We love hitting up Seoul‘s crazy venues, but there’s a lot more to explore in South Korea. Hence, allow me to share our adventure beyond Seoul with our excursion at Gapyeong.
Gapyeong is a small town about 1-2 hours away from Seoul that is accessible via ITX and is known for its picturesque surroundings.
A trip to Korea wouldn’t be complete without having a pilgrimage to Namiseom or Nami Island, the most popular filming location for the Korean drama, Winter Sonata. This half-moon-shaped island is full of tree-lined walking paths ideal for anyone who wants to veer away from the rapid city pace and just revel in the beauty of nature.
There are also fascinating facts about this island: On it lies 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. Additionally, this island doesn’t have telephone poles as all electric wires were built underground to preserve the originality of its natural landscape.
There are two ways to get to Nami Island, you can either take a ferry from Gapyeong Ferry Wharf with a fee of KRW 13,000, or if you’re a brave soul, you may opt to get onto the island by zip-lining with a fee of KRW 44,000. However, please note that the zip-line is one way only, and you have no choice to leave the island by ferry. The ferry leaves every 30 minutes from 7:30AM – 9:00AM and every 10-20 minutes between 9AM – 6PM.
Obligatory photo when in Nami. (PS: I wasn’t feeling that well but tried to conceal it!)
We wandered around the island and just totally immersed ourselves there without taking a lot of photos.
This island is too vast, thus it still takes quite a while to get around so some can roam around by getting on an electric car tour. Most ahjummas opted for this, haha!
The “First Kiss Bridge”.
Of course, we rented out bicycles! Single bike rental costs KRW 3,000 for 30 minutes, KRW 5,000 for an hour, and KRW 1,000 additional charges for the succeeding hours.
They also have the cheesy couple bike wherein my sister and I tried HAHAHA! It’s quite a struggle to use it though! Meanwhile, did you know that they also offer a family bike? The rental costs KRW 10,000 for 30-minutes.
Nami possesses different charms for its different season and since it’s spring, there are cherry blossoms blooming in the area. But then, would like to also immerse here during Autumn or Winter.
Banana milk for me~ PS: We brought with us some snacks in case we get hAngry! (See what I did there, haha)
We boarded the ferry back to the port, wherein we also had our lunch at Mr. Dakgalbi.
Drooling over our Korean dish!!! SUPER YUMMY I SWEAR!
After eating, we waited for the Gapyeong City Tour Bus that would drop us to our next destination. We bought a ticket right there and then for around KRW 6,000 that is already inclusive of unlimited ride. With this, you may opt to tap your T money card.
A French-themed village located about 25 minutes away from Nami Island, Petite France is inspired by Saint-Exupery’s “The Little Prince”.
Entrance ticket to Petite France is at KRW 8,000 and cheaper for kids and seniors. And just like Nami Island, it’s also popular as filming locations for Korean dramas, “My Love from The Star”, “Beethoven Virus”, and “Secret Garden”.
A lot of tourists enjoy its colorful buildings’ facade that makes a wonderful backdrop for photo-taking sessions.
More than the pretty pastel-colored French architectural buildings, it also showcases various vintage European trinkets such as century-old dolls and puppets, antiquities, orgels (musical instrument), and furniture.
The place also has its outdoor theater, wherein you can watch plays on special days or puppet shows.
After getting around, we went out and waited for the Gapyeong City Tour Bus again for our final stop.
Garden of Morning Calm
Reaching our last stop at The Garden of Morning Calm was a 50-minute long bus ride, so some of us took a nap.
Anyway, by this time, my camera battery was already drained, so got no choice but to use our phones. There is also an entrance fee here worth KRW 8,000, and mind you, it’s yet another filming location and a hotspot for many Korean dramas such as “I’m not a Robot”, “Jugglers”, “Black”, “School 2017”, “Moonlight Drawn by the Clouds”, “Mary Stayed Out All Night”, “You’re Beautiful”, “Smile Again”, “Dong Hae” and “A Love To Kill”.
Tagged as the grandest and oldest private garden in South Korea, this is a large landscape spanning 30,000 meters with a lovely garden full of gorgeous flowers and an abundance of green spaces nestled in between lush, green mountains. Aside from that, you can enjoy fresh air and relax while sightseeing and wandering around. The garden evolves all year round, with different flower festivals.
After which, we rode the same bus that took us back at the Gapyeong Station.
Capped off the night by eating classic burgers from Shake Shack with crinkle cut fries and iced tea drinks. YAS! this insanely popular NYC burger joint has made its way to Seoul!
The Shack burger costs around KRW 6,900 for single patty. It’s basically is a cheese burger with lettuce, tomato, and smothered in Shack Sauce served on a potato bun. It’s allegedly made with 100% Angus beef, with no hormones or antibiotics added. It’s moist, juicy, and so damn delicious and NOT too oily. (PS: Somebody please bring this to the Philippines!)
However, the price is quite expensive, haha! But totally worth it!!! (exaggeration intended)