It was J’s birthday on the 3rd day of our Korea trip. Happy Birthday to my hubster! I wanted it to be a special day for him so I got a package from Klook for a Day Tour to Petite France, Nami Island and ends with Strawberry Picking. I got for 81 SGD per person. Children under 3 can take part in the tour free of charge so yey, no need to get a pay for my kids.
One thing though I failed to remember that my hubby hates waking up very early in the morning. And on his birthday, I subjected him to wake up at dawn so we can prepare for our trip which has a scheduled meeting time and the night before we were all giddy with excitement and sugars from the Krispy Kreme donuts we bought that we stated up late at night playing with the kids. But all is well and my husband is a trooper for rising early and helping me prepare the kids. Believe me, bathing and dressing up kids below 3 years during winter is not an easy task.
I indicated the chosen meeting point at Myeongdong. So I was instructed that we should be in Myeongdong Station Exit 2 at 8:00 AM to meet the rest of the group. Since we are worried we will be running late if we take the MRT, we decided to take a cab instead to Myeongdong Station. We are glad the tour bus was still waiting for us at the meeting point. We made it! We stored our two strollers in the bus and met the other families that is joining us in the day tour. We made another stop at the Dongdaemun History & Culture Park Station to pick us the last people who will be joining us in the day tour.
The pretty Korean tour guide introduced herself to us. I completely forgot her name now though, oppps… She gave us the itinerary for the day. First, we are going to Petite France then lunch then Nami Island. And we will end by having strawberry picking at the strawberry farm. She told us we can get a shut-eye first since it will take more an hour to reach Petite France which we gladly did.
Petite France is inspired from the French novel, “Le Petit Prince” or the Little Prince by Saint-Exupery. It is a French Cultural Village set consisting of 16 French-style buildings where visitors can have a glimpse of French cultural village living.
The place was colorful and quirky. Each little house has its own unique charm. There were a lot of memorabilia in each little houses. There were costumes, little cars which Naj was happy about, puppets, vases and beautiful furnitures.
It was extremely cold that day and the kids were in a very grumpy mood. It was also a struggle climbing the steep grounds going up the village with the two strollers in tow. There was a marionette show for visitors in the big open space near the entrance but the kids were not up for it so headed back to the bus.
Everyone eventually boarded the bus as we head to Nami Island. We took another nap again before reaching the dock going Nami Island. The tour guide gave us two choices if we wanted to eat before riding the ferry to Nami Island or we can opt to eat in Nami Island also. She gave us all our tickets before we spread out.
J said that we better eat before riding the ferry. We chose this restaurant that serves Chicken Dak Galbi.
Chicken Dak Galbi is a popular Korean dish made of spicy stir-fried marinated diced chicken on chili pepper paste with sliced cabbage, sweet potato, scallions, onions and rice cakes. You cooked the marinated diced chicken in front of you.
The chicken dak galbi was really good! We enjoyed our lunch a lot. J ordered rice to go with it. J is a very picky eater so he has been loving all of the Korean dishes he has tried so far.
When we were done with lunch, we waited for the ferry to arrive. It was a large ferry with seats on the side and a big space in the middle. We were glad we didn’t need to closed the kids’ strollers. It took only 5 minutes to beautiful Nami Island.
Nami Island is indeed “nami” (Hiligaynon word meaning nice). It is a huge piece of land that is an oasis of culture and leisure for visitors. There are several pine tree and mulberry trees in the area. There were lots of pre-made snowman and snow hills that we enjoyed playing around with Naj. Naj was also so happy with slide of ice. He can’t stop going up and slide, up and slide that we have to drag him out of there or else we will never leave the place. Hahaha!
The place is so picturesque, perfect for sightseeing, for photo-taking, for meditation, for romantic stroll dates. Nami Island is quite popular after it has been featured in a Korean television drama, Winter Sonata. There is even a statue of the actors on that show there.
There several cafe and restaurants in the vicinity. There were traditional heating area. And I like the large dark stone statue of a breastfeeding mother .
When it was almost the time for us to meet back in the boat, we hurried tocatch the ferry back to Chuncheon.
When all of us were in the tour bus, we then headed to our last destination: Strawberry Farm.
I have never seen how strawberries were planted and harvested. I didn’t know they are housed in a little green house. The owners educated us on the perfect strawberry for picking and they even helped picked some of them. We got two big plastic containers and we ate some as we picked. They were the sweetest strawberries I have every tasted. I often tried strawberries and there have more of the sourish taste but the strawberries I tasted in Seoul was so sweet & yummy.
With all our plastic containers filled with juicy strawberries, we headed back to the city. We told the tour guide, they can drop us off in Myeongdong.
In Myeongdong, we wanted to go to a cafe for some birthday cake for the birthday boy. We saw a Cat Mascot with a signboard Cat Cafe. We asked the cat to show us where the cafe is. The cat lead us to the cat cafe.
We need to remove our shoes to enter. The Cat Cafe was warm and toasty and there were different breeds of cats there sleeping or just leisurely lying around. Naj and Fynn enjoyed playing with the cats and sometimes chasing them. There is an entrance to the place with a free drink. We got slices of cakes as well.
I would love to stay longer and hang around but we were all so tired already. We brushed out the cat hairs from our clothes, wore our shoes and took a cab back to our hotel.
It was a tiring but exciting day. I hoped my hubby enjoyed his birthday inspite the early morning travel and the heavily-packed day. But those wide smiles and contented eyes when we were playing around the snow with our kids says it all. I am sure he did.