Day Trip to Gapyeong

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Happy November!

It's been a busy one thus far. I finally had a weekend all to myself, and made the decision to wear myself out by venturing north to the Gapyeong area and doing some sightseeing.

I bailed out on two prior invites to see the renowned Garden of Morning Calm in Cheongpyeong. Filled with regret, I decided to see foliage on a whim

LOTS of sunlight today, obviously :-/

Some of the remaining, colorful foliage

Rock Garden

Pond Garden, I hear it's much prettier and more colorful in warmer months

Admission to the park was 9,000krw and I think that was too much for this time of year. Much of the foliage was dead or withering away [winter comes early in Korea]. It was nothing like the photos I've seen, perhaps in warmer months:

Photo of the Garden from the Official Korea Tourism site
MUCH more vibrant!

Photo of the Garden from the Official Korea Tourism site.
I will plan to return in the Spring to see the colors.

Anyway. There was still a rather large crowd our despite the colder weather, most people there were having picnics in the numerous seating/bench areas. There's also a few cafes on site and a Korean restaurant. All was not lost, it lives up to its name of being calm.

I stayed here for about 45 minutes before moving on to Petite France. There are many places of the like around the world; clearly there's an appreciation for the culture of the country. The highlight of this place is the architecture. It resembles a cute little French town square, complete with shopping, dining and photo ops. Admission here was also 9,000krw.

This place was much more popular than the Gardens.
These nice ladies hogged the entry for a while-go EARLY!

The main square once inside, very crowded but pretty

I'm sure the lights are gorg at night

Eiffel Tower mini replica on site

Gapyeong is over 2 hours away from me on public transportation. The travel alone wore me out. As such, I bypassed a few places that will be worthy of a stop on my next trip up there in the Spring.

I purchased the Gapyeong City Bus Tour ticket for 6,000krw instead of visiting each place separately.  I paid in cash but the bus also takes TMoney cards. The ticket is good for the day; start early since buses only run every hour. If you purchase the city tour, it takes you, among other places, to Nami Island and the Gapyeong Rail Bike where you can partake in various activities including rail biking, zip lining, and more shopping and dining among other activities. Much of it depends on the weather. There is a nice ferry ride to Nami Island that I'll look forward to when it warms up again. The Gapyeong City Tour bus is the absolute best way to see all of the region's best sites. You can catch it outside of exit 2 at Cheongpyeong Station. Beware of taxi drivers who will try to swindle you away from the much cheaper, more convenient bus option [a ride to each, individual site will cost you 17,000krw per stop].

I travel so much outside of the country that I'd been sleeping on my own backyard. After coming across a list of beautiful places to travel within Korea, I'm going to be busy rediscovering this country in the coming months before my departure in the summer. Better late than never.

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