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Winter on the Snow Flower Train (눈꽃열차)

When travelling in Korea, you always have to be on the lookout for new adventures and experiences – and one of the best ways to see the country’s unique sights is to book a ride on one of the many sightseeing trains that Korea has on offer!

눈꽃 열차에 구경할 까요?

©눈꽃열차, Illustration by Ellena Quinn, inspiremekorea.com

KORAIL, Korea’s national railway company, offers many train ride packages for different seasons, all of which come with their own uniquely individual scenic sights and features, such as the stunning V-Train, which travels through the Baekdudaegan Mountain Range, and the popular Sea Train that travels along the east coast.

However, if you happen to find yourself travelling in Korea during the winter months, specifically from December to Feburary, then you’ll have the exciting opportunity to take a journey via the Snow Flower Train (눈꽃열차)!

Established in 2013, KORAIL’s O-Train is now home to the Snow Flower Train; a shuttle train that journeys through Korea’s inland attractions such as the Deogyu, Sobaek and, our personal favourite, the Taebaek mountain range – which are especially beautiful during winter.

Beginning the journey at either Seoul Station (서울역) or Yeondeungpo Station (영등포역), the Snow Flower Train travels south-east through Gyeonggi to pick up its passengers, which usually consist of couples and families with children, before heading towards Gangwon for its first stop: Chujeon Station (추전역).

Fun Fact: Located at 855m above sea level, Chujeon is Korea’s highest train station and visitors must pass through Jeongamgul, the second longest railway tunnel in Korea, in order to arrive at Chujeon Station. 

Here at Chujeon Station, passengers will leave the train for a short time to take in the romantic and breathtaking winter scenery. After this brief break, the train will move onto one of the main attractions; Taebaeksan (태백산), the main peak of the Taebaek Mountain Range.

Image Source: ©07-10-18, Letskorail.com

 

What to do in Taebaeksan (태백산)

One of the most popular activities in Taebaeksan is its annual Snow Festival (태백산 눈축제) which usually runs from the middle of January till mid-Feburary.

©Illustration by Ellena Quinn, inspiremekorea.com

Having begun back in 1995, the Taebaeksan Snow Festival is a place where visitors can experience a unique winter wonderland that comes to life with imaginative snow and ice sculptures, fun activities and hikes up the mountain that provide stunning panoramic views of the surrounding sights.

In and around the Snow Festival, you’ll find many makeshift food stalls that sell delicious fried snacks that are sure to warm you up on even the coldest of days.

©Illustration by Ellena Quinn, inspiremekorea.com

Another must-see sight at Taebaeksan is Nambu Village. Known mostly as Sangjang-dong Mural Village (태백 상장동 벽화마을), the beautiful artwork was created with the help of residents of Nambu Village who volunteered their artistic abilities to renovate the village back in 2011.

Here, travellers can wander wide-eyed through the many colourful alleyways and take in the village’s unique artwork – much of which pays homage to Taebaeksan’s coal mines, which have been a large part of the area’s history.

Image Source: ©07-10-18, Letskorail.com

 

Travel Tips:

  • Book your ticket for the Snow Flower Train in advance.
  • Admission to the Taebaeksan Snow Festival is free.
  • If you’re planning on hiking up the mountain, make sure to wear sturdy boots with good tread and extra layers of clothes!

 

Featured Image Source: ©07-10-18, Pixabay.com

 

Claudia Deborah (이보라)

Local book dealer by day - goblin writer by night. Always looking for ways to include obscure SHINee references in my articles.

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