Today Daniel and I went on a day trip for BBB International Friends Day, along with our friends Megan and Tony and approximately 600 other people from 39 countries. BBB is a volunteer organization that provides free 24/7 translation/interpretation in Korea in 17 languages (call 1588-5644). The event was promoted by the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism.
This was one of the best trips I have been on in Korea. First off, the price was amazing! 10,000 won per person included train/bus/ferry transportation, admission fees, a shirt, and a huge lunch from Outback (they also had drawings for prizes). The event was very well organized and because we took the train most of the time everything went according to schedule (unlike so many Adventure Korea/Discover Korea trips). And it was our first train trip in Korea!
We started off at Seoul Station, where we took the train to Gapyeoung Station and then a ferry to Nami Island. Nami Island also calls itself “Naminara Republic” and you have to go through “immigration” and buy “visas”. Another option to get to Nami Island is via zipline.
I absolutely loved Nami Island! It was a little bit cheesy which only made me love it even more. There were lots of walking trails, gardens, and recycled art/sculptures. You could ride a tram around the island, rent tandem bicycles, or take a small train. Or walk, like we did. We also saw the tomb of General Nami and some ostriches. We didn’t have time to see everything so I want to go back and stay in a cottage and maybe do some water sports there too!
Next we visited Chuncheon Makguksu Museum, where we got to make and taste the traditional buckwheat noodles.
Last was the Literary Village of Kim You-Jeong, the birthplace of the famous Korean author.
BBB’s next trip is July 29-30 or August 6-7 (overnight train) to Yulpo Beach, Boseong Green Tea Farm, and Gangjin Celadon Festival. The price is 49,900 won for members; contact Steve Yang at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Side note: On Saturday night we stayed in Seoul since the train left so early Sunday morning. We had dinner at Craftworks and while the beers were great (Gwanaksan Kolsch was my fave), the food was a bit of a disappointment. We paid 2.000 won extra for cheese on our burger and they barely put any and 1,000 won extra for a tiny pickle. Also the portion of fries was very small. The nachos were made with homemade tortilla chips which would have been good with just salsa but were way too soggy for nachos. Based on internet recommendations, location, and price, we stayed at Hotel Rainbow. Also a disappointment. No internet, tiny tub, not very clean… I guess we are spoiled by Hotel Novios now!
Weird Korea Part 19: Sometimes Korean couples like to wear matching shirts or outfits. I hear this is very popular on Jeju Island with honeymooners. Well, it is very popular on Nami Island too! Here are two couples we saw today: