A Rainy Snow Festival
The Taebaeksan Snow Festival, 태백산 눈축제, was a bit of a let down this year, but mostly because of the lack of snow.
It’s been a mild winter, which I have no problem with at all, so where there should have been snow, there was not, and the snow that was there was drooping and sliding away because of the rain. I am glad that we chose this festival over the ice fishing festivals though because I don’t think I would have trusted sitting on some ice on a lake in order to partake in the festivities in this weather. We did get to see some snow sculptures and though many of the activities were closed due to the lack of snow, I was with friends and we made the day fun.
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There were some great sculptures depicting a Korean gate, though men were on hand trying to rebuild the parts that were starting to slide away. There were sculptures of people and heads with mouths open, which oddly looked like they were being suffocated because they’d been placed under plastic tarps to save them from the rain drops. There were cartoon characters and a mammoth, a car and more. There was an igloo which we couldn’t walk inside of probably because it was beginning to melt away and a very very short “maze”.
The forests of the area looked lovely with tall pine trees everywhere and invited us to take a look around. As there wasn’t much snow and the sledding area was closed as were many of the other activities promised by the festival, visitors headed toward the places always open. There was a coal and train museum on the grounds and nice paths that weren’t covered with ice beckoning people to enjoy their surroundings.
If you’re heading to the mountains for he weekend, check out the Hanwha Resort for a great stay in the area.
And of course keeping the party alive, were some older men dressed up as women singing old Korean favorites. The booties were shaking and the arms were waving as the rain drops stopped no one from having fun. The dance party in the little town at the foot of the mountain was definitely the best part of the day and I’m okay with that though I do hope to get back to the festival in the future when it’s got a bit more snow to show off.
We used a bus provided by Gangwon Tourism. For only W10,000 we got on the bus in Gwanghwamun, it took us to the festival and brought us back. No fuss no hassle. I hope they keep this up every year.
From Dong Seoul Bus Terminal, take an intercity bus to Taebaek (태백). Between 6:00AM-11:00PM leaves every 30-40min.
From Taebaek Bus Terminal, take a bus bound for Danggol (당골). Get off at Taebaeksan Provincial Park (태백산도립공원). From 7:38AM – 10:25PM it runs 24 times a day
Admission: W2,000, there seemed to be a fee at the main gate, though it was included in our fare through the tourism group.
Amenities: bathrooms, restaurants and coffee shops