It was the second day after we touched down in the land of “Oppas”. Red nose cracked lips, and frozen fingers. Still not used to the cold weather especially at -13°C. We were freezing like an ice cube straight from the demonic fridge, embracing each other shivering and shrieked “Mucho Frío!” (very cold in Spanish) for like tenth thousand times.
We booked A Day Tour To Petite France & Nami Island from KKday a week before. The price is around RM300 ++ (73USD). We were glad that we’ve got a thoughtful tour guide (also a Malaysian) and she knew exactly what we needed.
As the alarm goes off at 5.30am, we jumped off from the warm bed and greeted this exciting day while getting changed. The moment we set foot on the outdoor, we shrieked again “Frío!”. I told @gom14 that I just wanted to stay warm in the room.
Walking down the street to the nearest metro station was literally “Stone Cold Crazy” and we arrived near Hongdae station half an hour earlier from the departing time. All the shops were not open, does that mean we have to wait on the chilly street? Just a few minutes later, I found an entrance opened just right in front of Uniqlo. “Oh, thank god!” embracing my winter jacket that barely keeps out the wind.
“Nena, look out for a guy in a long black jacket,” he said. Okay great, how am I suppose to find him when all of them were wearing a similar long black jacket? Not sure if that’s a trend or what but it’s selling everywhere in Seoul. “Also a brown beanie” he added. “Ah, there she is!” It’s a woman, not a guy I replied to him. We hopped on the tour bus and finally started the journey to Nami Island.
1. Petite France
Before arriving at Nami Island, Petite France was the first stop in Gapyeong. Petite France is a small village with Europian inspired shops and interior designs. This fairy tale-ish village is a themed park with Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s most famous work and best-selling book, Le Petit Prince. Not to mention it’s a famed K-drama shooting location of My Love From The Star and Secret Garden. K-drama fever anyone?
Too much awe just by looking at the pastel cottages and the beautifully designed interiors. Oh, the best part was discovering the bell on the top floor in one of the cottages (opposite the gallery if not mistaken). Rang the bell for 4 times, I can’t help it was soooo therapeutic even though the whole village could hear it. *heeh* He yelled again “Nena!” (babe)
2. Nami Island
Moving on to another romantic scenery of well-known K-dramas, again featuring the shooting location of My Love from the Star, Secret Garden, Running Man, and Winter Sonata – Nami Island. Taking into account that I was only 6 years old when Winter Sonata was released, didn’t have any idea of the drama but I’m sure that it looks as romantic as it seems on the island *except it was without snow*
“I’m going to get your visa now! Please wait for me in the line.” as Shi Min, the tour guide instructed. She explained to us that Naminara (lit. Nami Country) declared as a self-governing country. They even have their own currency, passport, and stamp but don’t worry, Korean Won is still able to be used in Nami Island.
This submarine or igloo-ish looking ferry carries us to Nami Island while we stay comfortably warm on our seats that last only 10-15 minutes *sobs*
I was hoping to see snow since I have never seen it in my life and that’s why we chose to come at this time of the year. Well… I kinda manage to see it in Nami Island. At least the man-made snow. There’s an area with a snow slide and huge ice cubes maze. I did not join the crowd and went for a long romantic walk instead while Ana (his mom) rested in a tent with a heater set up near the man-made snow area.
Btw, the huge ice cubes are very “instagrammable”. Took many photos in Nami Island just enough to feed my Instagram timeline.
3. Gapyeong Rail Park
So we were really really really reluctant to cycle after going through piercingly cold weather for half of the day. “What, 5km ride?!” we exclaimed. All we wanted was to “melt” ourselves in the bus. Fortunately, we fought through the cold for the breathtaking views. “Ah… It wasn’t that horrible” Ana said, lifting her voice a pitch higher. Indeed, it was totally worth it! We had loads of fun cycling from a tunnel to another.
Each tunnel has different decoration and sensory satisfaction. I almost hop off the ride in one of the tunnels to dance it was decorated like a club playing with upbeat music. It was epic! But my favorite one is the tunnel filled with “stars” and romantic songs.
The full ride in the rail park is 8 km but if you couldn’t make it (like us), there’s a resting station after a 5km ride. Then we had to wait for the train for about 5-10 minutes in a tent with heaters. In the meanwhile, I burnt my glove because I was idiot enough to leave my hand so close to the heater *facepalm*
We were relieved once we settle our butts on the seat in the bus. Three of us dropped off to sleep on the way back to Hongdae station.
Voilà! A day trip to Nami Island and a bit of detour in Gapyeong. It was a pretty cool trip despite the cold weather. Sorry I had to keep mentioning how cold was it *LOL* Never been under 0°C before *facepalm* Let me know too your experience if you were to join the same tour with KKday!