There are certain places in real life that once visited elicit the unexplained feeling of knowing that you have been there before, only to remind yourself that in fact you have been there once but only in a dream.
It is a place where you can run along the open path of over-growth Metasequoia trees, where all you wanted to do is to keep running not out of fear but you just want to run and to fly to happiness afterwards.
It is a place with the capability to bring back a lot of memories- a summer spent on a lake, a childhood friend, or maybe that very first time you learn to ride the bike, the air hitting your face and just the joy of it.
It is place where scarecrows are not really scary and those smiling faces of sculptures of mother and their babies are so infectious that you can’t help but smile along. Just imagine if they come to life I bet their laughter can fill up the whole island.
This is Nami Island.
If not with the thousands of visitors like me crowding this tiny half-shaped moon island I would have completely submerged my self on this dream like state but the truth is I have to be extra patient to enter this state translate into my photos.
Located an hour away from Seoul, easily reachable by bus and a five minutes ferry ticket combo reserved from a tour operator, Namiseom or Nami Island is an island of 4km in diameter and considered as one of the best “nature” out of the city trips.
From the “immigration” control point where you take the ferry to reach the island, your ticket is your “passport” to enter the Naminara Republic and the one greeting you upon arrival is a beautiful mermaid statue.
The imaginary country of Naminara Republic or Nami Island itself exists primarily out of the desire of its owner and creator Mr. Minn Byeong-do to spent the rest of his life with nature after he resigned as governor of the Bank of Korea. What once was a desolate piece of land with very few poplar trees was turned into a paradise, one which he gladly shared to the rest of the world.
His vision was carefully maintained by the succeeding island administrator and instead of putting up another amusement theme park were visitors come to drink and play, the island was kept as a place for people to be in harmony with nature, culture and art. The island supports various organizations such as UNICEF and UNESCO, thus earning a badge as a UNICEF Child Friendly Park.
One aspect that makes Nami Island even more popular is because of the 2002 KBS Korean Drama called “Endless Love: Winter Sonata”. I am not into Korean drama but I’m honest to admit that this one I watched till the end.