For our second tour day with Here Korea, we checked out from our hotel in Myeongdong and headed to Gapyeong, for a visit to the Garden of the Morning Calm and Nami Island. We checked out as we will be staying overnight at Sokcho City for visit to Mt. Seorak the day after.
We left Seoul at 9 am, and reached the Garden of the Morning Calm at around 11, because of the unusual traffic caused by road repairs. The garden is the oldest private garden in South Korea, and was conceptualized by a professor who wanted to showcase the concept of Korean beauty through the garden.
We spent a good two and a half hours here, including our time at the cafe. and I think we could’ve spent more if our guide didn’t stop us. Haha. It was already 2pm when we left for Nami Island, and it was a good thirty minutes away, and we still haven’t had lunch yet at this point.
And there’s a really cozy cafe with a fantastic view inside the garden where you can chill after hours of walking around! We stayed here waiting for the rain to stop.
All in all I can say that of all the places we’ve visited to see autumn colors, this is one of the best. Anyway, here are some useful info/ tips for visiting the Garden of the Morning Calm:
- As of writing, prices are as follows: Adult / 9500 krw, Youth (middle-high school students) / 7000 krw , and Kids / 6000 krw. I’m just not sure if this applies to foreigners as well.
- There are already a lot of day trip tours available online (like those in Klook or KKday), and I would say that those tours are a great option if you don’t want to be hassled with public commute. But of course, you would have limited time in each location. I’ve actually tried the Nami + Petite France + Garden bundle from Klook, and I’d say that the time was just enough. (but a bit rushed in Nami)
- Do take note of the season when visiting! There are different festivals and things to see per season. Like for example, during Winter, you would want to visit at night for the Lighting Festival. And take note of peak periods of the seasons too. Our timing was great with this autumn trip, but I also visited it at a time of transition (winter to spring, first week of April. although our guide said that Spring came in late that year) ….and we were left looking at maybe 80% dried branches.
- Be prepared for a lot of walking as this garden is around 30,000 sqm!
That’s it for this post on the Garden of the Morning Calm! Please feel free to share your questions/comments and experience here as well! Would love to know about how it looks/feels in different seasons. 🙂 Thanks for reading!