namiseom

10 Things to Do in Seoul


New City, New Friend

Camping and Jams at the Rainbow Music Festival

Nami Island is, without a doubt, one of my all-time favorite Korean attractions.  Sure, it's touristy, but with good reason.  The island's stunning scenery and artistic atmosphere make it an ideal destination for nature lovers and design enthusiasts alike.  Because Namiseom is a bit of a journey from Seoul, I'm not able to get out there as often as I'd like; so, when the Korea Tourism Organization offered me tickets to the island's annual music and camping festival, I jumped at the opportunity and figured it was the perfect excuse for making the two hour trip out to Chuncheon.

The Rainbow Island Music and Camping Festival was started in 2011 and past lineups have included international headliners like Jason Mraz, Christina Perri, and KT Tunstall.  In just two short years, the festival has gained a reputation for being one of the country's best outdoor celebrations of music.  One-day and three-day tickets are available for purchase each year.
In addition to promises of amazing music, the festival is one of the only weekends of the year when camping is allowed, as to preserve the island's ecosystem.  Festival-goers holding three-day tickets can opt to reserve camping spots, either by renting the festival's tents (which include sleeping bags, lanterns, and mats) or bring their own tents.  Both options include access to a number of showers.

Jason Mraz: showing me up with his Korean skills

 

Jason Mraz was in Korea for about a week and he knows way more Korean than me. Watching him make small talk with the Korean audience between songs at last month’s Rainbow Island Festival on Nami Island (Namiseom) was just the motivation I needed to kick my butt into gear and learn Korean.


Destination: Namiseom / French Village (Gyeonggi-do)

The island of Namiseom is an easy day trip from Seoul, and a chance to escape the mainland and enjoy some natural beauty – well, sort of.

The name Nami comes from General Nami, a brilliant military strategist who was falsely accused of treason during King Sejo’s reign (r. 1455-1468). His grave was never found, but there was a pile of stones where his body was supposed to be buried; taking a stone would supposedly bring misfortune to the thief’s house.

You’ll see only a couple signs of Nami, and no mention of that story – the more interesting story is more recent. After the construction of the Cheongpyeong Dam in 1944 made this place an island, a gentlemen named Min Byeong-do bought the island and planted thousands of trees. He then turned it into a resort town, which served as the backdrop for films and festivals including ‘Winter Sonata’.


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