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Winter dilemma: Enjoy the cold or stay warm?

Jan. 15, 2024 - 15:46 By Lee Si-jin
Vivaldi Park Resort (Vivaldi Park Resort)

Plunging temperatures draw mixed reactions. They may be great news for winter sports fans, but others wish to escape the cold, waiting for signs of spring.

Following are some of the country’s popular weekend getaways that outdoor, adrenaline addicts and those sensitive to cold can enjoy, respectively.

Vivaldi Park Resort

Visitors enjoy ski slopes in Vivaldi Park Resort in Hongcheon, Gangwon Province. (Vivaldi Park Resort)

Though the unexpected warm weather this year has disappointed some skiers, preventing them from enjoying the slopes to the fullest in December, Vivaldi Park Resort -- among many other popular ski resorts in Gangwon Province -- is set to welcome ski and snowboard enthusiasts with fully opened slopes.

Some 60 kilometers east of Seoul in Hongcheon, Gangwon Province, Vivaldi Park is one of the most visited ski resorts in Korea.

All 11 slopes are open, with difficulty levels ranging from beginner to professional.

Winter sports fans can enjoy skiing and snowboarding until late at night as the resort opens seven slopes -- one for beginners, three for intermediate and three for advanced -- from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. for the upcoming weekend.

Safe climb at Buramsan and Suraksan Mountains

Wooden stairs at Buramsam Mountain's climbing trail (Nowon-gu District)

The cold has not been a serious problem for passionate hikers, as many mountains in Seoul have been packed with people since the first day of this year.

Hoping to ensure the safety of mountain climbers, Nowon-gu -- the home of two of Seoul’s most popular mountains, Buramsan and Suraksan -- announced that it made repairs to some parts of the mountain trails on Monday.

Workers install the street heating lines to prevent steep roads from freezing. (Nowon-gu District)

Nowon-gu said it had repaired the wooden stairs at the mountain trail, installed street heating lines, and completed road maintenance to prevent frost.

The byways have been closed and abandoned parts of dead trees are removed as well.

Jecheon’s Tropical Smart Greenhouse

Tropical Smart Greenhouse in Jecheon, North Chungcheong Province (Jecheon City)

Jecheon, a city some 140 kilometers southeast of Seoul, beckons tourists with the Tropical Smart Greenhouse that opened on Dec. 22, 2023.

Outside the garden, the visitors and trees shiver in response to cold temperatures. But the greenhouse allows impatient flower lovers to enjoy the warmth of spring even in the nationwide heavy snow this week.

Tropical Smart Greenhouse maintains its temperature to 25 degrees Celsius, making the travelers to stroll around the greenhouse without any padded jackets or coats.

Ranging from the flower garden to the palm tree zone, a total of 1,200 tropical trees and flowers are presented to the public, managed by an automatic control system, aquaponics cultivation facility and smart farm system.

Rare plants aside, the greenhouse offers various programs, including parrot feeding, a farmer’s market, crop growing and more.

Jecheon’s Tropical Smart Greenhouse opens from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

The greenhouse is closed for pest control on Mondays.