Must Go Places This Winter in South Korea
I know most of us are dreading the winter colds; we want to cuddle up inside in front of the fire place and listen to ‘another’ Christmas playlist; longing for summer. BUT sometimes we are forced out of our ‘comfort cave’ to go and enjoy the typical winter activities this season has to offer. South Korea, the country that never slows down is the perfect place for this! Keep on reading for the ‘Must Go Places This Winter in South Korea’.
Hiking is a must when visiting South Korea and this is no different in winter. Blankets of snow covering the beautiful mountains, turning it into winter wonderland. Surrounded by this natural beauty, this adventure will teach you to appreciate this ‘much dreaded’ season.
Hiking is a popular activity for Koreans; which isn’t a surprise as 70% of the country exists out of mountains. If you want to impress your Korean colleagues or friends and really immerse yourself in the Korean culture, you need to make a trip to one of Korea’s many national parks.
PYEONGCHANG WINTER OLYMPICS 2018 SITES
2018 is a big year for South Korea; as Pyeongchang is hosting the 2018 Winter Olympics. The games will be running from the 9th to the 25th of February 2018. This is South Korea’s second Olympic games; back in 1988 the Summer Olympics were hosted here in Seoul. From Incheon Airport and Seoul Station there is a direct KTX to Pyeongchang and Gangneung which should only take 2 hours.
I went on a Pyeongchang Olympics promotion trip early November 2017, while the venues were still under full constructions. This is what the ski jumping slope looks like just 3 months before the Olympic games.
GO SKIING AT ONE OF KOREA’S SKI RESORTS
Korea is filled with mountains, which is great for hiking all year around. In winter these mountains are cover with snow and this means SKIING! I’m working as a ski instructor in Korea during the winter season, so I get really excited talking (or writing) about it!
Korea is filled with ski resorts, some more remote that others; to be exact, there are 17 different resorts. All these resorts include hotels, chalets, restaurants, coffee shop and some kind of entertainment like karaoke, pc bangs, jjimjilbangs, pool rooms, etc.
One of the closest resorts to Seoul is Vivaldi park; located 1h30 minutes from Seoul, perfect for a one day ski trip. The best thing of all is, Vivaldi provides FREE shuttle busses for foreigners from different locations in Seoul. If you are a snowboarder or skier than South Korea is your winter destination!
GYEONGJU “THE MUSEUM WITHOUT WALLS”
Gyeongju, a city that has a special place in my heart! Gyeongju is beautiful all throughout the year, but in winter it has something special. The landscape is filled with grassy tombs that turn brown during autumn and winter. Make sure to visit Bulguksa Temple or Golgulsa Temple!
Downtown Seoul is still the most touristic hot spot of Korea, with many ‘must see’ places like Gwanghwamun square, Namdaemun Market, Gyeongbokgung Palace and Bukcheon Village. The biggest palace of all Gyeongbukgung is a stunning place all year around; beautiful architecture surrounded by mount Bugak, becomes more magical when covered with snow.
Is visiting the palace to mainstream for you? Why not take a pedicab ride around Bukcheon village and Gyeongbokgung Palace? You’ll get a warm water bottle and extra blankets to prevent you from freezing; perfect for a romantic date!
ENJOY A KOREAN BATHHOUSE OR JJIMJILBANG
Jjimjilbangs are the perfect place to retreat when the cold gets too much! You can find these bathhouses all over the country and are a convenient way to get a quick bath or shower. These bathhouses come in different sizes and have different themes; from ice room to a bamboo forest room. In most jjimjilbangs there will be a gender segregated area where you shower, bathe and get changed into your ‘typical’ bathhouse outfit. You can also find a common room where you can relax and even spend the night.
Have you visited Korea during winter? Did I forget to add anything worthwhile to this list? Have you visited any of these places? Let me know in the comment section below!