Selected by CNN as one of the 50 most beautiful places to visit in South Korea, the Taebaek Mountains are a true beauty. Taebaek is a mountain range that extends across North and South Korea. The mountains form the main ridge of the Korean peninsula. Not are they a popular tourist attraction, but they are also one of the chosen venues for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
Breathtaking Natural Surroundings
The Taebaek Mountains extends along the eastern edge of the peninsula and go through the eastern coast of the Korean Peninsula. It’s surroundings include prominent peaks such as Mount Seoraksan, Kumgangsan, Taebaeksan and Mount Odaesan (1,563 m).
The eastern mountain range falls steeply into the sea, but going west, there are more mild slopes. South Korea’s main river, the Han River and the Nakdong River, originate in the Taebaek Mountains, and many of the slopes are extensively covered in forests.
A Snow Festival
Visitors that wish to enjoy a taste of winter in Korea should go to Gangwon-do (Gangwon Province), the place of record snowfalls and the anticipated annual Taebaek Snow Festival that features the most beautiful snowy scenery with high humidity and strong winds over the Baekdudaegan Mountain Range making for months of heavy snow.
The festival includes an exhibition of snow sculptures; meanwhile the park’s lots get turned into a colorful area housing 3D figurines of iconic movie characters. Families with children can discover the interactive zones and have hours of fun at the 30-meter snow-tubing course.
A Cup of Tea Inside An Igloo
If you are interested in having a warm cup of tea in an different setting, you can’t miss Dangun Shrine, where an igloo made entirely of snow serves as a café. The unique restaurant has a menu of hot drinks and all the furniture is fashioned from ice, offering customers a unique blend of toasty and chilly.
Hungry visitors can huddle around smoky grills, with plates of grilled kimchi and samkyupsal. There are several booths that sell fresh roasted sweet potatoes and rounded rice cakes, as well as traditional food such as jwipo, or pressed fish jerky, and jjondeugi.
Having Some Fun Outdoors
More adventurous tourists can go for a Siberian husky sled ride, which is one of the most popular activities, or enjoy an evening by Hwangji Pond in the Taebaek city center, which showcases a light festival that brings together illuminations and snow sculptures.
But the main attraction is the hike up Taebaeksan Mountain. Visitors are blown away by the fairytale-like view of frosted trees lining up the hills and a powdery white background. The hike to the peak is less than an hour from the entrance of the park’s parking lot, and tourist can also catch spectacular views of the sunrise over the East Sea and the Baekdudaegan Mountain Range.
How To Get To Taebaek
Visitors can take a bus from Dong Seoul Intercity Bus Terminal to Taebaek Intercity Bus Terminal. Usually, the first bus leaves at 6 am. And the last one at 11 pm. The total travel time is 3 hours and 10 minutes.
For those interested in getting there by train, they can catch one from from Cheongnyangni Station then disembark at Taebaek Station. The schedule is from 7 am till 11 pm, and the total travel time is 3 hours and forty minutes.