Petite France – A French Village In Korean Peninsula

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–First thing to see at Petite France from the Entrance

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–Petite France village

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–Petite France village

Petite France was the another drama site that we visited. I heard the name of the drama but I haven’t watched it. The drama title in English is “My Love From Another Star” and as per my sister it was a love story of an alien and human (with that idea we can think of the story that it is fantasy drama, right?). The Korean actors who played in the drama, I am not yet familiar as well. In my country, the drama was quite famous specially for the teens and young adult. My youngest sister was the one forced me to convince to visit the place since she’s watching the drama and the site was near in Nami Island.

Since we were in the area of Gapyeong after we visited Nami Island, I agreed to visit Petite France. The name is interesting and the brochure of photo regarding the small French village seems to be unique and beautiful. From Gapyeong Wharf after we crossed the river when we left Nami island, we took a cab straight to Petite France. We took this path as we need to be back in Seoul before or exactly 7PM that day. The travel time from the wharf to the village was estimated of 30 minutes drive.

We arrived at the village and my first impression, the location has french ambiance as it showcase its colourful buildings which stand out in the area as Petite France is located at the hill-side near in Hoban-ro road at Cheongpyeong-myeon in Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do province. My sister was really excited and I felt the same thing as I was in a place which first time and unique for me.

We walked to the ticket booth at the entrance and we bought tickets so we can enter the village. After we enter Petite France my sister first thing to notice is the human like stand which shows the two main character of the drama “My Love From Another Star” with the hole on its face as it serve as photo booth to replace the face of the main character(s) by the person that will stand at the back and post their face for photo shots.

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As we have limited time, we tried our best that at least within an hour we see as much as we can.

Here are the following buildings and other areas we saw inside Petite France

A. Ticket Booth (Entrance)

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–Snapshot from Outside of the Village

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Ticket Booth Entrance

–Snapshot from Inside of the Village

The entrance of Petite France is colorful and with lively colorful, I felt that it invites people outside to come in and discover the village.

B. Europe Puppet House

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Orgel House and Europe Puppet House

C. Fountain Square

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E. Puppet House

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F. Accommodation

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–Accommodation Vicinity

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–Scenery captured at the Butterfly Park near the Accommodation Vicinity (top most area in the village)

The scenery above at the Butterfly Park was one of my favorite part in the village because I found a scenic view which is the natural beauty of Gapyeong River that made me stood there for sometime  appreciating its was wonderful vista.

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Butterfly Park
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Near Butterfly Park

G. Outdoor Theatre

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H. Kang MA-E Cafe

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Inside Kang Ma-E Cafe
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View from Kang MA-E Cafe
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Kang Ma-E Cafe and France Traditional Playroom which physically one unit of building

I. Beethoven Virus Film Location

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–Inside Beethoven Virus Film Location

J. France Traditional Playroom

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K. France Traditional House Exhibit Hall

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–Inside France Traditional Exhibit Hall

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L. Bistro

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M. Beethoven Virus Film Location, Outdoor Cafe and Waterworks / Medieval Costume Experience

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The scenery from the Observatory was next of my favorite because of the overlooking view I had while I was there which allowed me to peek the whole village itself.

N. Petite France (Some parts of the village)

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O. Antique Exhibit Hall

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Antique Exhibit Hall (Yellow) House
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Antique Exhibit Hall (Yellow) and Studio

P. Studio

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We did walked around the village because we wanted to see as much as we can with so little time that we had, we still bought the ticket even we knew most of the shows were finished.

R. Observatory

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Observatory
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Observatory and Petite Terrace
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Observatory and Petite Terrace

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–Inside Observatory

Before reaching the top most area of Observatory, we have to climb a little so we got a chance to observed what the village look like from the top.

In summary, all of us enjoyed the village because of its colorful place that offered visitors with great atmosphere, fun and exciting experience. We were aware that other buildings offers a lot of things that we still haven’t seen yet but because the village is closing, we never witness other exciting stuff. As for what we had seen so far, we were already satisfied in the village. If I will be given another chance to come back to this village I will spend one day of it so I can watch other shows and see other exhibits available in the place.

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Remembering Winter Sonata at Nami Island

When South Korean drama entitled Winter Sonata was aired in my country, more than 10 years ago, the drama has been hit to the TV viewers maybe because Filipinos can relate to the story as it depicts love and life story which can happen to anyone. I never watched Korean Drama before but when Winter Sonata started airing in my country, I was curious why a lot of my countrymen watch it. I tried to tune once and I watched it again and again. The said drama is one of the non-historical drama that I knew by heart, main reason  aside from the story was because of the main actor Bae Yong Joon. I was a fan of him.

Aside from historical places that I wanted to visit in South Korea, we did a side trip in few places where some of the famous drama was held. One of the place was Nami Island (or Namiseom) where some of remarkable scenes of Winter Sonata series which remembered by the viewers. For what I learned, the island become a tourist destination in South Korea because of the said drama.

When we arrived in the island, I never expect historical information to discover, but I did learned something. The island was named after General Nami, who died because he was falsely accused of treason during the reign of King Sejo. At the island, I read some information about the said General and it seems that the treason case against him was removed  during King Sunjo (son of King Jeongjo / Yi San). That piece of history is quite interesting to know.

From our hotel we took Line 7 again and started our journey from Nonh-yeon station to Sangbong. There was a comedy experience we did, as we understood instructions incorrectly and from Sangbong, we went out in Mangu station as we thought we need to transfer the train going to Gyeongchun, but to our discovery, the train in Sangbong also goes to the station we intended to do, we did an unnecessary switching of train. Well that was one of our moments of experience to laugh at while touring in South Korea.

After we took train in Mangu station, it was almost an hour before we reached Gapyeong station. During that travel, I just realised how far the scope of Seoul Metro Train. Because for me Gapyeong station distance is really far from metro. And I also witnessed along the train line the residential buildings besides hills and mountains which made me feel awe for what I saw. I can sense Seoul was not enough to accommodate South Korean metropolis that is why residential buildings are nowadays can be seen even its far in Seoul.

We went out in Gapyeong station and from there I found some tourist brochure to know more about how we can go to Nami Island. There is a regular bus that goes through all tourist spot in Gapyeong area. But we still decided to take a cab as we have limited time to visit all the places that the bus is offering. After taking a cab, we just surprised that terminal to Nami Island was just nearby, since it is near from the train station, the fee was minimal and we had saved time.

We walked to the terminal and some people probably recognised that we are Filipinos and they greeted us in our language which made us feel at home. We bought our ticket and then walked to the docking area or what they call Gapyeong Wharf where the ferry that will bring us to the island was waiting.

While waiting for the ferry to leave the terminal, we saw a zip line tower (Zip Wire Tower) which is another option to go to the island instead of a boat. Since we already bought tickets, we don’t have a choice to cancel the trip even my sister and I wanted to try zip line.

Nami Island from a far
Nami Island from a far

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We enjoyed the trip and in few minutes we arrived at Nami Wharf is Nami Island. People started to disembark the ferry and we did the same. Near the entrance gate, there were information centre, restaurants and other stores to enjoy. We started our walk in the island park. First, we passed the Tourism Bureau. Next thing we saw was the Tomb of General Nami. We walked along the famous Central Korean Pine Lane where there are lanterns hang on one side. Along the lane we also found different flags and we found my country’s own flag.

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IMG_3655Korean Central Pine Tree Lane

Korean Central Pine Tree Lane

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South Korea and Philippine Flag, The Song Museum (Behind)

And from the said lane, we either turn left or right to see more of different things in the island park. First stop was at the Ostrich Fence. Then, the nearby site of Yeoncheon Jeongok-ri Site.

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-Ostrich

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Next thing we saw was the famous Winter Sonata First Kiss site which showcase the bench used of the main character of the drama where the first kiss happened. Then it was followed by the First Kiss Bridge where you can see the Glass Sequoia, Eco Farm and Yeonryeon Pond.

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First Kiss Bridge

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— First Kiss Bridge

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We continued our wandering in the island park until we were back in Korean Central Pine Lane. Then we saw the UNICEF Sharing Stage and UNICEF Hall. Next to the area were restaurants, galleries and stores. Next stage we saw was Youth Stage Belgrade.

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–UNICEF Sharing Stage

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Restaurant
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Gallery

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— Restaurant

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–Youth Stage Belgrade

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We stopped for a while to take a break near at the playground. Then after the lunch, we walked to the famous film site of Winter Sonata which called the Metasequoia Lane. Here we saw different stuff related to the drama such as the huge photo of the main character along the Metasequoia Lane, their statues, bicycle used in the shooting and event the woods were also displayed. There is Winter Sonata store as well. Every romantic moments in the drama has been showcased.

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Meta Pond

 

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— Winter Sonata Stuff

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Meta Pond

 

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After enjoying the Winter Sonata Site, we started to walked back from where we came from as we still plan to visit another drama site near the island. We walked in the same lane that we took while enjoying the island park.

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Riverside Walking Course
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View From Nami Island

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Nami Island Information Center

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–View While Leaving Nami Island