Winter Trip #WowKorea

"Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth,
for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire."
― Edith Sitwell

Winter came earlier in Korea this year. I remember that Nov 18 was the first snowfall this year. Although it's not my first winter, I was still very excited for the snowfall experience, maybe because I came from a tropical country, Indonesia. The soft snowflakes were like kisses from heaven, cooling down my head that heated by all school assignments.

Winter at Gangwon Province, South Korea

Last Friday, Dec 13, finally I was able to join a trip organized by Korea Tourism Organization (KTO). It was the day after I had a 5-hour in-class exam (Yes! 5-hour exam till 10pm, but still I could't finish well for the last question, haha!!). So, the trip was really refreshing for me ^^. We went to Yongpyong Resort, one of the best ski resorts in Korea, located in Gangwon province. I went there by shuttle bus from Jamsil at 6.10am (first departure). You should book the shuttle bus in advanced because many people are going there during the winter season. Anyway, you should use Internet Explorer and read Korean to book the ticket ^^'. It took 3 hours to get to Yongpyong, long enough to continue paying my sleep debt.

Seoul was cold. Yongpyong was even colder.

Yongpyong Ski Resort (용평 리조트 스키장) is the largest ski and snowboard resort in Korea. It is going to be one of few venues in 2018 Winter Olympics, the biggest winter multi-sport event. Yongpyong has 28 ski slopes and it is suitable for various level of skiers, from beginners to experts. Among those 28 slopes, the famous one is probably Rainbow. Rainbow slope is the highest course (around 1,210 meters) and also the longest one (around 5,600 meters). However, if you're a beginner like me, you can try the Mega Green slope, which is only 700 meters long, quite wide and not that steep (only 12 degree).

Winter Trip at Yongpyong Ski Resort

There were two main agendas at that day: sledge contest and ski lesson. We arrived at Yongpyong around 9am, and then had breakfast in Dragon Valley Hotel before we changed our clothes with ski uniform. At first I thought that the sledge contest was like we rode something like Santa Claus' sledge, then we were going to race with some reindeers pulling us. Hohoho! Turned out it was a sledriding with a tube. We slid down the slope as fast as possible to catch the green baloon in the finish line. It was not that hard, but the challenge was how to slide fast, control your direction, and slow it down once you reached the finish line. Even if you slid so fast, it didn't guarantee you would get the green baloon. It was so fun. I even played it 7 times maybe. I felt like a kid playing slide in a cold huge playground. Maybe I was so excited because I didn't have any kindergarten memory. Haha!

Sledge (snow tube) Contest

After sledge contest, we took lunch break, while waiting for some friends who just arrived at Yongpyong. After that, we rented ski equipment including boots and poles. It was my first time wearing such ski equipments. The boots were big and so tight, it made us stand up with stability. We had one ski instructor. She taught us everything from how to wear the ski, fall down safely, slide down fast, use the poles, and slow it down. It wasn't that hard to slide safely, as long as we kept our legs forming an A (reverse V) to manage our speed. However, when I tried steeper slope, I had difficulty in slowing down my speed. I accidentally bumped another skier and kept sliding down to the end of slope. Haha! After that, I walked up, looked for the person that I bumped with, and asked forgiveness.. ^^' Overall, it was a joyful experience, although the weather was not friendly. It was heavy snowing and so cold!!

Newbie in Skiing

We finished our session around 5pm, then took a rest for a while, before going for dinner and game show by KTO. During dinner time, KTO, the organizer of this event, held some games and lottery with various prizes. However, it wasn't my best day since I didn't win any single lottery (door prize) ^^. We continued with another free session in our cottage, playing games and talking anything until 4am. 건배!!

Taking Ski Lesson in a Stormy Snow

The next day we left Yongpyong a bit late because some people woke up so late. Maybe they were so tired or perhaps hangover. Haha! Our main agenda in the second day was going to Icheon Cheese School. It took 2 hours for us to get there from Yongpyong. Once we got there, we learned how to make a pizza with various topping. Then, we learned how to make cheese from boiled milk. We also fed some cows (or calves?) there. Anyway it was quite weird because most visitors other than us were kids under 10 years old! Haha! However, if you are planning a trip with your kids or some children around Seoul, this cheese school in Icheon is very recommended! :)

Icheon Cheese School

Long story short, it was really joyful winter trip with KTO, a very nice experience with very nice new friends from various countries. Too bad, it was the last trip with #WowKorea. I couldn't join the previous three trips due to my hectic school life. I wish there will be another trip next year. Thank you, KTO! Anyway, if you are planning to travel in Korea this winter, you should check this Winter travel highlight from KTO. Lastly, I hope I can visit Yongpyong again in 2018, during Winter Olympics. 봐요!

#WowKorea Supporters from South East Asia

“Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another: 
What! You too? I thought that no one but myself..” 
― C.S. Lewis