It was time to see more of Korea. See what makes Seoul more than a foodie metropolitan. A place of rich culture and global influences. One such influence being Korean dramas. WTF right? Well, yeah, if you haven’t watched one, you’d be surprised on how many people watch these shows coming out of Korea. And today we were visiting two places used as backdrops for some of the most popular K-dramas.
First up was a place called Petite France, a small cultural center located east of Seoul. We didn’t have a car so we went by SMRT to Gapyeong station on the Kyungchun line. It was a little confusing transferring onto that line. Just make sure you pay attention to which train is arriving at Mangu, since there are express trains into the city. Once at the station, it’s pretty easy to spot the bus to Petite France. Everyone seems to go out there to visit the place. Within ten minutes of winding through the mountain we arrived at our destination. It was much smaller then I imagined and thankfully so. I was getting hungry. It only took us an hour to see everything. The most memorable was the showcase for Le Petite Prince, a French children’s book. Amazing how literature reaches across the globe.
Next it was a cab ride to Nami Island where we had lunch and sampled what the region was known for, dak galbi. Yum. Just the boost I needed to last through this. What? I was sold on this trip based on what we’d eat for lunch. Really.
Anyways, back to Nami island. You have to take a ferry to the island which they set up like a separate nation inside of Korea. Though there’s no need to bring your passport. However, bring your camera. This place, sans all the people and the K-drama moments, was rather beautiful. Looking beyond the touristy stuff, like the quad bicycles, overhead train ride, and historical cultural teepees, you’d enjoy rows of lined trees with the backdrop of the lake. I see how location scouts love this place. Not sure what they think of it now that it’s so popular. My how popularity changes things.
Both places have admission.
Petite France (쁘띠프랑스)
Namiseom Island (남이섬 종합휴양지)
Verdict: If you love Korean dramas, then it’s a must. Otherwise avoid, or look forward to the lake side dak galbi.
Colorful, though I'm not sure it's an accurate depiction of France. This, coming from a guy who's only been to Southern France, who now thinks this must be what Paris looks like.
A bit of a lazy rendition of the actual tower. I get it, France isn't all about the tower. Still, kinda looks out of place here.
Ode to Le Petite Prince.
The gallery showcasing the popular book of Jacob Duvernet. They're behind a glass case so no perusing. I did wish they had some prints available to look at. Maybe on the wall or reprints of the books. I didn't know much about them. I guess off to Google.
Okay, so I didn't get the name of this restaurant. But it's the one right by the boarding dock to Nami Island. The chicken was tender, nicely marinated and the veggies were fresh. It's not as spicy as it looks and the ventilation contraption you see here, kept me from smelling like char for the rest of the day.
In my opinion, the best way to enjoy Korean BBQ.
One of the paths on Nami island lined with trees.
In case you're lazy and don't want to walk to whole expanse of the island. I think it's under a mile long. *cough* Took us 5 minutes to ride to the end. Yeah, I was feeling lazy.
There were all types of buildings. Most enjoyable were the historical looking ones. Note the traditional Chinese writing.