Friday, January 14, 2011

Wintery Korea trip- Day 3

We work up bright and early the next day, we had a date at the top of the world. ^^

But first, this greeted me outside my window. Now wouldn't it be great if I can have this view everyday? The big structure, called Lumi Arte is lighted up in brightly at night. If I go back again in the other seasons, I can look forward to a spectacular musical fountain display complete with fireworks. Or maybe I could time my visit during New Year's eve for the fireworks? ^^

High1 Resort has 18 different slopes for different levels and according to their website, it's designed so that even those physically challenged will be able to ski. Now, that's what I call great designing. The highest peak is at 1,367m located at Baekwoon Mountain. How to get there? Via gondola of course.

Now the only other ski resort that I've been to is Young Pyong Resort, but it seems to take longer to get to the top at High1 Resort as there was even a stop halfway.

One of the many helpful staff ensuring people get off and on the gondolas safely. Cute isn't he?

We were busy snapping photos inside the gondola; all totally impressed with the skiers down below. I've been told that snowboarding is much harder. But don't they look cool?

It had been snowing the night before....

I can't quite describe the feeling when I stepped out into the open...everything seems so new, clean, alive and happy. Hmmm...think of a freshly washed clean bedsheet being hung out to dry in the bright sun. ^^

There was a red, heart-shaped chair near the edge, with the panoramic mountain view as the backdrop. And even little love messages at the side.
More opportunities to declare your undying love? I'm really rather amazed at this constant display of affection in public areas..

Top of the Top, a revolving restaurant at the top, gives a much needed break as we sat down for a cup of hot coffee. Unlike the one at Young Pyong, this one has no fireplace (and of course no photos of Bae Yong Joon and Choi Ji Woo). But it has a wonderful view of all the 3 moutains within High1 Resort. The design of the restaurant is clean and simple.

There are lots more to explore at High1 Resort but of course, there's no more time as we have to move on to the next destination. As a matter of interest, those of you looking for some thrills may want to check out the Alpine Coaster. Apparently, it's like a roller coaster ride. Imagine doing that high up in the mountains with the gondola just above or beside you.

Quirky note: My friend went Young Pyong for skiing in the middle of Decemeber. But she said she was there too early and they were still using artificial snow. Really? None of the snow at High1 Resort looked artificial to me. Hmmm... does that mean Young Pyong had less snowfall?

And then it was off for lunch. We seemed to be constantly eating, isn't it? hehe! Well, the cold weather is a good excuse.

So what did we have? Bulgogi + Banchan + beer!!!! A very good cobination and highly recommended.

The restaurant, 황소 해장국/Huang So Hae Chang Guk, prides itself on using only local (ie, Korean) beef. I am no beef connoisseur but it really did taste sweet... want some?

Or how about some raw beef?

On a side note...I'm really not too clear about this obsession with rae beef. Is it really better? Hmmm... I take small doses but I'm not sure about having it regularly.
*Quirky note: Apparently, you can charge more if you are selling local beef.
황소 해장국/Huang So Hae Chang Guk: 033-345-0402

And then a liitle snooze time before our next destination- more food!

Actually, we were going to Choongga for some real insight into kimchi, Korea's no 1 food. No Korean kitchen would be witout this.

The company, Chongga (which means the 1st born son of the 1st born son...and is supposed to evoke a trustworthy feel), is one of the top Korean company in the process food but what really made it's name is the ready made kimchi that it sells in billions every year worldwide. No kidding.

A quick change and then it's time for some super quick kimchi making lessons-

Together with Jennifer from K-Popped and Julie of Leisure travel magazine. Otte? We look profesionalor not? Haha!

Th seasoning waa already done for us. All we had to do was to put on our gloves and cover the cabbage completely and thoroughly with the seasoning and voila! Now keep it in cold temperature for about a week and you will have some very delicious kimchi of your own.

I had it easy as the staff was standing next to me. So she was using mine as an example. kekeke! Ok..need live demo?

*Quirky note:If you do intend to buy some delicious kimch back to your home country, be warned that you are not allow to hand carry them. So either pack them into your lugguage or buy them inside the airport transit area.

Some interesting facts - to enter the restricted area (ie, the area where kimchi is made and pack), you have to be cleaned completely. This includes not only covering your hair, and washing your hand but also making sure your clothes is clean (they go through it with a lint roller- 3 strikes and you're out). The ingrediants are subjected to just as much rigorous cleaning and inspection before they end up at your table. And if you ever wonder why that pack of fermented cabbage is not terribly cheap, it's because the seasoning of the cabbage, the packing etc are still done manually as no machine can do this part of the job well.
*Quirky note: In winter, Korean familes tend to come together to make kimchi. Of course in modern days, with so many women working, there is less time to make everything from scratch. So Chonnga will make and sell the ready made suace and the familes can just season the cabbage at home. Cleaver no?
Btw, if you are keen to take up some kimchi making lessons, KTO Singapore organises classes regularly. Give them a call if you are interested. Be fast though, I heard these classes are always filled up in a snap.

None kimchi related... I was fascinated by this bus-stop that was near Chonga.

Our last stop for the day- Everland.
I went to Everland in 2003, my very first trip to Korea. It was autumn then and full of blooming, colourful flowers.

Winter Everland has a different feel, different look. It is full of twinkling lights.

It wasn't as crowded as I remember it. But then it was cold. I'm not sure I would have visited the park if I had come on my own. Mainly because alot of the rides would not be possible. But winter does provide a different sort of taking pretty photos with pretty backdrops. I'm sure everyone from the young to the old would go 'awwww......' upon seeing the bright, bright tree.

Or perhaps some shopping...

Now this will surely tempt you to step inside the store...

I can't remember if a safari existed back then but this time round, I took the chance to check it out.
On my way down to the safari.

There are not many animals inside the safari (it was a fairly short ride too). Basically, lions, bears and their highlight for this season- white tigers. BUT they were really, really, really quite close, with no barriers. The white tigers only looked on lazily with disinterest at the bus as it rumbled on. No dount thinking what a bunch of crasy humans going all excited at seeing them relaxing. The bears provided the most entertainment...begging for more food from the driver and ambling after the bus. Too bad, it was rather dark inside and none of my photos/ clips turned out right.

I guess the highlight of the day would be the Moonlight Magic parade, where weather permitting, a whole parade or lights, performances would come by at about 6.15pm. We waited and was was dark...would it happen? Or would we leave without watching it?

Shelter tent with heaters! Bliss!

And then we heard some rumblings...and slowly, people started popping up and a sort of barricade was set up. Presenting Moonlight Magic Parade! Does it make you feel like a child again?

On our way out, we could see the central stage set up and a an exciting performance going on. I would have loved to stay on. Sigh..

Goodbye Everland till next time hopefully with my little girl. I'm sure she will love you as much as I do.

This post has been published simultaneously on Seoul Rhythms

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