For this week’s mission, I will introduce the Gapyeong-Chuncheon area briefly!
This area is within the boundary of Gyeonggi-do and Gangwon-do, so they are just a short distance away from Seoul. Taking the ITX to Gapyeong would take only about 40 mins!
The most famous attraction in the area has got to be Nami Island!
Nami Island is a small man-made island located in Chuncheon, Gangwondo. It even has its own “passport and visa” as they intend to make it into a small “Republic” of its own, perhaps as a small getaway from the city life. It was made popular by Hallyu drama “Winter Sonata” which filmed there, and has since become one of the must-gos for tourists if they have time for a small out-of-Seoul trip.
There are many things to see despite the small size of the island. Not only is there beautiful scenery of the mountains and greenery on the island, there are also many museums and galleries that you can explore! Many people also choose to rent bicycles to enjoy a day with nature, or you can easily walk one round too since the island is not big. There are also those who choose to stay for a night or two at the resort as a weekend getaway.
For those of you who are up to thrilling stuffs and bucket lists to fulfill, there is bungee jump and zipline too! For the zipline you can take it from the docks to the island, sort of like an extended flying fox I guess. More information here: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SI/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=1245307
How to get here:
From Cheongryangri station or Yongsan station, you can take the ITX, an express train service, to Gapyeong station. A ticket costs W4,000 and it takes just 40 minutes. You can either pay with T-money or buy a separate ticket at Cheongryangri or Yongsan station.
You can also choose to take the normal subway trains that will get you all the way to Gapyeong station. It will take about 1.5 hours from Seoul station and costs just close to W2,000.
There are also bus services available from Insadong or Jamsil, but you would have to call +82-2-753-1247 and make reservations. It cost about W20,000+ if I remember correctly, including Nami Island admission fee. However you would have to get the bus back at 4pm, so it limits the time you can actually spend there.
I would like to recommend a (less-known) bus service that will take you not just to Nami Island, but also other attractions in the area!
Gapyeong Bus Terminal → Jara Island → Gapyeong Station → Nami Island → Geumdaeri Community Hall → Petite France → Cheongpyeong Bus Terminal → Cheongpyeong Station → Yim Elementary School → Garden of Morning Calm
What I did previously was to take the bus from Gapyeong Station, and went back to Gapyeong station again. It costs W5,000 for a day pass! You can take the chance to visit Petite France and Garden of Morning Calm too, both beautiful attractions in their own right. I think this is really worth the price since you can get to all these places easily without worrying about not knowing how to take public transport (:
Food: Chuncheon Dakgalbi (닭갈비)
Since you are already at Nami Island, it is a must to try the dakgalbi!! Dakgalbi is sort of a stir-fried chicken dish with vegetables, and sometimes ramyeon, ddeok, potatoes, etc. It is really one of my favorite Korean food, and Chuncheon is where the dish originated from!!
At the docks before boarding the ferry to Nami Island, there are countless dakgalbi restaurants. I just went randomly into one of them and it was so good. So my take is, just pick any one of them and try it! 😀
There is even a Chuncheon Dakgalbi and Makguksu Festival that will be held this September 23~28 in Chuncheon, so for those of you who love dakgalbi or will be in the area at that time, do check it out! Details here: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SI/SI_EN_3_2_1.jsp?cid=1373574
That’s all! Hope that this post will be helpful for those planning a day trip out of Seoul ^^