winter in South Korea

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asia / South Korea / Travel

December 28, 2017 – January 1, 2018 | February 17-20, 2018
Within 3 months I visited South Korea twice! The first time during December 2017 and the second on February 2018. We joined a tour for both visits which were spontaneously booked. I spent a lot of my time people watching so this post is going to be a photodump of all those shots and a few words about certain places I enjoyed.

Favorite Stops

Gyeongbokgung Palace

Quite a touristy spot, but a nice place to go people watching and to take photos. If you wear a hanbok (traditional Korean clothing) you get free entrance to the palace grounds, but renting a hanbok is apparently more expensive than the entrance fee. I may have been willing if it weren’t winter time!

If I remember correctly there’s a museum in the area which we also visited for a really short time, so I’d like to spend some more time there next time too.

Myeongdong Shopping District


I don’t like shopping and crowds, but I would have to make an exception for Myeongdong because of the street food. I wanted to try everything but we were given so little time here. I’m not sure if there are certain food stalls that are Myeongdong-exclusives, but I haven’t seen that Lobster snack being sold anywhere else so I’ll definitely head back here to try it next time! There are also a lot of cute stores worth checking out.

Style Nanda Pink Pool Cafe in Myeongdong

Four Seasons Strawberry Farm

Loved this place and I would strongly suggest you stop by if strawberries are in season! I have never seen strawberries as big as these, and they were so yummy and sweet too! I normally have strawberries that are more on the sour side so this was a pleasant surprise. We ended up ordering, I think, 2 boxes of strawberries to bring back home.

Heyri Art Valley

Everyone needs ice cream even when it’s –5°C

A nice place to visit when you have a lot of time on your hands. You wouldn’t want to rush while you’re here. It’s full of coffee shops, art shops, galleries, plus a few art installations in the open areas. Apparently a number of celebrities have opened their own restaurants/bakeries/coffee shops over here so sometimes you’ll be able to spot them.

Mount Seoraksan National Park

I think this was my favorite place visited in South Korea, and I remember it being quite far from the city. It’s vast, quiet, not too crowded, and full of nature! We also bumped into cute kids right when we entered the park.

We visited the mountain first, you have to take a cable car going up. After that it’s just a short and casual hike towards the summit. The weather was around 1-2°C but I broke a bit a of a sweat.

The park is also home to a lot of temples and structures, kind of similar to the ones in Gyeongbokgung but they have a more “sacred” feel to it. By the time we got here my camera had run out of battery. 😦

More photos…

Nami Island
Le Petit France
Views from the Namsan Tower area
Our tour guide during December, Julie
Me, taken by my momI was freezing
Mom in Bukchon Hanok Village
Spirit animal
Our February tour guide, Mike | One of the last restaurants we ate in for the trip

I think South Korea is better enjoyed when you experience it like a local, but if you love shopping and doing touristy things then I’m sure you will be satisfied with what most tour agencies have to offer. I’m also interested in setting up my own itinerary (food trip included for sure!!) and research for a different experience next time, perhaps with friends if they are ever up for a trip!

Airline Jeju Air, Asiana Airlines
Tour Operators Aerial Travels and Tours, Warner Barnes Travel

x Alexis

The Author

Photographer and visual artist from the Philippines.

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