18 January 2012

Gapyeong Tour

Many people may know Nami Island in South Korea, famous with the beautiful tree lanes and shooting place of Winter Sonata drama, but not so many people know about Petite France, which is near Nami Island. Petite France is located in Gapyeong-gun (gun = county), the eastern part of Gyeonggi-do (do = province), and Nami Island is 3.8 km away from Gapyeong, in the border between Gyeonggi-do and Gangwon-do (but it belongs to Gangwon-do). If you come all the way from Seoul (or basically from anywhere) to Nami Island, it is worth it to also visit Petite France in the same day. I call it as Gapyeong Tour. Gapyeong is beautiful with natural views like mountains, rivers and lakes. There are many villas and resorts over there as it is one of the favorite relaxing and vacation destinations in Korea.

View Gapyeong Tour in google map

Petite France

The way to go to Petite France by public transportation from Seoul is to take subway/train to Cheongpyeong Station in Gyeongchun Line. For example, if I go to Cheongpyeong Station from Seoul National University Station (near my home), it would take about 100 minutes by subway with 2 transfers. So the distance depends on which part of Seoul you are going from.

Map from SMRT website

From Cheongpyeong Station, take exit 2 to the bus stop to catch Gapyeong City Tour Bus (I know the website link from Jim who commented this post, thanks Jim!). If you're lost, don't worry, there is a Tourism Center in exit 1, so you can ask them. This shuttle bus passes several stops including Petite France, Nami Island, and the nearest subway stations and bus terminals. You can hop on and off at every stop you want by using single ticket, which costs 5,000 KRW ($5) per person. Ticket can be purchased to the driver inside the bus. You need to keep the ticket and show it to the driver every time you hop on to the bus. It runs 5 times a day. Here is the timetable (click it to enlarge):

My route was on the red timetable: Cheongpyeong Station - Petite France - Nami Island - Gapyeong Station. If you want to travel the other way around, see the green timetable

Gapyeong City Tour Bus

During the bus journey from Cheongpyeong Station to Petite France, which took about 20 minutes, the TV inside the bus showed us Running Man episode #40 which was located in Petite France. It looked funny even though I didn't understand Korean, and it is indeed funny when I watched it after that at home with subtitle. Not only funny, it also shows us the beauty of Petite France. It's hard to split my attention between the funny show inside the bus and beautiful white lake along twisty road outside the bus.

So, what is exactly Petite France? Petite France is a theme park designed like a French village in the middle of Alps mountains. The buildings are in European style, narrow and high, with bright colors. It is located in the middle of nowhere on the hillside, and surrounded by mountains (in the winter covered by snow) so it really looks like a Mediterranean village in the Alps.

04 January 2012

2011 - Real Adventure

My only one resolution in 2011 was: "Moving out from Singapore". I made it... after so much praying, thinking, debating, and crying. I am really grateful for the encouragement I got from my closed friends, to make this happened, to help me taking the risk. I almost canceled it. It was indeed the hardest decision I made in my life so far.

Now I feel good about it. Even though sometimes I think I am walking on the spot in term of my career, but I don't regret this. I get more in returns. This adventure is irreplaceable.

My highlights of 2011:

Most things happened in the second half of the year. Thank you Allah for everything. I still expect more adventure in 2012, but I hope I will be more focus in my learning and career. Someday this year, I will come back for good.