Autumn is always magical, but even magic has its own level of amusement. When traveling Asia in search for autumn scenery, the ultimate choices were Japan and Korea – unquestionably. The decision landed to Korea simply because I haven’t been there before, and having heard reviews from some of my friends, I came there with a properly managed expectation. It did happen, that every minute of my eight days stay in Korea fully exceeds every expectation and standardized prejudice I have set prior. And since I came there to witness the beauty of the season, I’m happy to share with you the peak moment of amusement I experienced while I was there: visiting Nami Island.
Namiseom Island (남이섬) was formed during construction of Cheongpyeong Dam, and named after a General Nami who was buried in the island. The government then put extra effort in maintaining the natural feeling of the landscape, that it has now become a favorite destination for families and tourists all over the world.
Being small in size, it’s best to spend time and walk all over the island. For me, it took a solid 4.5 hours including time we spent on lunch. If you’re a big fan of the nature, time would fly in a heartbeat.
Since the whole area is basically a natural site, it’s best to firstly get familiar with each parts of the island which are primarily categorized based on the main attraction present within: the honorable mention goes to Gingko Tree Lane, Korean Pine Tree Lane and Maple Tree Lane. In the following list I would like to share with you my experience on each of these lanes, which were all amazing in their own ways.
Gingko Tree Lane
The most famous part of the island – mainly due to the perfectly lined-up gingko trees which turn color with change of the season. In recent years, it’s becoming harder and harder to predict the perfect time to witness the autumn peak in this lane. I remember scrolling through social media a few days prior to arrival and found that the entire lane was still green in color – but everything was bright yellow when I finally arrived!
Gingko Tree Lane is the busiest part of the island, and also the main venue for numerous events and activities happening. If you prefer a place where you can simply sit and enjoy the breeze of autumn on your face, walk all the way through the end of the lane and move to another beautiful place you can find:
Korean Pine Tree Lane
Frankly this one is my personal favorite. Korean Pine Tree Lane is located in the further southern part of the island. Much like the famous Gingko Tree Lane, it also comes in the shape of a passageway with perfectly lined up trees. However, I fell in love with its elegance, mainly due to its strategic position right by the lake. There are a few benches along the lane where you can relax and seek calmness. Look out for squirrels up and down the trees, and perhaps take a photo of one!
The Maple Lane of True Love
Enough with all the browns and yellows, let’s also admire the reds! Right after landing from the ferry, take a few steps to the right into the island, and you will find yourself in the middle of a …. Red hue dominates the atmosphere around it, beating the ray of sunlight. Unlike the others, this part of the island packs a bunch of scattered trees all over, emerging the rugged beauty look of nature. Again, it all depends on the time – and most of the time: luck.
Autumn is surely a beautiful season to enjoy, especially on a journey embarking to other parts of the world. Korea didn’t fail us back then, and I believe it won’t fail you too. Come visit the country and experience the sweetness it brings to the eyes, and soak in the breeze of nature in an ironically man-made island.