Day 1 - After a 3-hour midnight flight we reached 0-degree Celsius Incheon airport. First stop was the war museum for nothing more than a toilet break and some photos. Didn't even make it into the museum itself but I've been there so nothing lost. Anyway I needed a sleep before anything... Next stop was outlet shopping. Cheap Converse and clothings but size availability really depending on your luck. Golf clubs wasn't that cheap to me though.
A pork rib hotpot lunch later we were off to get our ski wear rental. After that we were off to the resort. First on the itinery at the resort was a trip to the indoor heated pool. Had a great time on the slides with neon lights lining the first half of the trip, total blackness on the latter half before sending you out into the outdoor pool. A quick scramble back into the indoor~
Dinner on the 1st night was Korean BBQ. Best meal of the whole trip. Followed by best sleep of the whole trip...
Day 2 - Ski day. Got the gears immediately after breakfast, followed by a 1-hour lesson (comes with a certificate but I assure you it is not enough to prevent bruises...).
We went up the lift. Nearly missed our landing. After we reached the top in 1 piece, downhill tumbling we went... I was going down so fast that with whatever control I mastered in 1 hour that I zoomed between an really pissed off Korean ski instructor and his charges. I was the first to reach the bottom in 1 piece. Twice I climbed up to rescue the rest of the tumbling platoon. Skiing is fun. Skiing is more fun when you are well trained. Tumbling on the slope is no fun. Period. D was upset that we didn't have more time on the slopes. The rest of us were glad that it was over for the day. Maybe a second day of skiing would have been better.
After cup noodle lunch in our room we took the cable car to the top of the skiing mountain. Real snow on the ground. Freezing cold winds. And snowboarders going down slopes so steep it really brought back some bad memories of the earlier tumbling session.
Returned our ski gear to the rental and off we went for dinner. Mushroom hotpot. More kimchi. More strawberries from the FamilyMart. Love the strawberries there.
Day 3 - A lovely surprise greeted us on the morning of the 3rd day. Snowfall arrived and everyone had a great time watching the snow raining on our heads. My first time with falling snow. Trees covered with snow really gave the resort another feel. Unfortunately we were on a tour and had to leave the resort as per itinery. Next stop, Everland~
First on the itinery was a trip on the safari ride in the park. Performing bears, lions and other animals running alongside the bus. There was even a pair of ligers, offsprings of tiger and lion. Really fascinating animals. Then it was lunch and one of the restaurants there served really good pork knuckles and roasted chicken.
Everland had this wonderfully enormous roller coaster ride. Really the main attraction of the whole place if you ask me. 140km/h, near vertical slopes and seat belt which only secures your thighs and not your shoulders... recipe for thrill~ Bad point about following a tour: Not enough time to cover all the rides... or even a second on the big roller coaster.
After Everland we were brought to this ice gallery where everything in the big freezer was carved from ice. And we had a chance to chisel out our very own beer mug, failing which you can still try to make a wine glass from the remaining ice. Then ginseng chicken dinner. Never really liked it since my first try, still don't really like it. But happy to see chicken meat.
Checked in at the Intercontinental, went to the tiny casino for a look and then embarked on a shopping trip in the underground mall at COEX. Supermarkets closing at 9pm = BAD. Dunkin Donuts = GOOD. End of day 3... dead beat...
Day 4 - Last full day in Korea. It was a day of shopping and street foods. First stop was the presidential grounds for some photo-taking. It was still too early for shopping. But after that it was shopping all the way~~~
With the Won at a low, shopping was irresistible. I just loved visiting all the street side food stalls. And there was this stick of strawberries being coated with a layer of candy. Really crowded shopping streets not unlike Harajuku.
Dinner on the last night was most disappointing but we ordered a gigantic crab. The crab was cheaper and tastier than those in Japan. Definitely worth the money.
All in all a wonderful holiday. A few pros and cons with joining a tour but with a group of young and old it's always better to have a tour. And coming to a country where we don't speak the language at all... its really a load off our shoulders. Maybe for the next skiing holiday to Japan we will go on an F&E...