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.