Check Out This 5D4N Itinerary For An Affordable Winter Vacation In South Korea
Together with our media friends, we were invited to experience a Winter Wonderland in Gangwon with AirAsia X
AirAsia flies direct to Seoul 18 times a week and offers the lowest fares to South Korea.
Book your next holiday to Seoul, Busan or Jeju:
Promo price: From RM399 (for BIG members)
Booking period: 3 - 23 February 2020
Travel period: 10 February 2020 - 2 March 2021
Check out the flights here.
Pro tip: Pre-book Chef Hong's Korean Bibimbap with Chicken Bulgogi for just RM10. This Santan collab with Korean celebrity chef Hong Suk-Chun includes steamed rice with aromatic vegetables sauteed in sesame oil, topped with sliced omelette and a sweet, smoky chicken bulgogi in spicy gochujang sauce. It's really yummy!
What's even more exciting is you can now book loads of cool, affordable activities with AirAsia! It's the easiest way to experience the best of your holiday destination.
1. Getting there
We took the 7.20am flight from klia2 to Incheon International Airport, arriving at 4pm. From there it was just a 40-minute bus ride to Seoul where we checked in to L7 Hongdae Hotel and spent the rest of the evening exploring Hongdae.
Pro tip: If you're planning to travel on a weekday, book a flight that arrives at Incheon International Airport before 5pm so you skip the rush hour jam to Seoul. This saves you two hours+ in traffic!
2. Explore Hongdae Shopping Street
This is one of the best shopping districts in Seoul! From local artisanal stores to world-famous franchises, there's fashion, beauty, accessories, gifts, knick-knacks, and more.
Plus, the area is packed with delicious street food, and hidden restaurants and bars. You can also enjoy loads of street performances from live music to K-pop dancing.
Address: 365-8 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Operating hours: 10am-11pm (Monday-Saturday) | Open 24hrs (Sunday)
3. Ice-Fishing at Hongcheon Ggong Ggong Festival
If weather permits, you'll be able to go ice-fishing for fresh trout at this premium festival that's super popular with locals. The best part is that you can get your trout grilled on the spot. Add a shrimp kimchi pancake, tofu soup, hot rice, and all those condiments for a satisfying lunch.
Travel time: 2-hour drive from Seoul
Address: Hongcheon riverside in Hongcheon-gun, Gangwon-do
Opening time: 9am-5pm (Monday-Sunday)
4. Meet cute animals at Hongcheon Alpaca World
Alpaca World is home to loads of animals in a beautiful outdoor enclosure. Feed and cuddle alpacas, then hang out with white deers, rabbits, ponies, and more. It's a lovely place to get close to nature.
Travel time: Less than 30-minute drive from Hongcheon Ggong Ggong Festival
Address: Pungcheon-ri, Hwachon-myeon, Hongcheon-gun, Gangwon-do
Opening hours: 10am-6pm (Monday-Sunday)
5. Have dinner at Dongmoon Express (halal certified)
Enjoy fresh wraps that include dakgalbi and bulgogi, kimchi fried rice, tteokbokki, and more local delights in this halal restaurant. It's a great spot to grab a quick bite before hitting the slopes!
Travel time: Less than 1-hour drive from Alpaca World
Address: 262 Hanchigol-gil, Seo-myeon, Hongcheon-gun, Gangwon-do (second floor of the Main Centre in front of the ski resort)
Opening hours: 8.30am-10pm (Monday-Sunday)
6. Go sledding at Vivaldi Snowy Land in Hongcheon
Snowy Land is one the biggest snow sled parks in Korea and so much fun for people of all ages. Zip down the slopes and slides on snow tubes, ride a snow raft, build a snowman, or huddle in an igloo. This is definitely our favourite activity of the trip!
Travel time: 5-minute walk from Dongmoon Express
Address: 262 Hanchigol-gil, Seo-myeon, Hongcheon-gun, Gangwon-do
Opening hours: 8am-5am
We hopped on a Gangwondo Tourist Taxi for the rest of the day around Gangneung
The Tourist Taxi is a chartered taxi service specifically for foreign tourists, that brings you around major hotspots in a hop-on/hop-off style. The base fare is only 20,000 Korean Won, or roughly RM70, for a whole three hours!
7. Learn Korean calligraphy while wearing royal hanbok in Ojukheon
Visit Ojukheon, one of the oldest wooden residential buildings in Korea, for an authentic cultural experience. We dressed up in royal hanbok and got a lesson in calligraphy as we learned how to write our names. With the surrounding traditional buildings, it's the perfect spot to take loads of gorgeous photos!
Travel time: Around 1-hour 45-minute drive from Vivaldi Snowy Land
Address: 24 Yulgok-ro 3139beon-gil, Gyeongpo-dong, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do
Operating hours: 9am-5pm (Monday-Sunday)
8. Grab a drink at Gangneung Coffee Street
Every cafe on this famous street overlooks Anmok Beach, so you can sip your favourite hot drink with a stunning view of the sea. Named one of the 'Top 100 Must-Visit Tourist Spots' since 2015, it's simply beautiful.
Travel time: 15-minute drive from Ojukheon
Address: Changhae-ro, Gyeonso-dong, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do
9. Recreate your Goblin moment at Jumunjin Breakwater
This popular spot allows you to live in a real-life K-drama, and re-enact the moment Eun Tak accidentally summons the Goblin and they meet for the first time.
Travel time: 30-minute drive from Gangneung Coffee Street
Address: 1609, Haean-ro, Gangneung-si, Gangwon
10. Snap a pic at the BTS Bus Stop
When you're in Gangneung, taking a photo at the iconic BTS bus stop is a must! Taken at Jumunjin beach, it's also a really relaxing place to chill.
Travel time: 6-minute drive from Jumunjin Breakwater
Address: 210, Jumunbuk-ro, Gangneung-si, Gangwon
11. Eat your way through Jungang Market and visit the Wish Tree at Wolhwa Street
One of the oldest markets in Gangneung, Jungang Market is packed with fresh goods and all kinds of delicious eats. Must-eats include hotteok (pan-fried pancake), fish cake croquettes, and fried chicken!
Meanwhile, outside you'll find the Wish Tree where you can find messages of success and luck to the athletes of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.
Travel time: 25-minute drive from Jumunjin Beach
Address: Gangneung-si Gyeonggang-ro 2111
Opening times: 8.30am-9pm (Monday-Sunday)
12. Visit Jeonggangwon for a traditional Korean food experience
Try your hand at making Royal Bibimbap, go on a personalised tour of the exhibition hall to learn about Korean history and culture, and check out the painstaking process of fermentation and cooking at this traditional food culture experience.
Travel time: Around 3-hour drive from Gangneung
Address: 21 Baekokpo-ri, Yongpyeong-myeon, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do
13. Join a skiing class on the slopes of the Alpensia Ski Resort
You can rent everything here, from ski pants and jackets, to skis and poles, so you don't have to worry about a thing. We joined the Korea International Ski School at Alpensia Resort, the slopes that hosted the 2018 Winter Olympics. It's definitely an experience that can't be missed!
Travel time: 30-minute drive from Jeonggangwon
Address: 325 Solbong-ro, Daegwalnyeong-myeon, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do
Opening times: 8.30am-10pm (Monday-Sunday)
DAY FIVE: Pyeongchang - Incheon
The journey from Pyeongchang to Incheon International Airport takes around 3 hours by bus. So your last day in Korea is likely to be all about the journey home.
Thank you AirAsia X for the perfect Winter experience in Gangwon! Check out the best AirAsia deals for all the cool activities we experienced and more now.