Thursday, December 31, 2015

Korea day 4 - Gangchon rail bike + Nami Island

This is one of the more exciting days because we got to take ITX train and explore out of Seoul. Due to time constraint, we didn't get to go Petit France and Garden of morning calm (looking at the plants around us when we go Gangchon, I don't think there's much to see at the garden in this time period) as initially planned.

Here's our route from Seoul to Gimyujeong:

Take ITX-Cheongchun (booked online, 4000 won per person)
Myeongdong -->30mins Dongdaemun -->30mins Cheonggyanni (ITX 9.17am departs)-->40mins Gapyeong

Gapyeong Station    Gimyujeong station (bike rail)
Gapyeong to Gimyujeong Station.

ITX is the express train which travels out of Seoul to other cities. We almost boarded the wrong train from platform because ITX shares the same platform as the normal train. The trick is to look out for the posh-looking train (occasionally double-deck) with two seaters inside. The train even have snacks and drinks for purchase on board.

From Gimyujeong Station (Gyeongchun Line) go by Exit 1. It's about 4 minutes walk away.

Bike rail start point: Gimyujeong Station - Rest stop - Gangchon Station
Temple-like Gimyujeong station

The Gimyujeong bike rail course for a two-seater cost 25,000 won. The reason we chose this route is because this is the easier route with less uphill. We are not exactly paddling fanatics.

Themed after this famous author - thus the giant books

Bikes are ready for us

I love the auto-rail tunnel. Can rest from paddling a while...

Nice view of river and mountains

A little stopover for kopi and odeng
Paddle along with winds in your hair, view of the calm nature and surprises when the bike zoomed into the 'Gangnam style' music tunnels. The Rail bike experience was real fun. Just a word of caution not to bike in winter time.

Next we hopped over to Nami Island. It's not exactly a hop away cos we kind of lost our way finding the Gangchon station which we wanted to take a train from there to Gapyeong. We later discovered that although it looked nearby on the map, it is a freaking far walk from the Rail bike place. We should have taken the shuttle bus back to Gimyujeong station. Oh well...

We had lunch of dakgalbi in lettuce wraps and rice (you know like what you see in Korean dramas?) at this cosy restaurant which was kind of along-the-way. After all the walking, frustration and hunger, it was soooo nice to sit down to a warm place. The menu was in Korean so I used my trusty google translate to order the food. It was plentiful and cheap (sub-urban restaurant style).

We took a taxi to the terminal in the end to save some time in catching the Nami ferry.

In memory of Winter Sonata

The place is famous due to the filming of Winter Sonata there, supposedly romantic right? That day we went it was pretty crowded with tourist and it just felt a little over-rated. To describe the scenery very simply it would be - ostrich, tall bare pine trees and many 'willow' cherry blossoms. It was cold and drizzling so I didn't have much mood for pictures.

Cropping the crowd below the tree away - now that's what I call scenery

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