Category Archives: out of town seoul

Petite France (쁘띠프랑스) in Korea

Settled in a beautiful environment and only sixty kilometres from downtown Seoul, Petite France is an interesting place for a short stop on your way to Gapyeong or Nami Island

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Petite France is an artificially-made village inspired by European style built in a beautiful and pristine natural area between Cheongpyeong Dam and Nami Island. Located on the busy touristic road to Gapyeong, Nami Island or Garden of Morning Calm, Petite France is usually quite crowded especially during the weekend afternoons.

The concept of the village is to bring European feeling and atmosphere accompanied with cultural experience programs and performances (street flea market with European antiques, melodies from the Orgel and marionette performances). The main theme of the village being  Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s Little Prince, the statues and paintings of the young prince fallen to Earth from a tiny asteroid can be seen almost everywhere.


The village atmosphere with its colourful little houses gained popularity among filmmakers and Petite France became the filming place of many Korean TV dramas and entertainment programs. Today many Asian tourists are visiting to eagerly revive the scenes of “Beethoven Virus” ,“Personal Taste”, “My Love from the Star”, “Secret Garden”, “Running Man” and others.

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On Petite France official website, you will find the exhaustive list of exhibitions and things to do in the village. If you are really craving for an authentic European experience, just don’t expect too much. The first impressions of the site are pleasant and the views of the surroundings are amazing (particularly the view from the observatory and Butterfly Park), however the village is quite small and the indoor exhibition areas seemed to us rather outdated and disappointing. Most of the exhibits are a poor display of mismatched, kitschy and fake objects pretending to be part of European or French heritage. Another weak point in our opinion is that there is no restaurant (better said there used to be one but it closed its doors). On a sunny day, the wooden deck of Petite Terrace would be the best place to enjoy a good meal while overlooking the Cheongpyeong Dam and the mountains. You can still buy a coffee and slice of pizza in the wooden booth but no hopes for a European style lunch.

 

Even if we were not fully ‘sold’ on the authenticity and European feel of Petite France, the village may be worth a stop if you are in the area and want to enjoy the beautiful nature with the mountains in the background – particularly now in a wide array of autumn colours.

If you are looking for a restaurant we tried Dakgalbi restaurant 성희네집 – located 5 km west from the village and loved it (경기도 가평군 청평면 고재길 86-297, tel: 031-584-3695)

 

Directions:

616 Gosung-Ri Gapyeong-Gun, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do

경기도 가평군 청평면 고성리 616

Tel: 031-584-8200

Beware… returns back to Seoul during the weekend late afternoons or evenings can be very very crowded. On the shorter itinerary, the route 75 connecting to the Cheongpyeong-Geumnam section (route 46) can frequently be fully blocked. It took us more than an hour to make the first 15 kilometers. You may consider alternatively to take the longer way through Gapyeong connecting to Gangchon IC. The full trip will be longer, approximately 110 km, but it might be faster if traffic on the Chuncheon-Seoul Highway 60 itself is fluid.

Opening hours:

09:00-18:00 (Last admission: 1 hour before closing)
* Seasonally late night opening hours can be extended

Admission:

Adults: 8,000 won
Teenagers (Middle & High School Students): 6,000 won
Children (ages 3-Elementary School Students): 5,000 won
Seniors (ages 65 & above) / People with Disabilities: 6,000 won

Old Sanmaki Road 산막이옛길 and Goesanho Lake 괴산호

Beautiful wooden deck trail passing by mountains and streams with scenic views of Goesan Dam…  Enjoy the nature at its best along this 4km-long eco-friendly path

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If you take a ride to the Korean countryside of Chungcheongbuk-do, make sure to stop by  the Old Sanmaki Road 산막이옛. This spectacular trail is connecting Saorang Village (located in Waesa-ri, Chilseong-myeon, Goesan-gun Chungcheongbuk-do Province) to the small mountain village of Sanmaki.

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Start walking from the main parking lot passing the local merchants stands until you reach the main entrance of the trail marked by a huge stone at the top of the hill. This is the first spot from where you can observe the hidden beauty of the Goesanho Lake (dam built in 1957).

The trail continues for around 4 kilometers and leads you approximately half way around the lake. The path is almost completely prepared as a wooden deck and fits very naturally in the environment. You’ll probably stop many times to take pictures and admire different sceneries and views of the mirror-like Goesanho lake. The highlights of the trip will probably be the wooden suspension bridges or the three-meter-high observatory with tempered glass on the floor.

Once you reach the picturesque Sanmaki village, you can continue to walk or take a short boat trip on the way back to admire the lake and the mountains from different point of view.

You’ll find many coffeeshops and local restaurants at the beginning – around the parking lot but also in Sanmaki village if you need to stop for lunch or just a quick snack.

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How to get there:

546-1, Saeun-ri, Chilseong-myeon, Goesan-gun, Chungcheongbuk-do

충북 괴산군 칠성면 사은리 546-1

Transportation:

  • From Dong Seoul Bus Terminal, take an intercity bus to Goesan (괴산).
  • From Goesan Bus Terminal, take a local bus bound for Sujeon (수전) and get off at Oesa-ri (외사리).

Admission Fees:
Free for the trail – boat fee 5,000/3,000 won (adult/child)

Parking Fees:
2,000 won

For more information go to http://sanmaki.goesan.go.kr

 

 

 

 

Spring in the Baby Animals Farm (대관령아기동물농장)

Would you like to spend a day feeding and cuddling chicks, ducklings, puppies, calves, lambs and many more baby animals…? We found the perfect place. It’s the Baby Animals Farm 대관령아기동물농장 located in a beautiful setting very close to Yongpyong and Alpensia ski resorts

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2 days old piglets in Daegwallyeong Baby Animals Farm

Our kids were enjoying Spring break last week so we decided to return to the East Coast – one of our favourite destinations in Korea.

Despite the chilly weather and some snow on the road, we enjoyed fresh air and windy days on the beach. Our very last day, on the way back home, we stopped by Daegwallyeong Baby Animals Farm. Initially it was supposed to be just a quick stop to cut the journey but we ended up spending the whole afternoon in the farm and no one didn’t really want to leave 🙂

 

 

Right at the entrance we were welcomed by freshly hatched chicks, ducklings and quails. The kids were delighted to touch the soft cute baby poultry and feed them. We spent a long time cuddling baby bunnies and puppies, feeding the nimble squirrels and colourful budgies and we even experienced petting hedgehogs while wearing protective gloves 😀

 

At a second station we found baby calves, kids (baby goats), lambs and the cutest 2 days old piglets. It was an amazing experience to bottle-feed the newborn calves and have fun with the playful baby goats.

 

Our next stop was in the stable. After feeding the hungry horses with hay the kids wanted to ride them. For an extra charge of 15,000 KRW you can ride a pony or horse. The outdoor circuit is beautiful with view of the mountains and the kids really enjoyed watching the surroundings from the saddle.

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We finished a perfect afternoon trying to catch the geese in the vast field. It was so much fun!

The Baby Animals Farm was definitely one of the highlights of our Spring break holidays and everyone – little ones and grown ups – seized the day.

 

How to get there:

Gangwondo Pyeongchang Daegwallyeong Hoenggyeri 262-21

강원도 평창군 대관령면 횡계리 262-21

Opening hours:

  • April – October 8:30 – 5:30
  • November – March 9:00 -4:30

Admission: 7,000 KRW (food for animals included)

Information: Tel. 033-336-3579

For more information, check the Korean website.