SOUTH KOREA – A Day Trip to Gapyeong: Nami Island, Petite France, The Garden of Morning Calm

My trip to South Korea with my high school friend, Mon, involved 11 days of touring Seoul (with day trips to Paju, Anyang, and Gapyeong), Danyang, Busan, and Jeju. On our fifth day in Seoul, we managed to make room for a trip to Gyeonggi-do specifically at Nami Island, Petite France, and The Garden of Morning Calm in Gapyeong.

Read my post here to view our complete itinerary with a list of directions, expenses, and tips.

You may take the Gapyeong City Tour Shuttle Bus for only KRW 6,000 (Adults), KRW 4,000 (Children and Teenagers), and free for children under the age of 3, to tour the main attractions of Gapyeong.

NAMI ISLAND

Namiseom or Nami Island is an ideal location for a quick break from the city because it is just an hour away from Seoul. It is widely known for its majestic Metasequoia footpath which is formed due to the construction of Cheongpyeong Dam. The legendary Korean drama, “Winter Sonata”, was filmed here so most tourists try to recreate its scenes. It definitely felt nostalgic because I watched the drama 11 years ago when I was just 12 years old!

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Winter Sonata Korean Drama

It was barely autumn when we visited but I suppose based on the photos that the perfect time to go here is during the autumn season when the trees are exquisitely dormant or winter when the snow covers the trees and the path. Available facilities include exhibits, performance halls, small theme gardens, culture experiences, seminar rooms, and restaurants.

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At the Gapyeong Wharf, we purchased the Entry Visa worth KRW 8,000 (Foreigner) inclusive of the ferry ride going to the island and the entrance fee.

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You may also opt to ride the Zip Wire for KRW 38,000.

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A trip to Nami Island is not complete without a bicycle tour. (This is where I officially learned how to ride a bike!)

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Winter Sonata snow kiss

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Squad goals

  • Location: 1, Namisum-gil, Namsan-myeon, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do
  • Operating Hours: Ferry Schedule
    07:30-09:00 (30-minute intervals)
    First ferry: Departure from Gapyeong Naru 07:30/ Nami Naru 07:35
    09:00-18:00 (10-20 minute intervals)
    18:00-21:40 (30-minute intervals)
    Last ferry: Departure from Gapyeong Naru 21:40/ Nami Naru 21:45
  • Admission Fees – General Rate: Adults KRW 10,000
    Discounted Rate: KRW 8,000 (Middle/ High school students, PWDs, Seniors, Foreigners)
    Special Rates: KRW 4,000 (Children, Late admission (Dec-Mar: after 18:10/ Apr-Nov: after 19:10)
    Group Discount (20 people or more): 10%
    One year-term Passport: KRW 35,000
  • Visit their website here.

 

PETITE FRANCE

Petite France, from the name itself, is a French cultural village dedicated to the author of “The Little Prince”, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, where tourists can experience living like the French by eating French delicacies, shopping for French knick-knacks, and staying at French houses.

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My Love from Another Star kiss scene at Petite France

I initially got interested when I saw it on the variety show, “Running Man”, but I believe the drama, “My Love from Another Star”, made it more popular when Do Min Joon and Cheon Song Yi took a kissing scene to an alien level. Available facilities include exhibition hall, performance hall, accommodation, etc.

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  • Location: 1063, Hoban-ro, Cheongpyeong-myeon, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do
  • Operating Hours: 09:00-18:00
  • Admission Fees – Adults: KRW 8,000
    Teenagers (Middle and High School Students): KRW 6,000
    Children (ages 3-Elementary School Students): KRW 5,000
    Seniors (ages 65 and above)/ PWDs: KRW 6,000
  • Visit their website here.

 

THE GARDEN OF MORNING CALM

The Garden of Morning Calm is a private garden measuring 30,000 m2 that is founded by professor Sang-kyung Han. It opened on May 11, 1996 making it Korea’s oldest private garden. Based on your preference, I suggest visiting in the spring when the plants are in full bloom, in autumn when the leaves turn red, or in winter during the lighting festival from December to March. It is also sectioned into different themes:

map

(c) Official The Garden of Morning Calm website

The garden exceeded my expectations and it surprisingly turned out to be my favorite among the three attractions in Gapyeong. It elicits a sense of bliss, astonishment, and romance. I was at a loss for words because the beauty was too much to take in altogether. I have been to several wonderful places but none could compare so far. If there is a piece of heaven here on earth, this would be it.

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  • Location: 432, Sumogwon-ro, Sang-myeon, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do
  • Operating Hours: 08:30-Sunset
  • Admission Fees –
    Adults: Weekends and Public Holidays KRW 9,000/ Discount (Weekdays) KRW 8,000
    Teenagers: Weekends and Public Holidays KRW 6,500/ Discount (Weekdays) KRW 6,000
    Children: Weekends and Public Holidays KRW 5,500/ Discount (Weekdays) KRW 5,000
  • Visit their website here.

 

This wraps up our South Korea escapade! 🙂 Gapyeong was one of the highlights of our trip and I am glad that it was our finale before going back to the city and eventually, the Philippines which is our home country.

Read the other posts in my South Korea blog series to know what to do, see, and eat in each destination.

2 thoughts on “SOUTH KOREA – A Day Trip to Gapyeong: Nami Island, Petite France, The Garden of Morning Calm

  1. Hello!

    I actually don’t quite understand the timetable of bus schedule. I am quite confused which column to look for Nami to Petite France and Petite France to Garden of Morning Calm and Morning Calm back to the station. I hope you can help me on this.

    Thank you!

    Like

    • Hi Camille! I admit even I got confused but don’t worry because the timetables and routes are also displayed at the terminals right about outside each attraction. I suggest allotting a maximum of 3 hours per destination inclusive of about a 30–minute travel time to and from, i.e., 9am to 12pm at Nami Island, 12pm to 3pm at Petite France, and 3pm to 6pm at the Garden of Morning Calm.

      Like

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