An international experience in Rovaniemi

Minh’s experience in Rovaniemi

This is the story of Minh, who has been living in Rovaniemi for almost 6 years. The blog post has been done in co-operation between Gofinland and Lapland University of Applied Sciences. Minh is one of the winners in our blog post competition which was organised within the Degree Programme in Tourism. The students are aiming for a Bachelor Degree education and they will be the future professionals in tourism. Read Minh’s story below!

”No one has ever become poor by giving” – Anne Frank.

”This sentence has been on the Diary of Anne Frank for over more than half of a decade, and over the courses of time, things have changed. But still, it holds true in every situation and every case, that when you think about it, it never runs out of style. Not everyone can be generous, but it is good enough, that our beautiful nature has granted us such beauty with great generosity.”

Rovaniemi Winter Landscape

Winter landscape in Rovaniemi.

Minh’s story in Rovaniemi

”I have lived in Rovaniemi myself for almost 6 years now, and one thing that I love most about this place, is how amazing the winter sceneries can be. Every winter, the snow falls like crazy, the temperature drops down quicker than a dog running in the street and the nights are longer than the days. On a bad day, Rovaniemi could be cloudy and blue-y and snowy, but on a sunny day, it is another story.

The sun shines so brightly through the trees, and everything surrounding you is covered with snow. It is usually super cold when the sun shines so bright here in Lapland, and it’s true! It was -20 when I took the picture above. But on days like that, a hiking, small or big, is worth it all.”

Viewpoint scenery in Rovaniemi.

Watching the gorgeous landscape from a viewpoint. This scenery is just 2 kilometers from the center of Rovaniemi.

Why to go hiking or enjoy the nature?

Because the views are just priceless. The Lappish scenery in Ylläs and Rovaniemi offer untouched nature. The untouched winter nature pays off the exhaust and tiresome, and at the end of the day, you can only be wowed by the nature in front of you, next to you, or behind you! So no matter how low the temperature can be, just get out and try! The hiking will keep you warm, but when you stop, the body will stop producing extra heat and you might get a bit chilly.

Tips for a hiking trip:

  • Put many clothing layers below (The bottom layer should be the one to keep the warm, and the top layer is the one to keep you away from the wind).
  • Don’t leave too much open skin especially during winter, as you will lose most of your body heat through the open skin. So remember to wear gloves, hats and scarfs!
  • Bring some hot drinks (such as coffee or tea) and some easy food like chocolate bars or different kind of nuts for resting during the hike.
  • If you are into photography, bring your camera of course. Remember to have extra battery, as the cold can make it quicker to shut down your camera.
  • Finally, have the best attitude you can have! After all, you are hiking to enjoy and relax, not to get grumpy.
  • Take some proper shoes (hiking shoes for longer trips/colder weather) and warm jacket or wool shirt for resting. When you stop walking and stop for a lunch, remember to put on some extra clothing!
  • Always know where you are going. In Finland, it’s quite easy to get lost in the woods so remember to observe where you are going and preferably bring a map and a compass with you.
  • If you’re going for a longer trip, remember to book you accommodation in advance!
Rovaniemi campfire and coffee

Warm drinks and warmth from the campfire – it keeps you going.

Seeing snow for the first time in Rovaniemi!

”I come from Vietnam where we don’t have any snow at all, this landscape has always been wowing me every time I see it. I didn’t see much snow when I was a kid, and when I looked at the TV screen, showing all these movies that have these beautiful snow scenes on it, I couldn’t help but wishing that one day, I would get there to feel the snow by myself and I did it. 6 years are more than enough to get used to it, but the feeling remains exactly the same: Still the same kid who can get super excited and jumpy when a breathtaking wintery view was right in front of his eyes. Only this time, it was no longer a TV screen. It was for real!”

Lapland snow nature

Mesmerized by nature and the amount of snow in Lapland.

Hiking in Rovaniemi as a foreigner

”The hiking trails that I did wasn’t too challenging, as it was only for small hiking walk. But challenging or not, getting myself into the nature was refreshing. I remember so vividly that feeling, when I was in the middle of the forest, completely alone, with only the sound of my foot steeping in the snow. The feeling was euphoric. My head was lifted off from all the stress. For the first time of this season, I had the time to truly enjoy the winter the way it was. No other people around me, no computer or ringing phone nor  sound from the cars. There was me, standing, mingling into the nature and catching my breath.

I realized how I love this landscape and I want it to be this way forever. For me this is my sanctuary. In here all my weariness and woes from my every day’s life get buried deeply into the snow and what’s left of me, is peacefulness. That’s how generous the nature has been to me, and to us, and we can give back, by appreciating its kindness.”

Campfire and hiking in Rovaniemi

Warming up before heading out again! Campfire always captivates and offers warmth for weary trekkers.

Blog Post competition with Lapland University of Applied Sciences

This blog post has been written by the winner of our blog post competition. Gofinland organised a competition among the students of Lapland University of Applied Sciences. The students are studying tourism in international degree programme. In the future, they will be the professionals in International Tourism.

You can read our second post later in March from Isabella Borgogni. She is sharing her inspiring experience in Finland.

Our winner, Minh Hieu Nguyen wrote a great article about how hiking. Minh’s insight gives aid how to relax in nature and improve your wellbeing.


Written by Eetu Ollikainen