Best Places to See Christmas Lights in Seoul and Busan

The end of a year is always the time for festive spirit and celebrations. Korea is not an exception – in fact, it’s probably one of the best destinations in the world to celebrate Christmas!

There are so many festivals and celebrations at this time of the year that the list goes on and on. This blog will attempt to cover just a few of them that are happening in Seoul and Busan.

Seoul

Here are some of the best places to see amazing lights and get into the holiday spirit in Seoul!

A. Christmas Lights & Fun at Theme Parks

1. Lotte World: Christmas Miracle 

Period: 11.12.2016 ~ 12.31.2016

Lotte World, the only indoor amusement theme park in Seoul will hold a Christmas festival with a theme, “Christmas Miracle,” until December 31. In addition to the rides that are available at Lotte World promises to bring an amazing show with a variety of characters and performances throughout the evening.

The highlight of the festival is various special zones set up outdoors and indoors. Outside there is the “Castle of Miracles” where you will be able to see a beautiful light show and indoors there’s the “Miracle Santa Village” where you can take photos at the snowman photo zone.

You can get a discount ticket for Lotte World here.

2. Everland: Romantic Illumination

Period: 11.24.2016 ~ 12.31.2016

Everland is possibly one of the most famous and largest amusement parks in Korea. Held until December 31, the Christmas Fantasy and Romantic Illumination guarantee a fantastic display of lights and fireworks that are sure to let you immerse yourself in the Christmas spirit.

The highlight is the “White X-mas Parade” starring Everland‘s Christmas character such as Santa and Rudolph dancing to delightful carol songs. The parade will take place once a day from December 18.

For convenient transport options and discount tickets to Everland, check out this link.

3. Seoul Land: Christmas Party

Period: 11.17.2016 ~ 12.25.2016

As Korea’s first ever theme park to be built, Seoul Land is definitely one of the most established and popular amusement parks in Korea.

This year’s festival is called “Santa Run” and will be held until December 25, featuring various special performances and gift donations. One of the highlights is a performance where Ebenezer Scrooge and a pack of wolves try to ruin Christmas for Red Riding Good and her friends of the Character Village.

Fathers will also get a chance to win special gifts for their children by participating in the Santa Run.

For discount tickets to Seoul land, click here.

B. Christmas Taken to the Streets

1. Sinchon Christmas Market & Sinchon Christmas Street Festival

Period: 12.21.2016 ~ 12.29.2016

Sinchon is “the” place to be for youths. The area, in close proximity to 4 major universities (Yonsei, Ewha, Sogang and Hongik), is a famous hotspot for street performances, great food and shopping. You’ll be able to enjoy everything from thrifty shopping to joyous caroling to free concerts from December 21 to 29 around the area. Street performances will mainly be held near Hyundai U-Plex Mall near Sinchon Station.

If you’re planning to visit Sinchon, make sure you check this out for the 20 must-go places in Sinchon!

신촌을 못 떠나

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2. Myeongdong Lights Festival

Along the famous shopping district of Myeongdong, awe-inspiring Christmas decorative lights have gone up!

Take note however, especially during Christmas Eve, this place gets jam-packed. Try to avoid at all costs, and visit it another day (usually the Christmas day itself is less crowded than Christmas Eve).

C. Fabulous Christmas Events & Performances

1. Universal Ballet’s ‘The Nutcracker’

Period: 12.16.2016 ~ 12.31.2016

A Christmas classic, the world-renowned Universal Ballet presents Tchaikovsky’s classic holiday performance of “The Nutcracker.”This family-friendly winter performance will run from December 16 to 31, 2016 at the Universal Arts Center in Seoul. 

2. Merry Chri Sound Festa

Period: 12.24.2016 ~ 12.25.2016

Held on Christmas Eve and Day, the Merry Chri Sound Festa is a festival where you will be able to enjoy music from artists of all different genres.

There’s everything from rap to pop to indie to EDM! The line-up includes artists like Beenzino, Glen Check, Hoody and many more! It’s sure to be the perfect way to celebrate Christmas! Grab your tickets here before they’re all gone!

D. Christmas Vibes Near Seoul

1. Garden of Morning Calm: The Lighting Festival

Period: 12.02.2016 ~ 3.26.2017

Spanning 82 acres, the Garden of Morning Calm boasts the largest collection of herbs in Korea. There are also areas themed after the Italian city of Venice and a French farm.

The different colors of the garden harmonize together to create a beautiful, picturesque scenery. There are 30,000 lights of all colors  illuminating the garden that will look amazing in photos!

Enjoy your visit to the garden and also explore the beautiful tree-lined paths of Nami island and enjoy a rail bike ride in Gangchon by signing up this tour!

2. Pocheon Herb Island: The Lighting & Illumination Festival

Period: 11.01.2016 ~ 12.31.2016

Friends, families and lovers can make precious memories together at the Lighting & Illumination Festival in Pocheon which is full of LED lights that make the place look like something out of a fairytale.

#일상#데일리#데이트 #포천#허브아일랜드 #불빛동화축제 불이 #반짝반짝

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There is also an area called “Santa’s Village” with a 300-meter long tunnel full of wishing cards that you can take a walk through.

Visitors can also entry hands-on programs such as herbal candle and soap making, pressed herbal flower arts and crafts, lavender pillow crafting and more.

Take an excursion to the Herb Island in Pocheon with ease by simply hiring a private van for your group. For details, click here.

Busan

The range of activities and festivals you can find outside of Seoul is definitely much more limited, but Busan is the second most populous city in Korea after Seoul, and there are definitely many festivals that can rival those in the capital. Here are some that you should definitely check out if you’re in Busan:

1. Busan Christmas Tree Festival

Period: 11.26.2016 ~ 01.08.2016

The Busan Christmas Festival in Nampodong has been going on for 6 years in a row and has been making its name known as one of the biggest festivals of its kind in Korea.

The annual Christmas Tree Festival will feature a myriad of festive and family-friendly holiday activities including the tree of wishes, various street performances, and a photo and video contest. On top of the daily cultural and Christmas concerts, local visitors can also participate in the festival’s popular carol singing contest.

The festival is free and open to the public and will be held until January 8.

If you want to enjoy a dazzling winter holiday trip at Busan Christmas Tree Festival this year, join this overnight tour! You can book your trip here.

2. Haeundae Rockgo Lighting Festival

Period: 12.02.2016 ~ 2.12.2017

View the colorful lights by the seaside in Haeundae, Busan at the Haeundae Rockgo Lighting Festival! This year there is a love story theme with special events held for couples.

The main event is an SNS event, where if couples upload a photo of them at the festival, one of them will be chosen at random every week and receive an 18 karat couple ring.

There will also be street busking performances every Friday and Saturday to add some joy to people’s days as they walk by.

3. Illumia Light Festival

Period: 11.01.2016 ~ 12.31.2017

Launched at the Let’s Run Park in Busan, the Illumia Light Festival is essentially a theme park full of colorful and shining lights.

Aside from large lit-up life-size figurines all over the park, there is also an area with ground light illumination and a musical fountain show where images are projected onto the water.

Enjoyed reading our blog? Stay tuned for more travel updates and happy holidays!

Don’t forget to check out Trazy.com, Korea’s #1 Travel Shop, for the latest, trendiest and newest things to do in South Korea.button_main 2

Travel Review & Tips: Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival

Hello, readers! Greetings from a member of Trazy crew! 🙂

Today, I want to share my experience at the Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival, a famous ice fishing festival in Korea that I visited recently.hwacheon-sancheoneo-ice-festival-2016-24Every year in January, the festival takes place in the county of Hwacheon in Gangwon Province, South Korea, and runs throughout the whole month or less. hwacheon-sancheoneo-ice-festival-2016-42Offering visitors a chance to enjoy a unique ice fishing experience and various outdoor activities during winter, the festival was even selected as one of the 7 Winter Wonders of the World by CNN!

If you want to take a one-day trip to the Hwacheon Sancheoneo Festival without a hassle, just simply sign up on our website, Trazy.com.

And for those of you who want to know what it’s like to be at this awesome winter festival in Korea, this travel review and tips are for you.hwacheon-sancheoneo-ice-festival-2016-27

The itinerary of the tour:

7:40am – Meet up at Gwanghwamun station Exit 6
8:00am – Depart for Hwacheon
11:00am – Arrive at the festival
~13:00pm – Ice fishing
13:00pm – Lunch (at a Korean local restaurant at the venue)
14:00pm ~ 15:40pm – Free Time
16:00pm – Depart for Seoul
19:00pm – Arrive in Gwanghwamun, Seoul

According to the itinerary, I had to wake up really early to get prepared for the journey, but I had almost 3 hours on the bus, just enough to take a nap. You don’t need to worry about going to the toilet because the bus will drop by the expressway rest stop on the way, which was around an hour and a half after the departure. 😉

I didn’t want to be late, so I arrived at the meeting location, Gwanghwamun Station Exit 6, a bit earlier, and the staff was already standing there, waiting for all the participants of the tour to arrive. hwacheon-sancheoneo-ice-festival-2016-6The tour bus was clean and cozy, and I was able to enjoy the ride very pleasantly. On the way to the festival, another staff gave us a brief explanation on the festival and the schedule of the trip, as well as a contact number, just in case for an emergency.

Don’t forget to bring some cash! The package does not include the fee for the fishing rod (costs 5,000 won per person), and so the staff collected the money in advance. hwacheon-sancheoneo-ice-festival-2016-37After a 3-hour ride, I finally arrived at the festival, and it was already packed with people enjoying ice fishing.hwacheon-sancheoneo-ice-festival-2016-17There’s an ice fishing area for foreigners only, which was less crowded. So I guess I had a less competition haha.hwacheon-sancheoneo-ice-festival-2016-11hwacheon-sancheoneo-ice-festival-2016-20SAMSUNG CSCThe ice fishing area permits a certain number of participants at a time, so we had to wait for 20~30 mins. While waiting for an admission, the staff took us to a snow tubing zone.hwacheon-sancheoneo-ice-festival-2016-21Sit on this red tube, and just sled down the hill!! YEAHH!!
hwacheon-sancheoneo-ice-festival-2016-13
After enjoying the tube ride for several minutes, the staff took us back to the fishing area and handed out this sticker ticket. No need to worry if you don’t know how to put it on your clothes, the festival staff there will help you. 🙂hwacheon-sancheoneo-ice-festival-2016-15hwacheon-sancheoneo-ice-festival-2016-16They also gave me a fishing rod and a special gift, a necklace with a cute fish pendant!hwacheon-sancheoneo-ice-festival-2016-23You will also receive this cute plastic bag where you put the fish (hope you catch one because it’s not as easy as it looks!).
hwacheon-sancheoneo-ice-festival-2016-26Once you enter the fishing zone, there are numbers of fishing holes, so just choose any! If you need any help, you can ask one of the English-speaking staffs nearby. They are wearing an orange uniform, so you will be able to spot them easily. 😉

Tips on How to Fish:


1. Use this particular rod to fish

hwacheon-sancheoneo-ice-festival-2016-22

2. Put the float inside the water and unwind the fishing lines until it reaches the bottom. When you think the float is at the bottom, rewind the rod three or four times, and it’s done.

3. Keep pulling the rod consistently up and down (snap your wrist strongly and make a float make big movements).

4. When you feel the rod is heavy, wait for like 3 sec and quickly pull the rod and the fishing line!

hwacheon-sancheoneo-ice-festival-2016-25Trust me. If you follow these steps well, you’ll be able to catch them! See what I’ve caught!!!hwacheon-sancheoneo-ice-festival-2016-28This was like the biggest fish among all the fish that other people had caught around me. I was actually screaming haha. 😀 While I was struggling with the fish, a staff came and helped me take out the float (it’s very sharp, so don’t try to take it out with your own hands!)

After two hours of enjoying ice fishing, it was time for lunch. Guess what the menu was. Yes. The grilled fish I’ve caught!hwacheon-sancheoneo-ice-festival-2016-30There’s a particular booth with tables for the meal. After submitting the plastic bag of fish, the staff served us the grilled fish and chopsticks. Don’t worry if you’re not fond of the meal, you will also receive tasty ‘Kimchijeon (a Korean style pancake)’.
hwacheon-sancheoneo-ice-festival-2016-33
Never ever forget to wear thick clothes! On the day I visited, it snowed A LOT that I couldn’t even open my eyes properly.
hwacheon-sancheoneo-ice-festival-2016-36hwacheon-sancheoneo-ice-festival-2016-34After lunch, free time was provided. During the free time, you may want to try other programs like an ice soccer or an ice sleigh.
hwacheon-sancheoneo-ice-festival-2016-38hwacheon-sancheoneo-ice-festival-2016-33Or try walking across the blue bridge where you can peer down the whole venue!

CONCLUSION

Overall, I had a great time at Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival, this tour package was decent. To be honest, I would give 4.0 out of 5.0! 🙂 hwacheon sancheoneo ice festival 2016 (18).jpgI saw lots of family, friends and couples and even solo travelers enjoying this festival. So, I guess both kids and adults can spend a fabulous time altogether. Also, the activities and programs themselves were very enjoyable.

The only reasons I took away the points are because it was too cold and there were too many people that I almost got lost (so always be aware of where the guide and your group is). To sum up, I would say that this is a festival worth visiting once in your lifetime, especially if you’ve never experienced ice fishing, you definitely should! For details of the tour package, click here.

If you’re interested in going to the Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival, you can book your trip hereallowto_freedownload_landscape_1473For those of you who haven’t read my first travel review on another tour package, Nami Island, Gangchon Rail Bike and the Garden of Morning Calm, go ahead and click here to read on.

Last but not least, don’t forget to visit Trazy.com for a whole lot more awesome deals on tour packages in South Korea! 😉button3

8 Best 2015 Christmas Highlights in South Korea (Photos)

IMG_0685Here comes the most wonderful time of the year, Christmas. Right now, South Korea is completely filled with awesome vibes only! Here are the highlights of Christmas in South Korea that’ll glisten up your travel!

1. ‘Happy Christmas Party’ at Lotte World

Photo credits to @happylotteworld (Lotte World’s Instagram).

Lotte World is the only indoors amusement theme park, located in Jamsil, eastern Seoul. In addition to the rides that are available at Lotte world, the “Happy Christmas Party”, which runs until the very day of Christmas, promises to bring an amazing show with a variety of characters and performances throughout the evening. Tickets are available here. If you’re a K-pop fan, here’s a video of EXO having fun at Lotte World below! 😉

2. ‘Christmas Fantasy’ & ‘Romantic Illumination’ at Everland!

Here’s the most exquisite Christmas tree you’ll ever meet in Korea! Just visit Everland, one of the most famous and largest amusement parks in Korea.photo_cont3_03For this special season, Everland is offering two main events, ‘Christmas Fantasy’ and ‘Romantic Illumination’, which include various entertainments such as fantastic display of lights and Moonlight Parade, and the magical fireworks in the sky! Want to go see the lights in Everland? Go ahead and get a One-Day Pass at a discounted price here.

Oh! And don’t forget to experience the notoriously thrilling roller-coaster ride on T Express, which boast the steepest ride in the world with a top speed of 104 km per hour at a 77-degree angle! Try the ride, you’ll know what we’re talking about 😉

3. Winter Festival- ‘Christmas Party’ at Seoul Land

Full of Christmas spirits, Seoul Land is also offering Christmas Magic Show and Light Fantasy Show, as well as a great excursion like snow sledding! You and your family will love it! For details, click here.

Now, enough of amusement parks! Let’s get out on the streets in Korea to see what’s going on at this time of the year!

4. Myeongdong Lights Festival

Here’s the most famous and popular shopping district in Seoul, Myeongdong, and awe-inspiring Christmas decorative lights have gone up everywhere on the streets!

But! Take note. During Christmas Eve, this place gets jam-packed 😦 So, try to avoid at all costs, and visit it another day (usually the Christmas day itself is less crowded than Christmas Eve).

5. Seoul City Hall Plaza

Year after year, Seoul City Hall never fails to bring the Christmas cheer and it brings it hard. As a busy place with festivals happening nearly everyday, it’s no wonder that City Hall goes full force with Christmas spirit.

6. Namsan Tower

Right now at N Seoul Tower, you can meet this huge Christmas tree called a Kissing Tree. A Kissing Tree….hmm…couples and lovers, you get the idea, right? So, take your love to N Seoul Tower and make unforgettable memories beneath this wonderful Kissing Tree! 😉

05_제주항공권,_크리스마스_축제,_CJ도너스캠프,_N서울타워,남산타워,크리스마스_트리,크리스마스_데이트_장소
Photo credits to N Seoul Tower.

And don’t forget to visit the observatory, where you can enjoy the spectacular 360 degree view of the entire city of Seoul! The admission ticket for N Seoul Tower is available here.

11_제주항공권,_크리스마스_축제,_CJ도너스캠프,_N서울타워,남산타워,크리스마스_트리,크리스마스_데이트_장소
Photo credits to N Seoul Tower.

Want to see what’s more out there outside of Seoul? Then, here are the Christmas highlights in Busan!

As the second most populous city in Korea after Seoul, there are definitely many festivals that can rival those in the capital. Here are some that you should definitely check out if you’re in Busan:

7. Nampodong Christmas Tree and Lights Festival

xmas2

The Christmas festival in Nampodong, in Busan, has been going on for 7 years in a row now, and has been making its name known as one of the biggest festivals of its kind in Korea. Want to take a trip to Busan? See ‘Private Van tour in Busan or Gyeongju‘ or ‘Busan Night Tour with the Locals‘, which offer a convenient tour around other cities in Korea!

And watch this wonderful video of a stage at Nampodong, and have yourself a merry little Christmas!

8. Seomyeon Christmas Festival

Here’s another downtown area you should visit in Busan, called Seomyeon, that has literally everything that you can imagine, from great food to an amazing shopping experience! It’s now lit up with Christmas lights and decorations, so take a look.Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 11.22.39

Feel the vibes from the photos and videos? Then, spend your Christmas or winter holidays in South Korea!

Korea’s #1 travel guide, Trazy.com will help you, from convenient travel arrangements to easy and simple booking, just about everything to make your travel in South Korea the most wonderful trip in your life time. 🙂

See “SOUTH KOREA’S 10 BEST WINTER ACTIVITIES & FESTIVALS (VIDEOS)” 

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South Korea’s 11 Best Winter Activities & Festivals (Videos)

Sunrise over Kenai River, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska

“It is the life of the crystal, the architect of the flake, the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam. This crisp winter air is full of it.”

-John Burroughs, Winter Sunshine

Temperature is dropping, but you know it’s the time to explore the whole new world of winter activities and scenes in South Korea. So, don’t hibernate at home! Explore all the fun out there.

1.  Strawberry Picking

Picking fresh strawberries at a farm is a great excursion for both kids and adults! Take them home with you, and they’ll be your healthy, delightful dessert of the day.

Yangpyeong offers a strawberry picking experience where you can also learn about how to grow and harvest your own berries and make delicious desserts such as chocolate strawberries and strawberry rice cakes!

Youtube Video credits to tiger g (https://youtu.be/iquWy4VxYtY).

There’s also the Seoul Vicinity One day Tour Package where you can visit Korea’s romantic winter spots in Chuncheon and Gapyeong such as Nami Island, Petite France Village and the Strawberry Farm.

2. Snow Swimming

If you really want to see snow, like LOTS and LOTS of snow, you definitely have to get away from the city and go to the rural areas in Gangwondo Province. You’ll never see so much snow in your life! Plus, you can have fun swimming in the pile of snow. Not joking, watch this video clip.

Youtube Video credits to hanbin KIM (https://youtu.be/d-lLYXx5apQ).

3. Skiing at the Venue of 2018 Winter Olympics

Did you know that South Korea will be hosting the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics? 😉 Without further ado, you should definitely experience cross-country skiing when you’re in Korea.

There are great value ski resorts, such as Yongyong Ski Resort and Vivaldi Park Ski Resort, and all of them offer wide range of slopes for all levels of skiers, and magnificent views of winter landscapes on the slopes. So, just choose any according to your taste!

Check out more Ski Resorts in South Korea here!

Youtube Video credits to 배장필름웍스 (https://youtu.be/fGgoUuwDa9o).

4. Snow Sledding

If you’re unable to get out to provinces, here’s what you can enjoy in the city. In Seoul, for instance, you can enjoy snow sledding in one of the biggest sledding hills at Seoul Land, Korea’s first theme park.

Plus you’ll be able to see the fantastic illumination show at night which makes your winter experience just more enchanting! 🙂 Seoul Land Sledding Hill One Day Pass is available on Trazy.com.

Youtube Video credits to 귀요미희재 (https://youtu.be/nGZ_WT4a5Ws).

5. A Rail Bike Ride

For those of you who want both actions (not too aggressive though) and nature, a rail bike ride is just the thing. You can pedal down the rail track while enjoying fantastic winter scenes around you with your friends, families and lovers. Forget about the cold, go and try in Gangchon.

There’s also the Jeongseon Rail Bike, where you can admire the hidden mountain and forest landscapes. The 1-day tour also includes the Jeongseon Sky Walk which offers views of a U-shaped stream from an observation platform which is a see-through glass floor over a cliff.

Youtube Video credits to 주진 (https://youtu.be/KSr1_HpeRdo).

6. Light Festivals

Glisten and glow. Here are the most romantic light festivals in South Korea, Everland’s ‘Romantic Illumination’ and the Garden of Morning Calm. Whichever festival you choose to go, 100% satisfaction and incredible travel photos of your lifetime are guaranteed!

Youtube Video credits to 에버랜드 withEverland (https://youtu.be/8TbBo8WkjI4).

7. Ice Fishing Festival

Can you catch fish with bare hands? Try it at the Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival, which is announced as one of the 7 Winter Wonders of the World by CNN. It’ll be a great chance for travelers and tourists to have a whole lot of fun while traveling in Korea! The admission tickets and a round-trip shuttle bus are available here.

Youtube Video credits to Milk Factory (https://youtu.be/vlW1pjocLjg).

8. Sunrise Festival at Winter Sea

Scenic pine trees, the blue winter sea, a tranquil coast, and rustic railways make Jeongdongjin one of the top tourist destinations in Korea. The seaside rail bike there also allows you to paddle along one of the most beautiful beaches in Korea. Grab this ticket to enjoy it!

Above all, it’s a popular spot where you can watch the earliest sun rises in Korea. Celebrate the New Year here with people you love!

Youtube Video credits to LuCKi’s World travel 토종감자 수입오이의 세계여행 (https://youtu.be/AdH1n14tqyM).

9. Sheep-Feeding

Now that the green fields are gone, why not give some grass to the flock of hungry sheep? It’s fun, and it doesn’t cost you much (only 4,000 KRW for an adult) compared to what you’ll be rewarded! A beautiful view of huge wind turbines on the white rolling hills of snow!

With this 1 Day Private Tour, you can visit not only the sheep farm in Daegwallyeong but also Seoraksan National Park or Naksansa Temple. The park is Korea’s most popular national park, while the temple boasts a 1,300-year history and offers gorgeous views of the East Sea.

Youtube Video credits to 두발로 TV (https://youtu.be/IPkosEkdXVk).

10. SBS Awards Festival (SAF)

Ready to meet your favorite Korean TV shows and stars in one place?! SAF is Korea’s broadcasting festival held by SBS, which celebrates all the accomplishments in SBS’ TV programs throughout the year!

Here, you can engage in various events and win special prizes such as autographed CDs and tickets for the Gayo Daejeon (Kpop Music Festival), Drama & Entertainment awards ceremony! The dates for 2016 have been announced as December 25 ~ 31. Check out last year’s highlights below.

Youtube Video credits to SBSNOW (https://youtu.be/D-tVSA8pIXw).

11. The Seoul Music Awards

It’s one of the biggest and hottest annual music festivals in Korea! The awards show  was founded in 1990 and celebrates the outstanding achievements in Korea’s music industry.

Winners are selected from singers who have released albums during the year, combined with 40% digital download and album sales as well as judge’s scores. Check out this past winter’s event.

 

Youtube Video credits to namja12four (https://youtu.be/JnCzSvFzAg8).

Those were South Korea’s 11 best winter activities and festivals that’ll make your travel unforgettable. Now, which one would you like to add to your travel bucket list?

Don’t forget to check out Trazy.com, Korea’s #1 travel shop for more fun and exciting things to do in Korea! button_main 2