Spending winter in Korea? Here are 8 places to visit

Tarra Quismundo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 15 2018 12:29 PM | Updated as of Dec 16 2018 04:31 PM

SEOUL -- Winter is becoming a popular season for Filipinos to travel here. 

With many Filipinos fascinated with Korean pop culture, more affordable travel packages, the excitement of seeing snow, and the country’s relative proximity to the East Asian destination, there has been an uptrend in Philippine tourists coming here. 

The Korean Tourism Organization (KTO) this month brought Philippine travel agents on a winter tour to give them a taste of what Filipino tourists may experience during Korea's snow season. 

Here are some places to visit if you’re coming here for winter:

1. BRAVE THE SKI SLOPES

Skiers of different ages, nationalities and skill levels enjoy the slope at YongPyong, South Korea’s largest ski resort located in Pyeongchang. YongPyong has served as a venue for international alpine sports competitions, including events during the 2018 Winter Olympics. Tarra Quismundo, ABS-CBN News

Skiers of different ages, nationalities and skill levels enjoy the slope at YongPyong, South Korea’s largest ski resort located in Pyeongchang. YongPyong has served as a venue for international alpine sports competitions, including events during the 2018 Winter Olympics. Tarra Quismundo, ABS-CBN News

As host of this year’s Winter Olympics, South Korea has top-caliber resorts where tourists could try skiing. The Korea International Ski Camp offers day-long lessons and long-term programs for those who would like to give skiing a try. Winter gear rentals are available. 

2. WATCH THE SUNSET AT DRAGON’S PEAK

At 1,450 meters above sea level, Dragon’s Peak, the summit of Mt. Balwangsan in Pyeongchang, South Korea, offers a spectacular view of the sunset in any season. Tarra Quismundo, ABS-CBN News

At 1,450 meters above sea level, Dragon’s Peak, the summit of Mt. Balwangsan in Pyeongchang, South Korea, offers a spectacular view of the sunset in any season. Tarra Quismundo, ABS-CBN News

Take a 3.2-km gondola ride up the peak of Mt. Balwangsan, known as Pyeongchang’s “grave of 8 kings,” and find one of the country’s best spots to watch the sunset. Dragon’s Peak, the summit found in YongPyong Resort, has served as a filming location for popular Korean dramas including “Goblin.”

Bundle up though, as sunset during winter at such height means braving temperatures of as low as -18 degrees, not to mention the blast-freezer windchill. 

3. CHECK OUT WINTER OLYMPICS VENUES

The Olympic skating rink in Gangneung is abuzz with skaters on a Sunday morning. Tarra Quismundo, ABS-CBN News

A father takes photos of his sons with Olympic mascots Soohorang and Bandabi in front of the Gangneung Olympic Museum. Tarra Quismundo, ABS-CBN News

The public may view mementos from the 2018 Winter Olympics at the Gangneung Olympic Museum, including Olympic medals, torches, and the South Korean team’s winter gear. Tarra Quismundo, ABS-CBN News

The Olympic ski jump facility in Pyeongchang. Tarra Quismundo, ABS-CBN News

The new winter season has revived the Olympic spirit in Pyeongchang county and its neighboring coastal city of Gangneung, which hosted the 2018 Winter Olympics and 2018 Paralympics in February and March this year. 

Olympic venues are open to the public to view and use, including the ski jump, skating and curling facilities. At the Gangneung Olympic Museum, visitors may experience a simulation of the ski jump, bobsleigh and snowboard rides in 4D. 

4. ENJOY SUMMER DURING WINTER AT AN INDOOR WATER PARK

The Jumunjin beach in Gangneung City was the site of an iconic scene in “Goblin” where Ji Eun Tak accidentally summoned Kim Shin for the first time when she blew candles on her birthday cake. Tarra Quismundo, ABS-CBN News

Peak Island water park in YongPyong resort offers a respite from the biting winter cold. Tarra Quismundo, ABS-CBN News

If you need a break from the cold, Peak Island water park in YongPyong Resort will make Filipinos feel right at home. The heated indoor facility has a wave pool, slides, saunas and spas that let visitors experience summer all year.

5. CHECK OUT GOBLIN SHOOTING LOCATIONS 

The Dragon’s Peak, the summit of Mt. Balwangsan in Pyeongchang county some 1,450 meters above sea level, was among the locations of the popular Korean drama “Goblin.” Tarra Quismundo, ABS-CBN News 

Apart from Olympic fame, Pyeongchang and Gangneung are known for shooting locations of the popular Korean drama “Goblin.”

In Pyeongchang, visitors may take a cable car to reach the Dragon’s Peak in Mt. Balwangsan, a summit 1,450 meters above sea level, and find the place where Ji Eun Tak took a part-time job.

The Jumunjin beach in Gangneung City was the site of an iconic scene in “Goblin” where Ji Eun Tak accidentally summoned Kim Shin for the first time when she blew candles on her birthday cake. Tarra Quismundo, ABS-CBN News

The Jumunjin beach in Gangneung City was the site of an iconic scene in “Goblin” where Ji Eun Tak accidentally summoned Kim Shin for the first time when she blew candles on her birthday cake. Tarra Quismundo, ABS-CBN News

In Gangneung City, be prepared to line up at a breakwater in Jumunjin beach where a pivotal scene in the Korean drama was shot: when Ji Eun Tak summoned Kim Shin for the first time -- inadvertently -- when she blew candles on her birthday cake. 

It could be even colder by the windy seaside during winter so be ready with warm gear if you wish to recreate the scene. 

6. BIKE BY THE GYEONGPO LAKE

The Gyeongpo Lake in Gangneung offers a relaxing view all year long. Tarra Quismundo, ABS-CBN News 

A peaceful spot in the middle of Gangneung City, Gyeongpo Lake is a picturesque site for a stroll or, better yet, a bike ride. Bike rentals are available across the street, and visitors may choose among solo, two-seat, or four-seat cycles. Visitors may take a break from pedalling and pause for photos at a heart-shaped boardwalk that looks out to the still waters. 

7. Visit traditional Korean houses in Gangneung

Visitors may take a peek at traditional Korean houses called the hanok in this heritage village in Gangneung. Tarra Quismundo, ABS-CBN News

Visitors may take a peek at traditional Korean houses called the hanok in this heritage village in Gangneung. Tarra Quismundo, ABS-CBN News

Visitors may take a peek at traditional Korean houses called the hanok in this heritage village in Gangneung. Tarra Quismundo, ABS-CBN News

See how Koreans of old lived at the Gangneung Seongyojang National Folklore Cultural Heritage No. 5 in Gangneung City, where a well-preserved village of the hanok or traditional Korean houses is located. 

8. STROLL ALONG ANMOK COFFEE STREET

The Anmok Coffee Street in Gangneung draws lovers of the beach, good quality coffee, and choice eats. Tarra Quismundo, ABS-CBN News

The Anmok Coffee Street is another one of Gangneung’s crowd-drawers, inviting visitors to sample the wide selection of coffee offered by its restaurants while enjoying a beautiful view of the beach.