Day 4: Nami Island, Petite France day tour
Since I'm still heartbroken that I wasn't able to book a piso fare to Tokyo, I will just reminisce about my previous Seoul trip. Nami Island is one of the must see tourist spots in Korea because it's the shooting location of Hallyu drama, Winter Sonata. But aside from that, its a nice one day side trip because its an island accessible from Seoul.
There's a shuttle bus from Seoul to Nami Island. The bus stop is located on Insadong near Tapgol Park but you need to buy a ticket a day before your preferred schedule. The fixed departure time is 9:30AM and you'll be travelling back to Jamsil station (back to Seoul) by 4PM. A one-way trip costs 7,500 won while a round trip ticket costs 15,000 won.
My sister and I woke up early to catch the train to Gapyeong Station. It's cheaper but with more transits. We chose this option because we can control our itinerary.
- From Myeongdong Station, alight to Sangbong Station (1 transfer, 15 stations, 1 hour)
- From Sangbong Station take Gyeongchun Line and get off Gapyeong Station (45 minutes, 30 minutes train interval)
We missed the hop on hop off bus by 1 minute :(We took a taxi to Namiseom Island parking lot (15 minutes travel time, 3,000 won)
Looking back, I realized that I had the same instructions on my 2013 trip itinerary but we weren't able to go to the 2nd step because of a misunderstanding. We thought that there's no scheduled train that day, what they meant was there's a 30 minute interval for trains. =))
|Immigration to Namiseom|
The taxi dropped us on the parking lot and after a 5 minute walk, we arrived at Namiseom's Immigration. We paid for 8,000won for our visa and fare for the ferry.
|Ferry ride to Nami Island|
We lined up and waited for our turn to ride the ferry. There's a big morning crowd but its not a problem because the ferry goes back and forth in 5 minutes interval.
|temporary relief from cold|
|hotdogs for breakfast|
|Biking in the island|
|our family bike|
Unfortunately, my sister doesn't know how to ride a bike so we rented the family bike instead of the tandem/couple bicycle. The staff warned us that it will be too heavy for us but balancing together on a couple bike is a bigger risk. We persuaded the staff to allow us to rent this and true to his word, there were several instances where locals pushed our bike to help us get through elevated areas. =))
|Bulgogi for lunch|
|Trolling the Winter Sonata couple|
|coffee and fried pancake|
|Four seasons in Nami Island|
|Autumn in Nami Island|
|Daredevils are somewhere in that photo|
By 1PM, we've already explored the island so we went back to the Nami Island parking lot where the hop on hop off bus is located. We arrived in time for the 1:15PM bus ride to Petite France. We paid 5,000won for our ticket that we can use for the entire day. We even have a tour guide but she generally speak in Korean and Japanese. There's a funny moment when she caught our full attention after saying "on your left", but then proceeded to speaking in another language.
|Plot your schedule using this table|
After 30 minutes, we arrived at Petite France. It is a French cultural village, youth training facility and also the shooting location of some of my favorite TV shows, My Love from Another Star, Secret Garden and Running Man!
|Do Manager and Cheon Song Yi|
|Scenes from Running Man episode|
|Colorful and vintage style|
I wasn't able to verify but according to Korea's tourism site, it consist of 16 French style buildings, guests can stay on guesthouse, enjoy French inspired restaurants and stores.
|THE Secret Garden jacket =))|
Petite France, also known as Little Prince theme park, has exhibits, art installations and decors inspired by Saint-Exupery, the author of Le Petit Prince. We're able to catch a percussion instruments show on the open area stage. It only took us an hour to explore the whole place then we're off to catch the bus then train to go back to Seoul. The entrance fee is 8,000won and it's open from 9AM to 6PM.