8 Tips You Need to Know Before Visiting Vivaldi Park

Hello Trazers! Greetings from a member of Trazy Crew. Last time, I tried skiing (for the first time in my life) at Phoenix Park, which was crazy fun, and now it has become one of my favorite outdoor activities.

But I found out that young and hip Koreans are hooked on more “trendy” sports like snowboarding nowadays. So I headed to Vivaldi Park, or Daemyung Vivaldi Park, which is a ski resort very popular among Koreans in their 20s.

And based on my (100% real) experience, here I bring you some handy travel tips and advice that you should know before you go skiing or snowboarding to Vivaldi Park in South Korea. 🙂vivaldi-park-review-7

1. Don’t figure out your way to the resort by yourself

Just like the last time when I visited Phoenix Park, I joined a one-day tour because I found it very, very convenient. You may want to read about my skiing experience at Phoenix Park here as well.

I’ve done both independent travel and package tours, but I personally prefer tour packages over independent travel as these tour packages are the easiest and the most time-efficient way to go on a ski trip.

And thank god, I didn’t have to go through the hassle of figuring out my way to the ski resort, such as comparing the prices and so many more things that I have to deal with when planning a ski holiday!

Seriously, these ski tour packages saved my time (and will save yours, too). For more info about the tour, click here.vivaldi-park-review-3When you book your trip, take note that there are different options for you to enjoy: Ski, Ski Lesson and Snowboard. I chose the Snowboard option since I already tried skiing last time at Phoenix Park. Pick whichever you’d like to try this winter – all of them are fun!

Check out what’s included in the tour package:

  • round-trip transportation
  • ski lift pass (for both lift & gondola)
  • equipment & clothing rental (jacket, pants and gloves)
  • English speaking staff (they will help you with anything you need!)

*Helmets and goggles are available for rent on site for an additional 5,000 KRW. For more info, click here.

2. Pick the less crowded days

When I arrived at Vivaldi Park, I saw the ski resort was bustling with people (even though I visited on Friday) so it took a while for clothing rental. It may also be because Vivaldi Park is a very popular destination for skiing and snowboarding.vivaldi-park (7).jpgThe clothing must be returned to the rental shop by 3:30 pm, so when you consider that and the amount of time you have to enjoy the slopes (and possible delays due to long queues and such), it’s a good idea to go on a day other than Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

Personally, I would advise you steer clear of the weekends and stick to going on a weekday if you want to avoid the crowd.

3. Use the changing room in the equipment rental area

If you decide to go alone, use the changing room in the ski/snowboard equipment rental area (located across from the building where you rent ski clothes).

Personally, I don’t recommend the changing room near the ski clothes rental area at Vivaldi Park inconvenient because there were no separate sections to change the clothes, which means you will have to change with all the female visitors at the resort.

But you don’t need to worry if you take the tour package because you will first drop by a rental shop near the ski resort to change into your ski/snowboard clothes and then head to the resort. The changing rooms are not super upscale, but at least you won’t have to rush at this place.

4. Take a lesson if you are a complete beginner

For me, I headed right away as soon as I was geared up, which was around 12:30 pm If you choose the Ski Lesson option, you will have the chance to learn basic skills for 2 hours.

If you’re a complete beginner, I highly recommend you choose the lesson option especially since snowboarding is a lot more difficult. Since my friend knew how to snowboard, she taught me a few basics but I do wish I’d signed up for a private lesson to help me get a hang of it more quickly.vivaldi-park-5The 1-day package doesn’t include a snowboarding lesson option, but you can book a private lesson separately here, where you’ll learn all the basics in detail. But if you are an expert, then go straight to the slopes!

5. Don’t miss out on the eateries!

I think Vivaldi Park is a ski resort where the food’s as good as the slopes, and you don’t want to miss a thing here.

Not only you can find food trucks, a food court, restaurants, cafes and food stalls at the Main Center building, there is also a separate underground complex called Viva Plex (near the entrance of the Main Center) where you can find various dining places that offer more than casual eateries.vivaldi-park-1So even though lunch meal is not provided in the tour packages, there is something for everyone at Vivaldi Park and I personally prefer them without a lunch meal since you will want to try every treat and food offered here.

6. Take advantage of the lift pass

If you’re not that into skiing or snowboarding, I strongly recommend you to use the lift pass and try riding the gondola up to peak, which offers an amazing panoramic view of the entire resort and the surrounding winter landscapes. The 8-seater gondola takes you up to the peak about 7 minutes and what more can I say? Try and see them for yourself!vivaldi-park-review-6

7. Choose the right slopes for your level

Vivaldi Park has 12 slopes in total – 2 for beginners, 5 for intermediate to upper-intermediate, 4 for advanced and 1 for the experts. vivaldi-park-review-5If you are a beginner, go for the Blues and Ballad courses. The Blues slope has very slight inclines, making it perfect for complete beginners (like me) to practice on.

In contrast, the Ballad slope has a few steep inclines but they aren’t super intimidating. However, I was too terrified to even attempt snowboarding down it so I just went down the Blues slope twice. But my friend who was also a beginner attempted it though!

8. Spark your romance!

Last but not least, Vivaldi Park was featured in some of the scenes from the latest Korean drama called “The Legend of the Blue Sea (SBS)“, starring by famous Korean actor and actress, Jun Ji-hyun (Sim Chung) and Lee Min-ho (Heo Joon-jae). In Episode 6, Sim Chung asks Heo Joon-jae to take her somewhere with snow and the two enjoy skiing on the slopes at the resort!

Being the most visited ski resort for 7 years, Vivaldi has become even more popular after it appeared on the screen.
legend-of-the-blue-sea-vivaldiWhether you are K-drama enthusiast or not, the snowy slopes and sceneries in and around Vivaldi Park is the perfect spot to turn up the heat on your romance.

featured-image1Did you get some ideas on how to plan your trip to Vivaldi Park? Then, now is the time to start planning! When you are planning, do take these tips and advice in this post.

Or book your trip here immediately if you want to have the time of your life this winter in Korea!

To find more winter tours and ski packages, make sure you drop by and browse on Trazy.com, Korea’s #1 Travel Shop!
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Photo Credits
Vivaldi Park

9 Reasons Why First-timers Should Join a Tour to Phoenix Park

Greetings from a member of Trazy Crew! Since it’s winter and the weather is perfect for skiing, I headed to Phoenix Park to enjoy a day of skiing with the Phoenix Park Ski Resort 1 day Ski/Snowboard/Snow Sled Tour!

As a first-time skier, I had no clue on what to prepare for my ski trip. But I had nothing to worry as this one-day tour solved everything! If you are just like me, here are 9 great reasons why you must book this tour to Phoenix Park instantly based on my (100% real) actual experience!phoenix-park-ski-resort-12For those of you who are not familiar with Phoenix Park, it is a ski resort chosen as one of the venues for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games. It has a high-quality snow and slopes for people of all different levels, so if you are searching for a great ski destination in Korea, take Phoenix Park into consideration.

1. Convenient & Comfortable Transport

If it’s your first time skiing, you may find yourself pressed for time as you try to fit skiing, eating and exploring the grounds into a short time frame before you have to head back to Seoul.

However, as this tour starts early, departing at 6:40 am from Hongik University Station and 7:10 am from Myeongdong Station, I was at the ski resort by 10 am (around a 2.5-hour journey), giving me plenty of time to enjoy skiing as well as the various other attractions without rushing.

The bus was spacious and cozy and since there weren’t many people on the bus, I could even take up two seats and pass out comfortably (the bus may be packed on weekends)! The best part is that there is no minimum number of participants required to sign up for the tour so you may sign up for it alone and meet new people while skiing!

2. Easy & Effortless Clothing & Equipment Rental

Equipment and ski attire rental were included in this tour package along with lift and gondola passes. Goggles and helmets aren’t included and must be purchased separately (5,000 KRW for goggles, 10,000 KRW for helmets) but aren’t required.Clothing.jpgI first rented and changed into clothing at a shop outside the resort. Here’s a tip. When you choose a ski jacket and pants, pick the ones with neon colors and fancy patterns, that you normally would think tacky, as they stand out in photos against the white snowy background!

Once I changed into my ski attire, I boarded the bus to the ski resort. In the bus, the staff handed out neck warmers and gloves to keep my hands and neck warm on the slopes!phoenix-park-ski-resort-7 Soon we arrived at the resort and rented ski equipment. rental-receiptI was given a receipt that I would need later to return the ski equipment. Make sure you don’t lose it!Rental.jpgOur instructor helped us with putting on our ski boots. You don’t want them to be too tight, but you do want them to be tighter than regular shoes. Finally, I put all of my belongings in a coin locker to keep them safe.

3. Convenient to Move Around the Complex

phoenix-park-ski-resort-14A huge plus of the ski resort was the fact that everything was located within close proximity. The parking lot where we got off the bus and ski house were very close to each other as well as the gondola.subsidary-facilitiesThe ski house was within a 5-minute walking distance from the Center Plaza which housed all the subsidiary facilities like the arcade, bowling alley and convenience store.

4. Friendly Staff & Energetic Instructor

The staff were also all very kind and helpful, able to speak both English and Chinese and they regularly updated us throughout about rest stops and how much longer till we reached the resort so we weren’t constantly wondering what was going on.Lesson 2.jpgOur ski instructor was also the most enthusiastic and energetic person ever. Don’t worry about communication since he speaks English! It felt like we were skiing with a close friend since he was so easy to get along with.

5. Well-organized Ski Lessons

You might think that ski lessons that are part of package tours are very briskly taught, but that was not the case at all with this tour.

Our instructor patiently led and taught us everything from warming up to how to fall safely to how to control the gears on the skis. The instructions were detailed and precise and there were plenty of demonstrations to make it easy for us to understand.

I’d highly recommend choosing the “Lesson” option in the package if you’re a complete beginner since it makes a world of a difference. I learned so much during the lesson that really helped me ski without any fear.

6. Variety of Slopes for Everyone

The itinerary gave us plenty of time to enjoy skiing as well as everything the resort had to offer. I would highly recommend taking the gondola up to the highest peak, Mont Blanc, which has an elevation of 1050 meters and offers outstanding views.mont blanc.jpgAs for slope courses, the Penguin and the Sparrow are perfect for beginners and the Hawk Course is suitable for those who have a bit more experience. If you want a challenge, take the gondola up to Mont Blanc and ski all the way down!
phoenix-park-ski-resort-4From Mont Blanc, take the beginner’s Panorama Course (though the course is labeled as being for beginners, it changes slightly to an intermediate course throughout with steep slopes so be careful). In the middle of the downhill, there is a rest area to take a break in.
phoenix-park-ski-resort-6*Make sure you distribute your time well as you should arrive at the base at around 3:45 pm, return all of your gear and equipment to the Ski House at around 4:00 pm and depart on the bus to Seoul at 4:30 pm!

7. Lift Pass & Gondola Tickets for Scenic Rides

Another great thing I liked about this tour package is that it also included both lift and gondola passes. With a lift ticket (in the photo below), you get access to both the lift and gondola. So for those of you who don’t want to ski, use this lift ticket and enjoy the gondola ride!Lift and Gondola Pass.jpgThe gondola ride to Mont Blanc takes around 10 minutes and can carry up to 4 people at a time in one car, offering stunning snowy views that look like something out of a photograph. You can ride it freely anytime from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm. phoenix-park-ski-resort-18phoenix-park-ski-resort-23Since it was a weekday, the waiting time for the lift and gondola was only around 5 to 10 minutes. I would imagine it to be a lot longer on weekends, so keep that in mind and manage your time wisely.

8. More Than Just Skiing

At Mont Blanc Peak, there a rest area with a coffee shop which is a perfect spot to enjoy a cup of hot coffee or hot chocolate while admiring the view of the entire ski resort. There is also an area where there is a bridge over a pond and fountain (they are not under operation during winter). Instead of water, there were piles of snow on this particular day so we had lots of fun making snow angels and mini snowmen!phoenix-park-ski-resort-26If you want to try something else than skiing, snowboarding for instance, Phoenix Park also caters towards snowboarders, featuring a snow park called Extreme Park that’s specially designed for snowboarders with a half pipe, table top and round quarter. If you want to experience snowboarding, just select our Snowboard option!

And if you don’t want to ski or snowboard, the tour package also has Snow Sled option, which is recommended for family-unit skiers with children.

9. Great Eateries

There is a multitude of eating and drinking venues to fuel yourself with energy after being out on the slopes! Lunch is provided in the Ski Lesson option so we ate a delicious and hearty meal at an upscale Korean restaurant. Vegetarian options are also available for Muslim tourists. foodIf you choose an option that does not include lunch meal, don’t worry as there is a food court, convenience store and fast food options in the Ski House (I highly recommend you try the waffles in the convenience store)! Restaurant.jpg*Note that Wi-Fi is very limited in the ski resort (but then again, it’s not like you’re going to be on your phone while skiing!)phoenix-park-ski-resort-2Overall, I had an amazing time at the resort and think I’ve developed a new hobby now! The Ski Lesson option was perfect as I didn’t need to worry about distributing my time evenly and got personalized care and guidance.

The instructor also made it possible for me to master the basics of skiing with just one lesson. I also liked how since it was a weekday, there were hardly any queues which certainly helped save a lot of waiting time.

Now that you know the reasons to book the tour package, it’s time to enjoy our video of our crazy fun day at Phoenix Park!

Book a 1 Day Ski/Snowboard/Snow Sledding Trip to Phoenix Park here if you want to have snow much fun like I did! And don’t forget to check out Trazy.com, Korea’s #1 Travel Shop, for more fun and informative posts about South Korea like this one!

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8 Limited Edition Christmas Gifts to Buy from Korea

Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la la la la la la~~! Christmas is just around the corner and you’re probably busy getting ready for holiday parties and shopping for presents!

If you’re stumped on what to buy for your friends and family, then read on for our Christmas gift guide!

1. Christmas Edition Korean Yogurt

These adorable Christmas edition Korean-style yogurts, or ‘yakults (야쿠르트)’ make the perfect stocking stuffer as they’re donned with festive designs! There are 6 to choose from including a Santa, snowman and polar bear!

#귀여워서삼 #오천원 ㅋㅋㅋ #야쿠르트 #크리스마스한정판 #귀엽다그램

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2. Snowman Banana Milk

This drink is nostalgic for many Koreans as it’s literally been sold for decades. It’s simple, sugary and super addictive and available in strawberry and melon flavors too in convenience stores everywhere.

You’ll be able to find a Christmas themed banana milk this month that features an adorable snowman with the foil lid sporting Christmas colors. How cute and festive!

3. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Santa Hat Tumbler

At the coffee shop chain “Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf”, you can get these tumblers that are shaped like a Santa hat complete with a straw that resembles a candy cane!

The best thing is the price. You only have to pay an additional 1,000 KRW with the drink you order to receive this tumbler!

4. Kakao Friends Ornaments

Grab these Kakao Friends ornaments at your nearest Kakao Friends Store to complete the Christmas tree!

#카카오오너먼트#크리스마스선물 #졸귀템#짱귀#핵귀염 #백화점죽순이 동생덕에 #득템

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There are two types available: The “friends” edition which features the full-size character and “face” edition which has just the character’s face blown up on the ornament.

5. Kakao Friends Santa Lion

Kakao Friend’s newest character Lion has put on a Santa outfit just in time for the holidays! This limited edition “Santa Lion” is available at Kakao Friends stores around Korea. Click here to check out a list of Kakao Friends stores in Seoul.

6. Christmas Beer & Soju

Since drinking culture is so huge in Korea, it’s no surprise that even the beer cans and soju bottles have gotten a Christmas makeover!

Enjoy a “Hite Christmas” by sipping beer from Hite’s green cans embellished with Christmas trees, baubles and snowflakes.

Chamisul Soju is spreading festive cheer as well with a ribbon design on the bottle which will make it seem like you are receiving a special holiday gift.

7. Missha Twinkle Holiday Collection

Makeup brands have also released their holiday collections which feature irresistibly cute packaging! Missha’s Twinkle Holiday collection is one of them with sparkly glitter pigments and mascaras, berry colored lip crayons and mini nail kits.

Follow this nail tutorial for nails that scream Christmas!

8. Banila Co. x Pink Panther Holiday Collection

Banila Co. has done a cartoon collaboration with Pink Panther (cue the classic Henry Mancini theme song we all know too well)! The theme is pink, pink and more pink!

The collection includes the cult favorite Clean it Zero Cleansing Balm and the Clean it Zero Cleansing Foam with images Pink Panther sporting a pair of reindeer antlers printed on them. You can buy the two items in a set housed in a pink gift box along with a Pink Panther towel hair band as a freebie!

Check out Trazy.com, Korea’s #1 Travel Shop for more fun and interesting posts like this one as well as the latest and trendiest things to do in Soth Korea!button_main 2

What’s Happening? Pyeongchang Trout Festival 2017 (~Feb 12)

Looking for something fun to do this winter in South Korea? Well, this winter festival is definitely something that you don’t want to miss out on!

The 10th annual Pyeongchang Trout Festival is a famous winter festival in South Korea that takes place in the town of Jinbu-myeon in the Pyeongchang County, which is located about 2.5 hours away from Seoul.

Pyeongchang County, which is well known as a haven for winter sports as it receives an abundance of snowfall every year, is also where 2018 Winter Olympic Games will be held.

So when you visit this area, you will be able to admire Korea’s beautiful winter landscapes while enjoying ice fishing with your friends and family at the trout festival. If you can spare more time, do try skiing or snowboarding as well when you travel to Pyeongchang!pyeongchang-trout-festival-2The main attraction at the festival is, of course, ice fishing, where you can attempt to catch fresh trout from a hole drilled into the ice. You can choose between open-ice fishing (pictured above) or tent fishing (these tend to sell out very quickly).

A fishing rod can be purchased which differs in price depending on the type of artificial bait attached on the line.pyeongchang-trout-festival-3

Be prepared to sit idly by the hole as you bob your rod up and down, waiting for a trout to bite onto the bait. Bring your own foldable chair or purchase one on-site for comfort!

*Ice fishing is only available depending on the ice conditions. If it is not cold enough, it may not be available as the ice will be too thin, causing it to break easily. pyeongchang-trout-festival-6If you’re feeling super brave, why not try your hand at fishing for trout with your bare hands? Brrrr… aren’t you shivering just thinking about it?

You, along with many other brave souls, will enter a large pool full of trout in just a t-shirt and shorts and attempt to catch grab as many of them with your bare hands.

The best part? You get to feast on what you’ve caught afterward! Choose to enjoy your fish processed raw as sashimi or get it grilled the traditional way over firewood by chefs on standby. Don’t worry if you don’t catch any fish as you can buy them!

#평창송어축제 #얼음낚시 #송어구이 #송어회 #냠

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If you’re looking for something else to enjoy besides ice fishing, look no further as there’s plenty of recreational activities to do! pyeongchang-trout-festival-1Choose from snow tubing, ice skating, snow rafting, ice cycling, sledding, spinning rail cars or an ATV (four-wheel motorcycle)!

There are even rides like bumper cars and disco pang pang, which is a circular ride that spins around and bounces up and down, accompanied by entertaining comments from the announcer controlling it. pyeongchang-trout-festival-5Ice sculptures are also scattered around the area for you to take photos with. pyeongchang-trout-festival-7This festival is something you must check out this winter season as it’s fun for people of all ages.

If you need a round-trip transportation, here is a Shuttle Bus Package that offers a convenient ride to the festival. For more info on the tour package, click here.

You may also want to drop by South Korea’s best ski resort, Yongpyong Ski Resort, which is located nearby the venue. With 28 slopes and Asia’s longest gondola course spanning 7.4 km, it’s a great destination for skiers of all levels.
2d1n_yongpyong_ice-fishingAlpensia Ski Resort is also located close to the venue of the Pyeongchang Trout Festival. It makes another great choice with 6 slopes, top-notch leisure facilities and 5-star accommodation. If you want to enjoy both the ice fishing festival and skiing at the ski resorts check out our packages.2d1n_alpensia_ice_fishingBrowse more of our awesome winter tours and ski packages on Trazy.com, Korea’s #1 Travel Shop, and plan your winter trip with us!button_main-winter-campaign

3 Interesting Facts about Korean Thanksgiving – Chuseok

bank-leaves-81571_1920.jpgIt’s that time of year again, “the season with clear skies and stout horses.” Nothing depicts fall in Korea more accurately than this old saying.

During the fall, the weather is at its prime with the perfect combination of sunshine and cool breeze. Additionally, the harvested crops are so plentiful that even livestock get to enrich themselves, so what’s not to like about this peaceful season?

Besides the beautiful scenery on the street and the smell of pumpkin spice and roasted chestnuts, there’s another reason why we anticipate fall…it’s the time of Korean Thanksgiving, also known as “Chuseok“!full-moon-415501_640

1. Chuseok, Happy Korean Thanksgiving Day!

Chuseok is a harvest festival that the whole nation celebrates together. Many scholars claim that it originates from the shamanistic worship ritual of giving thanks to the harvest moon and ancestors. Farmers would show their gratitude and pay homage to their ancestors by presenting them with their new harvest, believing they would spend the coming winter with warmth and plenty of food and have a rich harvest for the coming year. They would then share their food with friends, family, and neighbors.

Nowadays, it’s a time when people take a break from their busy lives to head home and spend time with their family and friends. As a result, airports, trains, and roads are packed as people return to their hometowns. There’s even an expression for such phenomenon, the “mass migration of Chuseok“. So if you plan to travel anywhere during Chuseok holiday, make sure you book your tickets way ahead of time or you’ll be headed absolutely nowhere.

About Charye

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Charye (차례)

Charye” is an ancestor memorial ritual that has been carried out for thousands of years in Korea. On the morning of Chuseok, family members gather in their homes to hold a memorial service for their ancestors, usually up to around four generations above (Chuseok would probably be over if they tried to pay their respects to every single one). During the ceremony, food, fruits, and beverages are offered to them. Each dish has a designated spot on the table and there are set processes such as lighting candles before alcohol is poured into three different cups and bowing twice afterward.

On the morning of Chuseok, family members gather in their homes to hold a memorial service for their ancestors, usually up to around four generations above (Chuseok would probably be over if they tried to pay their respects to every single one).

During the ceremony, food, fruits, and beverages are offered to them. Each dish has a designated spot on the table and there are set processes such as lighting candles before alcohol is poured into three different cups and bowing twice afterward. 64817_10200676393373275_1371045326_nAfter the ceremony, everyone sits together to enjoy the delicious food they prepared and used for the ceremony as they reunite and bond with their family members.

2. It’s Not a Festival Without Food!

No food, no party. That’s the universal rule.

Chuseok is no exception. Preparing the delicacies is a lengthy process that involves many hands due to the quantity and variety of foods to be made. The food is meant to serve the ancestors. Therefore, Koreans believe that the more effort you put into making it, the more respect you are paying for them.

Songpyeon: The Delicious Chuseok Delicacy 

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Songpyeon (송편)

When it comes to Chuseok specialties, it would be blasphemous to leave “Songpyeon” off the table.

This crescent moon shaped rice cake is made with rice from the first harvest of the year, filled with beneficial ingredients such as powdered sesame, red beans, brown sugar, and chestnuts. The finishing touch is a fragrant pine scent, achieved by layering the cake with pine needles.

Though Songpyeon used to be made solely by women, nowadays the whole family participates. And ladies, take note! There’s a belief that a person who makes Songpyeon in the prettiest shape will meet a great spouse and have a beautiful baby, so make it count! 83Besides Songpyeon, various other foods and fruits are served during the festival. Seasoned vegetables, pork, beef, and fish are common and the remaining choices vary by region.

For instance, in the northern part of Gyeongsang province, dried shark meat called Dombaegi and octopus are served because their main harvest is seafood.

It’s quite interesting to see the variety of foods in different regions, so do give them a try if you have the chance!

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Dombaegi (돔배기), dried shark meat

3. Eat, Pray and … Play!

So you’ve filled your stomach with delicious food and spent hours chatting with your family members. Now, it’s time to relax… NOT! The real fun now begins.

There are many fun traditional activities that await you, so get up and prepare to have fun!

About Ganggangsulae Dance

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Ganggangsulae dance (강강술래)

This nearly impossible-to-pronounce dance is traditionally done by women to pray for a bountiful harvest.

They come together under the brightest full moon, forming a circle as they hold each other’s hands. As the lead singer starts singing, the rest sing the refrain “Ganggangsulae” as they rotate clockwise. The dance gets faster and faster as the tempo speeds up and can last until dawn.

No one knows the exact origin, but many people claim the dance dates back to the 16th century when the Japanese attacked Korea. Naval commander Yi Sun-shin ordered the women to circle the mountains in military uniform to scare the enemy off, in an effort to deceive them into thinking the Korean military was greater in number than it actually was.

If you’ve never seen the dance, it’s quite interesting and exciting. Better yet, why not join in!

About Ssireum

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Ssireum (씨름), Korean wrestling

Ssireum” is a traditional sport in Korea, composed of two opponents who wrestle while holding each other’s belts, called ‘Satba (샅바)’.

To win, the player must bring his opponent down to the sandy ground. Unlike Japanese Sumo wrestling, pushing the player out of the circle does not signify victory.

The biggest contest is held during the festival, its popularity scale comparable to American football on Thanksgiving as many families enjoy watching the games on TV.

Traditionally, the champion of the contest receives a bull and rice as the victory prize along with earning the title of being “the world’s strongest man”. He’s definitely not someone you want to mess with.  iulleung_236666_1[332793]Can you imagine what an honor it would be for a man to be called the world’s strongest and to bring home a bull in one hand and a bag of rice in the other?

About Bull Fighting

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Bullfighting (소싸움)

There is no written record of its origin, but bullfighting has been done traditionally over many centuries. However, Korean bullfights don’t involve much blood or killing at all.

Instead of humans fighting bulls like in Spain, it’s literally just two bulls fighting each other. So if you’re an animal lover, don’t worry as you won’t be seeing anything gruesome. As a matter of fact, the bulls are treated with lots of love and affection. The trainers take care of them in a respectable way, feeding them gourmet meals after training.

The show isn’t all about competition. Rather, it’s to show how well their livestock have been raised. In a contest, these thick-necked bulls butt heads until one eventually gives in. A dual can last a few minutes or even hours.

Cheungdo is the city well known for its annual bullfight festival, with its own exclusive stadium that holds various events related to bullfighting. The event draws thousands of tourists every year. If you’re interested in this unique traditional and exciting event, you should try a visit to Cheungdo this Chuseok. dancingIf you’re stuck with nothing to do during Chuseok because your family is abroad, don’t stay at home moping. Head outside as there are still many things to do! 

Cultural sites like museums and palaces will be open, hosting a variety of holiday events. Try the National Folk Museum of Korea to participate in traditional folk games and try your hand at making Songpyeon or the National Museum of Korea to enjoy percussion performances.

Palaces like Deoksugung, Changdeokgung, Changgyeonggung and Gyeongbokgung will also hold traditional music and dance performances. In addition, amusement parks such as Lotte World, Seoul Land and Everland will also be open, hosting various special performances.

Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, we hope you spend the best time during Chuseok holiday! And don’t forget to stop by Trazy.com to stay updated on the latest events and fun things to do in South Korea. button_main

Top 20 Things You Must Do in Seoul

Since so many parts of Seoul are so appealing and you may be wondering about where to visit and what to do (especially if you’re only here for a few days), here are our recommendations for building your bucket list for Seoul.

From popular and hip places to hidden local spots, we hope you visit these must-go places and have unforgettable experiences make amazing new memories. Now let’s hit the road!

1. Feel the sublime Korea through a palace tour

The royal palaces from the Josun dynasty are some of the best spots to get a glimpse into the rich history and culture of Korea. In Seoul, there are five grand palaces – Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung, Deoksugung, Gyeonghuigung and Changgyeonggung. If you’d like to take a guided tour to some of these beautiful royal palaces, click the image below. 😉

seoul-palace-guided-tourYou can also rent Korean traditional clothes –’Hanbok‘ – near the palaces and enter them for free. Renting a hanbok is available here.hanbok-rental-experience-thumbnailRead more: Travel Review & Tips: Renting a Hanbok at 3355 Shop near Gyeongbokgung

2. Take in sweeping views from Seoul’s iconic landmark

Being a tourist in my home country✌️

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N Seoul Tower at the summit of Namsan mountain is ranked as the top sightseeing spot in the capital. You can see an overview of Seoul from all angles at the towel’s observatory!

The night view of Seoul from N Seoul Tower is romantically beautiful. For example, there are the bridges over the Han River at night that shine like diamond bracelets. The tower is a spot you can’t leave out if you’re a couple, as you can install a lock amongst the existing thousands, in hopes of having an eternal love. n-seoul-tower

3. Savor a local food scene in Noryangjin Fish Market

If you want to see the liveliness of the local people in Seoul, head over to Noryangjin fish market. It’s a wholesale market/eatery where you can buy and try fresh seafood and fish and some of the exotic local dishes like ‘hoe (raw fish)’. Even if you don’t buy anything here, the entire market itself gives a great local experience for travelers and tourists.

Get fresh fish sliced into hoe and take it home, or go into the sit-in restaurants where they will cook and then serve them as a meal out of fresh seafood to you.

Read more: Insider’s Guide to Noryangjin Fish Market in Seoul

4. Burn, Baby, Burn -Drink & Party in clubs until the sunrise

Seoul is a city where you can enjoy the ultimate nightlife experience as most of the clubs and bars open until the sunrise. Plus, there are also after-hours clubs for those who are just not ready to go home yet even when the sun’s up.

굿이다 💗 #서연x서울

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Hongdae is a popular area of choice for young clubbers and college/university students. Club NB2, Cocoon, and Vera are some of the most well-known ones.

Read more: Dance Till You Die at Best Clubs in Hongdae

Gangnam is another main clubbing district and you will find clubbers here in their mid-20’s or more. Club Octagon is one of the best clubs around, featured with a state of the art sound system and plays electronic, trance, house and techno.

Read more: Seoul Nightlife Guide: Best Clubs in Gangnam

5. Take a stroll along Cheonggyecheon Stream

Cheonggyecheon is a 10-kilometer stream that runs across central Seoul. The area once used be packed with stores and suffered from a heavy traffic but the city of Seoul removed the highway and restored Cheonggyecheon stream. Today, the stream offers both city-dwellers and foreign visitors a peaceful oasis in the city.

6. Go native at Korean Folk Village

Get a glimpse of how Korean people lived in the past by visiting a Korean folk village. You will be able to see the Korean traditional housings and talented actors and actresses are hired to play the roles of people from the past to give visitors an authentic feel.

Instead of merely seeing the displays of ancient artifacts in museums, you can take part in various hands-on programs and watch performances, so try a visit to Korean Folk Village.folk-village-suwonSign up for this private tour if you would like to navigate this folk village and a historical fortress, which is designated a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site, in one day. Click here to book your trip.

7. Shop till you drop!

Shopping is something you must not miss while you are in Korea. There are numerous places to shop in Seoul from underground shopping complexes in subway stations to elegant shops in department stores.

Myeong-dong is one of the most popular shopping areas as almost all of the famous brands in Korea are placed there, making shopping very convenient.

Dongdaemun is famous for reasonably priced items and has several shopping complexes built in the area, providing young and casual style clothes for young people and tourists.

Read more: Insider Shopping Tips for Dongdaemun Market You Won’t Find Elsewhere!

Garosugil has risen as a trendy shopping area beelined with small boutique shops full of unique styles.

See more: Cheap Shopping Spree in Seoul

8. Taste the world in Itaewon district

Itaewon is a popular international neighborhood of Seoul where many residents and visitors of diverse cultures and countries . It is like a small global village of the world. There are many restaurants specializing in authentic traditional dishes of various countries. Zelen is a Bulgarian restaurant run by chef Mihal Spasov Ashminov, who rose to popularity after appearing in Korean cooking TV show “Take Care of My Refrigerator”. Check out this list of our top favorite spots in Itaewon and follow this link for a whole list of posts on places to dine in Itaewon as well! 

9. Head to Insadong for Korea’s top traditional souvenirs

Good souvenirs show you to be a thoughtful and caring person to others around you. Insadong is a street filled with shops selling Korean traditional items perfect as souvenirs.

From small items like a key chain to big ones like a piece of furniture, you can purchase almost anything. If something you want to buy is too expensive, don’t fret as it’s likely to be sold in another store for much cheaper.

insadong-stampOr instead of buying one, how about creating your own personalized Korean traditional style stamp at a workshop in Insadong? You can sign up for the stamp-making experience here.

Read more: Top 20 Things to Buy in Seoul to Take Home

10. Indulge in Korean street foods

You can easily find vendors selling street food in Korea. Korean street food has its own charm that can’t be replaced by meals from a restaurant. We bet that street vendors selling local street foods will draw you to their food with its mouthwatering smell and look.

Gwangjang market is a famous place where you can enjoy classic local foods like mungbean pancake and sliced raw beef sashimi.

Street foods in Hongdae are trendy and experimental like their fashion style. You also don’t want to miss the Dongdaemun Market Street Tour!

Read more: Top 10 Street Food You Must Try in Myeongdong

11. Sweat it out at a Korean sauna, Jjimjilbang

A Jjimjilbang is a Korean sauna where you can go into rooms with high temperature and emit any impurities and detox your skin by sweating. There are many types of rooms: Red clay room, Ice room, Crystal room and so on.

However, before you enter, you are required to use a public bath in full nudity. But don’t worry! Public baths are very common in Korea and people couldn’t care less about how each other’s bodies look. Dragon Hill Spa is the most famous Jjimjilbang in Korea and the discount ticket is available here.dragon-hillRead more: Travel Review & Tips: Dragon Hill Spa (Korean Sauna)

12. Hike up the lush green Bukhansan National Park

You may think that Seoul is just a city that is high tech. Well, you’re half right. But the city also does offer greenery and natural landscapes.

One good way to experience this is by hiking along Bukhansan National Park, located in the northern part of Seoul. There are several courses to be hiking across, but most usually take about 4~5 hours to complete.

13. Take a tour to the dangerous divide, DMZ

Korea has been divided into South and North Korea since the Korean civil war in the 1950s. At the border between South and North Korea, the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) was set to prevent any invasion and is currently controlled by dispatched UN soldiers. All visitors can not visit DMZ or JSA by themselves and they can only visit by booking a trip through tour packages.

Ensaio sobre a neutralidade do turismo. (Meu pé direito está na Coreia do Norte, o esquerdo na do Sul.) #SouthKorea #NorthKorea #DMZ

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Only through these tour packages, you can go to the Dora observatory to see North Korean villages, the third tunnel built by North Korean soldiers, and the joint security area Panmunjom. There are two types of tours available – the DMZ tour and the DMZ + JSA tour.dmz-tourjsa-tourdmz-jsa-tourRead more: 13 things you need to know before visiting the DMZ

14. Feel the adrenaline rush at the city’s 3 best amusement parks

There are 3 big amusement parks in or near Seoul – Lotte World, Everland, and Seoul Land.

Lotte World has a direct connection to subway station (Jamsil Station) and is extremely easy to reach on the subway, which makes it a popular amusement park among teens and those in their 20’s.lotte-worldJust like Lotte World, Everland features plenty of rides, but it also offers a zoo, botanical garden and Everland is comparatively bigger in scale than Lotte World.

Since Everland is located about an hour away from Seoul, the best way to get there is to take a shuttle bus. To lessen the hassle, simply book a shuttle bus package online, which comes with an admission ticket at the discounted price. 🙂everland-shuttle-ticket

If you would you like to visit Everland theme park, browse our collection of awesome deals on Everland!

Another amusement park in the city is Seoul Land. Since Seoul Land is designed to cater families with kids, you may find rides and attractions less thrilling than the ones in Lotte World or Everland.

However, for parents, it is a great amusement park to take your kids because the amusement park offers a variety of children-friendly rides and attractions, including a sledding hill during the winter season.seoul-land

15. Revel in the merriment at ice skating rinks during winter!

When winter comes, there are various outdoor ice skating rinks for you and your friends and your family to beat the blues. From public outdoor ones to indoor ice skating rinks, the city of Seoul has plenty to offer, so go ahead and practice your skills at one of these places.

See more: Ice Skating Rinks in Seoul

16. Witness the feverish pink cherry blossoms in Yeouido

Spring is a romantic season, but what makes it more romantic is walking under cherry blossom trees.

🌸🌸 #여의도벚꽃축제 #여이도공원 #벚꽃 #cherryblossom

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Yeouido is the most popular destination where you can find a cherry tree-lined path, with millions of people visiting during the Yeouido Cherry Blossom Flower Festival in April.

It is also spectacular during night time as there will be fewer people and the cherry blossom flowers gleam dreamily under the street lights.

See more: South Korea’s Cherry Blossom Festivals

17. Relax with a picnic at 12 Han River Parks

The 12 Han River Parks are the perfect spots to sit back and chill out during the summer. There are plenty of hip and fun activities you can do at these parks, such as riding an electric scooterwakeboarding, waterskiing, cruising through the city on the Han River cruise and many more.

Delivery foods are another attractive point of this venue with the menu of choice by most people being chicken with beer! You simply call any restaurant, order your food, tell them where you’re sitting and your food will be delivered right to you!

See more: 5 Must-Try Activities to Enjoy at the Han River in Korea

18. Overnight on one of the Korean Buddhist temples

Want to wind down and enjoy some healing time? You don’t need to go out of Seoul to find your inner peace. You can sign up  and take part in the temple stay program within the city.

Through these programs, you will have the opportunity to learn basic temple manners and the way of life harmonized with nature through the guide of monks.

See more: Templestay Programs in Korea

19. Get a wholesome experience in the K-Pop capital

Try waiting in front of the buildings of big entertainment companies like YG, SM and JYP where you might spot your favorite stars. Or visit performance halls like K-live or SM artium where you can enjoy K-Pop hologram concerts featured by Big Bang, JYP and many more like this one anytime.

See more: K-Pop or K-Drama experiences in Korea

Go and watch K-Pop concerts to take part in the famous “ttae-chang“, the crowd singing along with the singer. There are also lessons that teach you how to sing and dance like K-pop stars as well, like this one. Finally, your trip wouldn’t be complete without picking up some K-pop merchandise, so check out these stores to load up on some goods! 

20. Stay up all night in the city that never sleeps

As Koreans love to play even at night, many shops and facilities are open for 24 hours. Usually, in crowded areas like Hongdae and Gangnam, cafes are open for 24 hours to give clubbers a place to rest.

. 오늘 마지막 미션 N버스 타보기!! #N버스 #심야버스

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Buses that start with the alphabet ‘N’ are night buses that run during the night, providing convenience to Seoul citizens. If you’re hungry at around 1 or 2 am, run to any convenient store to pick up a bite to eat.

Read more: 10 Must-Try Korean Convenience Store Foodsbutton_main 2