안녕하세요: 2D1N in Chuncheon and Gapyeong Part II

23:05:00

It has been four days since I got back from Korea. I haven't really get to go out and about as much as I would like to though I did managed a short meet-up with QY, XY and YT last Sunday before my visit to the doctor. I am down with a flu again, and is currently nursing a sprained ankle and torn ligament that I have gotten myself back in Busan. Even the doctor was amazed I waited for a week before seeking treatment, and exclaimed how accident-prone I am when he saw the amount of bruises I have got on my legs (due to a extremely heavy and broken luggage).

So now while I haven't start going for interviews and looking for the right job, just staying at home to spend time with my niece and my cats, as well as preparing for a performance coming up next month, I'd thought I should try to blog as much as possible so I won't accumulate too many backlogs before my life picks up again. I also drew a lot in Kyoto and it told me to work hard in order for me to see results so yeap, here I am working hard and continuing with Part II of my trip to Chuncheon and Gapyeong~



Our stop after Nami Island was Petite France 쁘띠프랑스 and similarly, there wasn't much difference from when I first visited a year ago (see here for travel directions) so this part will be just visuals.

By the way, there is a Gyeonggi-do Travel Guide you can get at various Tourist Information Centres that consists of tour information and discount coupons for Petite France, the Garden of Morning Calm which we went after this, as well as other tourist attractions in Gwacheon, Suwon, Paju, Yongin and so on. Another point to note is that you probably want to grab lunch at Namiseom dock first before proceeding to Petite France or the Garden of Morning Calm if you require proper meals since there are only casual light snacks at these two areas.



We boarded the Gapyeong Tour Bus with the same bus ticket to the Garden of Morning Calm 아침고요수목원. The journey takes slightly less than an hour, and although I am the type who will waste no time in catching up with some sleep as soon as I board the bus, I waited for a bit this time round, knowing that the bus will also go past Cheongpyeong Lake 청평호반, an artificial lake that was formed with the construction of Cheongpyeong Dam in the Bukhangang River. I really wanted to catch this scene so I am glad I took a nice picture while in the bus, and went to sleep straight after lol.



The Garden of Morning Calm is inspired by a poem written by Sir Tagore who described Korea during the Joseon Dynasty as "The Land of the Morning Calm", and is the oldest private garden in Korea which attracts about 600,000 visitors annually. I do think winter is probably the worst time to come but since this was more of a project than a tour, we didn't have much of a choice. So this is how the garden looks like in December:


It is not that bad in terms of scenery..


But it just lacks a bit of a colour


This feels all "Lord of the Rings" to me



There are 20 different themed sections, with the Sukgeun Garden that is shaped like the Korean Peninsula and carpeted with beautiful flowers on both sides to represent the desire for South and North Korea to reunite being the most popular and meaningful section in the entire garden.

If you were to visit in any other seasons apart from winter, you'd probably get to witness more than 5,000 kinds of plants in their full bloom. On the other hand, to make up for the lack of flower blossom, you'd get to attend the biggest festival of lights in Korea, where 100,000 pyeong of land will be covered with 30,000 lights, here in the Garden of Morning Calm during winter. So do check with the staff on the time the garden will be lit up as it varies daily depending on sun set, and stay for a bit if you happen to visit in December! The lights were pretty fascinating.


Jingwen said this butterfly looked like sweetcorn lolol


Everything seems to have a magical touch to it..



Frankly, we weren't expecting anything out of this trip to a garden since it was winter after all. We just wanted to come so that we could gather more materials for our presentation (I got an "A+" by the way!) but I am glad we did because I really loved how the entire garden was transformed itself by nightfall. I am sure most Koreans were the same too judging from how packed the garden even after the sun had set despite the extremely cold weather.

Having visited in winter, I am already amazed by the sheer expansiveness and design of the entire garden. As such, I have no doubt at all how magnificent the garden will be when snow starts to thaw and flowers start to blossom again. I'd love to visit again during spring.


Of course, Jingwen and I just had to grab a bite when we saw FOOD

We left at about 6.30 pm to take the last Gapyeong tour bus to the Cheongpyeong Station where we incidentally took an ITX that brought us straight to Cheongnyangni Station instead of a normal all-stop train back to Seoul. It was probably the best mistake even though it was an additional 8,000 won for each of us. We gladly paid up considering the fact that we have school the next day and how tired we were after the impromptu 2-day outing. The ITX-ride cut travelling time by more than half, allowing me to return to Gongdeok in less than an hour when we took at least 2 hours to ride our way up to Chuncheon. Bravo. Even though it is officially over for me, I can't help but think that..

School is real hardwork,
Yvette

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