Saturday, July 21, 2012

Winter Holiday in South Korea in December 2008 - Part 2

Welcome to the third section of my winter holiday in South Korea in December 2008. In this section, you will see the parts on how we spent our days in Lotte World, downtown Seoul, Everland Resort, our lunch at the special barbecue restaurant which specializes in beef intestines in the Myeongdong shopping district, and a snowy day in Yongpyong Ski Resort.


Part 1 ~ Lotte World

The next day, which was a Friday (12 December), we woke up relatively late at about 2 hours before noon. We then had a shower and changed up to start the day right. On this day, we decided to take a day's trip to Lotte World.


On Saturday, 13 December, I'm afraid that I didn't take any pictures. There wasn't anything much to do, but to simply stay in the hotel room to rest. It was just a simple rest day for us on that day.



Part 3 ~ A Day at Everland Resort

On Tuesday (16 December), we woke up at around 9.15 a.m.. We then had a hot shower and changed up as usual to start the day brightly. My parents then cooked us breakfast in the hotel room.

For the afternoon, we decided to take a day's trip to Everland Resort. Before we left for the resort, we arranged for a specialised cab to transport us to Everland. We then left the Han Suites Serviced Residences at around just before 12 noon for a journey time of 30 to 45 minutes to Everland Resort.


Everland Resort is a theme park in the city of Yongin, Gyeonggi-do Province, South Korea. It is the largest theme park in South Korea. With approximately 6.6 million visitors annually, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. Opened in 1976, Everland is the Korean version of Disneyland.


Everland is one of the places I am pretty familiar with, since December 2002. My mum says that Everland is one of her favourite theme parks in the world.


After about 45 minutes from downtown Seoul, we finally at Everland Resort at 12.45 p.m.. As this was a weekday, there weren't so many people crowding at the ticket offices near the entrance.


With that, we quickly went to the nearest ticket office to purchase 4 one-day passes for the park. After we purchased our passes, we went through the ticket barriers, and went to the information centre to get some maps.


Our very first stop in Everland was lunch at a restaurant near the entrance gates. To be exact, I can't remember what was the name of the cafeteria. All I remember was that it looked something like a school cafeteria. Nevertheless, I just had something to eat there.



My relatively weird Bulgogi meal

After a relatively strange lunch at the cafeteria by the entrance, we decided to see what more was there to see at the theme park. While exploring, we stopped by at several animal enclosures.



Several lemurs and monkeys in their enclosure

A pair of white tigers at Everland Resort

A polar bear pacing about in its enclosure

A pair of Korean tigers resting lazily at Everland Resort

The aquarium that houses the Steller's Sea Lions

Several penguins pacing about their enclosure

One of the main streets in Everland

A mountain with leafless trees near Everland

Near a snack house in Everland

After looking through some animal closures, we went to a cafeteria for tea. All I remember is that the cafe doesn't open on Mondays, but they sell pretty good roasted chicken and other snacks. It was quite a filling tea there.



A platter of French fries on my meal tray

My plate of roasted chicken on my meal tray

My sumptuous meal on my tray

A small mini-box of chicken fingers

Inside the cafeteria

During the rest of the day at Everland, we visited various places such as the Safari World. The safari coaches were available for our transportation. At the Safari World, some of the animals we saw included wild cats such as lions and tigers (One tiger thought that I would make a special meal for it!!!), and various plant-eaters such as giraffes and buffaloes. It was a good experience. Please accept my most sincere apologies as I didn't take any pictures.


Another most notable attraction we visited would be the Snow Busters. I went on this attraction for countless of times with my dad and brother. It was possible that I won them for most of the rounds. We had a JOLLY good time on this favourite attraction of mine. My dad would often brag that he is the world champion (winner) for the Everland Snow Buster. He would occasionally exasperate me with such boastful actions like this towards me. However, in reality, I can only say this: He is the WORLD'S BIGGEST SHOW-OFF!!!!!


Night was already falling by the time we were through with our Snow Buster madness. We walked over to an Everland Skyway station to get to the area near the main entrance. The skyway had hanging benches that looked like ski lifts.


By 6.25 p.m., we were at the upper level of Everland. With that, we went to an open fast-food restaurant to have some light bites. At the fast-food restaurant, I just had a simple deep-fried chicken drumstick.



My simple deep-fried chicken drumstick

A restaurant and shophouse in Everland

Rows of goody shophouses in Everland

After spending one whole day at Everland Resort, we finally decided to head back to the Han Suites Serviced Residences. We exited the park through the exit gates. Hand stamps were required for those who wish to re-enter the park for whatever reason. I vigorously feel that hand stamps are just like tattoos, which are worn by gangsters and other members of a criminal or juvenile group.


As soon as we purchased from snacks and beverages from a convenience store by the park exit gate, we hailed a taxi back to our serviced hotel. We finally left Everland Resort at around 7.45 p.m., just before the clock struck 8.


After a 45-minute journey from Everland Resort, we finally arrived back at the Han Suite Serviced Residences at 8.30 p.m.. We then had a hot, refreshing shower and changed up, before having dinner in the hotel room. We then went to bed somewhere between midnight and 2 a.m., as we had a relatively long day.


Part 4 ~ Madness Over Beef Intestines at Hwaruyohaeng For Lunch


The next day, which was a Wednesday (17 December), we woke up relatively late at around close to 11 or 12 noon. To start the day, as usual, we had a shower and changed up into our outing clothes.


At around 1 o' clock that afternoon, we hailed a taxi to the famous Myeongdong shopping district, which was just 5 to 10 minutes away. We spent about 2 hours exploring and shopping around Myeongdong.


At around 3 o' clock, we realised that we had yet to have lunch. We then went to a shopping and restaurant alley in Myeongdong to search for some nice restaurants. We then stumbled upon the famous beef intestine barbecue restaurant, Hwaruyohaeng, once again, as we did before on Sunday in the previous section.



The advertisement menu outside Hwaruyohaeng in the Myeongdong restaurant alley displaying some of the most famous meat cuts on the house

With that, we went into the restaurant and requested for a table for the four of us. While at Hwaruyohaeng, we ordered various meat cuts, most particularly, the famous grilled beef large intestines. This was indeed a feast for such a barbecue lunch. Like before, the beef intestines were quite thick, and gooey. Some of you may think it looks disgusting, but let me tell you, IT'S SO DAMN GOOD! The taste of it will always melt in your mouth. You will never regret it when you try it.


My mum would often say that whenever she eats beef intestines, she would have the desire to come to Korea.



One large plate of beef galbi on our dining table

Our first large plate of the famous beef large intestines on our dining table

Some pieces of beef galbi and large intestines being grilled on the barbecue griller

More pieces of beef galbi and large intestines being grilled on the barbecue griller

Even more pieces of beef galbi and large intestines being grilled on the barbecue griller

The smoke heater placed above the dining table

Our second large plate of the famous beef large intestines on our dining table

Lots of beef galbi and large intestines being grilled on the barbecue griller

I'm really going into a frenzy over even more pieces of beef galbi and large intestines being grilled on the barbecue griller!

Most of the pieces of beef galbi and large intestines being grilled on the barbecue griller

A small Christmas Tree outside Hwaruyohaeng in the restaurant alley of Myeongdong

After a grand barbecue lunch feast at Hwaruyohaeng in Myeongdong, we paid up our bill, and left, feeling very satisfied. We then went to Outback Steakhouse nearby for some dessert and coffee. I had a Chocolate Thunder From Down Under, which a chocolate brownie, topped with vanilla ice-cream and loads of chocolate sauce around it. Another satisfying dessert, I must say!



My dessert: Chocolate Thunder From Down Under

A platter of French fries which I shared with my brother

After spending a day of exploring restaurants around Myeongdong, we hailed a taxi back to the Han Suites Serviced Residences. For the entire evening, we just sat in the hotel room and did our personal things, before we had dinner that night.


We had a hot, refreshing shower and changed up for the night. My parents advised us not to sleep too late that night. As we had another snowy day to Yongpyong coming up the next day, we went to bed between 10 p.m. and close to midnight.


Part 5 ~ Yongpyong Ski Resort


The next morning, which was a Thursday (18 December), we woke up relatively early at around 6.15 a.m.. We had a hot, refreshing shower, and changed up as usual to start the day. During breakfast, my parents said that we would be spending a snowy day at Yongpyong Ski Resort on that day.


Once we were in the main lobby, we arranged for a cab to transport us to Yongpyong Ski Resort. We then left the Han Suites Serviced Residences for Yongpyong by 7.25 a.m., crossing the bridge over the Han River. Along the way, we stopped over at a rest area for some light bites. In all the journey took about 3 hours 45 minutes.


Yongpyong Ski Resort is a ski resort in Daegwallyeong-myeon, Pyeongchang, Gangwon-do, of South Korea. It is the largest ski resort in the Republic of Korea. The skiing season usually runs between November and April, while between April and October, it is a golf resort. Yongpyong is a famous place as the popular 2002 drama Winter Sonata was filmed here. It takes about a minimum of 2 hours by driving on the road between Seoul and Yongpyong Ski Resort.



Another road and railway bridge as seen from the Banpo Bridge

Along the Han River

Outside the rest station

Two cups of french fries

A cup of hot chocolate for myself

Inside the rest station by the expressway

After a journey time of 3 hours 45 minutes from downtown Seoul, we finally arrived at the car park of Yongpyong Ski Resort at 11.10 a.m.. We immediately paid our fare and went over to the entrance to the cable car station. On the way, there was a footbridge that crossed over a small river.



The direction of the river facing towards the Yongpyong Cable Car station

The direction of the river facing towards the Yongpyong resort hotels

As soon as we arrived at the entrance Yongpyong Ski Resort, we saw that the place was almost relatively crowded. At the skiing area, there were lots of skiers and holiday makers who had come for skiing and leisure purposes.


There were also a lot of ski lifts to transport the skiers up to the mountain peak to begin their skiing courses. Without wasting anymore time, we went to the cable car ticket office to purchase some tickets up to the mountain peak, known as Dragon Peak. By 11.35 a.m., we were on our way up to Dragon Peak in Yongpyong on the Yongpyong Gondola. The journey up to the peak took just 20 minutes.



Many skiers crowding around the main skiing area in Yongpyong

The Yongpyong Gondola mountain base station as seen from the cable car

The entire ski resort of Yongpyong as seen from the Yongpyong Gondola

One of the open skiing slopes in Yongpyong

One of the skiing slopes with the ski lifts

The entire ski resort town of Yongpyong as seen from the cable car

Passing by a snow forest in the mountain

My brother posing for a photograph with my mum

About to get closer to the peak

A few skiers skiing down the mountain

A town near Yongpyong as seen from the gondola while approaching the peak

Some people skiing down a slope near the peak of Yongpyong

The skiing mountains in Yongpyong

Nearing the Yongpyong Gondola mountain peak station

After a 20-minute ride on the Yongpyong Gondola, we finally arrived at Dragon Peak at 11.55 a.m., just before noon. Once we stepped out of the station, the area was covered in a blanket of snow. There was also a snowstorm at the peak.


While we were outside, my brother had the time of his life there, as it were like a dream-come-true. I have some pictures and videos here.


I would like to offer my apologies if the videos I uploaded are unable to be played, as I don't upload videos from before 2009 onto YouTube.



Some snowy mountains from the peak of Yongpyong

My brother and I about to play snowball fights

A snowball fight between my brother and I

My mum posing for a picture with my brother in the snow in Yongpyong

A snowy forest near the mountain peak of Yongpyong

Some snowy areas covered in clouds

My brother rolling down on some snow

My brother posing for a picture after rolling down some snow

My brother rolling down some snow

My brother making snow angels ~ Part 1

My brother making snow angels ~ Part 2

A small snowy tree at the peak in Yongpyong

A mountain beside a snowy forest in Yongpyong

After spending about half an hour outside in the snow, we decided to go inside the Dragon Peak cafeteria in Yongpyong to have lunch. My dad then met us there. In the cafe, there were several displays of the making of the popular Winter Sonata 2002 drama. There was also a fire place in the cafeteria. While at the cafeteria, I had a plate of braised beef with mixed vegetables and steamed rice. This good meal helped me to keep warm from the cold surroundings.



The fireplace at the mountain peak cafeteria in Yongpyong

Several mountains near Yongpyong as seen from the cafeteria

A snowy mountain forest near the peak of Yongpyong

My main meal: Braised beef with mixed vegetables and steamed rice

My mum posing for a picture

My younger brother about to let me pose for a photograph

After spending about 2 hours at Dragon Peak Yongpyong, we decided to head back down to the base near the main skiing area. My dad then told us that he wouldn't be following us as he would be skiing down all the way.


With that, we went back to the Dragon Peak Yongpyong Gondola station and took the gondola back down to the base of Yongpyong Ski Resort.



Passing through some snowy trees near a forest close to Dragon Peak Yongpyong

The cable car track in the direction towards Dragon Peak Yongpyong

Passing by a forest on the way down

Heading down towards the base from Dragon Peak

A mountain near Dragon Peak

By 2.30 p.m., we finally arrived back at the entrance of Yongpyong Ski Resort. Feeling pretty tired with nothing else to do, we decided to head back to the Han Suites Serviced Residences. It was indeed a good and snowy day at Yongpyong. With that, we hailed a cab back to our hotel. We then left the resort just before the clock struck 3.


On our way back, we stopped by at a roadside rest station and cafeteria for a restroom break and a snack. We then resumed our journey back to downtown Seoul after a short layover there.



My light snack at a roadside cafeteria on the way back to downtown Seoul

The sun setting over the expressway on the way back to Seoul

The lights of sunset over some mountains

Passing by a field

Passing by a city in the dark

After a journey time of approximately close to 4 hours, we finally arrived back at the Han Suites Serviced Residences at around 6.15 p.m.. We then went back up to our hotel room and had a nice, long and hot shower. My parents then cooked up dinner. We all went to bed early at around 10.25 p.m., as we had such a long day.


This now brings the third section of my winter vacation in South Korea in December 2008 to a close. Please kindly stay tuned for the upcoming sections, but please not that publishing a blog report requires time and effort.

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