Travel Guide: DIY to Nami Island, Petite France, Garden of the Morning Calm, Gangchong Rail Park, Elysian Ski Resort

There are many things to do beyond Seoul. Many activities and tourist spots can also be found two hours away from Seoul and in two provinces of South Korea, Gyeonggi-do and Gangwon-do.  One of these spots are the famous Nami Island.  This post will give you comprehensive information about those attractions and how to go there by using public transportation.

A. Public Transportation
B. Gapyeong City Tour Bus 
C. Gangwon-Do Attractions
   1. Nami Island
   2. Gangchon Rail Park
   3. Elysian Ski Resort

D. Gyeonggi-do Attractions
   1. Petite France
   2. Garden of Morning Calm
E. Suggested Itinerary

Public Transportation Top

Most first timer tourists in Seoul are availing tour package going around to Nami Island, Petite France, and Garden of Morning Calm. But there are also first timers who love to do everything in Do IT YOURSELF (DIY) style like me. I want everything to be discovered at my own pace.  When I went there via public transportation, I only had a PDF Seoul Metro Subway Map, Naver Map, and unlimited WIFI which is a must. Below are the links where you can download the map, application, and rent the WIFI I used.

  • Naver Map -  This application is pretty much accurate.  
Based on my experience most of the tourists stay at Hongik University and Myeong-dong Area.  Those two locations will be a starting point of my guide going to Nami Island, the favorite destination, and the rest of the attractions mentioned above.

Hongik Univ./Myeong-dong→Nami Island

There are two ways to reach Nami Island via Seoul Metro Subway and ITX (Intercity Train Express) that I know.  I experienced  riding both of them.  I rode ITX going to Nami Island while Metro Subway back to Seoul.  You need to reach first the Cheongynyangni Station where both ITX and subway to  Gapyeong Station, nearest station to Nami Island are located.
  


A. Hongik Univ./Hongdae Station to Cheongnyangni Station
1. Go to Hongik Univ. Station, and ride the Line 2 towards Sinchon Station direction. After 5 stops, alight at City Hall Station.
2. Transfer to Line 1 of City Hall Station towards Jonggak Station. After 8 stops, get off at Cheongnyangni Station. Follow the sign  towards the ITX-Cheongchun and subway Gyeongchun Line. Here you can either choose to take the subway or ITX. 

Read more here to help you decide. Subway Gyeongchun Line and ITX-Cheongchun


B. Myeong-dong Station to Cheongnyangni Station
1. Go to Myeong-dong Station, and ride the Line 4 towards Chungmuro Station direction. After 3 stops alight at Dongdaemun Station and transfer to its Line 1. Ride the train towards Dongmyo Station.   After 4 stops, get off at Cheongnyangni Station. Follow the sign  towards the ITX-Cheongchun and subway Gyeongchun Line. Here you can either choose to take the subway or ITX. 


Subway Gyeongchun Line and ITX-Cheongchun Top
Now you have reach Cheongnyangni Station, you have two options to reach Gapyeong Station via ITX-Cheongchun and Subway Gyeongchun Line.  ITX will bring you to Gapyeong Station in just 40 minutes while the subway around 1 to 1.5 hours.  The platforms of both ITX and Subway are just parallel to each other.

Via Subway
If you are not in a hurry and want to spend less, subway is for you. You'll just need to transfer to Gyeongchun Line at Cheongnyangni Station. After 17 stops, you'll reach Gapyeong Station. Top your T-Money Card upon exit.

From Hongik University Station to Gapyeong Station: Estimated KRW 2350 / PHP 101 / YEN 216/ USD 1.99

From Myeong-dong Station to Gapyeong Station: Estimated KRW 2250 / PHP 97 / YEN 207 / USD 1.9

Via ITX-Cheongchun
I highly suggest to take this on your way as this is fastest though it will cost just a few box more. I will show the estimated cost at the later part.


When you reach the entrance of Tracks 1 and 2, you will see ATM-Like machines.  Here you can buy your ticket to ITX.  It has English menu, and easy to follow. You can either pay with T-Money or cash, and cost you around KRW 4800 / PHP 206 / YEN 425 / USD 4. 

Since you'll be taking ITX, there is one thing you should do. You need to off board from Metro, but not getting out of the station. If you can see there are two transit card readers on the picture.  This is where you need to TAP your T-Money card when you need to change your train from ITX to Metro or other way around.
Each reader has two tapping sides.  The left one is for boarding metro, ITX to Metro.  While the right one is getting off the metro to ITX.  We did forget to tap ours the last time we went to Gapyeong, hence we had charged in subway and ITX at the same time. Travel time is 30 to 40 minutes.
Choose Cars 4 and 5. Double Decker
Ticket provided by Ticketing Machine

Estimated Expenses

From Hongik Univ. Station: KRW 1350 
ITX Ticket to Gapyeong: KRW 4800
Total: KRW 6150 / PHP 264 / YEN 545 / USD 5

From Myeong-dong Station: KRW 1250

ITX Ticket to Gapyeong: KRW 4800
Total: KRW 6050/ PHP 260/ YEN 536/ USD 5

Gapyeong Station

Gapyeong City Tour Bus Top

Gapyeong City Tour Bus is a tourist bus going around tourist spots in Gapyeong County.  The bus will give you unlimited ride for a day and will cost you only KRW 6000 / PHP 257 / YEN 521 / USD 5. You can buy the ticket from the driver. They have two routes, Course A and Course B. Both routes end at Garden of Morning Calm but only Course A passes at Nami Island and Petite France. 

Feel free to get off and visit any tour sites you want to go. Please refer to the time tables below.
Route A Time Table
Route B Timetable

Gangwon-Do Attractions


Nami Island
Nami or Namiseom Island is a crescent moon shaped-island located Gangwon-do. It is a UNICEF child friendly park, and famous for its beautiful tree line roads.  It is also well-known as one of the shooting locations of Kdrama Winter Sonata. 
How To Get Here
From Gapyeong Station, you can ride a taxi that can take you to Gapyeong Wharf.  Taxi will cost you around KRW 3600 / PHP 154/ YEN 316/ USD 3.  If you are not in a hurry and planning to take other tourist spots around Gapyeong, you can take the Gapyeong City Tour Bus.  Just note that the first city tour bus first arrive in Gapyeong Station around 9:10 AM. Read Gapyeong City Tour Bus

When you reach the Gapyeong Wharf after 5 minutes of travel time, you can either take the Ferry or go the island via Zipline.

Via Ferry
The travel time to Nami Island is 5 minutes.  Below are the fees which include ferry ride back and forth.


Ferry Fee

Regular KRW 13000/ PHP 557 / YEN 1142/ USD 11
Discount
Students (Middle - High School Age)
Seniors (70+ yrs)
KRW 10000/ PHP 428/ YEN 879 / USD 8
Special
Children (36 months- Elementary School Age)
Visitors after 6:10 PM (Dec - Mar)
Visitors after 7:10 PM (Apr-Nov)
KRW 7000/ PHP 300 / YEN 615 / USD 6


Ferry Schedule

07:30 - 9:00
Every 30 minutes after first ferry at 7:30
9:00-18:00
Every 10-20 minutes
18:00-21:40
Every 30 minutes until last ferry at 21:40

Via Zip line
If you are adventurous and not in a tight budget this is for you. Feel the breeze as you reach the Nami Island in 60 to 80 kph. This activity will cost you KRW 44000/ PHP 1885/ YEN 3866/ USD 36. Zip line is open from 9:00 - 19:00 in April-October, while 9:00 - 18:00 during November to March.
You may book your ticket here→ Nami Island Skyline ZipWire

Klook.com

Things You Can Do in Nami Island
1. Enjoy the different tree lanes e.g. Metasequoia Lane, Cherry Lane
2.  Enjoy cute animals in the area e.g. ostrich, squirrels. Don't feed the animals.
Squirrel freely moving around.
3.  Visit the different statues and memorial garden.

Breastfeeding Mother
4.  Roam around the Nami Island by riding a bicycle.


Bicycle Rental Fee
SingleKRW 4000 (30 min.) / PHP 172/ YEN 348/ USD 3
CoupleKRW 8000 (30 min)/ PHP 344/ YEN 696/ USD 6
FamilyKRW 15000 (30 min)/ PHP 646/ YEN 1305/ USD 12

5.  Take instagrammable pictures.  Follow me on Instagram → @OutOfOffice_Pilipinas

Gangchon Rail Park
Gangchon Rail Park is a must visit when you want to see the countryside of South Korea, particulary Gangwon-do.  You'll be paddling your own rail bike while traversing the old Gangchon rail.  It is an eight-kilometer activity that will give picturesque scenery. Each tunnel you'll be passing by has its own theme.
How To Get Here
If this is your first activity coming from Seoul, I highly suggest to ride Metro Subway and get off at Gimyujeong Station (Gyeongchun Line) where the Gangchon Rail Park is located.  From the station, exit at Exit 1.  ITX doesn't stop here.
You'll see this from the exit


zoom in to see exit 1

Read Subway Gyeongchun Line and ITX-Cheongchun

From Gapyeong Station, take the Gyeongchun line towards Gulbongsan Station.  After 4 stops you'll arrive at Gimyujeong Station. Travel time is approximately 20 minutes.

Estimated Expenses
From Gapyeong Station to Gimyujeong: KRW 1550/ PHP 66/ YEN 136/ USD 1


Coming From Seoul via Cheongnyangni Station to Gimyujeong Station 

From Hongik Station: KRW 2950/ PHP 126/ YEN 259/ USD 2.4
From Myeong-dong Station: KRW 2850/ PHP 122/ YEN 250/ USD 2.3
Read Subway Gyeongchun Line and ITX-Cheongchun


You can book the ticket via Klook. I booked mine here when I went to Korea.  You have two options, two-seater bike or four-seater bike.
gangchon rail bike
Two-Seater Bike: KRW 29498/ PHP 1252/ YEN 2567/ USD 24
Four-Seater Bike: KRW 39746/ PHP 1687/ YEN 3459/ USD 33

Note that the price is per carriage not per person.



The park operates from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM daily.
 
 

Check out the videos below and see the coutry side of South Korea.



Elysian Ski Resort
Elysian Ski Resort is the only ski resort reachable by metro subway.  Elysian Ski resort has ten slopes for skiing. 2 of which are dedicated for beginners who want to learn the basic skiing.  The ski slope operation  usually begins from November 25 to March 3 every year during winter season.  Check the operation hours below.

Operating Hours
Day09:00~17:30
Snow Grooming17:30~19:00
Night19:00~24:00
Late Night18:30~02:00 / 18:30~04:00

If you just want to experience snow, and make a snow man this is also a place for you.  
https://www.flickr.com/photos/hkdisney/8255686487/in/photolist-22zcjJy-G8vEGz-9e8Kxx-BZtmXp-dzwxYc-21h3Hsk-EuB7SJ-8nxBf3-5NMcia-8nxAP5-5NRsJ3-5NRqrL-5NRs9W-5NMc84-5NRsoU-HFfa5H-EuB8ks-HFfaev-EuB8S9-EuB87b-5NMcw2-2dTkHaJ-2bciSx9-5NRt8m-RzqVvo-r6xzZF
Photo by alanqoo
Photo from Elysian

Photo by Kook

How to Get Here
If you are coming from Seoul, ride the Gyeongchun Line and drop off at Baegyang-ri Station. When you reach the station, there is a shuttle service that operates between Baeyang-ri Station to Ski Resort every 20 minutes. 
From Gapyeong Station, ride the metro subway towards Gulbongsan Station. After 2 stops and travel time around 7 minutes, you will arrive at Baegyang-ri Station. Exit at Exit 1 and look for the free shuttle. Estimated  Expenses: KRW 1250/ PHP 54/ YEN 110/ USD 1

Coming From Seoul via Cheongnyangni Station to Baegyang-ri Station
From Hongik Station: KRW 2550/ PHP 110/ YEN 225/ USD 2.11
From Myeong-dong Station: KRW 2450/ PHP 105/ YEN 216/ USD 2.
 Read Subway Gyeongchun Line and ITX-Cheongchun


Please note that shuttle stops first at the Condominium, you might find snow there but the abundant one is on the Ski Resort located at the back of condominium.



Gyeonggi-Do Attractions 


Petite France is a little French village that was build in July 2018 where you can experience the European culture and art.  The colorful structures are Instagram-worthy, and lot of french antiques to see.  It is also a filming locations of Krdama e.g. My Love From The Star, Secret Garden. It operates daily from 9:00 to 18:00. 

How to Get Here
If this is your first destination,you can either take the subway Gyeongchun Line or ITX-Cheongchun. You're stop will be the Cheongpyeong Station.  Both ITX and Subway share the same station.  When you reach the station you have 3 options to take. Read Subway Gyeongchun Line and ITX-Cheongchun

1. From Exit 2, ride the Bus 31-20 to Petite France. It will cost you around KRW 1350/ PHP 58/ YEN 119/ USD 1

2. From Exit 1, have a 10-minute walk towards the Cheongpyeong Bus Terminal, and ride Bus 31-5. Same estimated fare for option 1.
3. From Exit 2, wait for Gapyeong City Tour Bus.  Highly suggest this if you are going to other tourist spots. This will cost you KRW 6000 for unlimited ride. Read Gapyeong City Tour Bus


Coming From Seoul via Cheongnyangni Station (Metro Subway) to Cheongpyeong Station with Bus 31-5 or Bus 31-20 

From Hongik Station: KRW 2350/ PHP 102/ YEN 207/ USD 1.94
From Myeong-dong Station: KRW 2250/ PHP 97/ YEN 198/ USD 1.86

Coming From Seoul via Cheongnyangni Station (ITX-Cheongchun) to Cheongpyeong Station with Bus 31-5 or Bus 31-20 

The ITX ticket will cost you KRW 3800/ PHP 167/ YEN 335/ USD 3

This route is little bit expensive than via Metro Subway.  You have to pay for Hongik/Myeong-dong to Cheongnyangni Metro Subway, ITX and Bus.

Estimated Expenses
From Hongik Station: KRW 1350
ITX Ticket: KRW 3800
Bus: KRW 1350
Total: KRW 6500/ PHP 282/ YEN 572/ USD 5.4

From Myeong-dong Station: KRW 1250
ITX Ticket: 3800
Bus: KRW 1350
Total: KRW 6400/ PHP 277/ YEN 563/ USD 5.3

After 40 minutes of travel time, you'll arrive at Petite France.  Get your ticket at Ticketing office. 


Entrance Fee

Adult
KRW 10000/ PHP 433/ YEN 880/ USD 8
Teen (Middle, High School)
KRW 8000/ PHP 347/ YEN 704/ USD 7
Children ( 36 Months-Elementary)
KRW 6000/ PHP 260/ YEN 528/ USD 5

Things You Can Do in Petite France
Aside from its instagrammable buildings, there are many things you can do in Petite France, and here are some of them:
1.  Watch the Guignol.  It is the traditional French hand puppet show.
Photo by Petite France
2.  Watch the Marionettes, traditional Czech dolls being moved by strings attached on them.
Photo by Petite France

3.  Paint your own Petite Prince.

Photo by Petite France

Garden of Morning Calm
Garden of Morning Calm is arboretum,a botanical collection, where you can find 5000 species of plants.    It is also a filming location of some Kdramas e.g Love in the Moonlight, School 2017. There are different festival occurs here:
1.  Spring - Spring Garden Festival
2. Summer- Festival of Roses, Hydrangeas, Roses of Sharon
3.  Autumn - Festival of Chrysanthemums and Autumnal Tints
4.  Winter - Lighting Festival
  
How to Get Here
If this is your first destination for a day,your route will be the same as Petite France on the first leg.  You need to reach the Cheongpyeong Station via Subway Gyeongchun line or ITX-Cheongchun. When you reach the Cheongpyeong Station, you have 2 options to take. Read Subway Gyeongchun Line and ITX-Cheongchun
1.  From Exit 2, wait for Gapyeong City Tour Bus.  Highly suggest this if you are going to other tourist spots. This will cost you KRW 6000 for unlimited ride. Read Gapyeong City Tour Bus
2.  From Exit 2, ride the Bus 31-7/Bus 31-17 to Garden of Morning Calm.   It will cost you around KRW 1350/ PHP 58/ YEN 119/ USD 1

Coming From Seoul via Cheongnyangni Station (Metro Subway) to Cheongpyeong Station with Bus 31-7 or Bus 31-17 

From Hongik Station: KRW 2350/ PHP 102/ YEN 207/ USD 1.94
From Myeong-dong Station: KRW 2250/ PHP 97/ YEN 198/ USD 1.86

Coming From Seoul via Cheongnyangni Station (ITX-Cheongchun) to Cheongpyeong Station with Bus 31-7 or Bus 31-17  

The ITX ticket will cost you KRW 3800/ PHP 167/ YEN 335/ USD 3


Estimated Expenses
From Hongik Station: KRW 1350
ITX Ticket: KRW 3800
Bus: KRW 1350
Total: KRW 6500/ PHP 282/ YEN 572/ USD 5.4

From Myeong-dong Station: KRW 1250
ITX Ticket: 3800
Bus: KRW 1350

Total: KRW 6400/ PHP 277/ YEN 563/ USD 5.3


Entrance Fee
AdultKRW 9500/ PHP 412/ YEN 841/ USD 8
Youth (Middle, High School)KRW 7000/ PHP 304/ YEN 620/ USD 6
Kids ( 36 Months-Elementary)KRW 6000/ PHP 261/ YEN 531/ USD 5

Things You Can Do in Garden of Morning Calm
1. Visit the filming location of Love In the Moonlight.
2. Ready your photography skills as the area are really intagrammable. Get a close up picture of your favorite flowers.
ctto

Here are some of the Photos and videos I took during Lighting Festival
 




Now you have knowledge how to get there and possible transportation expenses, it is time to plot your itinerary.  Is it possible to  visit them all in 1 day? Most likely YES, If you are like the folks from Amazing Race, and budget is not problem. Otherwise, you'll be opted to drop one of them.

Below I'll be sharing  the itinerary I used, and most common itinerary of the tourists.

My Itinerary
I went their during winter season so Elysian Ski Resort was in my agenda.  I didn't go to Petite France cause it was already far away from Elysian Ski Resort.


My ItineraryActivities
5:30 AM to 7 AMPreparation for a long day
7 AM to 8:30 AMSubway to Cheongnyangni Station
9 AM to 10 AMITX to Gapyeong Station
10 AM to 10:30 AMTaxi to Gapyeong Wharf and Ferry to Nami Island
10:30 AM to 12 PMExplore Nami Island
12 PM to 1PMTaxi back to Gapyeong Station then Subway to Gimyujeong Station
1:30 to 2:45 PMGangchong Rail Park
2:45 to 3:20 PMTravel to Elysian Ski Resort via Subway to Baegyang-ri Station
3:30 PM to 4:30 PMElysian SKi Resort play with snow
4:30 PM to 530 PMTravel to Cheongpyeong Station
5:30 PM to 6:00 PMGapyeong City Tour Bus to Garden of Morning Calm
6 PM to 7:30 PMEnjoy the Lighting Festival of Garden of Morning Calm
7:30 PM to 8:00 PMTravel back to Cheongpyeong Station via Gapyeong City Tour Bus



Common ItineraryActivities
5:30 AM to 7 AMPreparation for a long day
7 AM to 8:30 AMSubway to Cheongnyangni Station
9 AM to 10 AMITX to Gapyeong Station
10 AM to 10:30 AMTaxi to Gapyeong Wharf and Ferry to Nami Island
10:30 AM to 12 PMExplore Nami Island
12 PM to 1PMLunch at Nami Island
1:30 to 2:45 PMTravel to Petite France via Gapyeong City Tour Bus
2:45 to 4:20 PMExplore Petite France
4:20 PM 5:20 PMTravel to Garden of Morning Calm via Gapyeong City Tour Bus
5:20 PM  7:30 PMEnjoy the Lighting Festival of Garden of Morning Calm
7:30 PM  8:00 PMTravel back to Cheongpyeong Station via Gapyeong City Tour Bus

Hope your learn something on my post.  Please follow my social media for more South Korea Travel Posts
Facebook Page: Out of Office PH
Instagram: @outofoffice_pilipinas
Book Your Rides Here: Klook 

If you have any question, just comment below.

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