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Plot twist, if you are uneducated like us and assumed Nami Island would be off the coast of Korea somewhere, you (and we) were wrong!
The first organised day trip that we went on in Korea was to visit Nami Island and Petite France with Trazy. Nami Island, or Namiseom is basically a small, half moon shaped island bang smack in the middle of the Han River. It was formed due to the rising water of the river during the construction of the Cheongpyeong Dam in 1944. It’s pretty small, it’s in a random location, and it’s beautiful.
We arrived at Nami Island around 9:30am. It was SUPER busy on the day that we chose to go, because it was peak foliage time in Autumn. It didn’t really bother us, since we are from New Zealand with a population of less than 5 million. We have gotten used to it feeling crowded everywhere we go in Korea. If you prefer to avoid the crowds, don’t go during peak foilage.
Before you can get on the ferry to the island you have to get a passport (ticket), which our guide took care of for our group. The ferry to the island takes no more than five minutes. If you’re up for something a little different, you can also opt to zip-wire onto the island.
Once on the island, there is an abundance of places you can go to take photos. Seriously, this place is a photo lovers dream. There is a pine tree lane, a metasequoia tree lane, and a ginko tree lane. The ginko tree lane is nothing short of breathtaking in autumn. The whole island is absolutely beautiful during autumn foliage (to be fair though, we are sure it is beautiful year-round). You can explore on foot or rent a bike. We didn’t rent a bike this time around, but would love to next time. Because this was an organised tour, we expected to be rushed for time, as is our experience with group tours. We were pleasantly surprised that we had a good three hours on the island.
While you’re on the island you can also pick up some ‘Nami currency’ as a souvenir. Of course we got some, because we can never say no to souvenirs. We should really start saying no to souvenirs.
We could have easily spent the entire day at Nami Island, and we plan to visit again at least once more during our time in Korea. Ideally we would like to go back in Spring to see the cherry blossoms.
Next up we headed to Petite France. Petite France is French cultural village located in Gapyeong. It is widely known as a filming location for various Korean Dramas. We actually hadn’t heard of it before we went on this tour.
To be honest, because of our love for a good viewpoint, we were more interested in the amazing view over the lake than we were with the village itself. Hence our lack of photos of the village itself. A majority of our time there was spent trying to fly the drone, but unfortunately it was too windy!
While Petite France was very cute, Nami Island was without a doubt the highlight of the day. We HIGHLY recommend visiting if you are living in Korea, or if you are just visiting. This day trip makes it super easy to visit these places, so there is no reason not to.
Nami Island and Petite France can both be reached using public transport. However, we were looking for a relaxing day without having to worry about how to get ourselves there, so this tour was a great option for us. check out the link below if you are interested in this trip. We have also linked the Nami Island + Garden of Morning Calm tour. This isn’t the tour that we did. We are planning on doing it soon as we have been DYING to visit the Garden of Morning Calm. Especially during Spring time to capture the cherry blossoms.
Pop on over to Trazy to check out this tour.
You can also check out the Nami Island trip that visits the Garden of Morning Calm instead of Petite France here.