The Sparkling Snowy Korea (14 Days 13 Nights Itinerary)
Friday, January 2, 2015

Kids did not have enough of snow from our last New Zealand trip in June (read more of our New Zealand self drive trip here). Since we had got all our winter apparels readily available, so we thought why not a winter holiday in the sparkling snowy Korea. After checking through all flight fares, we decided to fly with Malaysia Airlines again. This trip was a very relaxing trip, as we only use 3 places as base, which were Seoul, Alpensia Ski Resort and Jeju. We were lucky that all planned and scheduled time set in perfectly (not too early and not too late). So here's our another kids friendly itinerary for your reference. :)

Day 1 - touched down Incheon International Airport, Seoul. We then purchased the T Money Cards from 7-11 and shuttle bus tickets (KWN29000 per person for adults and half price for children) to Alpensia Ski Resort at Gate 9C, before our hotel picked us up. Initial plan was to visit Hongik University area for people-watching and shopping. But we were offered early check-in and free upgrade to a family suite. So we changed plan to rest in our comfy room and explored Incheon.

Accommodation: Hotel Queen, Incheon. Free wifi and free shuttle bus service to and fro the airport. This hotel is known to be very generous in offering early check-in and free upgrade.

We had delicious traditional Korean food at a restaurant nearby. Just ask the friendly concierge staff for direction. It's just accross the road anyway, the green signage and it's located at level 2.

Day 2 - Woke up to a White Christmassy Incheon, it was snowing heavily last night. Our hotel arranged shuttle van to drop us at Incheon Airport, as we departed to Alpensia Ski Resort from there. It was a 3 hours easy journey to Alpensia. We had lunch, check-in, rest and continued to explore the ski town. Kids had their rounds of snow sledding. Oh yeah, don't forget to confirm your return shuttle bus tickets upon checking into the hotel. Only one bus departs at each time slot. :)

Accommodation: Holiday Inn Resort Alpensia, we booked through IHG website directly. Join as member (free!) and you get to enjoy free wifi during your stay. They even offered complimentary breakfast for all our 3 kids.

The White Christmassy Incheon at 8am. The whole city was covered with snow and it was beautiful.

The self contained Alpensia town which has everything from a good variety of eateries, convenience stores and ski shops.

Snow sledding on the first day itself!

The view in the evening. It was a mid week, hence it wasn't crowded.

Day 3 - Breakfast at the hotel then full day of snow sledding at Alpensia.

Accommodation: Holiday Inn Resort Alpensia

Baby Bear was too little to go on the designated snow sledding area, so she had her session at the common area which was fun enough (super fun actually!) for her. :)

Brother Bear and Sister Bear had their snow sledding sessions here.

The travelator which brought the people up the hill. Good invention! Haha...

Day 4 - Full day of snow sledding and skiing (and falling) at Alpensia. Hohoho... :D

Accommodation: Holiday Inn Resort Alpensia

Our first skiing experience. Sister Bear had a go first.

Slow and steady. He had his fair share of falling too of course! ;)

Baby Bear was looking curiously at the colours of winter. ;)

Day 5 - Skiing till mid afternoon. As it got too windy, we decided to go indoor - the on site indoor water park - Ocean 700.

Accommodation: Holiday Inn Resort Alpensia

Getting better on day 2.

Ocean 700 indoor water theme park - hotel guests get 30% off the entrance fee.

Besides the family pool, it has fun and adventurous water slides too which we did not manage to capture any pics, as we were busy having fun. ;)

Day 6 - Left Alpensia after breakfast taking the 9.30am shuttle bus back to Gimpo Airport. We took the 2.45pm flight to Jeju. It was a self drive trip in Jeju. After collected our rental car from KT Kumho office, we then headed to our cosy B&B in Jeju-Si. Papa Bear went out to pack food for dinner,as kiddos were too tired to go out after a long day of travelling. Actually the apartment was too comfy to snug in!

Accommodation: Sam and Jinny's Apartment. We booked through Airbnb, the link is here. Highly recommended especially if you arrive Jeju in the late evening like us. It's near the airport and lots of local eateries.

Kids loved their ondol room.

Sam and Jinny's place was tastefully decorated.

Admiring the ocean view from our unit.

Day 7 - Places we visited and the GPS coordination (the last 7 digits of the telephone numbers of those places) of our fist day in Jeju.

- Seongsan Ilchulbong Sunrise Peak GPS: 7830959 or 7107923
- Udo Island GPS: 7843136 (local shop next to terminal)
- Seopjikoji GPS: 7820080
- Dinner at Black Pork BBQ GPS: 7841794

Tip: You don't really need GPS coordination to go to Udo Island and Seopjikoji once you have reached Seongsan Ilchubong, as there are well posted road signage to lead you the way. These places are nearby each other. :)

Accommodation: Jiyeon's Studio. Also booked through Airbnb, the link is here. Highly recommended as Jiyeon's place is near many attractions. We were there in December, tangerines were in season, we plucked and ate a few dozens at least, from Jiyeon's mini orchard. Hehe...

It was a rainy day, and it wasn't normal rain, but freezing rain. Thankfully it took a few minutes at most and it would then be all sunny again. Pic taken at Seongsan Ilchulbong.

Babywearing allows us to multitask. :)

Brother Bear's favourite place. He could sit here all day long. He loves nature a lot.

Look at the blue! No words could describe its beauty. Pic taken at Udo Island.

Could you see rainbow? :D Pic taken on the way to reach the highest peak of Udo Island.

Sister Bear's dream house. Pic taken at Seopjikoji.

Yummy Black Pork BBQ. :)

Day 8: What we did on our second day in Jeju:

- Yongmeori Coast and Mount Sanbangsan GPS: 7942940
- Mount Songak GPS: 7604022
- Jusangjeoli GPS: 7381532
- Alive Museum GPS: 8050888
- Dinner was another round of Black Pork BBQ. GPS: 7384592 This is a MUST TRY, it's secluded and visited by mainly the locals. So imagine how good is that? :)

These are the places we shortlisted, but we were too tired to explore, as we spent too much time hiking at Mount Songak. :)

- Jeongbang Waterfall GPS: 7331530
- Cheonjeyeon Waterfall GPS: 7381529

Accommodation: Jiyeon's Studio.

Spotted black goats, kids were so happy. Papa Bear was glad that all our kids love animals, as he said those who love animals would be kind hearted. Haha... BTW, that was Mount Sanbangsan in the background.

The flowers of some vegetables, not sure if it was Sawi. Hehe... Pic taken near Yongmeori Coast.

Yongmeori Coast!

The view from Mount Songak. It has a nice hiking (or walking) trail, accompanied with picturesque views. Horse riding is available too for KWN5000 per person for one BIG round.

The magnificent Jusangjeoli.

We took hundreds of pictures in the Alive Museum. Kids love this place!

One of the funny pictures which Sister Bear loves. :D

Day 9 - Our last day in Jeju.

- Seogwipo Olle Market GPS: 7621949
- Mysterious Road GPS: 7126988
- Yongduam Rock GPS: 7283918

We then returned our rental car and boarded the 2.50pm flight back to Seoul. We arrived in the snowfall. Kids were so excited. Right after checking into another cosy B&B, we went out for a walk in the snowfall while looking for dinner places. After dinner, we walked over to the very popular Lotte Mart which was just across the road from our B&B.

Accommodation: Uni's Apartment, which is opposite Seoul Station. Booked through Airbnb, the link is here.

Seogwipo Olle Market. Sister Bear got her new leather boots for just KWN30000. :)

Picture taken near Mysterious Road. Baby Bear was walking towards our handsome car.

Uni's cosy apartment, which is strategically located opposite Seoul Station and Lotte Mart and Outlets. Kids had attic room. How they loved it.

Small apartment but had everything needed, including a washer cum dryer. YAY!

Lotte Mart! No, things weren't free, though people grabbed as if those were. :)

Day 10 - We took the train to Gyeongbukgong Palace, it was Tuesday and the palace was closed, we knew but we forgot. :p But our kids had super great time playing with the thick fresh snow. From the palace, we walked to Insadong, had lunch, then proceeded to Bukchon Hanok Village. The weather was getting much colder in the evening, which we then switched to indoor shopping at Gangnam Underground Station. Clothes and fashion accessories are much cheaper here, compares to Myeongdong.

Accommodation: Uni's Apartment

It's good to visit on Tuesday too actually, as we had the whole palace to ourselves, even though it was just the outside compound. LOL We managed to capture lots of nice pictures of the palace and kids had fun playing with the thick fresh snow.

Boiled Pork - taste great too compares to BBQ Pork. One of the restaurants near Insadong.

The snowcapped rooftops were a great sight! Pic taken at Bukchon Hanok Village.

Insadong - this corner shop has lots of pretty and handsome backpack selling for only KWN10000.

Day 11 - Seoul's Children Park & Museum. The museum is indoor and it's 4 levels, which you would spend a whole day here. It was super fun for the kiddos. Highly recommended. After a fun filled day for the kids, it was mummy's turn to have fun-filled shopping time. So off to Myeongdong we went for dinner and then shopping for skincare, skincare and lots of skincare. Woot... woot...

Accommodation: Uni's Apartment

We spotted 2 garden fairies at the Seoul's Children Museum. They were reading their big fairies book. :)

The animals made those sounds as if they were real!

One of Sister Bear's favourite activity - World Fashion Show. Look, she had got international audience too!

Baby Bear was working hard on the construction site.

Master Chef in the making.

Oops... She changed her identity to a vet now... :D

Day 12 - we hired a private small van through funtastickorea.com to take us to Nami Island. We supposed to also visit The Garden of Morning Calm, but Nami Island was too beautiful during winter and we again 'overspent' our time there. Hence, it was the only place we visited on this day, we never regretted it though, as we had really good time in Nami Island. By the way, I will highly recommend Funtastic Korea, their price is cheaper and they are so responsive and professional in handling all the hiccups with regards to our booking.

Accommodation: Uni's Apartment

We were boarding to visit the Naminara Republic.

It snowed the night before and we were greeted by a white Namiseum. It was SOOOO beautiful. We were so blessed to again hit the right timing! Kids had super great time playing with the snow.

Hehe... this is so cute!

The happy couple! :D

The frozen river at Namiseum was stunningly breathtaking!

The temperature increased to negative one degree Celsius in the evening (it was negative eight!) and it was lovely to stroll around the island - feeling so relaxed!

Day 13 - we did N Seoul Tower and took the epic lovebirds picture at the lovelocks terrace. Then we went to Gyeongbukgong Palace (since it was closed on Tuesday when we went for the first time), for the guard changing ceremony and cultural performance. Of course, we wanted to see how's the historical palace looked like from the inside too. From there, we took the train to Dongdaemun for lunch and more shopping. Hehe... Sister Bear wanted to try the Cat Café at Myeongdong and I wanted to buy more skincare. So we went back to Myeongdong again. We packed some food back to our B&B for dinner. After dinner, Sister Bear and I walked over to Lotte Mart to buy more local snacks to bring home, as goodies for families and friends, and for ourselves. We love those snacks so much!

The lovebirds at the lovelocks terrace, Namsan Park.

The cultural performance at the Gyeongbukgong Palace.

Here's the guard changing ceremony.

The Cat Cafe at Myeongdong. It's a nice and cosy cafe if you love cats!

Mainly crackers, chips and brownies from Market O. :)

Day 14 - we woke up early, dragged our luggages to Seoul Station and took the AREX (paid only KWN24000 for the whole family and it took only 43 minutes!) to Incheon Airport. We did our tax refund after our flight check-in. Home sweet home, we went. :D

Home sweet home!

Kids meal - lunch. :)

Kids meal - afternoon tea. :)

Korea's winter is really no joke. The coldest temperature registered during our stay was negative 14 degree Celsius. But with the right clothing, it's OK. I'll write a post on dressing for winter when I have time. Stay tuned! I'm sure you notice I repeated the word 'shopping' for a few times in this post too. Yeah, Korea is also a shopping heaven. My sis and I were talking that we should make a shopping trip here during summer, just the 2 of us, so we could shop till we drop. Surely a big YES to that! :)

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Welcome to my blog! It was a travelogue to document all our travels with our 3 beautiful kids (Brother Bear, Sister Bear and Baby Bear).  Papa Bear and I love travelling.

Having kids does not stop us from doing so, as when we travel as a family, we gain more and together we make sweet memories to be cherished forever.

Oh yes, the blog has now evolved to a more MOM's site, as I realise there are so much more things about parenthood which I wish to share with other parents. So here you go, my humble blog - VivianFoo.com :) 

Why being just a mom is just AMAZING?

Because mom is a title just above QUEEN. :)

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