A White Christmas in Seoul, Korea



My family's Christmas Eve tradition every year is to go to my grandmother's house (On my mother's side) and count down to midnight there. The adults pretend to be Santa and hide the presents around the garden then when the clock strikes 12, all the kids run outside and start looking for Santa's presents. My mom comes from a big family but they were always in perfect attendance for Christmas Eve- her parents, 5 siblings and 22 of my cousins. It was always something I've looked forward to as long as I can remember. However, since both my grandparents have passed away, everyone has started their own new Christmas Eve Tradition. My mom's siblings usually spend it with their in-laws so my family decided for 2017, we were going to spend Christmas Eve in a different country. I've always dreamt of a White Christmas and my brother is obsessed with K-Drama. We convinced our parents that we wanted our first Christmas outside of the Philippines to be in Korea.

The weeks leading up to Christmas were chaotic. My parents both have full time jobs. My mom was busy working, fixing the household and preparing gifts. She didn't have time to make an itinerary as she would normally do for our family trips. She decided to book a tour with Rakso Travel. (This isn't a sponsored post BTW!) 

Full disclosure: I'm not a fan of tours. I don't like having to follow a strict timeline. I like enjoying my time in a place. I made an exception only this time since it's Christmas time and Christmas is about giving... in. 
Petit France


Day One: Petit France, Nami Island and Sheep Feeding

On our first day, it SNOWED! Our flight into Korea was supposed to be at 4 pm but we couldn't leave Manila because there was zero visibility in Korea meaning our plane wouldn't be able to land. We were waiting in the airport from 11 am to 7 pm. We only got to depart at 8 pm and arrived in Korea past midnight. By the time we checked-in, it was close at 2 am already. We had no time to sleep. We could only nap because our call time for the tour was at 6:30 am. We were all exhausted but we had to power through because we had so many activities lined up for that day.

Nami Island
Our first meal: KBBQ of course!

Sheep Feeding

It originally wasn't part of our plan but they taught us how to make ice cream as a gift since we had such a long day



Day Two: Skiing at Jisan Forest Resort

It was my family's very first time to ski. I was excited at first. We stopped by a store to pick out our skiing outfits. I chose a plaid brown jacket with pink pants. Then we headed to the resort. We had no idea that it was such a long process. As soon as we arrived at the resort, we had to line up pick up our skis, boots, and poles. Nope, it wasn't one line for all three. We had to line up thrice--- one for each equipment! Then finally, around two hours later, it was time to ski. Our tour guide ran through the basic positions. How to go faster, how to stop, and how to fall without hurting yourself, etc. It looked simple but truth be told, it was so stressful. When you fall, it takes a while to get back up since you're wearing ski boots which are extremely heavy. I gave up after an hour of trying. I decided to stick to what I was good at--- just take photos!




Day Three: Everland Theme Park

I loved everything about Everland--- there was so many things to do. You can visit the zoo, go on the rides, and eat in all the restaurants. Unfortunately, it was a whopping -22 degrees that day. We were all freezing which made it difficult to move around. We kept stopping by the heaters to warm up but I'm definitely going back here on a warm day in the future.




It's a panda!






Day Four: Ginseng Factory Tour and Cafe Hopping

Korea is known for producing Ginseng, a highly sought after root crop with many health benefits. It's proven to increase strength, reduce inflammation, boost immune system, lower blood sugar and even reduce cancer. I had no idea that a root crop could be that expensive. The price ranges from $500 to $600 per pound. Afterwards, we were supposed to watch a play with the tour group but we decided to skip and just tour around the city to cafe hop on our last night.

Ginseng Factory


My brother can definitely pass off as a Korean





Made a stop at Dongdaedum Night Market before heading back to the hotel
Day Five: Wear a Hanbok at the Gyeongbokgung Palace and Namsan Seoul Tower

In Korea, women and men dress up in a traditional handbook. It's usually worn for festivals, important occasions like weddings, and the royal family would wear it for ceremonies. I was wrapped up in six layers of clothing. I didn't feel like changing out of my clothes anymore but my family was game to do it.



My parents look so cute



View from 236 M high
The prettiest bathroom that I've ever seen in my life



Five days weren't enough. There's still so much of Seoul to see. I can't wait to go back. 

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