BY WONG MEI QING
These locations have been featured in numerous K-dramas and variety shows like Running Man, Secret Garden, Love from Another Star, and Love in the Moonlight. But before you dismiss this tour as gimmicky and only suited for K-Pop fans, be reminded that these attractions were only given precious air time because of how scenic and beautiful they are! We promise that you won’t regret it.
The first thing to do is settle your transport: You may charter a private transfer or opt for a more local experience and take the public transport.
For public transport, take the Seoul Metro to either Cheongnyangni station or Yongsan station, and switch to the ITX to get to Gapyeong. It takes 40 minutes from Cheonggyanni Station (4,000 won) and 55 minutes from Yongsan Station (4,800 won) to get to Gapyeong Station.
For the ITX tickets, you can purchase the tickets on the spot or do it online . The train runs every 30 minutes to an hour, so it would save you some time to purchase the tickets beforehand.
After arriving in Gapyeong, take the Gapyeong shuttle bus (6,000 won) to get to the three attractions. It would be good to plan your visit to match the bus schedule as the buses have 30- to 60-minute intervals. The shuttle bus keeps reasonably close to the schedule, so try to be there at least five to 10 minutes earlier to catch the bus and get a good seat!
The first stop of the shuttle bus’s route is Nami Island! Nami Island is 63 km away from Seoul (in the direction of Chuncheon) and is famous for its beautiful tree-lined roads. From the Nami Island stop, there are two ways to enter: Adventurous souls can zipline into the island (38,000 won) while the rest can simply take the ferry in for a cheap and convenient trip at 8,000 won. These prices cover the admission fees into the island.
Next, head to Petite France, which is a short bus ride away. Petite France serves as both a French cultural village and a youth training facility (Goseong Youth Training Center), and consists of 16 French-inspired buildings where visitors can lodge and experience French cuisine, clothing, and household culture. It was also a filming site for Love from Another Star and Running man.
Still got time? Continue to the Garden of Morning Calm via the Gapyeong shuttle bus. The 30,000㎡ garden is open all year round and is a great spot for families, couples, and photographers alike. Flowers are in bloom from March to November, so the garden is usually busiest during this period. In addition to the beautiful foliage of the garden, there are a variety of festivals and displays held throughout the year.
* Spring: Spring Garden Festival
* Summer: Festival of Roses, Hydrangeas and Roses of Sharon
* Autumn: Festival of Chrysanthemums and Autumnal Tints
* Winter: Lighting Festival
If you’re going during winter, don’t worry about not being able to enjoy the garden due to the cold. The light festival would fit perfectly into your schedule as a night attraction. This garden is a perfect ending after you’re done with Nami Island and Petite France. Do take note however, that the last shuttle bus out of the garden is at 7.30pm.
If you would like to spend more time in the garden, you can always leave later and take a taxi back to Cheongpyeong station (roughly 15,000 won for 4 pax). From there, you return to Yongsan via the ITX again.
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