Last week I went on a camping trip to Gapyeong County 가평군. The county is located near the border of Gyeonggi Province and Gangwon Province. The Bukhangang River runs through, it so its a popular attraction for recreational water sports (and camping). The most well known tourist attraction there is Nami Island 남이섬, which was the setting of some of the most memorable scenes in the tv drama Winter Sonata 겨울연가, but over the last decade or so Gapyeong has developed quite a few other tourist attractions.
ONE DAY ITINERARY
1. Garden of Morning Calm 아침고요숙목원
2. Petite France 프띠프랑스
Getting around Gapyeong is extremely easy, because there’s a hop on, hop off shuttle bus that goes to all the major tourist destinations. It costs 5,000 won, and you just pay the driver in cash.
The bus route goes from Gapyeong Bus Terminal → Jara Island → Gapyeong Station → Nami Island → Geumdaeri Community Hall → Bokjangri Samgeori → Petite France → Cheongpyeong Bus Terminal → Cheongpyeong Station → Garden of Morning Calm.
In the morning I checked out the Garden of Morning Calm 아침고요숙목원 which is probably one of the more famous gardens/arboretums in Korea. There were a lot of people there, even though I went on a weekday. On the path in between the parking lot and the ticket booth, there were a few places selling snacks. I recommend the ice cream waffle, which was really cheap at only 1,500 won. There are also several restaurants inside the garden selling typical food court meals like pork cutlet, bibimbap, udon, and spaghetti carbonara.
Garden of Morning Calm Operating Hours: 8:30 am – sunset
Admission Fee: 7,000-9,000 won / adult
Average Viewing Time: 2-3 hours
Contact Information: 031) 1544-6703 morningcalm.co.kr
Public Transportation: From Seoul, take the Gyeongchun Subway Line to Cheongpyeong Station, walk 10 minutes to Cheongpyeong Terminal or take the express bus from any major city to Cheongpyeong Terminal then you can take a shuttle bus to the Garden. (Shuttle buses run frequently.)
Petite France 프띠프랑스 is a small French village located on a hill by the Cheongpyeong Lake. It’s made up of quaint buildings that resemble a village in the Alps. I saw lots of young couples here taking photos, probably to upload later on their SNS.
Inside the buildings there are various exhibitions, so there’s plenty to see. I saw some old drama sets, an exhibition on the Little Prince’s author, a marionette show, etc. Each of the shows only run a few times a day, so make sure to pick up a schedule of the shows when you go to the ticket booth. This village also heavily advertises the tv shows that filmed here. One of the more recent ones is You Who Came From the Star, 별에서 온 그대. I’ve always been skeptical of how popular people say that drama was in China, but apparently that might be true because I saw a lot of Chinese tourists here. Because the village is right by Cheongpyeong Lake 청평호, you can also walk down there are try some recreational water sports.
Petite France Operating Hours: 9 am – 6 pm
Admission Fee: 8,000 won / adult
Average Viewing Time: 2-3 hours
Contact Information: 031) 584-8200 pfcamp.com
There were some guest houses at the Petite France village, if you plan on staying overnight. If you want to stay in Gapyeong another day, check out Nami Island which some say is a tourist trap…but I think it’s worth checking out just once.