Wednesday 22 November 2023

Seoul II Day 5: Rail Bike, Nami Island & Garden of Morning Calm

We woke up at 6.15am to get ready for the day tour we had booked via Klook (cost S$71 per adult, S$69.80 per child 3-11 years old).

A WhatsApp group chat was set up the day before by tour operator, SA Tours, to share information and communicate with tour participants. Our tour guide, CK, also introduced himself and gave clear instructions on the meeting time and venue.

I knew that the meeting point would be Yejang Bus Terminal even before booking the tour and intentionally chose to stay at Solaria Nishitetsu Hotel due to its close proximity to the meeting point. It was only a 10-minute walk! ☺️

Along the way to the meeting point, we bought coffee and bread at a convenience store. Despite the detour, we arrived at the meeting point at 7.30am, earlier than expected! 😅 It was easy to find the meeting point due to the clear visual instructions provided in the WhatsApp chat.

The bus terminal was bustling with tour participants trying to identify their tour guides while some tour guides were calling out for their participants. None of the tour guides present looked like the photo CK had sent of himself, hence we continued to wait patiently. As we were chatting, I heard a voice announce "Hi, I'm CK!" and immediately responded by raising my hand to identify our group. 

CK marked our attendance and directed us to board the bus (we knew which one because he had sent a photo of the bus via WhatsApp). When everyone had boarded the bus, we were on our way to our first destination, Ganchon Rail Park.

The journey took about 80 minutes. Once we arrived, we could immediately feel the icy breeze on our faces! It's no wonder because the temperature that day was 2°C! 🥶

The park was beautiful and scenic! After taking a lot of photos, we followed CK's instructions to ride the Rail Bike. Each rail bike can accommodate 4 riders and our party of 6 had to be split up. The girls decided to stay together while the boys joined a couple in another bike.

The route was very scenic, with a beautiful view of mountains and rivers.

We initially followed closely behind the Hubby's rail bike but soon lost them as we were too slow. To be fair, I was the only one pedalling at full power. The Littlest's feet can't reach the pedals, the Eldest tried but didn't have enough strength and stamina while the Mum had prior knee surgery so she couldn't pedal that fast because her knees hurt. 

The journey brought us through 3 tunnels, which were decorated with disco lights and funky music! 

It was an unique experience that we will never forget! Definitely recommend doing this if you've never done it before 😊

We ate some snacks at the pitstop while waiting to board the Romance Train that would take us to the end point where the bus was waiting.

Love the train ride even though we were freezing! Enjoyable experience!

We boarded our tour bus and headed to one of the restaurants near the Nami Island ferry terminal for lunch.

We tried dakgalbi, which was a dish that originated here in Nami.

We ordered 2 pans, one spicy and one not spicy. CK highly recommended for us to add cheese and rice, which we did.

The food was good, but not something that we would eat again as it wasn't really our cup of tea. During lunch, CK also recommended some seaweed for us to try and we decided to buy at least 10 packets (with packets thrown in for free) from him because my kids, especially the Littlest, loved it! 😄

With food in our stomachs and the sun finally shining brightly, we felt a lot warmer than we did in the morning! We joined the rest of our tour group at Gapyeong Wharf Ferry Terminal to board the next ferry to Nami Island.

Few people had ever heard of Nami Island until the popular K-drama Winter Sonata. Since then, crowds visit Nami Island to re-create the same romantic scenes!

It was really beautiful, though some of its significance was lost on us because we haven't watched any of the K-dramas that were filmed here. We did find cheap thrill finding our Singapore flag featured among many flags of the world though! 😆

The Littlest also spotted a wild rabbit, which was really cute!

We also spotted ostriches wandering around their enclosure and minding their own business despite the Hubby's persistent calls with prospect of food!

There were many great photo spots in Nami Island! We enjoyed taking lots of pictures!

Other than the many photo opportunities, Nami Island wasn't that interesting. We were done earlier than expected and waited at the Ferry Terminal to board the next ferry.

We boarded our bus and headed to the next destination, Garden of Morning Calm. On arrival, it was clear that we picked the wrong season to visit! The garden was in transition from autumn to winter, which meant that staff were still setting up the lights for the winter illumination and there were no flowers to view (which would have been in abundance during spring and summer).

The only plus would be the lack of crowds! We could take really beautiful photos with no one in the background.

The trees are well-sculptured, with each one looking pristine and picture-perfect! Beautiful trees always make me happy! ☺️

We were given coupons which can be used for our purchases from stores on premise. We used them to buy snacks and ice-cream! Yum 😋

And that was the end of our tour! We boarded our bus back to Seoul and arrived at Hongdae (aka Hongik University) after the sun has set.

We took the subway train from Hongik University Station back to Myeongdong Station. The Hubby decided on an unassuming restaurant along the busy street to our hotel because he had a good feeling. The restaurant was below level and had just opened.

The staff brought us to a private room where we dined Korean style. As usual, the Hubby's instinct was right! Food was very good, the best we've had in this trip so far!

It was a satisfying end to a long day! We all retired early to bed as we were exhausted! 😅

Continue to >> Seoul II Day 6: Noryangjin Fisheries Market & Myeongdong Shopping


Visit MADPSYCHMUM TRAVELS for the rest of my posts on Seoul, South Korea 
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