Sunday, October 30, 2016

Winter Activities at Children's Grand Park, Korea

Growing up in a country where there is no snow, we maximized every opportunity we can get to play in snow to bring out the kid inside us! In our winter trip to Korea last December 2015, we visited the Children's Grand Park to try sledding with the Korean kids!haha
How to get there?
Ride the subway and alight at Children's Grand Park at line 7.
Take Exit #2 and follow the route below.
Walk around 5-10 mins until you see the sign below on your left which states (Children's Playground).

Day Trip to Jisan Ski Resort in Korea

There are three things that are important if you plan to go skiing in Korea:
  1. When? Ski season usually runs through from December until February. We went there late December to be sure. However, there was no actual snow falling down our faces (which we would have loved!) when we went as snow starts around mid-January in Korea.
  2. Where? There are a lot of options for skiing or snowboarding in Korea. The best options (and most hardcore!) are in Gangwon-do which is around 2-3 hours outside of Seoul. These places will also host the upcoming 2018 winter Olympics. We decided to go to Jisan Forest Ski Resort (check their official website here) which is one of the closest in Seoul (around 1 hour) and also beginner friendly. We felt that we made the right decision as Jisan Forest was still extremely huge and had state of the art facilities. The only downside was that there were so many people (especially beginners like us) that congested the ski areas.
  3. How long? A lot of people go to ski resorts as a vacation trip on its own so they spend several days in these resorts. We just wanted to experience it for fun so we decided a one-day trip will be sufficient for us. Spending more days in the resort will cost you more money since ski resorts if you avail of the full package can be very expensive.
Take the Subway (Green Line) and alight at Gangbyeon Station.
Upon reaching the terminal, go to exit 4 (Dongseoul Bus Terminal).
Upon reaching the exit, you will see a huge complex right in front of you. Walk across and enter the bus terminal building.
Look for the Ticketing Center (you can ask around on where to buy tickets) as seen below.
Buy one way ticket going to Icheon (note this is different from Incheon!). Fare will cost 4,700 KWN or around 200 PHP.

Christmas in Korea - 11 Days and 10 Nights Itinerary

My boyfriend and I went to Korea for the 4th time last December to experience White Christmas! This was my 4th time visiting Korea and I've blogged about itineraries for both first time travelers here and multi-city travel in Korea (Seoul-Busan-Jeonju) here. So if it's your first time visiting Korea, check out my previous blog posts as it will be much more helpful for you.

We've spent a total of 11 days in Korea during the December holiday break which includes visit to Ski Resort, Nami island, and outlet stores which we've not visited in the past, and of course a lot of SHOPPING and FOOD TRIP! This trip was different from all our previous trips since we wanted a more relaxed itinerary than what we usually have and we were not in budget traveler mode to enjoy the holidays. :)

Itinerary Summary:

Expenses: White Christmas in Korea

I've previously blogged about expenses in Korea during my first travel here and our multi-city (Seoul - Busan - Jeonju) travel here. You can check these out to get more tips and prepare for your travel budget. Here's the breakdown of my travel expense during our Christmas holiday in Korea last December 2015. 

Here's our ALL IN expenses (including airfare and taxes):
Here's our daily expenses without airfare/taxes/shopping:

What made it expensive?
  • We did not get any promo fare on our airfare since we decided to book for peak season during the December holidays. We got a good rate though from Jeju Air which was only 260 USD despite booking last minute compared to other airlines.
  • We went there to do Christmas shopping so we spent a lot on shopping!
  • We were not able to book the cheaper accommodation options since we started booking only late November and most of the cheap options were booked already.
Where did we spend less?
  • We spent less on entrance fees compared to our previous trips since we already visited amusement parks (Lotte world or Everland), palaces, or museums/shows which we've all done in the past.
  • We saved big time on Ski resort: booked day trip only, got 30% off on promotion from our credit card, and did not avail any rental of clothes except for basic equipment needed.
  • We bought groceries in Lotte Mart to cook for breakfast everyday and some dinners because of our airbnb place which had a kitchen.
  • We rarely ride taxi in all our trips and same goes here even if it was extremely cold.haha Only taxi ride was in Nami where there were limited options. 
Suggestion: Book flights and hotels early if you want to go to Korea on December to get better deals! The rest of the expenses will be the same in Korea even if you go in another month since it's not really considered "peak season" once you go there compared to other countries. Check for deals as well (e.g. Citibank promos, etc.) on entrance fees, events, shows, etc. which can offer significant discounts!

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