LET’S HIT THE SLOPES

Written by root. Posted in FEATURES

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Published on November 02, 2019 with No Comments

The temperatures may be cold during winter in South Korea but one popular activity is heating things up with both locals and holidaymakers.

Words MELINDA TAN
Images KOREA TOURISM ORGANIZATION

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Skiers and snowboarders zip-zapping across snowy slopes at dizzying speeds. The softest snow you’ll ever come face to face with and the most amazing natural sights that serve as the perfect backdrop for your holiday snaps. A trip to Korea during the winter calls for a getaway to the country’s most beautiful ski resorts – and there are plenty to choose from. So much so that Korea prides itself as the new hotspot for skiers and snowboarders around the world, offering its visitors first-rate slopes with all the extras you’d expect from a world-class ski destination.

One popular spot? The Gangwon-do Province, home to most of Korea’s popular ski resorts thanks to its backdrop of the Baekdudaegan Mountain Range that stretches north-south along the entire province. With plenty of snowfall guaranteed each year and beautiful snow-capped mountains, Gangwon-do is the ideal winter getaway. Plus, there’s more than just skiing in this charming region so if you want to take a break from the slopes, it’s the right place to be.

POWDERY BEAUTY
But first, the ski resorts. The most famous here is Alpensia (www.alpensia.com), the Alps of Asia. One of the main stages for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, this resort boasts a world-class infrastructure for winter sports with its ski jumping tower, monorails and other facilities that guarantee a ski of a time. Add on a beautiful mountain landscape and you’ll never want to leave this ski resort. Its European-style accommodation, a 45-hole golf course and a water park are more reasons why you should visit.

If you are seeking for a ski resort that’s convenient to get to, consider Elysian Gangchon (www.elysian.co.kr), the only ski resort with its own subway station (Baegyang-ri Station). Elysian Gangchon is also your best bet if this is the first time you’re skiing as the resort has more slopes for beginners compared to other ski resorts. Aside from that, it also operates a ski and snowboard school for beginners.

Boasting excellent snow quality and remarkable slope courses is High 1 Resort (www.high1.com), Korea’s first ski resort under the sky thanks to its highest elevation in the country. The main attraction here is the 4.2 kilometre-long beginner’s slope that starts at the top of Jijangsan Mountain at 1,345 metres). It’s a much larger resort compared to other ski parks covering three mountain peaks.

Looking for a ski park that’s suitable for the whole family? Head on down to Oak Valley (www.oakvalley.co.kr) then, a picturesque park with snow-covered oak forests and European-style condominiums. The ski resort offers nine slopes with wide, gradually descending courses designed to ensure safety. Plus, throughout winter, the park hosts several activities like fireworks shows and concerts suitable for all ages. Add on an indoor swimming pool, an amusement park, a glamping site and other leisure facilities, and you have a place that’s ideal for a memorable family trip.

Google Korea ski resort and Vivaldi Park (www.daemyungresort.com) is most likely to be your top hit. First, it’s only an hour away from Seoul, which makes it the most convenient to visit, and second, it features Snowy Land, the first and largest winter village in Korea. Check out the 12 slopes for different expertise levels. If you want, you can also sign up for ski school that’s conducted in an exclusive zone for safety.

WHILE IN GANGWON-DO…
If you want a break from skiing, Gangwon-do’s many nearby attractions will do just the trick. The most popular site is Nami Island, which boasts a romantic and somewhat enchanting atmosphere. It is also the filming site for the ever-popular Korean TV drama Winter Sonata. The most famous spot on the island is the tree-lined road, which offers a different scenic view each season.

Those looking to explore Korea’s beautiful scenic views will want to visit the Woljeongsa Temple and Daegwallyeong Samyang Ranch. The former is a 1,000-year-old temple surrounded by the most beautiful fir tree forest in the natural environment of Odaesan Mountain while at the ranch, you’ll enjoy taking a walk across the vast blanket of snow covering the large ranch with animals like cows, ostriches, sheep and rabbits roaming freely.

Make your way to the Wonju Sogeumsan Suspension Bridge, which prides itself for being the most impressive pedestrian suspension bridge in South Korea. The panaromic view here will take your breath away while walking across the bridge will test your courage. It will be worthwhile though as you are treated to the most amazing mountain top views.

 

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