On our second day in Seoul, we found ourselves waking at 5 am so that we could catch the 9.10 am shuttle bus from Gapyeong station. So here’s me and my daily dose of banana milk for breakfast as we set off for the long day ahead 🙂
I believed it was here at Mangu Station where we waited quite some time for the train to arrive. So I had my spicy chicken onigiri (I forgot to take a picture of it), that was seriously tongue-numbing spicy ( ; ; ). Omg! I can still remember that tongue burnt -.-
This day, we’re heading for Nami island, Petite France and Garden of Morning Calm. So ignoring my scribbles, below is the new shuttle bus schedule if you’re planning to visit the above-mentioned places. You can obtain a copy of it at the tourist information centre, located to the right once you exit out of the station. Do take note (at least at my point of visit), only the Korean bus schedule map was updated with the new timings. Furthermore, some of the stops along the shuttle bus route have been adjusted. So, I’ve included the English names of some of the key stops in the picture below.
While I’ve previously mentioned on my dismal ability to speak Korean, I’m able to at least discern and read the Korean characters. So, my translation attempt should be fairly accurate. Additionally, the bus fare have recently been increased from 5000 won to 6000 won. Lastly, the shuttle bus stand is actually near the taxi stand (i.e. the area where the green board is in the first picture).
We actually did take quite some time to figure out where the shuttle bus stand was as there was nobody in the tourist information centre when we first reached the place. So after our epic fail communicating with some of the older Korean hikers when we tried to ask for directions, we blindly followed their finger-pointing directions, before realising we would be better off returning back to the centre once more, in hope, there would be someone tending it that could help us.
After boarding the bus, it was a 15 mins ride before we reached the Nami island stop. Just walk towards the tall silver structure in the background below to get to the entrance for the ferry. Keep in mind where the bus dropped you off as that’s where you’ll board the bus again as you continue on with your journey.
Foreigner’s discount, yes! So just tell the counter that you’re a foreigner and you’ll get to save 2000 won. (Original price: 8000 won; Foreigner’s deal: 6000 won)
The beautiful view just before we boarded the ferry. I would suggest setting aside 4 hours or so to explore the picturesque island and to have lunch there.
Here’s the Cheongyeongwon memorial garden dedicated to the mother of Nami island founder.
I think these are the white birch trees … After so many trees that are grown in a similar way, I’m kinda confused as to which is which already, haha.
Some garden we saw where there’s absolutely nobody. So we settled on the ground to bask in the rays of the warm sun for a short while.
Maple trees!!!!! *Cue internal screaming* I’m sooo in love with these beautiful trees that I must have taken a ton of their pictures before we even proceeded on with our exploration of the island. #notashamed
Here are the trees in winter sonata…
And below is the small but beautiful maple garden. I literally went gaga (it means crazy) over there, lol.
Some cute little signs around the island, and the ostrich head peaking above the signs
Surprisingly, there were quite a few ostriches (I counted 6?). I was expecting 2-3 of these birds only.
These two birds were just alternating, pecking the wood in front of us…
I’m pleasantly wowed by how much effort goes into decorating the dustbins on the island. It’s looking so pretty that it can totally pass as an information stand from afar
Lunch was some stir-fry chicken with rice. I would recommend having lunch on Nami island if you plan on visiting Petite France afterwards as there’s nothing, besides snacks, over there.
and their adorable fan-like leaves…
So that marks the end of the pictures from Nami island. There are a lot more the island has to offer but I shan’t spoil it for you 😉 It’s an absolutely gorgeous place in Spring and the slightly warm weather made it a good day for wandering about the island. We then left the place at about 12.20 and missed the 12.25 pm shuttle bus 😦 So we make-do and settled in the benches outside 7-11 as we enjoyed our ice-creams and waited for the 1.25 pm bus to Petite France, which took about 25 mins.
Petite France, Petite France… what can I say about it. It was a mild disappointment to be honest. There was simply nothing much to do here and one can practically finish walking the entire area in an hour. At the same entrance fee as Nami island, it was simply not worth the value, time or hype over this place. It was much too touristy as well, although I could’ve turn a blind eye to it if the place was actually good. Note that the foreigner’s deal requires having the foreigner’s coupon which you may obtain from the shuttle bus driver or the tourist information centre. (Original price: 8000 won; Foreigner’s deal: 6000 won)
In the antique’s house…
One of the very few un-vandalised paintings left about the area…
This was in the French house “museum.” The plates that adorned the wall were simply beautiful and had such intricate details to them.
We then took the 2.50 pm bus to the Garden of Morning Calm. The journey took about 45 minutes and it was here my friend mis-placed her phone as she slept and we search high and low for it in the bus before I finally called her and we discovered her phone was in her bag -.- The kind shuttle bus driver even search for her phone with us instead of getting impatient and chasing us out. Super nice of him!
The Garden was definitely my favourite amongst all 3 places. It was the least touristy as most tour groups tend to visit Nami and Petite only. Furthermore, if you love flowers and plants, this place is certainly worth a visit! It had such a wide array of different plants and themed gardens that everytime you turn your head, you’re looking at something new. (Original price: 9000 won; Foreigner’s deal with discount coupon: 7000 won) I shan’t say much more but I’ll let the pictures below speak for itself although I don’t think I did the place justice.
Oh tulips! It has definitely got to be my favourite flower of them all!
It was my first time witnessing these stacked rocks that I used to see from Korean shows or documentaries. The rocks have different symbolism to different cultures. For instance, it can be used as a marker or in others, it has spiritual meaning associated with the worship of sacred stones.
Can you believe the quality of the panorama I took on my iPhone 6?! Such a step-up from my previous iPhone 4s.
Cute little succulents…
And we made our way out of the Garden through the Drooping trees.
So we left the Garden for the 6.00 pm bus towards Cheongpyeong Station where we then headed to Myeongdong for dinner. Dinner that day was samgyeopsal (i.e. BBQ meat) at wangbijib. The food was good, reasonably priced and the servers were friendly. When we went to the branch that was listed below, it was full and waiting time was 20 mins. The servers then immediately brought us to a nearby branch in Myeongdong area. Now that’s what I call efficiency!
Directions: Myeongdong Station, Exit 9. Go straight 50m and turn right at the first corner. Continue straight 70m and turn left. The shop is located 10m ahead on the left side, on the 2nd floor.
Egg bread which my friend bought from the street. It had an interesting texture to it. Kinda like sponge cake yet not sponge cake. Pretty good!
I’ll end this post with my exorbitant packet of freshly squeeze orange juice (it was only 3/4 full!) at 3 SGD -.- What a ripped off! But I still got it, lol. Till the next post, bye!