As many of you may know, Korean winters are pretty brutal. With temperatures dropping below 0 degrees Celsius, gusts of cold wind and streets covered in ice and snow, keeping warm are quite the mission.
This is completely different from the summer norms of having a handheld fan in one hand and an iced drink in the other to cool down, and although the cold might now bother some of us, many may wonder how we can stay warm while exploring South Korea during this chilly winter season.
- Long Puffer Jacket
While this is largely a fashion trend, it is also 100% necessary when enduring Korean winter. Long puffer jackets will keep you warm and toasty from head to knee, allowing you to freely explore the streets of Korea. These jackets, while very big and bulky, are a complete essential during the winter months in Korea.
- Layer Up
Like an onion, layering up is super key to surviving Korean winter. During the winter months, it’s no secret that the temperatures are incredibly low, so layers are sure to keep you cozy. Ideally, you would have around three layers of clothing. On the outer layer, you would wear your long puffer jacket, and underneath would be a hoodie, sweater, jumper or anything you would wear if it was just a bit chilly and a t-shirt just won’t cut it. For the innermost layer, wear something like a simple t-shirt, or if it’s super cold, you can opt for something like heattech.
Layering is super important, as many stores and restaurants love to crank up their heaters to keep guests out of the cold, so when you walk indoors, you can simply peel off pieces of clothing and put them back on when reentering the cold outdoors. Wearing a t-shirt under all those layers not only prevents you from overheating when indoors, but can also cut down on the laundry. Bigger items such as hoodies and sweaters take a lot longer to dry, so if you’re moving around a lot during your stay in Korea, you can stick to just washing your t-shirts regularly since your hoodie or sweater is just an outer garment.
- Hot Packs
Sometimes, layering up like an onion and wearing a long puffer jacket just isn’t enough. Hot packs are little bundles of instant toasty warmth, and can be purchased from literally and convenience store in Korea. Your hands will probably get super cold, so clutching onto these hot packs or simply leaving them in your pockets is sure to warm you right up.
- Face Masks
Again, like the long puffer jackets, these are not a mere fashion accessory. When the wind picks up, the cold gust of wind can often be painful for more sensitive skin like your face. These will shield your face from the cold and harsh winds, and prevent redness on your face from the cold.
- Lots of Lotion and Chapstick
Winters in Korea are incredibly drying, so it is super important to be constantly applying and reapplying lotion and chapstick. Having moisturized skin makes the cold a lot more tolerable, and we surely don’t want all that Korean skincare to go to waste!
Korean winter, while incredibly cold, is an amazing experience! Just imagine walking down the busy streets of Myeongdong with snow falling and your favorite K-pop group’s song faintly playing in the background while you hold toasty street food in your hands...
What are your tips for surviving winter in Korea? Let us know in the comments!
Cover Image: Lisa of BLACKPINK (YG Entertainment)
Written by Stephanie Leung