Keep Yourself Active Over The Winter
Questions flood the inboxs of tourism journalists with each new season. People seem to grow increasingly restless, more so at the approach rather than at the peak of the season as in mid-winter or mid-summer. The inquiries start to roll in during November, not only from Koreans, but also from people coming from countries where winter doesn’t exist. Therefore, to quell this rise in requests, I have gathered a number of places to visit in Korea during the winter (mid-November ~ end of February).
It’s all about skiing at this time of year. There’s nothing like the feeling of freedom, making your way down on the slopes covered in fresh, powdery snow. Even if you’re not quite the avid skier, don’t worry, because brief training courses is readily available, so even beginners may enjoy the time out on the slopes. When thinking of ski resorts to recommend to people, a number of places spring to mind. The High1 Ski Resort offers a number of colorful and exciting events, complete with a ski train in operation for a comfortable trip that opened up in 2006, while the Yongpyong Ski Resort is another great resort featuring Korea’s longest slopes. Next, is the Muju Resort, located in the snow filled mountains of Deokyusan National Park, offering gondola rides to the top of the slopes where guests get the chance to witness what a real ‘snow country’ is all about.
At the Daemyung Vivaldi Park Ski World, guests can enjoy themselves both at the water park or the slopes. Lastly, there is Phoenix Park, a ski resort harnessing an 18-hole golf course and a first-class hotel, delighting all guests who come to visit. If, for some reason, you fear the ski slopes, I recommend the snow sledding slopes. The Everland Snow Sledding Slopes are only an hour away on the Seoul subway system, providing sledding courses for all, from kids to adults.
The Seoraksan National Park of Korea is famous for both its geographical features and its hot springs. After a rewarding hike in the beautiful snow-covered mountains, why not take some time and settle down at the Seorak Waterpia for a memorable soak in the hot springs? The water park overlooks the vast mountain ranges of the Seoraksan Mountains, offering a large variety of water facilities and therapies in the Aqua Dome, and an array of small themed baths providing a great view of the scenery, granting total satisfaction for all its guests regardless of their preferences.
Duksan Spa Castle
Duksan Spa Castle is an enormous facility that uses hot spring waters to create a waterpark. The waterpark uses 49°C natural hot spring waters for their exciting water rides, the water massage systems of the Bade Pools, the ondol cultures of traditional Korea at the Sarangchae, and a bar to enjoy a glass of beer while bathing in the hot spring waters. The unique opportunity to drink a refreshing glass of beer in the hot springs is usually the most appealing feature for many of its guests.
The frozen lake reflects the colors of the sky and the wondrous beauty of the snowfields, and natural ice arts wondrously decorate the land above at the snow covered festival grounds. The Icicles that are frozen on trees are hundreds of years old and the pine trees clothed in the white snows of winter imitate beautiful flowers made with snow. Korea’s most famous snow festivals is the Taebaek Snow Festival and the Daegwalryeong Snow Festival. The Taebaek Snow Festival is especially popular due to its snow train tour. If you would like to see more than 3,900 snow covered yew trees, do not miss out on Taebaeksan Mountain.
Hallasan Mountain is one of Korea’s natural forests, Jeju-do Island’s highest mountain peak, and is Korea’s tallest mountain, where the galaxies can be reached from atop the mountains. Royal azaleas bloom in the spring, fall brings the autumn foliage, and the winter brings forth snowfields and a sea of clouds. The relatively easy hike to the top rewards hikers with a view of vast snowfields with crystal-like flowers of ice formations growing in the sunlight on top of the withered old trees. If you follow the winds of the snowfields and can take your eyes off the wondrous snow formations for a quick moment, you can turn around to witness the ocean expanse that surrounds the waters of Jeju-do Island, the East Sea. Though a one-day hike does not leave much time to appreciate the beauty of the mountains, there is a feeling of certain satisfaction in leaving while wanting more. From my experiences, the mountains of Hallasan that soar skyward from out of the blue waters of the East Sea was one of the most memorable trips I have had.
And if you are wondering why I used the word wondrous so much, It is pretty simply. I am not sure how else I can explain these places with only any other word.