Seoul Travel Blog | My First Snowfall Experience

The first Seoul travel I had was last December 2015 and I was really hoping to experience a snowfall but with no luck and since I was in love with the place, I promised to be back, well not until I have enough savings for such a quite expensive trip! A South Korea travel is amazing but traveling to such a very developed country means spending more money. 

Seoul Travel Blog | Winter Experience

South Korea Travel 2017

So this time, I am with Ryan and we scheduled our trip on the mid-January on high hopes that we would be able to cross out experiencing a real snowfall on our bucket lists. It was an 8-day trip and basically, I served as Ryan’s tour guide as I’ve been to places we visited.

Upon arrival it was already evening and the weather was at -1ºC and I was on a dress and just a single jacket because my initial plan was to feel the cold temperature because it was scorching in Manila when we left and I overestimated the cold while Ryan was enjoying (his first time to experience winter, btw). We did a homestay at Jin-ho’s House where I was able to book in Booking.com. It was in Bukchon and it was worth all the penny we spent as the place is very affordable and convenient plus we had a closer access to experiencing the South Korean culture. As a K-drama fan, we immediately went to a convenience store to eat cup noodles on a very cold night (ang saya kumain ng cup noodles dun pero ang totoo nagtitipid lang talaga kami, lol). Jin-ho, the owner was very friendly and he even welcomed us with bottles of beer and different flavors of soju. Yes, that’s exactly what we did upon arrival, it was fun though as he also introduced to us the Korean drinking culture.

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View from our room, we can actually see N Seoul Tower from afar

1. Gyeongbukgong Area

On our first day, we woke up late from all the drinks and exhaustion and we decided to just chill literally and wander around Gyeongbukgung area and visited the famous palace and visit nearby areas like National Palace Museum, Gwanghwamun, and King Sejong statue.

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In Seoul, coffee is life!

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We also found this good restaurant where the servers are ahjummas so I thought that food was good and the best part is that they have bulgogi which I was craving for days. It was also cheap considering the generous serving and how good the food was, I just wasn’t able to get the restaurant name as it is in Korean.

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There’s just too much to love about Seoul travel and one of those things is walking around the streets and getting lost. The environment is clean, no traffic jams, the weather is good and there is good Korean street food everywhere. That night we wander around Bukchon and found this small restaurant and ordered some ramen and gimbap (which makes me crave for Korean food while writing this). We ate here multiple times.

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2. Ski at Gangcheon Elysian Resort

The next morning we went skiing which I booked prior to our arrival and we were quite excited because it was a first for the both of us. Even though the ski resort’s snow was artificial, we were so delighted being there. As expected, I had a real struggle skiing, it felt like I slid 5 times and fell down 50 times, I am not really good with balancing but still, it was a great experience and we had so much fun.

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One ski boot weighs approximately 2lbs.

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That feeling you get when kids ski better than you!!

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After that, we were really exhausted and starving and we indulged ourselves in a set of samgyeopsal.

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We were on our third day in Seoul and there’s still no sign of snowfall, I kept monitoring the weather forecast and it says that chance of snow is 0% which made us somewhat sad. It was during the night that the forecast changed to a possibility of 30% so we stayed awake until midnight to wait but still with no luck. How frustrating!

3. Suwon (Hwaseong Fortress)

Time for some South Korean culture adventure! Because of our sore body from yesterday’s ski activity and staying up late waiting for the snowfall that didn’t happen, we woke up very late so we then decided to just go to Suwon and walk towards the long stone walls of Hwaseong Fortress. I learned from research that they also offer archery lesson so we tried it too. Fun experience!

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4. N Seoul Tower and Myeongdong Area

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As corny as it may sound but it was actually the second love lock I cast.

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This was on the 5th day, Ryan said he wanted to check out the view on a night time

Shopping at Myeongdong! As a girl and if you are into makeup, it is one of the best things to do while in Seoul and I really made sure to set aside some money for shopping here. I was really happy whenever sales ladies hand out samplers and I took all of them.

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5. SNOWFALL! and Nami Island

Okay, so this is it! It was on our fifth day and we did not expect this to happen because of the previous day’s snow forecast that didn’t happen. I just came from my morning bath when I peek out the window to see how cold it is when I saw a lot of snow falling! Oh, My God, it was snowing, for real!!

I exclaimed with sheer joy as I cried out to Ryan who was in the bathroom at the time and we immediately head outside. We felt like little kids and though we’re the only ones out in the cold morning, we were literally dancing through the snow. Gladly, we didn’t catch a cold!

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A portion of the lake has frozen

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6. Hongdae Area

Like Myeongdong, shopping is also fun here as the price is much cheaper because its where most students come to shop. We also had some time to visit the beautiful Yonsei University and Ewha Woman’s University.

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7. Bukchon and Changdeokgung Palace

I saved the best for last, walking around Bukchon and touring the Changdeokgung Palace. I really love walking around the Secret Garden because I love trees and the colors of winter here is very pretty.

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Are you planning for a Seoul travel soon? Ask me a question in the comments section below and I will be happy to help you.

I have created a separate post for all the foods we had in Seoul because #foodislife: South Korea Travel Guide | My Korean Food Adventure

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Standing on One of the World’s Most Dangerous Border

“The scariest place on Earth” – Former US President, Bill Clinton, during his visit in 1993.

This is probably the most terrifying tour I have ever tried and I was grateful that I was able to get out of that place unharmed and alive. I can say that I technically been to North Korea.

Being able to experience this tour requires advanced reservation because of security reasons so even before our trip to Seoul, I have arranged for the reservation because I badly wanted to go to the border. And having a reservation also does not guarantee that the tour will push through because it depends mainly on the situation between the two countries. Luckily, there was no tension during our scheduled visit so yay!

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The Joint Security Area is the place where guards of the two countries face each other. According to the tour guide, sometimes the North Korean guards does not appear for some reason, so swertehan din.

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Basically they allow visitors to have their picture taken behind North Korea side but it is strictly prohibited to take picture of the south side. There was this instance where one of the joiners of our group accidentally taken her selfie  showing the south side as the background and the soldier approached, asked her to show him the picture and have it deleted. The reason for that act was because you may be suspected as a spy to the other country. The best thing you can do here is to obey.

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Here comes the North Korean guards

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Ang pogi ni kuya o 🙂

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Look at that North Korean guard taking a picture. Accordingly, they usually do that when they spot someone famous visiting the border, I wonder who might that be.

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By taking this picture, I was literally standing between two counties, my left foot on North Korea and the right on South.

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This conference hall is the only way you can set foot on the exact border. When you’re at the opposite side of that table,  its the moment you can say that you are officially in North Korea.

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The Bridge of No Return

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Our tour concluded with a sumptuous meal which was included in the package.