It was December last year and winter time during our visit to South Korea. It was so cold. Our trip to Japan last time was in the month of March and we thought we are experts with the cold weather since the temperature reached 6 to 2 degrees. But we were so wrong. Nothing prepared us to South Korea’s winter. The temperature during daytime reach to zero degrees Celsius and drops to -10 degrees during nighttime. It was just so cold… and there was no snowfall!
Good thing we already have some winter clothes we bought for our Japan trip, so we didn’t spend much on winter clothing. We just added some winter accessories such as warmers, bonnets, gloves, and scarves.
How did we survive the cold in South Korea’s winter season? The answer: layering.
Layering your clothes will help you survive the winter season of South Korea. How to layer your clothes properly?
- Inner Layer.
Upper Body: For the inner layer, you can buy a warmer. We bought a lot of Uniqlo heatech warmers and it was not as warm as I expected. It was pricey too! Cost Php790 for women and Php990 for men. I suggest you buy your inner layer warmer at Decathlon. The warmers at Decathlon are really warm, and they only cost Php250-Php400. They have kids’ warmers too.
Lower Body: Also, warmers are not limited to the upper part of the body. There are warmers for the legs too. You can buy some at Decathlon too.
- Middle Layer.
Upper Body: You can put on your regular sweater or jacket.
Lower Body: You can use your regular jeans. Just make sure it is not too skinny so the legwarmer can fit.
- Outer Layer.
Upper Body: For the outer layer, you can put on fluffy jackets. You can buy some of these at Terranova or Uniqlo. It cost Php2000 to Php5000. You can also buy Uniqlo’s fleece jacket. It gives so much warm. Decathlon also offers fluffy jackets at Php1500 to Php2500.
Lower Body: Some fluffy jackets cover not just your upper body but your lower body as well. You can use this type.
- Outermost Layer. This is optional. If you want to look trendy, you can put on a fashionable coat.
- Accessories are very vital. Use bonnet for your head, scarves for your neck, face mask for your face, gloves for your hands (oh, South Korea has gloves that can be used even for smartphones!), earmuffs for your ears, and socks for your feet.
Here are some additional tips for winter clothing:
- Buy in South Korea. If you fancy buying your own fluffy warmer jackets, just buy one here in PH. Then go straight to Myeongdong. In Myeongdong station, there are a lot of stalls that sell warmers that are trendy and cheap. It costs KRW10000 – KRW20000 (Php500-Php1000)! Gloves at South Korea are also cheap. Cost less than Php150 for a nice one.
- Accessorize. Some people don a lot of clothing and forget to accessorize. Accessories like bonnets and scarves keep the cold away from your head and face. Use them specially to cover your ears.
- Borrow. Since we live in a tropical country with only summer and rainy season, we really don’t need to stack up on winter clothes. You can borrow some from your friends or relatives. Make sure you wash clothes you borrow before using and before you return it. Don’t forget that hygiene comes first!
- Heat Pack. There are a lot of heat packs sold in the streets of Myeongdong. You can buy one and hold it in your hands to lessen the cold. You can also stick it in your inner layer clothing. They are cheap. You can also buy here at Miniso. Cost less than Php200 for a pack of 8.
- Bring backpacks. If you will be bringing a bag, I suggest use a backpack. You can keep your extra warmers inside your backpack. A backpack can also accommodate a lot of stuffs and will also keep you back warm. 😉
- Do Not Use Open Shoes. Doll-shoes are a no-no. Regular walking shoes are a no-no. Foot sock is a no-no. Use rubber shoes or sneakers with a regular sock. A pair of thick socks would be best. If you can, I suggest you wear boots.
- Bring vacuumed-insulated water bottle. This is very handy. This is not about clothing but can be of help. No matter how layered your clothing is, during winter and at nighttime, it tends to be really cold. You can bring along an insulated water bottle and fill it with hot water. You can sip the hot water during the times you feel extra cold. Our Klean Kanteen vacuumed-insulated water bottle has been our handy companion during our travels as it can keep hot-water hot and cold-water cold.
I underestimated the cold weather when we went to Japan and was caught off guard. I tried preparing for the winter in South Korea, but I was still shivering. That is why I came up with these suggestions and tips for people who will visit these countries during their winter season. Being properly clothed would ensure you enjoy traveling in the cold season.