Day Trip from Seoul : Nami Island and Petite France

Hi, guys!
Before I jump in to posting itinerary, as per usual, I would like to talk more in-depth about places that I feel special; that I feel deserves its own post. I have three posts in total and first up is Nami Island and Petite France. I put these two place in one post since they are closely located to each other and you can book a day tour to visit this two place.
If you are interested in visiting Nami Island and Petite France, definitely book a day tour instead going on your own. It is quite a journey from Seoul and you'd end up feeling tired already from the commute instead of saving your energy to explore.

With KRW90,000/person (around US$80) you will get a round trip using an air-conditioned van (pick up from hotel and drop off wherever you want), lunch, ticket entrance to both Nami and Petite France. I'd say it's a pretty good deal. You might save around $20 if you go on your own but honestly, with the heat, and the remoteness of Nami Island and Petite France, I'd say we made the right decision. 
The day tour also included an English speaking tour guide but unfortunately our tour guide was somewhat a bit sour. She wasn't the most friendly, that's for sure.

So we got picked up around 7AM at our hotel. The trip from Seoul to Gapyeong (which is the area where both of these places located) was about two hours. I slept almost all the way there and I thank God I did because we had the worst driver. I sat at the back and I woke up about three times because the back of the car basically jump since our driver doesn't seem to understand to hit the brake when there's a hole.  
We arrived around 9AM and took the ferry (also included) to Nami Island. Ferry ride was about 15minutes and you get to see beautiful view. The ferry ride was enjoyable. You can choose to sit inside with air-con or enjoy the breeze outside. Our tour guide gave a brief (about 5 mins) explanation about Nami Island as well as informing about time and meet up location. And then we were on our own.

Nami Island is a micro nation and declares to be a self-governing country in 2006 and it even has its own currency but we had no trouble paying anything with Korean won. We were blessed with beautiful sunny weather and since it was still in the morning, it was actually almost cold. I can definitely wear my denim jacket without feeling hot. 

If you're not familiar already with Winter Sonata, it's a hugely popular Korean TV series and that's where Nami Island got its reputation. Obviously, the TV series was shot during winter and I have never been here during winter but a quick google search and you can see that Nami Island is basically a winter wonderland. Fall is also the best time to visit since this line of tree will be a beautiful orange golden canvas.

There are a couple activities you can do in Nami Island, such as rent a bike or get your face drawn in a comical way. You can even try flying fox. Nami Island is a very nature-kinda-thing. It's a beautiful place to immerse yourself back with nature. Unfortunately, we only had one and a half hour. My husband and I used half of that time to take pics and fly our drone. The rest is basically just walking around. We didn't explore all of the island and we didn't even get to see Winter Sonata character' bronze statue. I guess that means I'd have to go back!

There are restaurants and a couple giftshops. I think we walked about 2/3 of the island before we need to go back to meet up point. Around 11.30AM we head back to main island via ferry once again. We walked a little bit (maybe around 10 minutes) to the restaurant for lunch. It's a chicken dish and it was pretty good. I personally love it. It was a big portion as well! This chicken dish is very popular in Nami Island.

After lunch, the van was waiting for us in front of the restaurant. Next stop is Petite France. Travel time from the restaurant was about 20 minutes. We arrived around 1PM. Again, our tour guide gave a brief explanation, handed us a brochure, and then we were on our own. We had about an hour.

Petite France is basically a theme park minus the rides. I'm sure you all familiar with the book "The Little Prince" (it's a really good book!) and this place is basically a memorial hall for Saint-Exupery, the author of the book. You'll see statues from the graphics in The Little Prince book.

As I said, it's a theme park minus the rides so there isn't that much you can do here.  You get to see a puppet show and a few other shows but that's pretty much it. It's basically a glorified selfie-place attraction. I'd assume men will hate it here. LOL. My husband fortunately is such a trooper and he powered through taking all these pics for me. It was noon so the heat was real. Thank God we had a hearty lunch. 

Love this "La jeune femme a la robe" painting by Jacques Meugnier

The place was crowded but it wasn't packed. You can definitely walk around freely. Since it is a mostly outdoor area, avoid coming here on a rainy day.

Around 2PM we head back to Seoul. Before dropping us off at our desired destination, our tour guide took us to a ginseng place. You can absolutely skip this part, but it is included in the tour. Since my friend and her boyfriend are interested in purchasing ginseng, we made the trip. We weren't allowed to take any pics or recorded anything so yeah... Basically, it's a place that sells ginseng. There's a short briefing (about ten minutes and ginseng tasting after that). I didn't buy anything since I bought one back in 2012 and I ended up not finishing it. Ginseng is quite pricey as well. But if you do want to buy ginseng (since it is very good for your health) definitely buy one in Korea since it has the best ginseng. 

We finished from the ginseng place around 4.30PM and then we got dropped off at Dotta Mall, Dongdaemun around 5PM.

I will list the contact number of the tour company we used. We got our info from the brochure in our hotel so if you want more option, definitely as the concierge for more intel.

Thank you so much for reading and wishing everyone a great week ahead!

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