Winter is here and when it comes to it, Korea has so much more to offer than just skiing. Looking for something unconventional to do this year? Wonderful has composed a list of top 10 fun activities to do this winter as well as festivals to visit:
Exploring the Korean open country has never been easier thanks to the Snow flower train. These are special train tours that travel throughout various remote parts of Korea in winter, and offer a scenic travel experience for everyone to enjoy. There are different tour routes depending on the departure city. For instance, the snow flower train tour departing from Seoul starts at 7:30 and includes visiting such attractions as Muju Gucheondong Valley, Deogyusan cable car and Garden of Sky, so lots of activities to do along the way. The train is usually back in Seoul at around 9.10pm.
Cost per person: around 90,000KRW-100,000KRW
Wondering how to beat the cold? Well you could buy a long and puffy padding coat and stay warm with ondol, or you could dive into the ocean like a polar bear!? As the name suggests the festival involves diving into ice cold water, an ice bucket challenge, shows and performances, partying and….wait for it… a dinosaur race! 🦖🦖🦖🦖
Date: Dec 24 at Haeundae Beach
3. Soak the Stress Away at a Korean Oncheon
Japan is not the only country famous for hot springs. Experience the healing properties of the Korean Oncheon! Minerals inside the water are said to be effective in helping your body recover from fatigue, improving blood circulation and your skin condition. Generally a great way to relieve stress from your mind and body.
List of Popular Oncheon Destinations:
4-5. Time to go Fishing! Hwacheon Trout Festival and Inje Ice Fish Festival
South Korea is rich with all kinds of delicacies for seafood lovers and winter offers a perfect time to enjoy ice fishing. There are 2 major fish festivals you should check out, the Hawcheon Trout Festival ( Jan 18 – Jan 27 ) and the Inje Ice Fish Festival ( Jan 18 – Jan 27 ) which offer a variety of fun activities for both family and individual travelers such as fishing, sledging, ice skating, etc. If you are looking for something more private there are plenty of “fishing tours (낚시체험)” that welcome both beginners and experienced fishermen alike.
Inje Ice Fish Festival
6. Winter Glamping/Camping
Winter is a great time to enjoy glamping/camping – no crowds, no mosquitoes, and reduced camping fees! It’s a perfect way to get away from busy city life and explore Korean winter sceneries and landscapes. Check out our top 10 glamping sites in Korea blogpost for more information on glamping and camping locations.
Gangwon-do Ice Festivals
The Gangwon-do area transforms into an Ice Wonderland in winter. Whether you are new to Korea or have been living here for a long time Gangwon-do Ice Festivals are simply must visit events!
Taebaeksan National Park is one of the most famous national parks in Korea - a go to place for any avid hiking junkie – and also a host of the yearly Mountain Snow Festival that gathers famous ice sculptors from around the world to showcase their artworks. With snow covered Taebaeksan Mountain in the background, the festival offers plenty of photo ops along with things to do – including but not limited to folk winter games, Igloo Café, ice fountain, snow sliding, hiking contest and more.
Daegwallyeong tends to be underrated as a tourist destination in Korea, with beautiful rolling grassy fields, a sheep farm, artistic temples with lush leafy background and more. In winter they have the Daegwallyeong Snow Festival, that offers a host of fun activities for the family such as snow sled, half-naked marathon, snowflake park and tunnel, an igloo experience, sheep farm and more.
Take in the beautiful views of frozen lakes and rivers as you walk along the Hantangang basalt gorge. Aside from that, you can also join in a half-naked marathon in the cold along other activities.
10. Visit Yangpyeong
Last but not least, if you are looking for something that is not mainstream, Yangpyeong is worth exploring (recommended for a day trip). So, what is so special about winter? Yangpyeong is famous for its organic strawberries and winter is strawberry hunting season… Aside from that, visiting Dumulmeori, the place where Bukhangang River and Namhangang River meet, is definitely worth it. Dumulmeori is a popular attraction famous for its beautiful and peaceful scenery.
Dumulmeori also offers several bike rental shops that are open in winter for you to conveniently use (bring your gloves!). Click this link for some more information on Dumulmeori and other nearby attractions that might interest you.
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You might also find these links useful: - Top 10 Destinations for Ecotourism in Korea - Foreigners Guide on How to get Ferry Tickets in South Korea (Ulleungdo, Jeju, Hongdo)