Nami Island and Petite France Into nature and imagination
Today we went on a tour to the highly popular Korea tourist attractions – Nami Island and Petite France. They are located outside of Seoul and are situated
Excerpt from the Nami Island brochure the summarizes the history and unique points of the Island:
“Situated 63km from Seoul
In the middle of the Han River,
Nami Island looks like a leaf floating
Gracefully on top of Cheongpyeong Lake.
The island has an area of 460,000m2
With a circumference of 5km.
Formed with pebbles and sand,
There are no mountains in the island, but
There are trees tall enough to touch the sky.
Wide grassy gardens where deer,
Ostriches, rabbits, squirrels,
Ducks and countless types of birds flourish
Nami island is a place where not only nature
But also human beings can coexist.
Nami island was named after General Nami,
A notable figure in Korean history
Who courageously fought the battles
But died at the age of 26.
Seasonal rain used to transform this land into an island,
And with the construction of Cheongpyeong dam,
It is now an island all year long.
In 1965, thousands of trees were planted
By Mr. Byeong-Do Minn.
Today Nami Island is a place for rest and relaxation.
Human beings, animals and trees share peace,
Love and harmony far away from crowds and civilization.”
After a comfortable ride of about 1 hour on the mini bus, we arrived at the Immigration to take a short 5 minutes ferry ride to Naminara Republic. Nara means nation in Korean, and thus Naminara means the Nami nation. And the reason for this is because (in the words of Naminara) “Years ago Nami Island declared its cultural independence and became Naminara Republic. We are a micro-nation and our exports are mainly imagination and fairy tales”.
The ferry is very spacious with lots of standing and sitting spaces. One may also stand on the outside to enjoy the view and take pictures during the journey to Nami Island.
In no time, we reached Nami Island and were greeted by the cute pebble sculpture and magnificent ice sculpture.
Nami Island is a relaxing and peaceful environment with lots and lots of trees. The first (and most popular) lane that we were greeted with was the Metasequoia Lane. As most might already known, this lane became really popular as it was one of the filming site of the popular Korean drama Winter Sonata. Besides this lane, there is also the gingko tree lane, cherry tree lane, Korean pine tree lane, white birch lane and reed woods lane. Although the trees were not donned with as much leaves as they would have been during the other seasons, the tall and huge number of trees were still a magnificent sight. Lots of photo taking began!
Being the filming site for the Kdrama Winter Sonata several years ago, there were several locations with the main actor and actress’ statue and pictures.
This was the kissing scene that appeared in the show. It was really cute with two little snowmen leaning against each other and overseeing the beautiful lake. A really nice location to take wonderful romantic pictures with your loved ones. And as they were not made of real ice, there is no worry about them melting.
One can also take the UNICEF Charity Train ride around the island. A part of its earnings is donated to the Korean Committee for UNICEF to help children in need. The island is also small enough to walk around by foot. Nice to take pictures with the train tracks too!
Besides the tranquil natural scenery, Nami Island is continually improving its landscape and introducing new items on its ground so as to provide visitors with a memorable experience. A few years earlier, they introduced the Asian sculpturesonnto the landscape for an interesting and welcoming touch for foreign visitors. A cute photo taking site!
Soju bottles were also used to create this art piece along the small bridge.
A picture speaks a thousand words. You really do have to visit Nami Island for yourself to experience the scenery that cannot be found in Seoul and other parts of South Korea. No wonder Nami Island is one of the most visited site for foreigners and locals alike. In fact, the landscape looks different every season, and is thus a huge pulling factor for repeat visits. I visited it during summer previously and it gave me a different vibe this time round. A stone throw from Seoul, but provides a totally different feeling.
Next stop, the French cultural village Petite France!
Petite France’s concept is ‘flowers, stars, and the Little Prince.’ Because there is a memorial hall dedicated to Saint-Exupery, the author of the celebrated French novel, Le Petit Prince (1943), this village is thus named the Little Prince theme park. Visitors are reminded of the French culture through the paintings, sculptures and musical performances.
Petite France is also known to be the filming location for popular Korean dramas like ‘My Love from the Star’ and ‘Secret Garden’.
Bricks were considerately placed for female visitors to cover up the female actress and take pictures with the portrait of the male actor Kim Soo-Hyun.
There were also many paintings and items that will remind “The Little Prince” lovers of the wonderful novel, and to see it come to life.
We also got to catch the remarkable puppet show performance where the various puppets danced to several songs, including Michael Jackson’s ! The show was really captivating and it put a nice finishing end to our Petite France tour.
Tour information : Click below Nami Island Tour, Petite France Tour