Category Archives: Outdoor activities

10 Ways to Keep Summer Going after School Begins

Whether you’re relieved or sad seeing your kids back to school, don’t forget it’s still summer in Seoul until close to end of September!  So if your family is not yet ready for summer to end, pick a few items off our Summer List and go have some fun while the air is hot and the sun still shines!

Summer

  1. Hangang River outdoor swimming pools are open until August 23, 2017
  2. Beachy adventures await!
  3. Baseball games run deep into October
  4. How about KNP camping in one of the Korea National Parks?
  5. Muju Firefly Festival is running August 27 – September 4, 2017
  6. Nothing says summer quite like canoeing on river
  7. A family bike ride keeps the summer mood going
  8. Refreshing splash of the mountain river
  9. Make a trip to Andong during the traditional Maskdance Festival (September 29 ~ October 8, 2017)
  10. Pick your own and enjoy the delicious taste of peaches at Janghowon Peach Festival (September 22~24, 2017)

 

 

 

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Seoul’s Top Spring destinations: where to go when flowers are blooming

We can’t wait for spring! To get ready for one of the most beautiful seasons in Korea we wanted to share our top ranking list of gardens and parks we love to visit particularly in spring

17436053_10208941090986939_3092280998526016002_oWatch out for the strikingly beautiful Cherry blossom season (it actually lasts only a few days) when you would not want to miss any opportunity to snap a perfect picture!

Here is the 2017 spring blossoms forecast from Kweather.

spring-forecast-2017

Kyunghee University Campus at Cherry Blossom time

Kyung Hee University campus is a perfect spot to admire the cherry blossom season or just to enjoy a lazy afternoon in its wonderful – and romantic – gardens.

Yeouido Cherry Blossom

Considered as Seoul’s best location to see cherry blossoms  – Yeouido Spring Flower festival (April 1~9, 2017)  is the most famous and the most popular for Koreans and international tourists.

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Hwadam Botanical Garden is one of the best spots for royal azaleas, birch trees and all kind of wild flowers.

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How about a one day trip to Cheollipo arboretum to admire magnolia trees by the sea? The 2nd Magnolia festival is running from April 9 to 30, 2017. In the same area you can visit the Tean Tulip Festival scheduled for April 13th ~ May 10th, 2017.

Namsan Park

Namsan Park is a pleasant place to visit all year around but it is particularly beautiful in late March and beginning of April.

Garden of Morning Calm
Garden of Morning Calm

A paradise for photographers and all flowers lovers – The Garden of Morning Calm is definitely one of the most magic places in spring.

Flower Bibimbap In the Garden Restaurant Jade Garden Korea

A little bit less famous, hence maybe less crowded Jade Garden – located in Chuncheon area, is another favourite destinations for spring strolls.

Byeokchoji BCJ Botanical Garden

Byeokchoji BCJ Botanical Garden in Paju area was featured in many Korean dramas and is particularly beautiful in spring time.

Herb Village Korea

Another peaceful place to admire blooming flowers is Herb Village located close to the DMZ

Seoul Iris Garden

During the iris blooming season (May ~June), don’t miss the small-yet-beautiful Seoul Iris Garden.

Enjoy the beautiful weather and have wonderful time outdoor! We’ll keep you posted about all the Spring Flowers Festivals coming on 🙂

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