Nami Island, Petite France and Garden of Morning Calm in One Day

I’ve made it no secret, South Korea is one of my favorite countries in the world, perhaps maybe because of my fascination with Korean Dramas. I can’t believe it’s been over a year since I first stepped foot in this country. I visited in the winter of 2014 with my friends Jett and Maki for a week-long trip around Seoul and nearby provinces such as Jeju Island.

Since then, I‘ve been dreaming of going back. Luckily, my friends DJ and Sheila wanted to go too! Fortunately, we got cheap round trip tickets to Seoul in the beginning of this year and we flew to South Korea three weeks ago. While I didn’t know it then, this trip ended up being one of the best! Thanks Sheila and DJ for the company! I know you girls enjoyed it as much as I did!

Early morning travel from Hongdae to Gapyeong

Our day in Gapyeong County in the Province of Gyeonggi started like this: on the parking lot of Gapyeong Wharf looking for a coffee shop. We got out of Hongdae Housetay Guesthouse at 6:00 am when it was still completely dark outside. In winter, the days are shorter with the sunrise occurring later (around 7:30 am) and the sunset occurring earlier (around 5:30 pm).

DJ, me and Sheila – it was 8:00 am when we arrived in Gapyeong Wharf yet the sun is still not up!

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From Hongik University Station (Hongdae), we took the subway to Sangbong via G-J Line bound for Yongmun. It took around 40 minutes until we reached Sangbong. Then, we transferred to Gyeongchun Line bound for Chuncheon. It took 55 minutes until we reached Gapyeong Station. I was so amazed that traveling to Nami Island is so easy! If you are travelling to this part of South Korea, download Subway Korea App. This app saved us a lot of time! It is really is the best navigation app for South Korea ^_^

Gapyeong City Tour Bus

Also, if you want to spend a day getting the most out of your trip, be sure to avail the service of Gapyeong City Tour Bus. With just one ticket (KRW 8,000 as of January 2020), you can freely discover and enjoy your desired attractions in Gapyeong! If you arrived early in Gapyeong Station, you may choose to take a cab to Gapyeong Wharf. This is cheap, especially if you are travelling as a group. It should cost less than KRW 4,000.

Arrival at Nami Island

After breakfast at this random coffee shop, my friends and I bought our tickets to Nami Island which include admission and round trip ferry ride (KRW 8,000). It was around 9:00 am when we arrived in the island.

We arrived so early that the parking lot in Gapyeong Wharf was practically empty, which is very unusual because it is almost always pack with tour buses. I guess going on a Monday was really a great decision 🙂 Anyhow, we decided to explore the back side of the island first to avoid other tourists and so we could get as many pictures as we want without any photo bombers. Lol. We walked along the almost frozen lake which was very picturesque and serene. We saw many playful chipmunks and squirrels. It was truly a lovely sight!

There are plenty of firewood stations in the island so you can gather some warmth! There are also plenty of restaurants and shops where you can buy coffee and some snacks.

Dakgalbi Lunch at Gapyeong Wharf

We spent two hours in Nami Island and that was enough time to see all attractions. My friends and I went back to Gapyeong Wharf before noon and had lunch at one of the restaurants in the area. We went to this Dakgalbi restaurant, the same one I went to last year, and ordered their local specialty Dakgalbi. It is a spicy stir-fried chicken dish made with boneless chicken pieces, rice cakes, green cabbage, sweet potato, and other vegetables. Super delicious!

We paid KRW 8,000 each and I can say that it was worth it. I always end up so full and satisfied whenever I eat in an authentic Korean restaurant! I continued eating Korean food for about a week or two after I got back in Manila. I have major separation issues when it comes to South Korea and Japan. Haha

Petite France

After lunch, we immediately went to 7 eleven and waited for the Gapyeong City Tour Bus that will take us to Petite France. It only took around 30 minutes until we reached this French themed village. And, it was packed like sardines!

Petite France is pretty popular among Korean Drama fans because it where the popular TV series “My Love from Another Star” starring Kim Soo-hyun and Jun Ji-hyun was filmed. It was also the filming location of one of my all time favourite dramas Secret Garden starring Hyun Bin and Ha Ji Won.

Garden of Morning Calm

After an hour, we decided to wait outside the village for the bus going to the Garden of Morning Calm. We were not able to go inside the Memorial Hall for Antoine de Saint Expert because we need to catch the 3 pm bus. Time is of the essence!

I think it was around 4 in the afternoon when we arrived in the Garden of Morning Calm. You see, the garden is pretty dull during the winter. It look absolutely amazing during Spring and Autumn, at least based on the photos I’ve seen online.

The primary reason why we were there is because we want to see this dull garden in a whole new light. At sunset, the gardens come alive with magical Christmas and winter illuminations. If you’re planning to visit South Korea in the winter, then a trip to the Garden of Morning Calm is a fantastic addition.

Alright y’all! I genuinely hope this was helpful for you and you enjoyed the photos like I did. Got any questions? Comments? Insights? I’m all ears! Let’s chat down below. Have a wonderful week ahead!

If you want a hassle-free travel to Nami Island, Petite France and Garden of Morning Calm, join a small group tour instead! Check out the tour below!

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