Fall is just about over here in Korea and the colorful leaves have coated the streets of Seoul, especially the bright yellow leaves from ginko biloba trees, much like I saw two years ago in Tokyo. To fully embrace the awesome colors, my girlfriend Yujin and I went over to Nami Island.
Nami Island (남이섬), is a small, 4 kilometer/2.5 mile long island that lies in the Han River just over 2 hours upriver of Seoul via train.
Nami is famous for the spectacular colors that its leaves have during autumn. There are so many rich colors during this time, it's easy to just wander around the island, doing nothing more than looking at trees.
It was beautiful, the rich yellows and deep reds.
Being from Miami, the city of palm trees and going to the beach in February, I rarely ever got to see these kinds of trees in fall.
As always, when things are popular in the Seoul area, they are very popular. There was quite the crowd at Nami, the ferry out to the island was filled with people pushing to get aboard. But once on the island, things calmed down. People strolled around, families picknicked, couples took photos together, it was a nice relaxing atmosphere.
This family was collecting ginko biloba seeds to take home with them, when a bird flew off the tree causing the tree to shake and raining hundreds of seeds on to their heads. They didn't seem to find it as funny as I did.
This little toddler insisted on taking a photo of his parents with their cell phone. I don't even care that I'm dipping into cliche when I say that it was the cutest things in the world. He was so proud of himself. Also, note the parents' matching red Converse shoes and grey hoodies, matching couple outfits are quite the thing in Korea.
Nami Island was made especially famous within Korea and around much of Asia by the Korean TV drama Winter Sonata that aired in 2002. Most of all, the series made this path of trees on the island very popular. I could hear people from Thailand, China, and Japan all smiling taking their photos here.
I got a little carried away. You can probably tell that a fair amount of leaves fell into my mouth, but it was well worth it as this is likely the best photo of me ever taken.
Yujin reluctantly got in on the action too, but she was glad she did.
Ginko leaves draped the floor like a shifty golden rug.
It was an excellent little day trip. After the sun went down, it got really dark and really cold fast, so we were more than happy to take that two hour train ride back to Seoul.