Sunday, June 3, 2012

At the Outskirts: Petite France and Namisum

In the fringes of Gyeonggi province, more than an hour and a half by subway from Seoul, lie Petite France and Namisum (Nami Island).

Petite France, as the name suggests, is a small patch of France in this Asian country. Quite out of place huh? I have no idea who came up with this idea and why, but it is a welcome sight on the countryside. If you are a fan of the book "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, you'd probably want to give Petite France a visit.

A piece of France in Korea

This little piece of France is home to one traditional French residence built 150 years ago. It was transferred from France and rebuilt with all its components (ceiling, windows, furniture, etc).

A traditional French house

Inside the house

In this little French village, you can also find a gallery of puppets, dolls, and sculptures; a memorial hall for the author of The Little Prince, though all the writings are in Korean; Orgel House where you can find old music boxes; a marionette theater; and a bistro. If you'd like to stay a night, they also have guest houses.

Illustrations for the book "The Little Prince"

The little prince's rose and random things I found around Petite France.

Petite France
616 Goseong-ri, Cheongpyeong-myeon, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do 
Find your way: Take the subway to Cheongpyeong station (Gyeongchun line). Walk to Cheongpyeong bus terminal (see map below). Get on the bus for Goseong-ri (do take note of the bus schedule below).
Admission fee: 8,000 won
Hours: 9AM to 6PM daily
Please follow the green line, not the red line which was our long and no map way.

Cheongpyeong bus terminal

 Yup, that's the bus for Geoseong-ri. Take note of 고성리 for the buses don't have English signs.

Bus schedule to (left column) and from (right column) Petite France

Two subway stations farther (Gapyeong station) and a taxi and ferry ride, you will reach Namisum (Nami Island).

Buy tickets for the island here

Ferry to the island
Photo by Bee Chavez

Inside the ferry

Welcome to Nami Island

This 400,000 square kilometer island is perfect for picnics.
Photo by Bee Chavez

I bet it is beautiful in autumn

You can explore the island on foot or by bike. There are single bikes, tandem bikes, and even four-seaters for rent.

There are also restaurants, galleries, and a song museum. If you want to spend a night on the island, there are different lodging options: cottages, bungalows, or rooms at the main building.

Find your way: Take the subway to Gapyeong station (Gyeongchun line). Take a taxi to Gapyeong wharf (will cost 2,800 won; return will cost 2,500 won). Then a quick ferry ride to the island.
Admission fee: 8,000 won (already includes the round trip ferry ride)
Ferry schedule: 730AM to 940PM daily. Ferry runs every 10-20 minutes from 9AM to 6PM, other than those times, it runs every 30 minutes.

South Korea Series
Tourist Visa to Korea
Random Things About Kimchiland
From One Point to Another
Homes Away From Home
My First Meal is Not Korean
You Will Never Go Hungry Here
To the North We Go...Almost 
Strolling, Collecting Sights
A Dose of History: Gyeongbokgung
Double Dose of History: Changdeokgung & Huwon
Photo Stop: Bukchon Hanok Village
Care For Some Coffee?
Step Back in Time at the Folk Village 
Trick Eye Museum
N Seoul Tower
What's in a (Business) Name? Korea
This Little Mustache Went to (Namdaemun) Market
At the Outskirts: Petite France and Namisum (you're here!)
Hunting for Cherry Blossoms at Yeuido Park
Can't Pronounce It So I Stuffed It in My Mouth
The Most Important Question 


  1. Wow! How long did you stay in Korea and how much did you save for the trip? :)

    1. Hmm...about 18k for 7 days. Not including airfare. Will post details soon (two more posts to go).

    2. This sure is a looong series! :)

    3. Sure is! I'm getting tired writing! Can't wait to finally close this chapter haha

    4. Did you need a visa for this trip?

    5. Yup. Free ra unta mokuha ug visa...if only naa ang consulate diri sa Cebu :(

    6. Where did you get yours? Manila?

    7. The consulate is in Manila. I had to apply thru a travel agency. Too expensive to go to Manila. Processing takes at least 3 days pa gyud.

    8. May I know how far is the walk from Cheongpyeong station to the bus terminal? Looks abit far from the map.

    9. Hi Jamie. It's about 900 meters, about 10 minutes walk.

  2. Petite France and Namisun look familiar. I'm sure I've seen both from 2 different Kdramas I've watched.

    1. Hi adbenturera. Yes, there was a TV series shot in Namisum. The statues on the last photo is from that TV show. Winter Sonata, if I remember right. I don't know about Petite France though. Thanks for dropping by!