Traveling abroad is so much fun, in that you get to experience different cultures and take a break from busy society. Due to the current pandemic, traveling abroad has become almost impossible. As an alternative, people have started to gain more interest in traveling within the country. Gapyeong, located in the Gyeonggi-do, is a famous travel spot known for European theme parks. These European theme parks are places that bring back the innocence of childhood to adults. Why not try and re-experience the childhood you’ve long forgotten while growing up.
Petite France: The Little Prince Themed Park of Dreams and Hopes
Petite France was built in 2003 and is currently the only French theme park in Korea. The name Petite is a French word meaning ‘small’ or little, so Petite France means ‘Little France’. In this theme park, Kingos can enjoy various French cultural experiences and get a deeper insight into the famous book, The Little Prince. After all, the theme park got their motives from The Little Prince to give the visitors hopes and dreams.
The fastest way to go to Petite France from Seoul is to ride the ITX and then take the taxi. First, ride the ITX either from Cheongnyangni Station or Sangbong Station, which costs approximately 4,500~4,800 won and takes 35 minutes or less. Then, get off at Gapyeong Station and take a taxi from there, which takes approximately 25 minutes and costs 20,000 won. If you ever wish to take the subway and the bus to get there, which is highly discouraged, it will take three hours or more.
Interesting Sights in Petite France
At Petite France, there are fairytale-like promenades, performances, photo zones, and other various activities. This year, due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), all performances are being held outside. The schedule for these performances is on the official website, so take note of it beforehand since the schedule can be altered suddenly. Currently, there are only two ongoing performances: the orgel story and the marionette performance. The running time is about 15 minutes each, and they are free.
Aside from the performances, there are other activities to enjoy. One of them that is highly recommended is The Little Prince Zone. In this area, people can wear the trademark coat of The Little Prince and take photos. It is also decorated with different quotes from the book and drawings of popular scenes. Another activity to enjoy is in the Marionette Zone, where people can play with the marionettes and see various types of marionettes from the display. Another famous spot in Petite France would be the Bonjour Promenade. The stroll is somewhat like a hike because it takes place on a mountain. It is very relaxing and there are also photo zones in between the trail, which makes the stroll more memorable.
|The Little Prince Photo Zone|
|The Little Prince|
|Map of The Little Prince Theme Park|
Edelweiss Swiss Village: The Beautiful Village in the Forest
Edelweiss Swiss Village was built in 2014 and was inspired by a small festival village in Switzerland. It has reenacted the beautiful forest village, the hospitality of the villagers, and Swiss structures. Unlike the city’s standardized buildings, the buildings in Edelweiss are unique, with the theme of Switzerland. It takes one hour and 25 minutes to two and a half hours if taking a bus from Petite France to Edelweiss. If it is by taxi, it would take 19 minutes and costs 16,000 won. If a visit to Edelweiss is all you wanted, skipping Petite France, then ride the ITX, get off at Cheongpyeong Station, and then take a taxi afterward. After arriving in Edelweiss, pay the admission fee, then a red token will be given, which can be exchanged for free drinks.
Interesting Sights in the Edelweiss Swiss Village
There are several spots to enjoy, like a ranch, photo-zones, and museums for chocolate, Heidi cheese, wine, and coffee. The museums, excluding the coffee museum, are structured like houses and are divided into threefloors. Inside the museums, they have history, making processes, and photo-zones. The most famous photo zone in Edelweiss is in Edelweiss Square. The square is connected to the Bern Bear theme house, which houses the three mascots of the theme park. You can wear the mascot and take pictures in the square. Another unique trait of Edelweiss is the sheep ranch, which allows visitors to feed the sheep. The payment for grass is 1,000 won, cash only. Besides the sheep ranch, there are also the hen and rabbit farms. Furthermore, if you make a group reservation in advance, you will be able to enjoy various group activities like making a fondue, mozzarella cheese, chocolate characters, scented diffusers, and more. Edelweiss Swiss Village is smaller in size compared to Petite France. However, the scenery and the vibe of the two villages are completely different. Edelweiss focuses more on nature all the while giving the village a fairytale-like vibe.
|Edelweiss Square View|
|Map of the Edelweiss Swiss Theme Park|