It’s officially winter in Korea and yet I have backlog posts from way back spring! */shakes head* I’ve been terribly busy the last few months with some consultancy work, the French fries business, and the bakery. Also, I am currently in the process of fixing some loose ends before the launch of my online travel service company which is focused on travels to South Korea. That’s something to look forward to especially for my readers who have been following me to get updates about Korea.
Going back to winter, it’s pretty cold now with the dropping temperature in South Korea but the cold weather is something that should excite you, especially if you’re coming from tropical countries like the Philippines. There’s a whole lot of fun and exciting activities and festivals going on. For the a list of exciting winter festivals and their schedules, you can head over to the the KTO website.
And for the top 10 things that you can do in Korea this season, read below!
Last Spring, I definitely enjoyed those big, plump, juicy, fresh, and sweet strawberries that were so abundant and in season that a pound of them costs so cheap as compared to the ones we have back in Manila. But do you know that the strawberry season officially starts in December? That means if you’re heading to Korea during winter, you can definitely include strawberry picking in your itinerary!
I have personally tried strawberry picking before but it was in Hong Kong, not Korea. However, let me tell you that it is such a great activity and is ideal for couples, families and friends. There’s a package in Trazy that includes strawberry picking, rail bike riding, and skiing at a ski resort in one! The deal already includes round-trip transportation, entrance fees, and cost of strawberries, plus you can even choose to join the bus in Hongdae or Myeongdong.
Snow swimming is literally swimming in snow! Maybe not for the faint-hearted or someone like me who gets the shivers just thinking about taking a bath without a heater (and to think that I even live in a hot and humid country like the Philippines, hah!). To really experience winter in Korea, you may want to stay overnight at a ski resort and then try snow swimming, and skiing at the same time. There’s a package in Trazy that offers a 2Days/1Night stay at Elysian Ski Resort with an optional Nami Island tour.
What’s good about this deal is that you get round-trip transportation, overnight stay, ski clothes rental for 2 days, ski sledding on your second day, and so much more. You can choose where to join the bus or where to be dropped off from Hongdae, Myeongdong, or Dongdaemun.
There’s no better way to experience winter in Korea than by skiing or snowboarding. There are lots of ski resorts to choose from and it all depends on what you intend to do alongside skiing or snowboarding.
You may opt to go to Vivaldi Park because it’s one of the most popular ski resorts for its long and wide slopes plus it is close to Seoul. At Vivaldi Park, you can choose to ski, snowboard, or get lessons for either/both. There’s a special package available for foreigners over at Trazy and it’s a really affordable 1 day winter package to enjoy skiing and snowboarding at Vivaldi Park.
The other option is to go to Yongpyong Ski Resort, the first ever ski resort in Korea. It is located in Pyeongchange where the 2018 Winter Olympics will be held. It’s the biggest ski resort in Korea with the most slopes and is recommended for intermediate and advanced level skiers or snowboarders. There’s a special package for a 1-day ski or snowboard tour which includes round-trip transportation, clothes and equipment rental, and lift pass.
Experience snow sledding at Korea’s first ever theme/amusement park, Seoul Land, that you can reach in just 30 minutes from Seoul. What’s good with going to Seoul Land to experience snow sledding is that you also get to enjoy several rides as well as winter shows. For example, there’s a Christmas party going on from November 22 until December 25, and there’s also a light fantasy show that you can catch from 5:30pm onwards.
#5 Rail Biking
If you’re not the type who’s into the more aggressive winter activities like skiing, snow swimming, or snowboarding, but would like to do some serene and toned-down activity as you enjoy the natural winter scenery, then winter rail biking is for you. You must have heard about Gangchon Rail Park because of its proximity to Nami Island and Petite France but you must have been surprised to know that it’s open even during winter. The scenery changes per season which is very much similar to Nami Island, and that’s why it’s one of those places that you need to visit every time the season changes.
#6 Winter Light Festivals
The best way to enjoy winter at night is to watch all that glistenin’ and glowin’ spectacle. One of the popular winter light shows is Everland’s Romantic Illumination.
For those of you who haven’t been to Everland, you might have heard about it as being the largest theme park in Korea along with its thrilling rides and attractions. But if there’s one thing that I particularly enjoy in Everland is its festivals. Last spring, I fell in love with Everland’s Tulip Festival. Now imagine witnessing a light festival in Everland that’s sure to be grand and enchanting. For sure, you wouldn’t want to miss that. And to get the best of your Everland experience, I highly recommend getting Q-Pass tickets so that you don’t waste time waiting in line for the popular attractions.
The other popular winter light show is the Garden of Morning Calm Lighting Festival. Trazy has a special package for a day tour of Nami Island and the Garden of Morning Calm. The package includes round-trip transportation and entrance fees, and has pick-up/drop-off points in Hongdae, Myeongdong and Dongdaemun.
#7 Ice Fishing
Have you tried catching fish with your bare hands during winter? Named as one of the 7 Winter Wonders of the World by CNN is the Hwacheon Sancheono Ice Festival. It’s a one of a kind experience that happens only during the winter season. For this round, it’s going to happen on January 6-28, 2018. The festival happens on a river in Hwacheon which is the very first area to freeze in Korea. The drill is that you need to put your arm under the river and catch the fish through snow holes. Then you can grill your fresh mountain trout catch or have it as a fillet on site!
One of the unique ways that Koreans do to welcome the new year is to witness the first sunrise of the year. And one of the most famous sunrise spots in Korea is in Jeongdongjin Beach near Gangneung. Think of pine trees, blue winter sea, tranquil coastline, and a scenic seaside rail bike route. There’s a great Jeongdongjin Beach deal over at Trazy where you leave Seoul at 11pm, sleep on the bus, and wake up to an amazing sunrise view. It also comes with free admission to CoffeeCupper Museum so that you start your day with a cup of warm coffee and learn more about it too.
The Daegwallyeong Sheep Farm is one of the most beautiful nature-rich places you can visit in Gangwon-do. It’s scenic during spring but it’s equally beautiful in winter. Imagine seeing huge wind turbines on white rolling hills of snow. That will leave anyone breathless. On top of that magnificent winter view, you also get to feed the hungry flock of sheep. The farm is a little far from the city but with Trazy’s Daegwallyeong Sheep Farm package, it can be easily and conveniently reached with a private van or in a tour where you can also see visit the Seoraksan National Park.
If you’re a K-pop or K-drama fan, now this one will truly make your winter trip to Korea memorable. At the SBS Awards Festival, you get to meet the biggest and brightest stars in one place. The festival features a K-pop music awards ceremony called Gayo Daejeon or the SAF Music Awards. This 2017, it will take place on December 25 at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul. The awards show will be hosted by IU and the lineup includes, among others, Red Velvet, BLACKPINK, TWICE, EXO, and BTS! Trazy has a special voucher for foreigners only and you gotta hit that button fast because the tickets are going to be sold out soon!