As we welcome February in Korea, we also welcome the snow. The average temperature in February is rarely above freezing, so if you’re visiting Korea be sure to pack a huge (and I mean huge) winter coat. The temperatures tend to feel even colder due to the icy wind. Although cold, the snow brings with it a charm that transforms the landscape, and there are still many outdoor festivals appreciating this. Also remember to pack your ski-wear as Korea is a great place to ski in February, and if you’ve never skied before, why not give it a try?
Taebaeksan Mountain Snow Festival (태백산 눈축제)
Dates: January 17th 2020 ~ February 2nd 2020
Location: (Eng) Taebaeksan National Park, 168, Cheonjedan-gil, Taebaek-si, Gangwon-do (Kor) 강원도 태백시 천제단길 168 (소도동)
Taebaeksan Mountain Snow Festival hosts a lot of fun winter activities including ice-skating and dog sledging. The festival creates a true winter wonderland. If you work up an appetite whilst there, you can find traditional Korean street-food sold there as well as barbecued Korean beef. If you like the idea of some ice sculpting or drinking warm tea in an ice cafe, it’s definitely worth a visit. To visit Taebaeksan from Seoul, take an intercity coach from Dong Seoul Bus Terminal (동서울종합버스터미널) to Taebaek (태백). Then, from Taebaek, you can take the local bus bound for Danggol (당골) and alight at Taebaeksan Provincial Park (태백산 국립공원).
Little Prince Lighting Festival of Petite France (쁘띠프랑스 어린왕자 별빛축제)
Dates: December 1st 2019 ~ Late February 2020
Location: (Eng) Petit France, 1063, Hoban-ro, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do (Kor) 경기도 가평군 청평면 호반로 1063 (청평면) 쁘띠프랑스
Admission: Adults 10,000 won / Teenagers 8,000 won / Children (ages 3 – elementary school) 6,000 won
Petite France is a mock French village located in Gapyeong, a county lying east of Seoul. The streets and buildings are lit with large lighting displays for the Little Prince Lighting Festival. Music and dance performances are also held each day, along with French film screenings for any couples looking for a romantic evening. For kids, there are puppet performances as well as hands-on arts and crafts activities. If you are staying in Seoul, visiting Gapyeong’s Petite France is fairly easy. You can take an intercity coach from Dong Seoul Bus Terminal (동서울종합버스터미널) or Sangbong Bus Terminal (상봉터미널), to Cheongpyeong (청평면). From Cheongpyeong, you can take a local bus bound for Goseong-ri (고성리); this will take you straight to Petite France.
Lighting Festival at The Garden of Morning Calm (오색별빛정원전)
Dates: December 9th 2019 ~ March 31st 2020
Location: (Eng) 432, Sumogwon-ro, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do (Kor) 경기도 가평군 상면 수목원로 432 (상면)
Admission: Adults 9,500 won / Teenagers 7,000 won / Children 6,000 won
The Lighting Festival is held every year at the Garden of Morning Calm in Gapyeong. The garden is illuminated with over 30,000 lights. The lights create beautiful scenes at night and it’s well worth a visit with friends or loved ones. To reach the garden from Seoul you can take the bus from Sangbong Bus Terminal (상봉터미널) or Dong Seoul Bus Terminal (동서울종합버스터미널) bound for Cheongpyeong Bus Terminal (청평버스터미널). From Cheongpyeong Bus Terminal, take a local bus bound for The Garden of Morning Calm. The garden is also reachable by subway. Take the Gyeongchun Line (경춘선) to Cheongpyeong Station (청평역). Cheongpyeong Bus Terminal is reachable on foot from the subway station where you can once again take a local bus to The Garden of Morning Calm.
Korea has a reliable supply of snow during February, making it a great place to go skiing and snowboarding. Popular resorts to visit include Young Pyong Ski Resort and Vivaldi Park. However, there are many more resorts mainly based in the east of Korea. Young Pyong Ski Resort is one of the largest in Korea, offering slopes for all abilities and a large range of facilities. It’s about 3 hours from Seoul by shuttle bus. Vivaldi Park is another popular location as it is located only an hour away from Seoul. Many people visit for a day and can easily travel back to Seoul, so if your trip is short or you want to pack as much in as possible, it’s very easily accessible. Don’t worry about equipment as all resorts will provide equipment for hire when you arrive.
Website for Vivaldi Park: www.daemyungresort.com/web/dm_english/html/01vivaldi_english_sub_02.html
Website for Young Pyong: https://www.yongpyong.co.kr/
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Featured Image: ©leegenhyung, 24.11.19, pixabay.com