[WOW Korea] Attractions in Gangwondo on Korea’s East Coast

I’ve introduced Gangwondo a few times on my blog, but I do think that it’s the most accessible place to travel to from Seoul and there are so many beautiful mountains and the sea that I really like Gangwondo very much too! So today I will be introducing 2 places in Gangwondo, and I’m selecting beaches since I’m quite missing the summer ㅠㅠ (kidding) but no really, I think these two places are really worth visiting ^-^

Jeongdongjin Sunrise Park, Gangneung

If you have watched “Reply 1994,” you might remember this scene where Yoonjin and Samcheonpo finally get together while watching the New Year’s sunrise:

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[Wow Korea] Taebaeksan Snow Festival

It’s snowed on the first day of December, welcoming us to winter for real and a reminder that Christmas will be here soon! And of course, acting as an encouragement to all of us poor students who are busy cramming for our final exams ㅠㅠ

Korea holds many winter festivals especially since it has such a distinctly long and freezing winter (well, at least to me), and I think most people who talk about the ice fishing festivals in Korea. Personally I am more interested in snow (yes, the tropical kid in me) and so I would like to introduce the Taebaeksan Snow Festival, one of Korea’s major winter festival!

It is definitely fitting to visit Taebaeksan in winter. Located in Gangwon-do, its name roughly translates to “Great White Mountain (태백산;太白山)”, and it boasts one of the most beautiful winter scenery in Korea.

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[WOW Korea] Winter in Korea = Ski Resorts!

So the weather forecast says that the temperature will drop into the negatives next week, but along with the freezing temperatures there will be snow!

Throwing in a photo of Yonsei in winter ^^

Throwing in a photo of Yonsei in winter ^^

Yes, snow is an integral feature of the Korean winter. It seems like the only thing to look forward to (well, at least for a tropical kid like me xD). It’s the only comfort in the freezing cold anyway. Of course the aftermath of snow is terrible, dirty snow, icy roads, traffic jams, but at least it’s beautiful while it falls.

Thus it would be logical to guess that in this snow-filled winter, ski resort is definitely the place to visit!

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[Wow Korea] Introducing Wow Korea supporters

So after 5 months of seeing this “Wow Korea” thing on my blog, you guys might be wondering what it is, and what we do!

I think I’ve explained a few times about Wow Korea, basically we are a group of students who post on SNS about traveling in Korea! So we will go on trips (mostly to less explored places in Korea) and we will come back and share about our trip, transport information, etc so that other tourists can access these information easily. In fact, if you go to check the category “Wow Korea” on my blog, you will find records of my trips, as well as some weekly missions that we have to complete that introduces places to visit in Korea as well.

Now that the term is almost coming to an end, we were tasked with creating a video about Wow Korea supporters. So I hope that through this video, you can gain a better idea of what we do, and a better idea of the kinds of groupings you can join if you come to Korea and study!! It is not only about Korea, but we also make friends with people from different countries and have fun together as well!

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[WOW Korea] National Hangeul Museum for all Korean Language Enthusiasts!

For anyone who knows a little about the Korean language, you would have learnt that the written language (or Hangeul; 한글 in Korean) was invented and propagated by King Sejong (yup, that’s the one sitting right at Gwanghwamun square!)

The inventor of Hangeul, King Sejong. Source: flickr.com

The inventor of Hangeul, King Sejong. Source: flickr.com

The Korean language in the past was only a spoken language and was written in classical Chinese characters (what we know as Hanja;한자 today). However, King Sejong worked towards creating an alphabet that was unique to the Koreans, which would correspond to the way the Korean language is spoken, instead of pronouncing Chinese characters in Korean language like before. And thus the Hangeul was born! I have to say that the Korean alphabet is one of the easiest to learn, because you just need to fit different pieces together and you would know how to pronounce the word already 😀 (And of course it is really much easier than Chinese characters)

Just last year, Hangeul Day which is celebrated on October 9th was made a public holiday in South Korea. Also in further efforts towards the promotion of Hangeul, the National Hangeul Museum was recently opened on Hangeul Day this year. The museum features exhibitions tracing the history of the development of Hangeul as well as artifacts related to the Hangeul.

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[WOW Korea] Some must-try Korean Food in Winter!

Winter has almost arrived in Korea, and while the great temperature range in the day is driving me crazy, I am actually waiting quite expectantly for snow since I missed out on it entirely last winter when I was in Japan for my exchange. Another thing to look forward to would be the food! Sometimes there are just some food that tastes better when you have it in certain seasons (like having naengmyeon when the weather isn’t hot yet is just weird), and so here I’m recommending three winter must-haves in Korea!

1. Odeng (오뎅)

Source: blog.naver.com/neep/120200402604

One of the most popular must-try street food! Especially tasty in winter. Source: blog.naver.com/neep/120200402604

When Korean street food is mentioned you might think of ddeokbokki first, but when winter comes around odeng (fishcakes) is what people look for! It may seem crazy to be standing out in the cold eating from street stalls like this:

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[WOW Korea] Train Travel in Korea with O-train and V-train

It was sometime in April this year when I was looking for ideas to join a competition that I had stumbled upon the O-train and V-train. And I was so fascinated with it that we literally planned a 10-day itinerary around these trains. Can you believe it, 10 days? Although our proposal didn’t get through to the competition in the end, it still remains as one of the things to check off my list before I graduate.

So what is so attractive about the O-train and V-train? Basically, I would say that these trains would appeal greatly to you if:

1) You are a great fan of train travels. Meaning not just trains as a means of transportation, but relishing in the process of travelling where you enjoy the beautiful sights.

2) You have always wished to visit the inland areas of Korea but due to language constraints, inconvenience for travelers who can’t drive, etc, is unable to.

3) You love the mountains and would love to have the chance to go to see the mountains of Korea!

And guess what, I meet all 3 requirements! Which is why this O-train and V-train is a must-do for me!

Visitkorea.com

Can you imagine being so close to nature? 😀 Source: Visitkorea.com

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[WOW Korea] Day 3 – Jeonju, rich in cultural heritage and delicious street food!

[Transport]: Getting to Jeonju

From Express Bus Terminal station (Line 3 and 7), go to the Honam Line (Exit 8 of the subway, to the Central City Terminal) and take a bus for Jeonju. It costs W14,000 and takes about 2 hours 40 minutes to get there.

Alternatively you can take the KTX from Yongsan station, it costs W32,900 and takes 2 hours to get there. The cheaper Mugunghwa trains would cost W17,600 and take 3 hours 15 minutes.

 

[Attraction] Learning Korean paper art

First activity of the day was learning Korean paper art! We had the chance to make pencil cases from 한지 (Korean traditional paper)! To our surprise, it can stick with just starch water or at least just a little bit of glue ^^ Hanji is one of the prides of Korea due to its durability, where there is an old saying that paper lasts a thousand years and textiles (such as silk or hemp) last five hundred!

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Pencil case made from hanji (Korean paper)

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It even has hangul on it 😀

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[WOW Korea] Day 2 – Gimje Horizon Festival, where history, culture and fun meets

After a good night’s sleep at the Gochang Hanok Village (refer here for more information), we headed out for breakfast!

[Food] Breakfast: Pungjeon

You might have heard of hangover soup (해장국) in Korea, which works wonders for hangovers, but is also a good meal otherwise too! There are too many types of hangover soups to list, and we tried the bean sprouts hangover soup for breakfast! I’m a huge fan of beansprouts, so I really loved this version of hangover soup. Moreover, the soup is not too spicy but not bland, giving a soothing but filling meal for breakfast!

A hearty breakfast to begin the day!

A hearty breakfast to begin the day!

The egg is placed below the steamed rice, and by taking a few spoons of the soup and mixing it with the now half-cooked egg you get a delicious treat! I’m still really amazed at how that worked out 😀

More information on the restaurant: http://map.naver.com/local/siteview.nhn?code=31378935

[Attraction] Seonunsan Provincial Park and Seonunsa Temple

After a hearty breakfast, we took a nice morning walk at Seonunsan Park to the Seonunsa temple. The name of the temple means to meditate among the clouds (禅云寺) and it’s 1000-year old! With the beautiful mountains in the background, it certainly feels like a peaceful place for meditation ^^

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[WOW Korea] Day 1: Gochang, a hidden attraction

It’s been quite some time since I’ve travelled with #wowkoreasupporters to a 3D2N trip to Gochang, Gimje and Jeonju, and now that I’m done with midterms I finally have some time to sit down and tell all of you about the places! I am honestly excited for the blog post since I’ve really enjoyed myself on this trip, and I hope that through my post many more of you would discover these less known places in Korea ^^

As we went over a long weekend, the originally 3 hour trip became a 6 hour ride T____T So please take note, if you’re planning to travel over the long weekend, train is definitely recommended as the roads will be so congested!

[Transport] Getting to Gochang

From Express Bus Terminal station (Line 3 and 7), go to the Honam Line (Exit 8 of the subway, to the Central City Terminal) and take a bus for Gochang. It costs W15,900 and takes about 3 hours 40 minutes to get there.

There is no train station in Gochang, but fret not! You can take a train from Seoul station to Jeongeup station, then take a bus from Jeongeup to Gochang (buses run every 20 minutes). The train would cost between W12,900 to W22,000, and the bus costs W2,000. The journey would take about the same time as the bus as well.

[Food] Lunch: Sugung restaurant

Honestly by the time we got to the restaurant it was almost 3pm, and everyone was famished. So even though I was not a fan of shellfish, I had a go at the Manila clam bibimbap (바지락비빔밥) and I can tell you that it was the best choice of my life because it was just. so. super. good!!

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I took one look at the clam and I was really apprehensive since I really couldn’t take shellfish. But one bite and I was just won over!!

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