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2018.12.26 Travel Calendar

Dec 26,2018
Everland in Gyeonggi holds “Adieu 2018, Welcome 2019” Festival on the night of Dec. 31 so that people can gather to do a countdown at midnight to welcome the new year. Fireworks will be on as well as a special gala show at the festival that sets to last 35 minutes from 11:35 p.m. For more information, goto www.everland.com. [EVERLAND]

Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival
Hwacheon County, Gangwon

Jan. 5-27: Bundle up and head to Gangwon province to enjoy the snow and ice this winter. The Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival, which first started in 2003, is back again to welcome those who want to make the most of the season.

Visitors can try their hand at ice fishing at one of the 12,000 holes made in the frozen Hwacheon Stream, which will be two meters thick. Festival organizers add about one to two tons of fish to the stream every day, so almost everybody can experience what it feels like to catch fish. Whatever you catch can be cooked on the spot, and other foods are also available to purchase.

Those who aren’t interested in fishing can go sledding on the ice and snow.

Family and friends can take photos together at a special section where many different ice sculptures are on display.

For more information, go to www.narafestival.com or call 1688-3005.

Seongsan Sunrise Festival

Villages and coastal area surrounding Seongsan Ilchulbong (Sunrise Peak), Jeju Island

Dec. 30 through Jan. 1: Festivals to greet the first sunrise of the new year will be held across the nation. The annual Seongsan Sunrise Festival on the southern resort island of Jeju features the breathtaking view from Seongsan Ilchulbong, one of Jeju’s must-see attractions.

The focus of the festival is the rising of the sun on Jan. 1.

The festival includes performances and an event where participants record their New Year wishes. For more information, visit www.sunrisefestival.kr or call 064-760-3941.

Gyeongbok Palace and Jongmyo
Central Seoul

Jan. 1: Gyeongbok Palace and Jongmyo, which are closed on every Tuesday, will stay open on the first day of the New Year. Other palaces, such as Changdeok Palace, Changgyeong Palace and Deoksu Palace, which are normally closed on Monday, will be open as usual, according to the Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea. The organization said it wants more people to visit the palaces and have time to plan their new year with family and friends. The move is part of heritage administration’s effort to be a focus for locals and visitors to Korea.

Dubai Shopping Festival
Dubai, the United Arab Emirates

Through Feb. 2: Visit Dubai hosts its 24th mega sale festival. It will run over a two-month period.

About 700 brands participating in the shopping event in order to offer visitors a chance to bring something back to their home countries.

Special discount events will be held, such as the “12 Hour Sale” and the “Weekend Surprise.” Some of the major shopping malls in Dubai will offer a chance to buy selected items at a 90 percent discount for only for 12 hours.

Mall of Emirates, City Centre Deira, City Centre Mirdif, City Centre Me’aisem, City Centre Barsha and City Centre Al Shindagha are some of the outlets offering the sales, which run from noon to midnight.

Some brands offer further discounts from Thursdays to Saturdays. There will be opportunities for visitors to take a styling class and receive a gift bag, from Jan. 9.

While some choice items may already have been taken, the festival offers the greatest discounts right before it ends, from Jan. 31.

For some visitors in search of unique items while doing their discount shopping, the festival also hosts “Market outside the Box,” a pop up market at Burj Park right in front of Burj Khalfa, the world’s tallest building, from Jan. 24 to Feb. 2. Many local and international designers open pop up stores there. Live bands and DJ performances, and some other activities for children, will also be available alongside food offerings.

For more information, go to https://www.visitdubai.com/en/dsf.

Lotte Water Park
Gimhae, South Gyeongsang

Through Feb. 24: Lotte Water Park is not just the place for the summertime fun. The waterpark has been transformed into a place for winter fun. The park’s outside wave pool, the largest of its kind in Korea, is now a 100-meter long, 24-meter wide sledding slope.

Two sledding zones are featured: one for speed and thrills, and the other almost flat for young children who can sled and also make a snowmen.

Besides sledding, there are sections where one can try ice fishing, and a section where young children can drive a “racing cars.” To stay warm after time spent in the snow, there are saunas and steam rooms on site.

Outdoor sledding is available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., but the operating hours may be changed due to the weather conditions. Make sure to check the hours on the day of the visit before heading out to the water park by calling 1661-2000.

Hong Kong Pulse Light Festival
Hong Kong

Through Feb. 24: Make magical holiday memories in Hong Kong this winter with a new spectacle of light, music and entertainment. This year, the iconic Victoria Harbour skyline will be even more atmospheric with the enchanting winter edition of “A Symphony of Lights” multimedia light and sound show and light-art pieces from local and overseas artists. You can also experience the holiday spirit at the Statue Square Christmas Tree and under harbor-side Christmas decorations. Across the city, enjoy holiday cheer at key attractions, seasonal events and themed tours. And conclude your winter holiday magic with a spectacular fireworks show at the Hong Kong New Year Countdown Celebrations.

The festival, formerly known as the Hong Kong WinterFest, has been rebranded this year with more events added. For more information, go to www.discoverhongkong.com.

Starlight Festival
Petite France, Gapyeong County, Gyeonggi

Through Feb. 28: The fifth Starlight Festival, which takes its theme from the French children’s book “The Little Prince,” opens its doors to guests looking to enjoy a foreign-looking land not far from home.

The theme park, which was built to resemble Montpellier, a city in southern France, is covered with lights shaped like stars. The village at night truly sparkles. There is a tunnel of lights made to look like the planet the Little Prince lives on in the novel - a perfect spot to take photos.

To keep visitors of all ages entertained, the themed park offers virtual reality (VR) programs to transport people to France, as well as puppet shows for young children.

For more information, go to www.pfcamp.com or call (031) 584-8200.

By Lee Sun-min, Hong Kong Tourism Board