Around 20km further northeast of the Garden of Morning Calm is Gapyeong (which can be reached on metro trains from Seoul in under an hour), the jumping-off-point for the man-made landscapes of nearby Namiseom Island. Made internationally famous by the 2002 Korean TV drama Winter Sonata, in which its wooded landscapes featured heavily, the crescent-moon-shaped island was bought by Minn Byeong-do, a former of governor of the Bank of Korea, in 1965. Under his stewardship, the island was turned into a park and planted with many trees, including an avenue of majestic Metasequoia (redwoods). Other sections of Namiseom are planted with yellow-leafed ginkgo and cherry trees, which burst into pink and white flowers in spring. The island, which styles itself as the culturally independent Naminara Republic and has its own visa (aka the ticket to access the park), also has 20 different gardens, including one designed to attract butterflies.
Nami Island and Petite France could be the most popular tour spots for those who visit Korea from overseas. Many travelers and tourists use one of those tour package from travel agents offering. However, there are always travelers who are willing to take their own adventure. As matter of fact, it’s considered a nuisance things to find a way to get there. Of course this way of travel is much cheaper than using travel package.
Most of Travel Agents are offering from USD 250 to 350(for 4 people group rate) for Nami Island + Petite France as private tour and about USD 35 to 50 as Seat in coach tour shuttle bus package. If you travel by your own way, this could be drop down to USD 10 or less.
- Nami Island + Petite France Shuttle Package
- Nami Island + Petite France Custom Private Tour
- Nami Island Free Guide tour with Korean Local Friends (Have to meet itinerary)
So, how to get Nami Island and Petite France by your own? Let’s find out how.
– Seoul Metropolitan Subway
World’s largest travel site, TripAdvisor announced that Seoul Metro is the top of “Things to Do in South Korea” category. This is really something! Taking subway could be the top things to do in anywhere in the world? This shows that how good is subway system in Seoul. Subways serve as a convenient means, probably the most favored public transportation by both Koreans and visitors from aboard. It connects you from one point to another with less hassle than often seen on the open roads and thus, making it easy for tourists to get around as well!
“This metro is really easy to use and cheap, I recommend to get the Korean metro app for your phone because it takes the guess work out of where you have to go it easier enough tells you what car to be so when transferring to another line you won’t get lost.” said by Nowra from Australia on TripAdvisor.
As you already seen what’s coming by this, you can go to Nami island by taking Seoul Metro Subway. How convenient is that!
Let’s say you departure from Seoul Station, all you need to do is taking yourself in subway to get “Gapyeong” station. Distance from Gapyeong Station to Nami island is only about 2km so if you love walking, you just want to get Nami island by walk. Or you can take a bus (Number 33-24) which takes only 10 minutes or so.
The tourist destination ‘Nami Island’
Nami Island, which floats in the half-moon shape on the Bukhangang River, is an island created by the construction of the Cheongpyeong Dam in 1944 and should be aboard the ferry at the pier(fare KRW 8,000 for adult / KRW 4,000 for child). In particular, the TV drama ‘Winter Sonata’, which was broadcast in 2002, has gained worldwide popularity and has emerged as a leading tourist destination in Korea.
- Discount for Foreigners ₩8,000
- Special ₩4,000 Visitor aged between 3 and 13 / Visitors after 18:00 (Dec.~Mar) /
Visitors after 19:00 (Apr.~Nov.)
- Free Entrance: Child aged 36 months and under
- Round-trip ferry fare & tax included.
- Foreign Tourists are eligible for 20% discount while Koreans couldn’t get
Nami Island, which arrived on the boat for about five minutes, is an island made of wood. It is no exaggeration to say that the trees become forests and fill the entire island. Among them, many forest roads are regarded as the most beautiful places here.
Especially, Metasequoia Road, which is the main character of ‘Winter Sonata’, is a must for those who visit here. You will be able to meet foreign tourists of various nationalities, also many local Koreans as well.
Unique French Theme Park, Petite France
Now, it’s time to move on to the Petite France. It’s about 15km away from Nami island so you should have taken any kind of transportation to get there.
The best way to go to Petite France from Nami island is taking “Gapyeong tour bus“. By using this tour bus you can also visit The Garden of Morning Calm and Gapyeong Rail Bike which are also very popular tourist spots.
[ Fare ]
- 1 day :
Adult – KRW 6,000 won / Youth, child – KRW 4,000 won
Person with disabilities/Military personnel/Senior Citizen – KRW 4,000 won /
※ Child 3 years or younger – Free
[ How to use ]
- Free to get on buses with a ticket within the routes
- Free to visit tour areas within course stations
※ Entrance Fee for the tour sites should be paid by individual
- Ticket purchase: Purchase from Bus driver.
- Take next bus when the bus is full.
About Petite France
The concept of Petite France encapsulates ‘flowers, stars, and the Little Prince.’ The village contains a memorial hall dedicated to Saint-Exupery, the author of the celebrated French novel, Le Petit Prince (1943) and as such it is called the Little Prince theme park. It also has a gallery displaying sculptures and paintings of le coq gaulois (the Gallic rooster), the national symbol of France; Orgel House where a 200-year-old music box plays a sweet melody; a shop that sells herbal and aromatic products; a souvenir shop; and many other locales where you can experience French culture. The village can accommodate up to 200 visitors with 34 guest rooms that hold four to ten people each. Enjoy the marionette experience and hear percussion instruments from around the world, and also enjoy soap bubble experience.
Filming locations for famous Korean Soap Opera
The famous Korean Soap Opera and entertainment programs including “Beethoven Virus” and “Personal Taste” of MBC, “My Love from the Star”, “Secret Garden”, “Great Friend Note – Girls Generation Episode” and “Running Man” of SBS, as well as a number of films and TV commercials have been filmed here in Petite France. Petite France is a special space where you can feel those scenes and impressions again.
You can go here by yourself, But I recommend to go wiht your travel companions or Local friends. Oh, I know it’s hard pressed to solo traveler. Don’t worry, You can find travel mate in-time using smart phone app. Yes, Serentrip – travel buddy & Locals
If you don’t konw how to find travel buddy in Korea untill, Please refer to this post
Or, Want to more information about Serentrip Refet to here.