River just outside the town of Gapyeong. The whole situation surrounding the island is a bit confusing to me because from what I have read, Nami Island is actually called Naminara Republic and is an imaginary country which requires a visa. You can catch a quick 5 minute ferry or zipline to the island-the option that Dean and I took. Ziplining was good fun and definitely my recommended choice of arriving on the island. 
Going through immigration and getting "visas". 
The more conventional way to arrive of the island and return to the mainland.
Nami Island is a beautiful place just to wonder around and it is really photogenic. There are paths leading everywhere and I never felt like it was too touristy or crowded. 

There were quite a lot of other Asian tourists around as Nami has been host to popular Korean drama scenes and the spots around the island are famous. We opted to walk around Nami but there are the options of renting bicycles too. We just loved and appreciated the coolness of being under the trees. There are lots of things to do around Nami from water activities to crafts, as well as just simply having a picnic.

 Being on Nami Island was a really great escape from the usual city life in Korea and it was definitely our highlight during our Chuseok break.

** Thanks again to Sue for letting me use some of her photos

A bit of Chuseok in Seoul

Chuseok is the main holiday in Korea, similar to American Thanksgiving, and it gave us a 5 day weekend. After umming and arring about what to do over this break, we decided to go to Seoul.  We had not done many touristy things around the city and as most Koreans head to their hometowns, going to Seoul would be against the traffic and less crowded.  Dean’s mom, Sue, had timed her visit perfectly and we were lucky to spend our Chuseok in Seoul with her. We stayed in Dongdaemun which was convenient for most of the places we visited as well as some good shopping! I can’t wait to go back to the Dongdaemun fabric market as well as the baking market nearby as unfortunately these were closed over the long weekend. 

Outside our hotel in Dongdaemun. We started our trip with a visit to one of my favorite areas in Seoul, Insadong. I love the atmosphere in Insadong and all the shops selling such cute things too. This time, we went to a tea house which I have kept meaning to do. We went to Chatjip Teahouse because in my tour books it was said to have finches flying around but unfortunately they got rid of their birds. The tea was still great though!

The men in Insadong performing their song and making one of my favorite Korean treats- Sweet Yong Su Yeom

We paid a visit to Gyeongbokgung Palace, one of Seoul’s 5 Grand Palaces, and which is just around the corner from Insadong.  I won’t go into the history about this palace but the grounds are massive and really beautiful. It was much grander and different to the other smaller temples I have visited.  The palace area is relaxing place to stroll around and I loved that there are lakes around the grounds. It is also is very photogenic and makes for lovely picture taking.

Many places were closed on the actual Chuseok day, so we went to Ihwa Mural Village (full blog post to come later) and also the Alive Museum. 

3 of the hundreds of photos we took at the Alive Museum. We had good fun posing for all the funny pictures.

** Thanks to Sue for letting me use some of her lovely pictures.