[Travel] Winter Birthday Holiday to Seoul, Korea in January 2019 (Part 1)

by - Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Most places that I always go on holiday in Seoul, Korea. I feel like Seoul, Korea is my second hometown. Again! On this time, I have been traveling to Seoul, Korea in seven (7) times since 2013. I don't have the problem with planning this trip as free and easy by myself on the winter season. Thanks to my mom, who is sponsoring me on this trip as my birthday gifts and at the same time, my mom wants to play with snow. Even on the last trip to Seoul, Korea we get chance to feeling the first snow. Lucky to me while my birthday is on 25 January so I got a free vacation as my birthday gifts. It such as wonderful birthday holiday to me because I can back to my second hometown again this year.

On this trip, I still continue doing the previous project for season 2, which is #CaféSeries and I also decided to do another project of #HalalRestaurant. To be honest, on this trip I didn't have a mood to visit many places since I can't handle well the cold weather and I just recover from the fever. I got sick around 1 week before me and my mom flight to Seoul, Korea. I try my best to maintain my health during this trip. As you know, I already update a few blog post about the #CaféSeries and #HalalRestaurant in my blog. I also have been updated the blog post about the 1 Day Winter Trip to the Elysian Gangchon Ski Resort and Nami Island. Meanwhile, in this post, I will to stories my whole winter birthday trip or maybe like my general itinerary of this trip. Just enjoy reading about it.

The travel date is on 19 January 2019 (Saturday) until 27 January 2019 (Sunday) for 9 days 8 nights by Malaysia Airlines from KLIA. On the first day, nothing special I want to tell in this post, just our flight (KUL/ICN) on 14:15 pm (MST) by economy class and we arrive at Incheon International Airport on 21:45 pm (KST). The special during this flight is the meals on board. I got the meals of Chicken Tteokbokki with ice-cream of 3 Chocolate Coated Villa Flavoured Ice Confection. That is the new meals for me and it's delicious. I feel happy when I got to taste the Korean meals & ice-cream with this flight journey by Malaysia Airlines.

Then, the driver pick-up us at the airport and take us to the Neo Seoul Guesthouse. I just feel easy for us to booking the airport transfer because my mom can't handle well the journey from the Incheon International Airport to the guesthouse that located at the Hongdae area by subway with big luggage. The airport transfer fare for 1-way is KRW 90,000 (RM 336.95). Since we're arriving in Seoul, Korea at night time, so we decided to rest and get a beautiful sleep. Seriously the winter time in Seoul, Korea is not kidding. It is extremely cold to me. Yes, we're staying at the same guesthouse on last time we're going holiday to Seoul, Korea on November 2017. I petty like this guesthouse while I back to Seoul, Korea again.

On next day [20 January 2019 (Sunday)] is nothing interesting activities. We just hang out at the Myeongdong area and Times Square Mall only. Another word, we are started shopping activities and I also want to get properly lunch. Then, I take my mom to lunch at the Busan Jib Restaurant Myeongdong. This is the same restaurant we visit on our last trip to Seoul, Korea in November 2017. I like the Korean meals in this restaurant and the price also reasonable for me.

On the next day [21 January 2019 (Monday)], I take my mom go to the outside of Seoul City.  I think the winter trip will not be complete if we have not visited Ski Park, right? I also notice that Seoul City, not all day have snow inside the city. If I am lucky the snow falling heavily in the city so I did not have to go to Ski Park but I don't have any choice about that. I try to find the Ski Park that has easy access by public transport from Seoul City. For me, I not really type of person can hold cold well so I feel convenient if I can go and back home based on my personal time and mood. Then, I was found the information about the Elysian Gangchon Ski Resort (엘리시안 강촌 스키장). 

It will be nice if I can plan to go the Elysian Gangchon Ski Resort in 1 day or half day. It is because I can't stand outside in a long time around the cold weather. I decided to go the Elysian Gangchon Ski Resort first, since me not really familiar with the journey and it's my first time to go there. We start our journey around 8 am from the guesthouse and the journey it takes almost 2 hours by subway from Hongik University Station. 

The Elysian Gangchon Ski Resort is the only ski resort in Korea that can be reached by either subway or train. The Baegyang-ri Station, a subway/ railroad, is located right inside the resort. This will make me feel convenient to directly and easily reach the resort at any time from anywhere. It can take either Gyeongchun Line of Seoul Subway or ITX Cheongchun High-Speed Train without inconveniences such as traffic congestion and bad weather. Lucky, the Elysian Gangchon Ski Resort also provided the free shuttle bus from the Baegyang-ri Station to the resort every 20 minutes. The rental ski stuff for 4 hours adult is KRW 60,000 per pax (RM 222.60).

But I'm not rental the ski stuff because I just went there for taking photos with snow only and I not in the mood to play ski. At the same time, my body not really fully recover. My mom and I just play around Ski Park and take a lot of photos around the resort. The operation hours are daytime from 09:00 am – 17:00 pm; evening time from 18:30 am – 23:30 pm; night time from 21:30 pm – 03:00 am; early morning time from 23:30 pm – 03:00 am. The snow grooming hours is from 17:00 pm – 18:30 pm. All the information has in the Elysian Gangchon Ski Resort website

Actually, we just hang out at the Elysian Gangchon Ski Resort around 2 – 3 hours. Then, we decided to walk to the Baegyang-ri Station because we saw the journey not to take a long time to walk, maybe around 20 – 25 minutes. By the halfway we walked from the resort, the driver of the bus shuttle stop the bus and he asked us to take the bus together because he is on the way to go to the Baegyang-ri Station. It is lucky to us on that day when we get the chance to meet such as a kind driver. Maybe he thinks in the cold weather, its better take the bus rather than walk to the subway station. We feel grateful and thank you to the kind's driver bus. 

Address: 688, Bukhangangbyeon-gil, Namsan-myeon, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do
[강원도 춘천시 남산면 북한강변길 688 (남산면)]

Direction: Take the subway (Gyeongchun Line) or ITX-Cheongchun Train to Elysian Gangchon It takes only 60 minutes from Sangbong Station to Baegyangri Station (Elysian Gangchon Station). A free 2-minute shuttle service operates between the Baegyanri Station to the condominium entrance every 20 minutes beginning on the hour. ( 00 / 20 / 40 min)

TIP: Mostly the subway station of the outside Seoul City is the outdoor station so better you are well prepared in the cold weather for who is can't stand cold weather like me. It's not kidding the term cold and sometimes the train takes time to arrive at the station. 

The next destination is the most popular place among the tourist, which is Nami Island. This is my second time went to Nami Island. I quite surprised when my mom told me that she never has been to Nami Island before this. This is the fourth time my mom went to Seoul, Korea. The first and second time she was travel to Seoul, Korea by company trip but they did not have to go there. 

Since Nami Island is pretty close too from the Elysian Gangchon Ski Resort, then I decided to go there. We just take the subway from the Baegyang-ri Station and get-out at the Gapyeong Station (Gyeongchun Line) – just gap 2 stations only. Lucky, when we have arrived at the Gapyeong Station, I saw the Gapyeong City Bus at the in front of the station. We are walking fast to the bus and paid the 1-day bus ticket thru the bus driver. The 1-day unlimited ride bus ticket is KRW 6,000 per person (RM 22.30). The journey takes around 15 – 20 minutes from the Gapyeong Station to Nami Island by Gapyeong City Bus. 

The Nami Island is popular with the Korean Drama of Winter Sonata because this is the place of the drama shooting set location. The open hours by ferry schedules are 07:30 am – 09:00 am (30 minutes intervals), 09:00 am – 18:00 pm (10 – 20 minutes intervals), and 18:00 pm – 21:40 pm (30 minutes intervals). The entrance fee as a Naminara Visa for the adult is KRW 13,000 per person (RM 48.25), which is including the ferry fare (return). 

When we've arrived there, I straight ask my mom to take our late lunch at the Asian Cuisine Halal Restaurant. This restaurant is located inside the Nami Island. It's easy to find it and they also offer a variety of menu too. I ordered the Spicy Seafood Noodle Soup with the price is KRW 12,000 (RM 44.50) and my mom order the Crab Meat Fried Rice with the price is KRW 13,000 (RM 48.25). The meals are delicious and it's suited to my taste.  

After finishing our late lunch, then we just walking around inside Nami Island and take the photo as many as we like. I notice the Nami Island have quite many changing and I like so much. Since it's the winter season, so it has the special zone of play snow and ice carvings. This special zone is quite interesting and fun for us. We just hang out there in a few hours before we're headed to Seoul City by Gapyeong City Bus and subway.

Address: 1, Namiseom-gil, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do. (강원도 춘천시 남산면 남이섬길 1).

Direction: [Subway] Gapyeong Station (Gyeongchun Line) then takes the Gapyeong City Bus.

TIP: In the winter season, the day time is short and night time is long so better managing your time if you plan to take photos in the day time. Most the cold time is the night time so be prepared yourself in this period of the season. 

In this post, I just combine the stories of the three days trip to Seoul, Korea. Even it's my seventh time traveling to Seoul, Korea. I'm sure that I will back again to South Korea in the future with more new destinations to explore. I'm will continue to do the project of #CaféSeries; #UniqueStore; and #HalalRestaurant; or maybe I will do the combination of this project if I'm going to Japan or in different countries in future. If you have any questions, just comment down below or email to me. 

Here, the link to the continued stories about the Winter Birthday Holiday to Seoul, Korea on January 2019 – Part 2, and Part 3.

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