Winter months in Korea can be harsh and brutal. The winds are so strong it’ll feel like your face is being sliced with a knife, walking in the cold as you shiver uncontrollably and an endless consumption of hot drinks.
Fear not, though, as this list of essentials will help make the cold a little more bearable and stop you from spending your entire winter huddled up at home!
1. Stay warm and cozy with an electric blanket
Korean homes have a wonderful underfloor heating system called “ondol” where warm water flows through pipes below your feet, warming up the floor. There’s nothing better than lying down on the toasty floor after being out in the freezing cold.
The downside is that it can be very expensive, so your next best option is an electric blanket (“jun-gee-dam-yo“). You can find them at major discount stores like E-Mart, Lotte Mart and Homeplus. Plug them in and wrap yourself in this magical blanket!
2. Shake up those hot packs
Hot packs (“haht-pek“) are palm-sized lifesavers that will warm up your hands when it feels like they’re about to fall off from the blistering cold. Shake them up like a salt shaker to activate and put them in your pockets or shoes for warmth that will last you 8 ~ 10 hours. They sell ones at convenience and discount stores that you can tape on your clothes too!
However, buying them constantly can add up, so what’s the solution? A rechargeable hand warmer (“son-nallo“)! They come in all different shapes and sizes and you can adjust the heat settings depending on how cold it is.
3. Protect your skin with a humidifier
As much as I love heaters, they can be detrimental to my sensitive skin and dry it out to the point where it feels like it’s going to crack. My throat also feels congested and my eyes feel dry.
Humidifiers (“ga-seup-gee“) add moisture back into the air to provide a soothing environment. The newest ones are these USB humidifiers which are lightweight and easy to tote around. Just plug them into the computer to activate!
4. Stock up on fleece lined tights
Those girls you see wearing mini skirts and shorts even in the dead of winter? No, they’re not all crazy. They’re able to because of an amazing thing called fleece lined tights (“gee-mo-seu-ta-king“) that help keep the biting wind off the legs and are twice as warm as opaque tights.
5. Prevent freezing toes with furry socks!
Furry socks (“soo-myeon-yang-mal“) are also a must to stop your feet from getting cold! They come in all sorts of crazy colors and designs and you can buy in bulk along with the tights in markets or clothing stores for super cheap. It’s amazing how much of a difference a layer of fuzz makes.
*Tip: You can also head to a Korean public bathhouse (“jjim-jil-bang“) to warm yourself up. Soak in a hot tub, relax in a steamy sauna and scrub all the nasty dead skin off your body to feel refreshed. Dragon Hill Spa is one of Korea’s most famous spas with 7 floors consisting of a sauna, sports complex, arcade, restaurants and more!
For more survival tips and fun posts about things to see and do in South Korea, check out Trazy.com, Korea’s #1 Travel Shop!