Saturday, July 29, 2017

Winter Ski in Korea

Winter is probably my favourite season; partly attributed by the fact that I'm born in the last month of the year. There is just something magical about winter; the streets are decorated with beautiful illuminations and romance is in the air.  Living in Singapore meant that we don't get to enjoy the 4 seasons but that doesn't stop me from traveling to other countries to experience the winter season, even though packing for winter travelling is a chore. There are tons of fun activities to do in winter, such as skiing, building snowman (my fave, by the way) and ice-fishing. Most of us living in the tropical countries will have little experience in winter sports, but fret not - take the opportunity to learn something new. After all, it is all part of the unique traveling experience! 
Ski slopes are often cold and snowy. The temperature is about -6°C degrees celsius on average but can drop below -10°C. Hence, we must be prepared at all times to enjoy skiing/snowboarding to the fullest. Before we start, here's a checklist of the items on what to prepare for skiing:
  • Ski goggles: protect your eyes from direct sunlight and light reflected from snow-covered fields. Extremely useful for shutting out wind and cold air.
  • Beanie, gloves and scarfs: prevent skin from being exposed to too much sunlight. Also to keep warm.
  • Lip balm, sunscreen: moisturise your lips since winter weather is mostly cold and dry. 
  • Heat pack: extremely handy in keeping your hands warm.
  • Ski jacket and pants: prevent wind from entering the body since they are mostly made from wind-resistant and waterproof materials. 
  • Skis and snowboarding: plenty of rental shops available within or outside the resorts.
Our 2-day ski trip at Yongpyong Resort. 
Besides skiing, we also visited the famous Dragon Peak at Yongpyong Resort. This is the filming site of K-dramas such as Goblin, That Winter, the Wind Blows and Winter Sonata. Well, no Gong Yoo by my side so have to make do with Leecher, lol! Stay tuned for more as I will be sharing more of our adventures in Yongpyong resort :) 

Visitors can also discover a whole new experience in skiing through the Ski Korea Festival, which combines 4-day ski festival and a 2-day snowtube race festival. You can refer to here for more details on the various festivals - something to check out on your next winter trip to Korea! Speaking of winter sports, there will be 15 winter sports disciplines included in this Winter Olympics. These are divided into snow, ice and sliding sports.
Snow Sports
*pic credits to PyeongChang2018 official website
  • Alpine skiing: a sport where a skier speeds down snow-covered slopes on skis with fixed heel bindings.
  • Biathlon: combined sport of cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. The athletes ski around a certain distance with a rifle carried on their back and have to shoot at targets in a designated shooting area.
  • Cross-Country Skiing: a sport in which athletes ski along a designated course on snow-covered hills and fields. It emerged from a need to travel over snow-covered terrain and was developed as a sport at the end of 19th century. 
  • Freestyle Skiing: combines speed, snowman-ship and the ability to perform aerials, moguls, cross, half-pipe and slope-style tricks while skiing.
  • Nordic Combined: brings cross-country skiing and ski jumping together. It requires techniques and great physical strength. 
  • Ski Jumping: athletes descend a specially constructed ramp and takeoff with as much power as they can generate, to fly as far as possible down a steeply sloped hill.
  • Snowboard: a sport that uses a board attached to athlete's feet to speed down a specially designed slope.
Cross country skiing and ski jumping are probably the oldest ski sports in the games, having debuted in the first Winter Games in 1924. For ski jumping, my heart tends to skip a beat when the skiers glide down the ramp to jump and fly as far as they can go from the launching zone to the landing section. They must have enjoy the excitement and imagine the adrenaline rushing through the body as they fly through the air. 
Sliding Sports
*pic credits to PyeongChang2018 official website
  • Bobsleigh: teams of two or four athletes make timed runs down narrow, twisting, banked, iced tracks in a gravity-powered sled. The timed runs are combined to calculate the final score. 
  • Luge: athlete slide down a frozen track lying on a sled in the supine position. 
  • Skeleton: athlete slide down a frozen track on a sled in the prone position. The sled is controlled by the shoulders and knees.
In this category, athletes start with a 'push' phrase where the athlete sprints, pushing the sled to generate as much speed and acceleration as possible over the short distance to propel their body down the ice track. Speeds of 140km/h is common and at these speeds, it is inevitable that forces of gravity will hit 5G's and possibly, 6G's. Not everyone can withstand these type of forces. 
Ice Sports
*pic credits to PyeongChang2018 official website
  • Curling: two teams, each with 4 curlers, take turn sliding heavy, polished granite stones across the ice "curling sheet" towards the "house", or the target area.
  • Figure Skating: where skaters perform jumps, spins and artistic performances skating on ice to music.
  • Ice Hockey: contact team sport played in a rink, in which two teams of six skaters use their sticks to shoot a rubber puck into the opponent's net to score goals.
  • Short Track Speed Skating: where skaters skate on an oval ice track with a circumference of 111.12m.
  • Speed Skating: where two competitors race each other as fast as they can on a 400m ice rink. 
Now that we have learnt more about the various winter sports, it's time to mark the calendar for the event dates of these sports so we can cheer for the athletes as they compete against one another for the highly coveted Olympics medals! 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Fun facts about Pyeongchang + Winter Olympics Event at Korea Plaza

Pyeongchang has been in the limelight ever since they won the rights to host the Winter Olympics games. As we talked about Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, we should also mention about Pyeongchang, the county at which the games will be held. Here are some fun facts about Pyeongchang:
  • "Happy 700 Pyeongchang" is the slogan of Pyeongchang. It takes the slogan from the city's average elevation, which is approximately 700m above sea level. This altitude is considered optimal for the human health and wellness. 
  • The city is marketed with CamelCase spelling of "PyeongChang" so as to avoid confusion with Pyongyang, the capital of neighbouring North Korea.
  • A KTX line will be built between Wonju and Gangnrung via Pyeongchang, which will shorten the traveling time from Seoul significantly. 
  • While the county of Pyeongchang is the host city of the Olympics, none of the events will be held in the actual city of Pyeongchang-eup (평창읍). This city is located on the left bank of the river Pyeongchanggang.
  • Dried pollock is considered the national delicacy. The fish is left to dry for weeks under the winter sun and it get as tough as cowhide. 
Here's a shout-out for those who are interested to know more about Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. Pop by the Korea Plaza for a day of fun-filled activities as we countdown to D-200 days of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics! 
The activities look interesting; I'm particularly interested in taking part in the curling experience and also, sinking my teeth into those yummy street food! Besides engaging in the fun activities, you can also get more information in preparation of your Korea trips. The friendly staff are always available to help. Refer to the map below for more information on how to get there.

Address: 3 Church Street, #01-02 Samsung Hub, Singapore 049483
Opening Hours: 10AM till 7PM (Mon-Fri), 10AM till 1PM (Sat)
Tel: 6533 0447

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