MelBen Honeymoon Day 7 Garden of Morning Calm, Petite France, Nami Island

2:10:00 PM

Before we get to talking about Petite France and Nami Island, the 2 popular touristy places that most would include in their itinerary, we need to bring your attention to another place which took our breaths away... Garden of Morning Calm!

You really need to include this place in your itinerary since it's somewhat nearby the other 2!


Read on and see (unedited) photos for yourself to find out why!


Day 7 - 31 Oct 2016

While most would head straight to Nami Island, we decided to break the norm and travel a different route instead and we must say we made the right choice! After an adventurous journey of almost getting on the wrong train, we managed to arrive safely at Garden of Morning Calm and this was the route that we took from our Accommodation in Seoul.

Walk to Seoul station and take subway Line 1 for 2 stops to Yongsan Station
Board ITX-Cheongchun to Cheongpyeong station (we took the one that departed at 830am)

There are 2 ways to book the tickets and you can actually book it in advance online via the KORAIL Website. However, since it was non refundable, we decided to book the tickets 1 day in advance from the counter at Seoul Station itself since it was nearby to where we stayed at. (We don't really advise getting the tickets the morning itself just in case there's a long queue at the counter!)

After a 55min ride (which felt shorter than that cos we ate breakfast on board, watched a bit of Running Man on our iPad and Mel even did her make up on the train. Haha), take the Shuttle bus (has a rainbow design on it) from Cheongpyeong station to Garden of Morning Calm. The bus that we took left at 9:35am sharp and we knew we had to board it cos the next one leaves at 1020am and every 1 hour later.

You must be at the correct exit of the station so if you're not sure you can ask the staff at the station. This is how the station exit looked like from the shuttle bus stop we stood at,


Yes it was raining that morning, wasn't too heavy by the time we reached though. Just a little drizzle thank God!


And our view at the bus stop while waiting for our shuttle bus! The bus tickets cost 6,000krw each and the best part is that you can hop on and off whole day as long as you keep and show the bus ticket.


After a 25min bus ride, we alighted at the Garden of Morning Calm stop (2 stops from Cheongpyeong station). Our purpose of taking the first shuttle bus to the garden was that there would be less people (equals to less photo bombers!) and it worked in our favour! We got to the garden at about 10am and spent 1.5 hours walking around before seeking shelter from the cold.

Garden of Morning Calm
수목원 or 아침고요수목원
432, Sumogwon-ro, Sang-myeon, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do
경기도 가평군 상면 수목원로 432 (상면)


All of our photos below are taken with our GoPro Hero5 and on a tripod stand. Before coming to Korea for our Honeymoon, we did consider hiring a photographer on one of the days. If you're new to MelBenGets, we were supposed to go for our pre-wedding shoot in April 2015 in Korea but we got that cancelled because we brought forward our wedding to Jan 2015. So we felt there was no point carrying on with the pre-wedding photo shoot since our wedding would have already been over by then. 

Self timing / Bluetooth clicking our photos throughout this trip has been fun! And we get to decide where we want to take the photos and what we want to pose. Truly a great decision made :)

All of the photos below are unedited (cos we are quite lazy to edit them. Oops!

The sight that greeted us after we crossed the bridge!













We like how the garden is so well maintained and we hope it stays this way! Because of all the paths provided for people to step on and signs to tell people where you're not allowed to step on, the grass isn't "dead". This is really opposite from Nami Island where everyone is allowed to step anywhere!






See! We hardly had any photo bombers the whole time we were there!






Selfies while waiting for Ben to be out from the restroom!

  




Disclaimer: the above photo was Ben's idea. Haha!



All the people who visit this place seem to be more 自动 (automatic) when they see people preparing to take photos. They'd wait or offer to help you. Majority of the people visiting were Koreans in fact. We didn't spot any tour groups.


Apparently, this area is where they filmed the drama we were watching then, "Love in the Moonlight/Moonlight drawn by Clouds"!


Ahhh, the water bottle that someone left behind was such a spoiler!





You'd need 1.5 to 2.5 hours here, depending on if you're just here alone, or with someone, or with a group of people. There are restaurants or food stalls here too by the way. Don't have to worry about breakfast or lunch or coffee break! That's exactly where we went to while waiting for the next shuttle bus to arrive... to a cafe called Good Morning Coffee!






Even the view at the cafe was so picturesque! 

The thing about drinking a hot drink on a cold day is that you will feel warm only for a few minutes and then when you go back in the cold, you feel even colder!!!

Verdict: Garden of Morning Calm is a must! Great for adults and elderly too because there aren't many steps or steep slopes. Perfect for couples. We enjoyed this the most today. But probably not that interesting for kids so you might want to leave that out of your itinerary if you're with children, or maybe factor their nap time in and push them around in the pram when they are asleep. Nami Island and Petite France will have more children friendly activities like a playground and you can also rent bicycles. 


Petite France 
(쁘띠프랑스)
1063, Hoban-ro, Cheongpyeong-myeon, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do
경기도 가평군 청평면 호반로 1063

We went to queue for the shuttle bus towards Gapyeong after our coffee break. Alight after 4 stops, at the Petite France stop. Both of us were feeling quite queasy after the 50min bus ride, which is very unusual for Ben cos he seldom gets motion sickness. The feeling cleared up after some walking!


While doing our research about Petite France, we read that there's nothing much for this place and we planned to skip it if we didn't have time. But since we did, we went in for about 1.5 hours. More shelter opportunities here as compared to GoMC or Nami Island if it rains or if you want to hide from the cold. Similarly, there are food kiosks here too not to worry! We ordered a hot Honey Citron Tea and Churros to share while waiting for the shuttle bus.

Our Korean friend recommended visiting Petite France during night time but it's not every month that they will light up the place at night. Probably Nov onwards, closer to Christmas.

Verdict: You can skip this place if you don't have time. But if you do have time, the puppet performances are quite cute. Seems like you can also rent some of the rooms here like a chalet style although we couldn't see how the rooms looked like. 

We didn't take much photos at Petite France because the place was flooded with tourists. But you can view our vlog at the end of this post to see more of how the place looks like!


Namiseom Island 
(남이섬)
Namiseom Ferry Dock: 1024, Bukhangangbyeon-ro, Gapyeong-eup, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do
1, Namiseom-gil, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do
강원도 춘천시 남산면 남이섬길 1

Board the shuttle bus towards Gapyeong again and alight after 2 stops at the Nami Island Ferry Dock stop, about a 25min bus ride. There are 2 ways to get to Nami Island from here: zipline (38,000krw each, includes zipwire, entrance ticket and the ticket back via ferry), or ferry (8,000krw each, includes entrance fee and round ferry trip). 

We really wanted to zipline down regardless of the weather but we had to wait about 40 min for the next available slot, which we chose not to in the end and took the ferry instead as it was getting late and the sun will set at about 5:30pm. 

The ferry isn't rocky at all and you won't even know it's moving! 

Going in the afternoon to Nami Island is less crowded than going in the morning. When we arrived in Nami at 3:45pm, there was a HUGE crowd waiting for the ferry out of Nami. It was insane! You can see that from the vlog at the end of this post!

As mentioned above, it isn't easy to not be photo bombed here because it's crazily packed with tour groups. So you have to put in a lot of effort to find places to take photos!











We were done at Nami Island within 1 hour and bought a sausage on a stick before walking back to queue for the ferry. Thankfully, there was no queue for the ferry by then... around 4:50pm. And we also managed to catch the 5:15pm shuttle bus back to Gapyeong station.

The tricky thing was that even though we reached Gapyeong at 5:25pm, the next available ITX back to Yongsan was only 6:28pm. We didn't want to wait for an hour as the station had no food either. So we took the normal subway back to Seoul station. The entire ride plus changing of trains twice took us about 1.25 hours in total. Quite fast. So Thank God that we didn't wait for the ITX of book the ITX tickets in the first place!

An alternative to that would be to eat around the area before boarding the shuttle bus at Nami Island as there are some restaurants there. But the weather was freezing cold and Mel started to cough badly. Didn't help that it was an open-air subway station at Gapyeong!


Was really tired by the time we got back to Seoul Station so we had dinner near our accommodation and the food was SOOOO GOOOD! Unfortunately we can't remember the name of the restaurant but it is situated just along the street behind where we stayed at. 

We ordered beef short ribs and a soybean paste stew to share. It was super delicious but super bad for our throats! Haha.





Day 7 vlog - Seoul Cold



Do leave a comment or email us at melbengets@gmail.com if you have any questions :) Stay tuned for more posts about the attractions we visited in Seoul!!!

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