6f4eb41f4a4bcd6a0592079702928764

Seollal weekend in and around Seoul

Seollal (Lunar New Year) is right around the corner! Are you staying in Seoul for the long weekend and wondering how to keep the whole family entertained? Here are a few good tips for you…

IMG_9626

Experience Seollal traditions

To experience Seollal traditions and enjoy the Lunar New Year atmosphere, a visit to Korean Folk Village in Yongin is highly recommended. The great news is that they are just running New Year’s Fortune Party (from January 30 through February 10th, 2016). The program is packed with plenty of interesting traditional events, performances and experiences like burning daljip (traditional moon house), fortune telling, sharing rice cakes, making fortune bags and many others. You can check details here.

Namsangol Hanok VillageNamsangol Hanok Village

Every year the Namsangol Hanok Village in Seoul also holds a great variety of events, such as traditional performances, folk games and seasonal festivities. For the detailed program of the Lunar New Year festival (February 8-9, 2016) go here.

In the Kingdom of Lights

During the long winter season many parks and gardens are organising impressive lighting festivals. You can check Garden of Morning Calm and its 9th Garden Lighting Festival running until March 13th, 2016 or Byeokchoji BCJ Botanical garden Lighting Festival until March 6, 2016. Another place holding a light festival is Aiins World Park. They have prepared a special program including a magic show during the whole Seollal weekend.

 

icerink

Ice Fishing

If you missed the Hwacheon Mountain Trout Festival this year (it just finished last weekend on January 31st), you can still try your fishing skills and enjoy many others winter fun activities at Cheongpyeong snow flake festival. It runs until February 10th, 2016 and you can find more information here.

Another one is Mulmalgeun Yangpyeong Icefish Festival running until February 21st, 2016 if weather conditions allow.

Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival
Ice gallery

Skiing

Even if you didn’t book your overnight stay in advance, Seollal is the best moment to go just for a day trip to one of the many ski resorts around Seoul. Spend a wonderful sunny day on ski, snowboard or just sledding and playing in the snow.

Vivaldi Park

Other winter fun

As you know we love Anseong Farm every season of the year. We just learned that they are running a Winter festival until February 14, 2016. Beside the regular farming activities you can also enjoy snow and ice-sledding!

Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival
Traditional sledding

And if it is not too cold you can always go to the nature for a walk. Isn’t it the best feeling to spend a few hours in the freezing weather enjoying the frosted nature getting slowly ready for spring? The places we particularly enjoy in winter are Namhansanseong or Dasan Earth Park.

Byeokchoji BCJ Botanical Garden
Byeokchoji BCJ Botanical Garden

 

Happy Seollal and enjoy this special celebration time with your family and friends! 

새해 복 많이 받으세요!

Seoul Outdoor Swimming Pools 2015: Summer Splash & Fun!

Much later than previous years and long overdue due to the MERS outbreak earlier this summer, the Hangang pools are finally open!

Seoul Outdoor Swimming Pools are open from July 17 to August 23, 2015. Seven pools welcome you for a refreshing Summer splash & fun – including six locations along the Han River Park and one in the Nanji River Park.

Along the Han River, seven great reasons to enjoy Seoul Hot Summer! From West to East: Nanji Riverside Swimming Area (out of the map below, West side at the level of World Cup Park) and six others nested within sections of the Hangang parks in Mangwon, Yeouido, Jamwon, Ttukseom, Jamsil and Gwangnaru.

Seoul outdoor pools map

Some pools offer specific attractions catering to various tastes. At the Ttukseom pool you can float on tubes along a 450-meter-long water stream and have fun with the “Aqua Ring”, a facility that pours a lot of water at once from a four-meter height.

In Yeouido, there is an Aqua Ring along with a tunnel in which water forms a swirling vortex. Children’s swimming pool in Jamsil has fountains spouting water in the form of a tunnel at the end of each side.

Seoul Outdoor Swimming Pools Opening

Nanji Riverside Swimming Area – just at the level of the World Cup Park – can be visited by people in ordinary clothing: the wearing of bathing suits is not mandatory here. The park is also very popular among children due to its 113 floor fountains, which spew water as high as 10 meters into the air, and a musical fountain equipped with LED lighting. A water slide called “Air-Bounce” is installed both in the swimming pool and the water pool.

All seven pools are perfectly maintained, with daily quality tests on water, convenient and clean facilities including shower, restrooms, air bounce castles and light snack stands. Each one provide 3 different pools to cater for different aspirational needs: one is reserved for adults, one for teenagers or older children, and the last one is specifically for small kids with low depth of water.

Overall the pools are very nice, with great views over the Han River and picturesque background scenery from the Bukhansan and Namsan mountains behind Seoul’s riverside front.

Hangang Swimming Pool Hannam

Hangang Swimming Pool Hannam Seoul

Seoul Swimming Pool outdoor bouncing castle

Opening Hours

The six riverside swimming pools and Nanji Riverside Swimming Area will be open from 09:00 to 20:00 daily until Sunday, August 23, 2015, including weekends and national holidays.

Admission

Adults 5,000 won

Younth (13~18 years) 4,000 won

Children (6~12 years) 3,000 won

Directions: Seoul Map for Kids & Families

Lotus Lantern Parade and Yeon Deung Hoe Festival 2015

More than one hundred thousand lotus lanterns lighting up Seoul night – don’t miss the magic Lotus Lantern Parade Saturday May 16th from 6PM

Lotus Lantern Parade Seoul

The 2015 edition of Yeon Deung Hoe 연등회 (Lotus Lantern Festival) will be held from May 15th to 17th with exhibition of traditional lanterns in various places such as Jogye-sa Temple or Bongeun-sa Temple.

The Lotus Lantern Parade stands out as the most colourful and memorable part of the festivity. This magical event draws participating crowds carrying tens of thousands of specially made, brightly lit lanterns in the shape of dragons, pagodas, white elephants, and lotus flowers down the street to the tune of Korean classical music. The procession is a must-see tradition both for kids and adults. The sidewalks along the parade route are always jam-packed with people, but if you come one hour before the start, you shall be able to find free seats along the main street.

Here is the detailed schedule:

  • Exhibition of Traditional Lanterns: May 15 ~ 26 Jogye-sa or Bongeun-sa Temple
  • Eoulim madang (Buddhist Cheer Rally): May 16 (Sat) 3:30 pm Dongguk University Stadium
  • Lotus Lantern Parade: May 16 (Sat) 6:00 pm Jongno Street (Dongdaemun ~ Gwanghwamun Plaza)
  • Hoehyang Hanmadang (Post-Parade Celebration): May 16 (Sat) 9:30 ~11:00 pm Gwanghwamun Plaza
  • Traditional Cultural Events: May 17 (Sun) Noon ~ 7:00 pm Street in front of Jogye-sa Temple
  • Cultural Performances: May 17 (Sun) Noon ~ 7:00pm Performance Stage on the street in front of Jogye-sa Temple
  • Yeondeungnori (Final Celebration): May 17 (Sun) 7:00 ~ 9:00 pm Insa-dong ~ Street in front of Jogye-sa Temple
  • Buddha’s Birthday Dharma Ceremony & Lantern Lighting: May 25 (Tue) Dharma Ceremony 10 am Jogye-sa Temple and all temples nationwide

For a wider selection of beautiful Parade pictures, see Flickr archives here.

Map Lotus Lantern Festival

Detailed information, itinerary and schedule available on Lotus Lantern festival official website.