Winter In Korea Finale: 1-Day Ski Trip and Ice Festival Near Seoul! (Day 9 | Sponsored by Trazy.com)
I never regretted a single travel, never regretted being game to activities even though I am not really good at it and may even result to embarrassment, hehe. Whether it's surfing, wake boarding, or those other activities that involve a lot of courage but does not require much skill (haha) like jumping off cliffs or riding steep roller coasters, I am up for it! When the day comes that I've consumed all my strength and courage, I'll be proud to say that at least I've used them all up well.
To me, a winter trip will not be completed without going to an ice festival and try skiing for the first time! I don't know why I set the Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival & Elysian Gangchon Ski Resort package on my last full day in Korea, the day before my flight, but it actually sounds like the perfect finale for my 10-day Winter in Korea adventure.
My friend Marj who lived in Seoul for over a year joined me in the tour by also booking via Trazy.com, as always, my highly recommended online booking site for Korea travel packages! The Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival & Elysian Gangchon Ski Resort package is fairly priced and already includes the following:
1) Roundtrip transportation from Seoul (pick-up points in Myeongdong, Hongdae, and Dongdaemun) going to all the destinations for the day.
2) Entrance Fees.
3) Basic equipment needed for all the activities (rod for fishing, skiing or snowboarding clothes and equipment rental).
4) Ice Festival Vouchers (for your lunch).
5) English-speaking staff.
We were picked up by a coaster from Myeongdong on-the-dot, at around 7:30am. All the details will be sent to you by Trazy.com beforehand, plus our tour guide Nelson also messaged me and Marj for their whereabouts. It was super early, and the ride from Seoul to the venue of Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival will take about two and a half hours, so I was able to catch more zzzs during the long travel time.
Sun's up when we reached the ice festival. Before they allowed us to roam around, our guide distributed our vouchers (10,000 KRW per person), festival IDs, and taught us a little bit about a fishing rod. After making sure we all know our call-time, we separated ways from our group.
So This Is An Ice Festival!
Alam nyo, this is the most cliché statement but it sounds very fitting for that day: I really felt like a kid when I was in the Ice Festival! There are so many things that you can do that it's so overwhelming where to start! If you're with children, you can go fishing for mountain trout or take on the tube slide. For barkadas, you can play the ice foot hockey or ice sledding. For families, they have huge scale ice sculpture exhibitions, and for sure even your parents will love the food selections in the festival market!
As for me, if I can try everything I would have done it! #TeamAvail 😂
My favorite activity: Sliding in ice while on these round thingies! Marj and I consumed our limit for this, hahaha!
We also tried fishing, but in my case it's just for the photo ops hehehe! You can even have the fish you caught grilled in the market area for your lunch.
Food stalls sell Korean snacks and meals, I had my favorite pancake again. They also have an eating area.
Even mascots buy their food here, hehe. Your vouchers can be used in almost all the stalls:
A bit tired and full, Marj and I just walked around to explore more of the area before our call-time:
Next Stop: Time to Test the Skiing Skills!
It's another hour away going to Elysian Gangchon Ski Resort, just enough time to regain more energy back in the coaster for another physical activity in the afternoon!
I was overwhelmed with all the snow!!! Nakakasilaw! Haha!
When we arrived at the ski resort, we went straight to the changing and rentals room. One room is dedicated for the waterproof skiing pants and jacket and the coin lockers where we left our bags and clothes, while the next room is for the equipment. Basic things you will need are the skis, boots, and poles. Not part of the tour package, there's a separate rental fee for the lockers, and the mittens, goggles, and helmet. I only got the mittens and should have worn my bonnet during the activity.
Keep all your valuables here. If you don't want to risk it, don't bring any gadgets with you unless they are shock resistant like GoPro cameras:
They will make sure you get the right size for you:
Before I knew it, I was already out and about, your tropical girl is ready to ski for the first time!
Well, the short tutorial wasn't that intensive. If you have time before your trip, you might want to learn in advance by watching Youtube tutorials or read online articles. I wasn't able to do these things, so I came really unprepared!
And when I don't know what to do, I just laugh it off! Hahaha!
Thank you to our guide Nelson for taking some of my photos! I look like a pro in my suite, haha!
To be honest, I was only able to conquer half of the PRACTICE slope, hahaha! It was so difficult, but I was willing to learn. Sabi ko nga, if only I have a day or 2 here, you have to watch me glide smoothly by then hahaha! Medyo slow learner lang, nyahaha! Anyway, the most difficult part for me is how to get up after falling! (ay hugot hahaha) but seriously, I either have to stand up with great balance, or just take off my ski every time!
This is my "I'm okay!" face after sliding on my butt for the nth time, hehehe:
And this is my friend Marj, who's an instant ski expert!
Beautiful sunset view against the white slopes! We already changed back to our clothes and just waiting for our shuttle for our last few hours in Seoul (huhuhu):
Sadly, the package has already ended as winter is about to end as well in Korea. If you're planning a Korea winter trip next year, then make sure to avail this! They also have an option with a lower price that does not include the skiing part, so you can just roam around, take photos, and enjoy your free time while the others were on the slopes. But as for me and as always, no regrets in giving new experiences a shot!
Watch my Ice Festival + Ski Trip Instagram Stories: