Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Day One in Seoul: Garden of the Morning Calm, Nami Island and Le Petite France


Korean drama had the soft spot in my heart and ever since I watched my first one - Weightlifting Fairy, my eyes sparkle when I would start watching on a new series.  I never realized I had it in me, I thought Korean drama was just any other drama, since I'm a cry baby and I could never hold back any tear from my eyes, I'm just a softy when it comes to scenes that pulls on the heartstrings. 

I used to watch the whole series of  Winter Sonata long after the series have been played on our local TV channels and I'm still catching up with the fans.  When I saw While You Were Sleeping, I knew that I have been bitten by the bug and I couldn't get my ass off the sofa.  Why? For one, I got so fed up of the stereotype Filipino telenovela, like as I watch them, duh!  I love the well-crafted and unique story line of the mentioned shows, like most of the others that I have already watched such as W (Two Worlds), Descendant of the Sun, Korean Oddesy, Strong Woman Do Boong Soon, Black , Healer, Oh My Venus, revolutionary Love, Noble, My Love, Doctor Stranger.

Whenever I watch K-dramas, I would be magically transported into a different culture, a different lifestyle, a new scenario and it gets me even more pumped up.  Like the Japanese customs and values, Koreans are unique and is easily loved and I have given so much respect for it.  Of course not everything about Korea is good, K-drama's revelas the many facets of their culture, but I'm still captured and enamored.

As more and more series have been added to my list, I have became more interested to Korean living, hence, I dreamed that someday, God will find a way for me and my K-Pop, K-drama fan girls to experience Korea.

And what a glorious surprise indeed, my husband gifted us a trip to Korea this Christmas season, and the whole family get to enjoy our dream.  God is just so amazing that He made it possible for us to do so.  Now, I want to share you how K-drama had a big impact in this dream-come-true trip.

Sharing you about the most visited tourist places in South Korea that had K-drama fans swooning over.  Will be sharing as well some tips on how to maximize your day even if it's freezing.

We came to Korea late in the evening and was taken off to our Airbnb place by 12 AM.  Like what I have shared in our itinerary, our first day was for the K-drama reflection series.  Klook made it possible to organize a tour for Filipino travelers' convenience.  If you don't have Klook App yet, just download it at your phone and search for places to visit and interests.


Garden of the Morning Calm




Our first day covered most of the tourist attractions in the Gapyeong District of South Korea, which is 55 KM in between and about 1 to 2 hours of travel.

Our tour guide took us here first and it was great as we (the whole tourist group of the bus) were the only ones in the garden, arriving past nine in the morning.


Garden of the Morning Calm is one of those you should not miss to visit as it is amongst those places where K-Dramas were shot like I'm Not A Robot (2017-18); Black (2017); School 2017 (2017); Moonlight Drawn by the Clouds (2016); and many more.


It's an artistic space based on concepts of asymmetry and balance. According to our tour guide, it is divided into twenty sections of gardens and walkways.  The Garden of Plants, for example, is home to about 1,000 species of flowers from all over Korea. The most popular part is Sukgeun Garden, which takes the shape of the Korean peninsula, symbolizing the desire for reunification.


The name of was drawn from the same name given to Korean, "Land of the Morning Calm."




During winter, most of the man-made lakes and natural rivers that runs from the hills are frozen white.


When we reached this house, I was  all giddy, as I remembered seeing this in Black, one of the fantasy drama I loved.









Lunch at Chuncheon Dakgalbi




Located at Gapyeong-gun, we made our second stop to a famous traditional dakgalbi house before heading to Nami Island.



Nami Island







Nami Island is situated in the middle of Han River in the Gapyeong District, and about 63 KM from Seoul.  This half-moon shaped island is also called Naminara Republic, a so-called micro nation inspired amusement park embellished with breathtaking gardens and woods.

It is also where the famous K- Drama, Winter Sonata was shot, in fact, there was a spot in one of the parks dedicated to the series.




Nami Island can be enjoyed, all year long.  In spring and  summer, it's is blanketed with floral plants and trees, in all colors, while in autumn, the hues of red, yellow and orange and brown brings out the romantics in you.

We were there during winter and most of the lakes and ground were blanketed with snow.


The Nature walk was nothing like it!

The main path lined with Korean Pine trees and Metasequoia trees are just breathtaking and so the walk itself was relaxing.  We didn't mind walking for hours as we passed by interesting museums, coffee shops, and novelty stores.




Several mini parks situated around boast of art installations and architectural structures typical of Korean arts and culture.


This lake is frozen but during spring it is collared with brightly colored flowering plants.



Near the end of the trail is the white birch lane.  In the winter, they all look like their dead, but during Autumn, they look so sunny as all the leaves would turn yellow.



Petite France, Gapyeong



Said to be a breath of France in Korea, Petite France is a made-up tourist village which consists of 16 French-style buildings and 23 stops. The initial concept was to create an environment consisting of flowers, stars, and The Little Prince. Hence, you can find a memorial hall dedicated to Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry, the author of the celebrated French novel, Le Petit Prince (1943).


If you loved the book, you will definitely find this place a must-visit as it is inspired from the story, as if some corners were re-imagined as pages from The Little Prince.  The vibrantly-painted buildings give you that animated feel.  These buildings can accommodate tourists for an overnight stay or even long ones.


The different mentioned stops consists of play areas, viewing decks, art centers and display areas, stores, cafe and many more.  Some stops are made-up rooms which displays curio and some would display antiques from eras forgotten in France' history.


It's like an old French village, nothing like Korea really.  The hill tour can somehow be tiring as you need to climb steep stairways and pathways leading a top the hill.






For more K-Drama sites make sure you visit us again as we have more stories to tell.

Also, might we interest you with 

Lee Jong Suk's 89M Mansion Cafe in Gangnam District.













4 comments:

  1. Wow this is really great momshie. Para mo narin akong sinama pa Korea :) I love tje sceneries specially Nami island. Thats one of my dream country to visit someday

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    Replies
    1. Aww, thanks! PRayer ko makapunta ka rin sa mga yan someday.

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  2. What an excellent post. I read your blog. You write a very good blog with beautiful photographs.

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