Guide to getting out of Seoul to Nami Island, Petite France, and Garden of Morning Calm in South Korea

Petite France
Petite France
Garden of Morning Calm
Sunken Garden at Garden of Morning Calm
Sunken Garden at Garden of Morning Calm
Another photo of Sunken Garden at Garden of Morning Calm. This is just too beautiful!

Step 0: Planning for the trip and buying ITX train ticket

Choosing 2 out of 3 of the tourist attractions to go: It is important to choose whether you are going to Nami Island, Petite France, or Garden of Morning Calm early so that you can plan the route. It is highly unlikely that you have enough time to go all 3 attractions in a day.

Deciding to stop at Cheongpyeong station 청평역 or Gapyeong station 가평역: If you are going to Nami Island, select Gapyeong station as your destination as it is nearer. Otherwise, I’d recommend you to stop at Cheongpyeong station which is nearer to Petite France, Garden of Morning Calm, and shorter travelling journey from Seoul if you are not going to Nami Island.

Buying ITX train tickets: You can pre-purchase ITX train ticket online at http://letskorail.com/ebizbf/EbizBfTicketSearch.do or check the timing and frequency of the ITX trains before you plan your itinerary as there are limited ITX trains per day. It is important to enter the date you plan to go, departure and arrival stations, and change the type of train to ITX-Cheongchun in order to get the correct timings (refer to photo below). You can also buy ITX train ticket from the train machines at Cheongnyangni station. It costs 4,000 won (SGD$4.70) per ticket. It would be good to go on weekdays than weekends to avoid the huge crowds.

Korail ITX Train Online Booking to Nami Island & Petite France
Korail ITX Train online booking website

Type of seats: There are 3 types of seats – assigned seat, unassigned seat/standing, and upstairs. Do buy early to get the assigned seat. Even if you don’t, don’t worry as there are many unassigned seats in a cabin and it is spacious to stand around.

Step 1: Getting to Cheongnyangni station 청량리역

From your departure place, make your way to Line 1 or Gyeongui-Jungang Line Cheongnyangni station, where the ITX train station is. Buy ITX train ticket from the train machines at the station if you have not done so. If you did not manage to buy at the time slot you want or you need to wait more than an hour for the next ITX train, refer to step 2 option #3.

Step 2: Getting to Cheongpyeong station 청평역 or Gapyeong station 가평역

At Cheongnyangni station, go to the platform and board the ITX-Cheongchun 청춘 train to Cheongpyeong station or Gapyeong station.

  1. By ITX: Cheongnyangni station 청량리역 to Cheongpyeong station 청평역. 40 mins, 4,000 won (SGD$4.70). If you are not going to Nami Island, I’d recommend you to stop at Cheongpyeong station as it is nearer to Petite France and Garden of Morning Calm. You should select this stop as your destination when buying the ITX train ticket too.

    Directions: Seoul (Yongsan Station) → Cheongnyangni → Sangbong* → Toegyewon* → Sareung* → Pyeongnaehopyeong → Maseok* → Cheongpyeong → Gapyeong → Gangchon → Namchuncheon → Chuncheon.
    * means only stops during rush hour on weekdays.

  2. By ITX: Cheongnyangni station 청량리역 to Gapyeong station 가평역. 55 mins, 4,000 won (SGD$4.70). Gapyeong station is nearer to Nami Island. If you are going to Nami Island, follow this route.

    Directions: Seoul (Yongsan Station) → Cheongnyangni → Sangbong* → Toegyewon* → Sareung* → Pyeongnaehopyeong → Maseok* → Gapyeong → Gangchon → Namchuncheon → Chuncheon.
    * means only stops during rush hour on weekdays.

  3. By train and railway: Cheongnyangni station 청량리역 to Cheongpyeong station 청평역 or Gapyeong station 가평역. 1.5 – 2 hours, 2,250 won (SGD$2.70). At Cheongnyangni station 청량리역, (a) take Gyeongui-Jungang Line 경의·중앙선 towards Yongmun station 용문역 direction to either Sangbong station 상봉역 or Mangu station 망우역. (b) From Sangbong station 상봉역 or Mangu station 망우역, transfer to Gyeongchun Line 경춘선 towards Chuncheon station 춘천역 direction to Cheongpyeong station 청평역 or Gapyeong station 가평역, depending on your destination.

    Directions:
    (a) Gyeongui-Jungang Line 경의·중앙선: Cheongnyangni → Hoegi → Jungnang → Sangbong → Mangu → … → Yongmun.
    (b) Gyeongchun Line 경춘선: Sangbong → Mangu → Sinnae → Galmae → Byeollae → Toegyewon → Sareung → Geumgok → Pyeongnae–Hopyeong → Cheonmasan → Maseok → Daeseong-ri → Cheongpyeong → Sangcheon → Gapyeong → Gulbongsan → Baegyang-ri → Gangchon → Gimyujeong → Namchuncheon → Chuncheon.

Step 3: Taking Gapyeong City Tour Bus to Nami Island 남이섬 종합휴양지, Petite France 쁘띠프랑스, or Garden of Morning Calm 아침고요수목원

Depending on which station you alight (Cheongpyeong station 청평역 Exit 2 or Gapyeong station 가평역), go to the bus stop outside of the station to take Gapyeong City Tour Bus to Nami Island, Petite France, or Garden of Morning Calm. Do remember the Korean words of Garden of Morning Calm is 아침고요수목원 a-chim-go-yo-su-mog-won so that you know it is the bus stop to alight. Nami Island and Petite France are pronounced the same in Korean and English though. Buy the Gapyeong City Tour Bus ticket from the driver at 5,000 won (SGD$6) per person. Keep ticket well as it can be used for unlimited number of bus trips on the same day. Remember the bus stop that you alight as it is the same bus stop to hop on to continue the same route.

Gapyeong City Tour Bus Schedule 2016 to Nami Island and Petite France
Took a photo of the brochure given to me – Gapyeong City Tour Bus Schedule 2016. You can download my photo in high quality here.

Route 1 – Direction from Gapyeong Bus Terminal to Morning Calm Arboretum:
Gapyeong Terminal → Gapyeong station → Jarasum → Gapyeong Rail Bike → Nami Island → Petite France → Cheongpyeong Terminal → Cheongpyeong station → Morning Calm Arboretum

Route 2 – Direction from Morning Calm Arboretum to Gapyeong Bus Terminal:
Morning Calm Arboretum → Cheongpyeong station → Cheongpyeong Terminal → Petite France → Nami Island → Jarasum → Gapyeong Rail Bike → Gapyeong station → Gapyeong Terminal

Suggested itineraries:

  1. Best route from Cheongpyeong station 청평역 (1 hour 5 mins):
    • Attraction option 1: Cheongpyeong station → Cheongpyeong Terminal → Petite France (25 mins via route 2)
    • Attraction option 2: Petite France → Nami Island (25 mins via route 2)
    • Back to Seoul: Nami Island → Jarasum → Gapyeong Rail Bike → Gapyeong station (15 mins via route 2)
  2. Average route from Cheongpyeong station 청평역 (1 hour 35 mins):
    • Attraction option 1: Cheongpyeong station → Cheongpyeong Terminal → Petite France (25 mins via route 2)
    • Attraction option 2: Petite France → Cheongpyeong Terminal → Cheongpyeong station → Morning Calm Arboretum (45 mins via route 1)
    • Back to Seoul: Morning Calm Arboretum → Cheongpyeong station (25 mins via route 2) or
    • Attraction option 1: Cheongpyeong station → Morning Calm Arboretum (20 mins via route 1)
    • Attraction option 2: Morning Calm Arboretum → Cheongpyeong station → Cheongpyeong Terminal → Petite France (50 mins via route 2)
    • Back to Seoul: Petite France → Cheongpyeong Terminal → Cheongpyeong station (25 mins via route 1)
  3. Best route from Gapyeong station 가평역 (1 hour 5 mins – 1 hour 50 mins):
    • Attraction option 1**: Gapyeong station → Jarasum → Gapyeong Rail Bike → Nami Island (15 mins via route 1)
    • Attraction option 2**: Nami Island → Petite France (25 mins via route 1) and Petite France → Cheongpyeong Terminal → Cheongpyeong station (25 mins via route 1) or
    • Attraction option 3**: Petite France → Cheongpyeong Terminal → Cheongpyeong station → Morning Calm Arboretum (45 mins via route 1) and Morning Calm Arboretum → Cheongpyeong station (25 mins via route 2)
      **Choose 2 out of 3 of the tourist attractions.

Step 4: Walking around Nami Island 남이섬 종합휴양지, Petite France 쁘띠프랑스, and Garden of Morning Calm 아침고요수목원

Nami Island: You can try the Zip Wire, which costs 38,000 won (SGD$45) and is one-way trip as there is no return Zip Wire, or take a 5 – 10 mins ferry ride to Nami Island. Walk around the forests and look out for any cultural event on every weekend.

Nami Island/Namiseom 남이섬 종합휴양지
1, Namisum-gil, Namsan-myeon, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do. Nearest station: Gyeongchun Line 경춘선 Gapyeong station 가평역.
Opens 24 hours.
Admission fee of 8,000 won (SGD$9.50).

Petite France: It is easy to walk around here. Around 1.5 hours and you are done with exploring the whole place. The main attractions are the houses near the entrance, where the amphitheater is, and the fountain square.

Petite France 쁘띠프랑스
1063, Hoban-ro, Cheongpyeong-myeon, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do. Nearest station: Gyeongchun Line 경춘선 Cheongpyeong station 청평역.
9am – 6pm.
Admission fee of 8,000 won (SGD$9.50).

Garden of Morning Calm: It is large and you are unlikely to complete exploring all the gardens. The main garden is sunken garden, which is located in the center of the place, is some distance away from the entrance and you need to cross the suspension bridge. The day view of the sunken garden is picturesque. You can stay to see the spectacular night view of the garden with all the lighting on if you are not catching the Gapyeong City Tour Bus back.

Garden of Morning Calm 아침고요수목원
432, Sumogwon-ro, Sang-myeon, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do. Nearest station: Gyeongchun Line 경춘선 Cheongpyeong station 청평역.
8.30am – Sunset.
Admission fee of 8,000 won (SGD$9.50).

With that, I hope you enjoy planning and exploring the beautiful places out of Seoul! 🙂

Date of visit: I visited Petite France and Garden of Morning Calm in early June 2016 (Spring).


Other similar reviews: Food recommendations in Seoul, South Korea, Places to visit in Seoul, South Korea

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