Monday, January 9, 2017

Bon Petite France

Good morning!!!

I'm back with another tale from our next stop of our day two South Korea tour, the magnifique Petite France.

Petite France is a French culture village that was constructed in July 2008 at Gyeonggi Province, South Korea. It is actually a gallery that features 16 French-style buildings, exhibits and perfomances where you can experience the breath of Europe.

The little France in Korea is also a well-know location for top-rating Korean dramas like Secret Garden and the recently shown My Love From Another Star and some other variety shows so it became more popular over the years.

Upon paying for the tickets, maps are handed out and you can explore the exquisite village at your own convenience in a given period of time. The exteriors of the village are sooo "marveilleux" that tourists immediately snapped photos of everything. One location topped the most of pictures taken; the spot where My Love From Another Star, Do Min Joon confessed his love for Cheon Song-yi.

The exact place where Cheon Song-Yi flew to Do Min Joon's arms for their first kiss has a glass ledge where tourists can simulate the famous scene hahaha.

As soon as people cleared out the spot, I took the ledge and had a few snaps of myself  of course hihihi and proceeded to check out the rest of the place after.

We only looked into the highlights and a few attractions though since it was already gettin dark, really really chilly and some shops or buildings were closed.  Yep, it was already snowing in the place and the cold weather was too much to handle outdoor especially in the late afternoon.

Lol my first and I'm thrilled
Let me just do a quick run down of the things that could be seen inside Petite France coz there are a lot to explore.  

So let's begin...
1. Entrance - ticket office

2. European Doll House
It is decorated with 300 dolls from European Medieval times. 

3. Fountain Square

4. Store

5. Gift Shop

6. Saint Exupery Memorial Hall
This hall is dedicated to Saint Exupery , his life and his various works.

7. Art Experience Room

8. Propose Room / The bell tower of love

9. Marionette House

10. Antiques Flea Market "Antika"
Saint Quen flea market is patterned under the top 3 flea markets in France where various antiques are displayed and sold.

11. Amphitheater
This is where Marionette Dance performances are being held.

12. Petite Event Hall

13. Traditional French Game House 1

14. Traditional French Gamehouse 2

15. Beethoven Virus Filmig Site

16. Maestro Gang Cafe

17. Outdoor Cafe

18. Petite Terrace
You can have a view of the picturesque river and snow-kissed mountains!

19. Observatory

20. Band of Fabre

21. Pond De Fabre
It is a bridge that connects Butterfly Park and an observatory which is 130 meters apart.  The beautiful scenery of the village and Cheongpyeongho Lake is overwhelmingly enchanting in this area.

22. Butterfly Park

23. Petite France Public Information Hall

24. Maison De Marie
Original upscale furnitures used by French nobles and upper class are displayed in this room.

25. Maison de Jean
Masterpieces of famous artists, porcelain dolls made by Meissen are also showcased here.

26. Petit Prince Street

27. Gallery "Quatre Saisons"

28. The experience of fairy tale dress

29. Mont Blanc Express

30. "Theatre de l'etoile"
This is a theater where local artists perform Guinol (hand puppets) and Marionettes (string puppet).

31. Maison d'Orgel
Collections of beautiful old orgels from Europe are displayed in this house.

32. Exhibition of antique porcelain

33. European style living room
This room is styled as if you are in a summer house in Europe.

34. Gallery "Coted'Azur"
Works of local artists are exhibited here with the atmosphere of southern region of France.

35. Petit Multimedia Hall

36. Etoile Park

37. Back gate

BTW, if you are an art and antique enthusiast, I suggest you skip the guided tour where schedules are very strict and limited and go freelance so you can linger and appreciate every detail of the village. 

We had some coffee and snacks at the cafe over the Petite Terrace to get warm and as much as we wanna sit at the outdoor cafe where we can get a picturesque view of the Gapyeong River, the freezing feeling was really really bothering me hahaha. My bad for not putting on some additional warm underclothing!!!

Lastly, French experience is not complete though without a picture at the replica of the famous Eiffel Tower.

I think the best time to visit the village is during spring or early autumn coz it can be quite chilly and dark on winter.  Some shops are closed during our tour and as I write this post I felt a bit of regret for immersing too much on the My Love from Another Star scene location that I took for granted some of the lovely places that I could  have explored. hahaha Oh wells, I'm planning to re-visit with family the soonest, so next time I'll have to check all the workshops and exhibits in the place.

Petite France is a haven for the enthusiasts of European culture and way of living.  
My experience was surreal that for a moment I wondered how come places so lovely like this existed. Honestly, I envy the locals for having such a beautiful country which they can enjoy any moment they want.

Till my next post again ladies... aja aja fighting!!!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Dreamy Nami

The holiday bug already got out of my  senses so I am back with my day two wanderlust in South Korea, this place is so picture perfect so I'm gonna be spamming again :).

Nami Island

"Namisum popularly known as Nami Island is a tiny half-moon shaped island located in Chuncheon, South Korea.  It was named after General Nami (남이장군), who died at the age of 28 after being falsely accused of treason during the reign of King Sejo, the seventh king of theJoseon Dynasty of Korea. Although his grave was not discovered, there were a pile of stones where his body was supposed to be buried. It was believed that if someone took even one stone from there, it would bring misfortune to their house. A tour company arranged the grave with soil and then developed Namisum into an amusement park." - Wikipedia

In 2006, Nami Island declared its cultural independence and was reborn as Naminara Republic. It has its own national flag, anthem, currency, passport and phone cards, stamps, orthography and even a certification of citizenship (tourism purposes). When touring the island, you are given "visa" -- it's actually an entrance fee to the park. Unfortunately, I forgot my visa from my officemate (she was our point person).

There are many ways to reach the cultural park if you're budget is tight. The options (from Seoul to Chuncheon) include via subway, via metered cab or via bus lines but we opted to avail a tour package for convenience.

Upon, reaching the park, the tour guide handed the key persons our visas (the tickets to the island) and we rode a ferry going to the island for about 5 minutes.

This is me and Steph inside the fully-packed boat. Statistics show that tourists flock during autumn and winter so the ride was not so comfy (crowded) but it was only 5 minutes away anyway.

The rest of the gang on the deck to get some air. The view outside is such a dream (sorry don't have eyes for photography).

Actually, the island became very popular when Winter Sonata was aired in 2002. It attracted millions of tourists over the years and evidently I'm one of those hehehe. Being a hallyu (Korean wave) addict, I am really lost for words to finally see the location set of the tear-jerking, heartbreaking and all time favorite drama (super kilig talaga ako).

Quick selfie at an old tree where the bicycles used in the drama  were hanged for tourists. Too bad I am in the wrong angle hahaha.

The bicycles were used by actors Bae Yong Joon (Jun-sang Kang) and Choi Ji-woo (Yoo-jin Jung), the famous stars of the Winter Sonata while playing around the island!!!

During that day was also my first ever to see a snow!!! It's not yet thick  but the sight of it brought delight to my heart.

The happy kid in me just showed while Steph took photos of me at the commemorative life-sized bronze statues of Bae Yong-joon and Choi Ji-woo. (Super Kilig talaga hihihi)

Definitely, I don't wanna miss a photo op also at the famous bench where the two had their first kiss while making the couple snowmen hihihi. It was muddy hehehe coz the snow was melting.

Lookin at this candid photos, you can see how kpop had influenced my taste over the years. While my officemates opted for parisian and new yorker ensembles; I got myself into vintage pieces, the types of clothes that Kang Mugyul of Mary Stayed out All night and G-dragon of Bigbang would wear hahaha.

(OOTD moment lol;  black skinny jeans: H&M, beanie: MyeongDong subway stop, pullover: from Japan, collar faux fur military cargo jacket:  Old Navy, boots: all terrain Landrover, fur gloves: Daiso, muffler: H&M)

The part of the island where most scenes of Winter Sonata were filmed is the Metasequoia path.  This is an aisle of  majestic Dawn Redwoods (Metasquoia's popular name) which boost unfathomable beauty.

I took the advantage to savor the moment and took a lot of pictures. Too bad we were so early for winter. The place should have been really pretty covered in snow.

This is one of the place I wanna see when the seasons change. I hope I can return this year's autumn!!!

Furthermore, I did not miss to ring the wishing bell with high hopes that all my aspirations for a better year (2017) will be granted.

And since the weather was really really freezing, we tried the coffee and pancakes in the island. I'm tellin you, if there is one thing that you shouldn't missed--it's the Nami pancakes with sunflower seeds. Sooo yummy!!!

I really fell inlove with this place promise!!!

More memory pictures at the dock.

Another set of photos while we were waiting to board the ferry back to Seoul.

Lemme end my post with a selfie. Call me unfair but I can't think of any negative thing to say about the place. It is such a heaven on earth. Yes, people -- the locals, the tourists, the young, the aged... they all look happy and excited. It is so full of positivity that you'd wanna linger. You know, I will definitely come back and visit this park with family.

Anneong my loves!!!