The best “MUST-GO” places for a day trip near Seoul: Nami Island, Petite France and Garden of morning calm

As we have ventured out of Seoul city previously we would like to introduce to 3 more destinations that are definitely worth going to and are quite popular.

We will discuss in more depth and give some personal insights on the places!  

Today’s route will be :

  1. Nami island
  2. Garden of Morning calm
  3. Petit France  

 

There are the 3 main options to get to these 3 places:

OPTION 1: Gapyeong Tourism Attraction Circulation Bus.

You can catch this bus at the Gapyeong Station after you take the train from Seoul (ITX trains) . But the times are set so make sure you watch out the times for the shuttle bus! Since the times aren’t so frequent You most likely will not be able to cover 3 places in 1 day

OPTION 2:  Group day shuttle bus tour  * RECOMMENDED if 1-4 people*

This free and easy style day shuttle will take you to the 3 places we will mention:  Nami Island, Petite France, Garden of Morning Calm, 3 of the most popular destinations in 1 day that departs from 3 convenient locations from Seoul.  Do not worry about admission tickets and transportation to Chuncheon and Gapyeong,  It runs 3 times a week

 

OPTION 3:  Hire your own private car and English speaking Driver!  * RECOMMENDED if 4 or more people *

Your private car will give you more flexibility on time and places you want to visit and pick up/drop off right from the doorsteps of your accomodation!


Nami Island (남이섬)

 

koreatraveleasy-nami-island-entrance
Photo from visitkorea.or.kr (김지호)

Nami Island is 63 km away from Seoul in the direction of Chuncheon, and is famous for its beautiful tree lined roads It takes 1.5 hours away  from Seoul by car. Since it is not far from Seoul, many couples and families come to visit.

It is a half-moon shaped island. Nami Island was formed as a result of the construction of Cheongpyeong Dam

How to get there:

  • 1.5 hours from Seoul – by car , or 2.5 hours around by ITX Train and take the Gapyeong Shuttle
  • Take a 5-minute ferry ride (or take the zip wire) to the Island  – admission is 8000 won for foreigners
  • Zip line is 2 mins and 38000 won
  • Namiseom Zip Wire is an eco-friendly leisure facility established by Gapyeong County Office in partnership with Gyeonggi Tourism Organization and Namiseom Inc.
  • It is one of the biggest zipline in Asia.
  • Riders start from an 80 meter-high tower and zoom down along a wire cable to Jaraseom (640m away) and Namiseom / Nami Island (940m away).

History of Nami island

  • It is the grave of General Nami, who led a great victory against the rebels in the 13th year of the 7th king of the Joseon Dynasty, King Sejo (reign 1455-1468).

What’s special?

  • Namiseom (Nami) Island is also known as Naminara. “Nara” means “country” in Korean, therefore Naminara is a micronation on its own and a”visa” issued by Naminara is required in order to enter Namiseom. (which is your entrance ticket it will say “passport” “)
  • It declared itself a self-governing country in 2006
  • In addition, it has invented its own passport, currency, stamp and telephone card, and has promoted the establishment of Naminara in other countries.
  • part of the film set of the famous Korean drama “Winter Sonata”starring Bae Yong Jun an Choi ji woo in 2002 (that’s 15 years ago!)  Many of the famous scenes of the leads were filmed on this Island
koreatraveleasy-nami-island-Metasequoia
Photo from visitkorea.or.kr (이범수)

Every tourist going to Nami Island takes a photo with the majestic redwood trees lining both sides of Metasequoia Road and Central Korean Pine Tree Lane. This was the backdrop for many romantic scenes in Winter Sonata.  

A special feature of Namiseom Island is that there are no telephone poles. This is because all electric wires were built underground to keep the natural feeling of the landscape. The island is 553,560 square yards with chestnut trees and poplar trees throughout.

The Forest Village and Bungalow Row Riverside Path are really quiet and relaxing, and, in our opinion, the best areas on the island.

If you don’t want to walk you can take the train on the island or the golf cart while they will take you around the island

koreatraveleasy-nami-islan-train
Photo from visitkorea.or.kr (김지호)

TIP

  • If you are coming to Nami Island during meal hours, recommend that you can eat before entering the island where is there better restaurants for better value and taste!  
  • Famous dish is Chuncheon Korean dalkalbi chicken (can be spicy or not spicy)
  • Weekends tend to be much more crowded with locals and tourists coming

nami-island-chicken-bbq

 


2) The Garden of Morning Calm (아침고요수목원)

koreatraveleasy-garden-of-morning-calm-walkway

 

What is it?

  • The Garden of Morning Calm is a 30,000㎡ private garden, open year-round and is the oldest private garden in Korea
  • The garden was designed to be an artistic space with scenic walkways, beautifully manicured grass, and flower beds that connect the garden’s 20 different themed sections.
  • The Garden of Morning Calm is a botanical garden with a variety of themed gardens set in the low foothills of a mountain.
  • Be amazed by the Hometown Garden with its countryside villa appearance, the Korean Themed Garden offering up a feeling of entering a traditional painting, the Western-style J’s Cottage Garden and the other 20-plus themed gardens.

What’s special

  • At the Garden of Morning Calm, you can find about 5,000 kinds of plants and species of flowers. There are many different festivals during the year including Spring Garden Festival, Festival of Roses and Hydrangeas, Festival of Chrysanthemums and Autumnal Tints and the Lighting festival in the winter.
  • the Lighting Garden Festival has been held and it’s only available in winter from early December to mid-march. It might not amaze you when the sky is not dark, but when night came, all the colours of the lights make you feel you’re in a magical world!

koreatraveleasy- Morning-Calm-lighting-festival-winter

  • It is a famous FILMING SPOT :
  • Most famous place Must be Seohwayeon Pond. This pond with its traditional pavilion and nearby tile-roofed house appears as a lotus pond within the royal palace in “Love in the Moonlight.”

Copy of Moonlight-Drawn-By-Clouds-filming-location-garden-of-morning-calm

  • In the first episode, Princess Myeong-eun (played by Jung Hye-sung) is seen here waiting for a letter from her love, and in the third episode, Ra-on encounters the Crown Prince while she is watching over Princess Yeong-eun.

Copy of Moonlight-Drawn-By-Clouds-filming-location-garden-of-morning-calm-2

TIP

  • The Garden’s is different for each season as you can see flowers in Spring/summer. fall leaves in Autumn and the lighting display in the winter so every season looks different !
  • Admission is 9000 won per person

3) Petit france (쁘띠프랑스)

After Nami we will head to Petite France, a cutesy, colorful little French cultural village in the Korean countryside.

 

koreatraveleasy-Petite France
Photo from visitkorea.or.kr (김지호)

 

What is Petite France?

  • Petite France was built with the concept of a French cultural village that consists of buildings related with the famous French novel “Le Petit Prince” (the Little Prince) by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry .
  • When you step in the village then you will feel you have gone out of Korea and in an European Village

 

koreatraveleasy-Petite-France-Le-petite-prince-eiffel-tower-view-600x600

Why is it special and famous?

  • Petite France was also a filming location of many popular Korean dramas and variety shows such as Secret Garden, My Love from the stars and Running Man. The village has shops, cafés, restaurants where you can feel like you are in France.

TIP:

  • Don’t miss out the marionette shows (times change according to season)
  • Admission is 8000 won per person

TODAY TIPS

  • Have the Spicy BBQ chicken before entering Nami Island! make sure to tell them if you can’t eat spicy, otherwise it might be quite spicy (Korean standards)

 

 

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