Snow Sledding in Seoul

When I went to Phoenix Ski Resort in December 2009, I thought that the slopes were way too dangerous for kids and children below 7 years old to enjoy with their family. Not only that; to learn skiing or snowboarding at the ski resort will need you to rake out another 50,000 -100,000 won per coaching session. You could never be an expert in one day! Believe me..

So for those who have always wanted to experience winter, building snow man and playing snow balls but have no time or rather on a tight budget to run up the ski resorts for ski or snowboard activities, there are always other options. Hurray!!^^

Lets go snow sledding, guys!!

Korean Children's Center Snow Sledding Field at Gwangjin, Seoul-si

Official website: - (Only in Korean)

Operating Date and Hours: Dec 18, 2009 – Feb 21, 2010; 9:30am - 5:00pm

Rental fee: 8,000 won

How to go: Children's Grand Park Subway Station (어린이대공원역) , Line 7, Exit 2. Walk about three minutes towards Children's Grand Park.

From Myeongdong to Children's Grand Park Subway Station
30 minutes, 10 stops, 9.5km
Fare: 900 won with T-Money, 1000 won by cash
Transit: Dongdaemun History and Culture Station, Konkuk University Station

Korean Folk Village Snow Sledding Field at Yongin, Gyeonggi-do

Official Website: - (available in English)

Operating Date and Hours: Dec 20, 2009 – Late Feb, 2010

Rental fee: Adult 12,000 won/Teenager 9,000/Child 8,000

How to go:
1-By subway
Get off at Suwon Subway Station, Line No.1
There is a Suwon business office across the street on the left side of Suwon Station.
Take a free shuttle bus in front of the office after purchasing the admission ticket or pass.
(Every hour from 10:30~14:30/30~40 min ride)

2-By Bus
Take bus No. 1560 or 5500-1 at Gangnam Subway Station, Line 2,Exit 6

From Myeongdong to Suwon Station
1 hour, 8 minutes, 25 stops, 41.4km
Fare: 1,600 won with T-Money, 1,700 won by cash
Transit: Geumjeong Station

Seoul Land Snow Sledding Field at Gwacheon, Gyeonggi-do

There are various types of sleds available, including tube sleds.
Official Website: - (Available in English)

Operating Date and Hours: Dec 20, 2009 – Late Feb, 2010; 10:00 - 17:00

Rental Fee:
Admission + Sledding Hill : Adult 18,000won, Teenager 15,000won, Children 13,000won
(After entering) Sledding Hill : 3,000 won
All-Pass Users : Free Sledding Hill

How to go:
Seoul Grand Park Subway Station, Line 4, Exit 4.
Walk straight ahead for about 15 minute to Seoul Land
Check transportation map here.

From Myeongdong to Seoul Grand Park Station
29 minutes, 13 stops, 16.9km
Fare: 1,100 won with T-Money, 1,200 won by cash
Transit: No

Everland Snow Buster at Yongin, Gyeonggi-do

Official Website: - (Available in English)

Operating Date and Hours: Mid Dec, 2009 – Early Feb, 2010 ; 9:30am - 5:30pm

Rental Fee:
Monch Infant Sled, Jungfrau Sled, Finsteraarhorn sled, Bobsled are included in the admission fee.
Eiger Skisled : Adults & children-5,000 won(Free of charge for all-pass ticket users and members)
Shoe Rental : 2,000 won
Adult Day 28,000 / Night 24,000
Child Day 21,000 / Night 18,000
Adult : Above 12 years old

How to go:
Take bus No.5002 at Gangnam Subway Station (Line 2) to Everland
Note: From Myeongdong to Gangnam Station - 35 minutes and from Gangnam to Everland - about 1 hour
More info about transportation to Everland here.

From Myeongdong to Gangnam Station
35 minutes, 11 stops, 12.4km
Fare: 1,000 won with T-Money, 1,100 won by cash
Transit: Chungmuro Station, Seoul National University of Education Station

For other sledding slopes places in seoul please check the details at KNTO
Note: Rate and fare may change. 

5 Grand Palaces in Seoul

There are five grand palaces in Seoul during Joseon Dynasty.

With our English speaking tourist guide.
Check out my Gyeongbuk Palace post here.

Gyeongbuk Palace - translates in English as "Palace of Shining Happiness." located in northern Seoul, South Korea. the main and largest palace of the Five Grand Palaces built by the Joseon Dynasty. originally constructed in 1394 by King Taejo, the first king and founder of the Joseon Dynasty. houses the National Folk Museum of Korea and the National Palace Museum of Korea. (Source: Wikipedia)

Official Website:

Operating Hours:
March ~ October 09:00-18:00
November ~ February 09:00-17:00
English Guided Tour: 11:00, 13:30, 15:30
Closed every Tuesday

Admission fee: 3,000 won (Adult)

How to go:
1. From Exit No. 5 of Gyeongbokgung Subway Station (Seoul Subway Line No.3), walk 5 minutes.
2. From Exit No. 2 of Ganghwamun Subway Station (Seoul Subway Line No.5), walk 5 minutes.

Source: KNTO

If you go through this gate in Changdeok Palace, you won't 
get old. Try it! My post here

Changdeok Palace - the second palace after Gyeongbokgung. The literal meaning of Changdeokgung(昌德宮) is "Palace of Prospering Virtue". referred to as the East Palace(東闕, Donggwol). was the site of the royal court and the seat of government until 1872. added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997. Portions of the palace were used to film the hugely popular Korean Drama Dae Jang Geum. (Source: Wikipedia)

Official Website:

Operating hours:
April ~ October: 09:00 - 17:30
November/March: 09:00 - 16:30
December ~ February: 09:00 - 16:00
English Guided Tour: 11:30, 14:30
Closed every Monday

Admission fee: 3,000 won (Adult)

How to go:
Anguk Subway Station ,Line 3, Exit 3, walk 5 minutes

Ticket counter at Deoksu Palace. Check out my post
here for more pictures of Deoksu Palace.

Deoksu Palacewas originally the residence of Prince Wolsan, the older brother of King Seongjong. This residence became a royal 'palace' during the Seven-Year War after all of the other palaces were burned in 1592 during the Japanese invasions of the Seven-Year War. (Source: Wikipedia)

Official website:

Opening time:
09:00 -21:00
Closed on Mondays
English guide tour: Tuesday to Friday 10:30

Admission fee: 1,000 won (Adult)

How to goSubway lines 1 or 2, City Hall Station, exit 3 walk towards Deoksugung (Palace) 

The other two grand palaces in Seoul that I haven't been to are: 

Picture courtesy of Picable
Changgyeong Palace - referred to as the East Palace(東闕, Donggwol). Originally the Summer Palace of the Goryeo Emperor. (Source: Wikipedia). My friends Iris, Nyna, Hanim and Fiza visited the palace recently and I'm going to put up a post for it sometime later.
Official website:

Operating Hours:
April ~ October 09:00 - 18:30
November/March 09:00 - 17:30
December ~ February 09:00 - 17:00
Closed on Mondays

Admission Fees:
1,000 won (Adult)

How to go: Jongno 3-ga subway Station, line 3
Checkout picturesofkorea

Gyeonghui Palace - literally Palace of Serene Harmony. served as the secondary palace for the king, and as it was situated on the west side of Seoul, it was also called Seogwol (a palace of the west). The Secondary palace is usually the palace where the King moves to in times of emergency. (Source: Wikipedia)

Official website:

Opening time:
Weekdays 09:00 - 18:00

Weekend 10:00 - 18:00
Closed every Mondays.

Admission fee: Free 

How to go:
Get off at Seodaemun Subway Station,Line 5, Exit 4, walk for about 10 minutes.

More info on Gyeonghui Palace here.

Note: From May 1st, 2010, visitors may visit and take a tour of Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace (Rear Garden included), Changgyeonggung Palace, Deoksugung Palace, and Jongmyo Shrine by buying one all-inclusive ticket. The ticket is 10,000 KRW and may be used within a month after purchase.
Source: KNTO

For more info, check out KNTO and RoyalPalace

South Korea v/s North Korea at it again.

I regret to put this kind of post in the blog. For once, I wish this act could stop. It alarmed everyone in the country and us, the innocent travellers who want to experience the beauty of Korea.

Last night, I called my Korean friends worried about their condition but all of them replied nonchalantly that it was normal for them. North Korea's threats to start war with South Korea happened almost everyday that the people get used to it.

In fact, I was in Gangwondo when the sinking of Cheonan submarine happened on March 26th 2010 (my mom gonna kill me if she knew this!). Apart from the jets flying frantically on top of our heads there's nothing much happened on that day. South Korea wanted PEACE and safety for his people. I am glad that I went through the day safely while I was there.

Hmm..for those going to South Korea any time soon, I will not give my assurance that nothing of that sort gonna happen but just be safe. I doubt that both sides want war. It's gonna be difficult for both nation and too much heartache to be undone since the 1950's Korean War.

I had the chance to visit Geoje Island POW camp (Prisoner of War) and I don't want the people to go through the same cycle. Never again.

Check out the Kosmo write up and Yahoo News on the issue.

Hanok Stay in Korea

Some readers expressed their desire to stay in Hanok - Korean Traditional House rather than normal guesthouse or hotel. In that sense, you could experience Korean culture and enjoy the intricate and gorgeous Korean architecture. Some Hanok represents different design and each region differs. KNTO has listed some Korean Traditional House for tourists to board in accordance with G-20 Summit 2010 which recently held in Seoul.

Hanok in Seoul

Eugene's House

Room rate:
From 80,000 (for 2 people) to 250,000 won (for 5 people)

Meals Included:
Breakfast served (Toast, cereal, coffee, milk, etc.)

Email at
Phone at +82 2 741 3338  / +82 10 5069 3348 / 070 8831 3338

How to go:
Hyehwa Station, Seoul Subway line 4, Exit #1 >> Take the local bus #8 >> Get off at 88 Gukmin Saenghwalgwan (국민생활관)

Nearby attractions:
Seoul Fortress Wall: Located within a five-minute walk
Daehakro (College Street) and Chungmuro

Room rate:
60,000won (1 person)
90,000 to 100,000 won (2 person)
160,000won (3 persons)

Meals Included:
Breakfast served (Toast, cereal, coffee, milk, etc.)

Email at

How to go:
Anguk Subway Station, Line 3, Exit3

Nearby attractions:

Friends House

Room Rate:
30,000 won (dormitory - per people)
40,000 won (1 person)
70,000 won (2 people)
90,000 won (3 people)
110,000 won (Group- 4 people or more)

Meals Included:
Breakfast served (Toast, cereal, coffee, milk, etc.)

From the website or email at

How to go:
Hyewa Subway Station, Line 4. Refer to map here.

Nearby attractions:
Hyehwamun Gate (Honghwamun)
Sungkyunwan University
Dongsoong Arts Center
Gansong Art Museum
Samtoh Blue Bird Theater
Traditional Korean Houses of Bukchon

Check out Bukchon slideshows here.

Room rate:
40,000 won (1 person)
60,000 - 70,000 won (2 person)
70,000 - 100,000 won (3 person)

Meals Included:
Breakfast served (Toast, cereal, coffee, milk, etc.)

Email at
Call at +82-2-743-8530

How to go:
Anguk Subway Station, Line 3, Exit 3
Call the guest house for pick up from station

Nearby attractions:
Seongsim Arts & Crafts
Dong-Lim Knot Museum
Gahoe Museum
Bukchon Cultural Center
Jeongdok Library
Anguk Guest House

Room rate:
50,000 won (1 person)
70,000 won (2 persons)

Meals Included:

Email at
Call at +82-2-736-8304

How to go:
Anguk Subway Station, Line 3, Exit 1. Refer to map here.

Nearby attractions:
Insa Art Space
Myeongin Museum
Ice Gallery
Bukchon Cultural Center

Kimbap Cheonguk

김밥 천국 or Kimbap Cheonguk  means kimbap heaven. It is franchise restaurants all over Korea and you could recognize the bright orange signboard easily. It's almost like McDonalds where you can find at least one around the block.

Video courtesy of esloutlet

Although kimbap literally represents a roll of rice with various filling wrapped in seaweed but in Kimbap Cheonguk there are a lot of other dishes that we could try other than kimbap. Other varieties of similar chain restaurants are Kimbap Nara and Kim Ga Ne.

Picture courtesy of

Kimbap Cheonguk

Kim Ga Ne

Kimbap Nara

 김밥 - Kimbap

천국 김밥 (Cheonguk Kimbap) 1,000 원 - Standard kimbap (rice, ham, omellete, pickled radish and carrot)

야채 김밥 (Yachae Kimbap) 2,000 원 - Standard kimbap + vegetables

참치 김밥 (Chamchi Kimbap) 2,000 원 - Standard kimbap + tuna

김치 김밥 ( Kimchi Kimbap) 2,000 원- Standard kimbap + kimchi

치즈 김밥 (Cheese Kimbap) 2,000 원- Standard kimbap + cheese

소고기 김밥 (So gogi Kimbap) 2,000 원- Standard kimbap + beef

날치알 김밥 (Nalchial Kimbap) 2,000 원- Standard kimbap + flying fish roe

계란말이 김밥 (Kyeranmari Kimbap) 2,000 원- Standard kimbap + egg rolls

누드 김밥 (Nude Kimbap) 2,500 원- Check out the video below for better explanation. Don't succumb to your own imagination..ahahaha ^^

How to make nude kimbap by ekthal

돈까스 김밥 (Donkatsu Kimbap) 2,500 원- Standard kimbap + pork cutlet

모듬 김밥 (Modem Kimbap) 2,500 원- a mix of your choice

Nowadays, they have menu with pictures and English translation.
No more worries! ^^

Kimchi fried rice with egg - 4,500 won

Sundubu jjigae with seafood

An ahjumma preparing kimbab.

Pictures: Courtesy of Hanim, Nyna, Iris and Fiza.

Hitchiking in Korea

Have I done it? You bet I did. ^^
I experienced hitchiking mainly in Jinbu, Gangwondo when I wwoofed in Santisuk.

Santisuk means peace and happiness. Gorgeous right?
Check out all my posts under label Jinbu
to know more about this place.

Min Young and me - We missed the daily bus from Lee Seung Bok Memorial to Pyongchang; which runs like 6 times a day. So we both hitchhiked our way like 3 times. First, with a kind driver who could take us until the junction between Jinbu and Pyongchang. Then another lady until in front of her son's school and finally with a group of guys who just had lunch + soju who sanely drove us until Pyongchang's bus station. Crazy? Not really but they reeked with alcohol. Yikes..sul nemsae! ( ^^

Min Young, Casper and me - We were dead bored and dampened because we couldn't join Hae In and her father to Buddha's Birthday Celebration at Jinbu that night. So what we did was, we quietly sneaked out from the house and hitchhiked along the light less and creepy road to Jinbu. We were lucky because we got our ride immediately! The best part was the gentlemen were a Canadian and his Korean friend who spoke fluent English. Both of them work as water theme park designer and were designing a private water theme park in Gangneung. I envy their job. They got to travel the world on fun assignment!

Angelica and me - Initially our plan was to brisk walk because sitting around and no play in Santisuk during winter made us fat. We loss count of time and the weather was getting colder by the time when we realized that we were so far away from Santisuk. After so many failed attempt on hitchiking, suddenly a farmer with a truck loads of tools stopped. It was funny because he was drunk but he could still drive! I was stupid enough to invite him to Santisuk for a cup of coffee and later got a good bashing from Nandida for being one. ^^ Although I couldn't understand everything she said I knew she was concerned about our safety.

Angelica, Dave and me -  We decided to be kids again and walked up to Gyebang mountain. We hitchhiked up to the mountain with an old couple. They couldn't speak English but I just tried my best with my decent Korean repertoire which means broken Korean..hehe. When we went down the mountain our ride was with a bunch of construction workers in truck and one of them could speak Spanish! along the way the guy practised his Spanish with Angelica.
Andy and me - We hitchiked twice to Jinbu. It snowed so hard that day but I didn't know why we were so stubborn to go out even though Nandida had warned us. It was seriously cold. We managed to get a ride with a guy who could bring us up until the hot spring. Then, we walked until the junction between Jinbu and Pyongchang. From there, we had a ride with a man who has stayed in Los Angeles and spoke decent English.

Myself - I failed to hitchhiked from Pyongchang to Santisuk and I walked about 20km for 2 hours. My body was so sore from snowboarding the night before and I was amazed at myself why I didn't just call Nandida for a pick up. I knew I was crazy but I told to myself that if I didn't walk at that moment I wouldn't be able to breath in the gorgeous sights of Gangwondo anymore in future.

The one below might not be a hitchiking experience but I think I would not get the same treatment in Malaysia or maybe never. ^^

There was once when I returned from Seoul, I missed the daily bus and didn't have enough money to pay the taxi. So I thought hmmm..I would just grab a taxi and once we reach Santisuk I would ask Nandida for some money..hehe. But I was in for a surprise. When I told the taxi driver to wait for the money, he just waived his hand and said it was okay. I looked at the charged meter it read 14,000 won. :O Koreans surprised me and made me almost to tear so many times. T_T Kamsahamnida!

Tips on hitchhiking in Korea

  • Although in general Korea is pretty safe for hitchhiking but be warned: Try it at your own risk
  • Just say Anyonghaseyo to greet the driver and don't forget to say Kamsahamnida to thank them for their kindness.
  • Some of the drivers may not be able to bring you until your desired destination so be thankful
  • Don't hitchhiked at the corner of a road or winding road; choose your spot wisely.
  • Smile and don't curse them if they don't stop for you (although you can't help it sometimes..hehe)
  • DO NOT give money in exchange of their kindness! Perhaps some token from your country as remembrance would be more appropriate.

Video by prcrossman

For more information checkout Hitchwiki for South Korea.

Pat Bing Su

You must try this!! Although it is very good particularly during summer.

I tried Pat Bing Su twice in Incheon when I helped Min Young during Parents Day and Children Day. The taste reminds me of ABC or Ais Kacang in Malaysia but the texture of shaved ice was coarser. In some places you can choose different toppings and the sight of pat bing su itself is already tantalizing.

I tried this with Min Young at a shop near Bupyeong Station.

This one at a cafe' in Home Plus.

Patbingsu or patbingsoo (팥빙수) is a very popular snack/dessert in South Korea, especially during the sweltering and humid summer season.[1] This snack originally began as ice shavings and sweetened azuki beans (known as pat).[2] It was sold by street vendors. In contemporary culture, it has become a very elaborate summer dessert, often topped with ice cream or frozen yogurt, sweetened condensed milk, fruitsyrups, various fruits such as strawberrieskiwifruit, and bananas, small pieces of tteok (rice cake), chewy jelly bits, and cereal flakes.[3] (Source: Wikipedia)

Pat Bing Su from Cold Stone
Cold Stone website
Check out The Daily Kimchi's post on Cold Stone.

Pat Bing Su from Lotteria

Pat Bing Su from Red Mango
Check out KNTO's post on Red Mango.

You could try pat bing su at any shopping complexes's food court too. 

Hwaseong Fortress

As promised, a post on Hwaseong Fortress.^^

I ranted about Sungkyungkwan Scandal Korean drama before and mentioned a bit about King Jeongjo and his desire to move Joseon Dynasty's capital to Hwaseong Fortress.

Hwaseong (Brilliant Castle/ Fortress), the wall surrounding the centre of Suwon, the provincial capital of Gyeonggi-doSouth Korea, was built in the late 18th century by King Jeongjo of the Joseon Dynasty to honour and house the remains of his father Prince Sado, who had been murdered by being locked alive inside a rice chest by his own father King Yeongjo having failed to obey his command to commit suicide. Located 30 kilometres (19 mi) south of Seoul and enclosing much of central Suwon including King Jeongjo's palace Haenggung,UNESCO designated the fortress a World Heritage site in 1997. The Suwoncheon, the main stream in Suwon, flows through the centre of the fortress. (Source: Wikipedia)

Sungkyunkwan University also has another campus in Suwon. 

All pictures are courtesy of my friends; Hanim, Iris, Marina and Fiza who just recently returned from Seoul. 

A mural done on floor before the entrance of Hwaseong Fortress

The entrance

There's a reason why you can see soldiers here. 

Here is the filming location for DaeJanggeum
 Jewel of the Palace Korean drama.

Maybe this is how Lee Seon Joon studied during the old days.^^

The room where King Jeongjo discussed the nation's affair with 
his officials.

Some of the belongings of King Jeongjo's are exhibited here.

The original portrait of King Jeongjo and the reason why 
there are soldiers hovering the place.

The gate to Hwaseong Fortress.

Happy Suwon!

Check out KNTO article on Hwaseong Fortress. and the unsuccessful attempt of King Jeongjo to make Suwon the nation's capital here.

Hwaseong Fortress: 1,000 won. Hwaseong Haenggung: 1,500 won

Getting There
The fortress (Paldalmun Gate) is a 20-minute walk from Suwon Station, Line 1.

From Myeongdong to Suwon by Subway
1 hour 8 minutes, 25 stops, 41.4km
1,600 won by T-Money, 1,700 won by cash
Transit at GeumJeong Station.


Famous people from Suwon 

Park Ji Sung - Manchester United footballer. Park Ji-Sung grew up in Suwon 
but was born in Seoul, in 2005 a city street  in Suwon was renamed after him.

Jo Kwon - 2AM's leader; second from left.

Ha Ji Won - actress of SBS's currently airing drama - Secret Garden