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Should You Consider Skiing In Korea For Your Next Winter Holiday?

Yongpyong ski resort

Skiing in Korea anybody?

Once you consider your subsequent ski vacation vacation spot, Korea might not mechanically spring to thoughts. Nevertheless because the host for the 2018 Winter Olympics, maybe you’re lacking a trick. What higher solution to mix some adrenaline-inducing exercise with some cultural immersion or spectator sports activities on the Olympics?

Yongpyong ski resortThe views from Yongpyong gondola exit

Getting there

We used AVIOS to e-book Membership World flights to Seoul with British Airways and began planning our ski journey in spring 2016. The Video games get underway on the ninth February, so when you’ve got not booked something but, use the field under to start out planning.

Be warned, planning a ski journey to Korea is a problem. Your Tough Information or Lonely Planet doesn’t have an exhaustive part on ski resorts in Korea, and a lot of the info on Korean web sites is restricted. For occasion, I struggled to seek out primary info, reminiscent of particulars of typical snowstorm, season schedules and carry cross/rental prices.

It was subsequently with fingers crossed, and an enormous leap of religion that we cast forward with our journey, largely taking solace in the truth that a rustic about to host the Winter Olympics should have some respectable snowboarding!

Ski slopes in Phoenix Park, PyeongChangPhoenix Park ski slope – look how empty this child is!!

Winter Olympics venues

The 2018 Winter Olympics can be unfold throughout 4 places in South Korea. These are Phoenix Park, the PyeongChang Mountain Cluster, Jeongseon Alpine Middle and Gangneung Coastal Cluster. All of the places are situated alongside freeway 50 inside 4 hours from Seoul .

2018 Winter Olympics locationsWinter Olympics websites 2018

Our Olympic path

Over the course of ten days, we visited Phoenix Park, the Alpensia Sports activities Park, and Yongpyong Alpine Centre. You can see ALL (not simply the ski locations) the places we visited on our journey on our Tripcipe!

South Korea itineraryOur journey to South Korea

Phoenix park

On the foot of Mt. Taegi, Phoenix Park Ski Resort is a two hour bus journey from Seoul. You can take both the ski bus (18,000 gained per individual for a return fare) from the airport or a bus from DongSeoul to Jangpyong (11,600 per individual single fare). From Jangpyong, you’ll be able to hop on the free shuttle bus to the resort, which runs each few hours from the bus station. In case your arrival doesn’t coincide with the departure occasions, seize a cab for round 17,000 gained.

Though we paid greater than the ski bus prices to journey independently to the resort, we discovered that the timings of the ski bus have been designed with day trippers or weekend guests in thoughts. We didn’t fancy an 8am departure from Seoul!

2018 Winter Olympics mogul coursePhoenix Park Mogul Course

Ski Trails

The resort gives 21 trails for all ranges together with some longer runs for each capability.

Phoenix Park ski slopesPhoenix Park path map

There is sufficient to maintain you entertained for a number of days of snowboarding and the complicated additionally has a number of eating places, outlets and a bowling alley.

Positives for Phoenix Park

Value

We paid simply 42,000 for a full day of snowboarding (48,000 much less a 6,000 refundable deposit) for 2. That is incredible worth, however was discounted because of the closure of numerous slopes. You can discover full carry cross and rental costs right here.

Practicalities

I’ve all the time thought-about US resorts to be the top of user-friendly, however this resort beats any I’ve skied within the States. There are lockers conveniently situated by all of the ski lifts to restrict your strolling. You have to pay a small cost of 1,000 gained for these, though we left a jacket in a single all day with out paying, with no situation.

When you keep within the Phoenix Park Lodge and Condos, every basement additionally has FREE lockers the place you possibly can depart skis and boots in a single day. From there, you possibly can entry the ski base immediately, purchase your ski cross, rent your gear and hop on the gondola. Be sure you request your low cost coupon in reception to save lots of on passes and rental.

Lock your skis awaySki lockers within the Phoenix Park basement

Rental rent

The primary corridor on the base of the gondola is designed for velocity. Getting into from the ticket workplaces, you merely hand in your ticket for rental gear and inside minutes are waltzing off with skis and poles. There have been no queues in any respect throughout our go to, though we did go to on the very finish of the season.

Free water

As with resorts within the States, free water is the norm, permitting you to refill your bottles endlessly. This protects a fortune on what you’ll be able to spend in Europe simply retaining rehydrated.

Cleaning skisBlasting weapons to wash your skis

Downsides

Because it was the top of the season, there have been solely a handful of runs open, however even when all have been open, I might recommend a most of three full days to completely take pleasure in all of the pistes.

The apres-ski is severely restricted with a scarcity of pure consuming institutions. Eating places are Korean cafes serving nice, spicy meals albeit with a restricted menu. In the event you don’t like stew, you could wrestle.

traditional Korean cuisineKorean stews

Alpensia city

Shifting on from Phoenix Park, we took a cab to Alpensia which value 65,000 gained for the 45 minute journey. An alternative choice is to hop on the shuttle bus to Jangpyong after which take the bus to Hoengge which runs often all through the day.

From there, it’s a brief cab drive to Alpensia however cab fares usually are not low cost within the mountains. I estimate that it might save round 30,000 gained to journey this manner however it’s arduous to say.

The aim made city of Alpensia will conjure up pictures of Vail or Winter Park for these acquainted with snowboarding within the Rockies. The dual lodges of the Intercontinental and Vacation Inn line the pedestrian plaza, with its myriad of eating places and outlets. These are extra upscale than Phoenix Park, however with comparable costs beginning at round 7,000 gained for a standard Korean dish.

Alpensia townAlpensia ski village

Ski slopes

There are solely six ski slopes in Alpensia so I like to recommend splitting your time between right here and Yongpyong. The proximity to the motels, its prestigious standing as a 2018 Winter Olympics venue and the picturesque city centre are sufficient of a draw, even when the ski slopes are closed, as it’s just some minutes’ drive to the neighbouring resort of Yongpyong.

Alpensia ski slopesAlpensia path map

Positives

The city is picturesque and has a fantastic selection of eating places for such a small resort. It’s an ideal vacation spot for a weekend ski break.

The lodging can also be of a top quality at an inexpensive worth.  The rooms on the Intercontinental are spacious with cozy beds, balconies with nice views and a big bathtub to soak aching thighs in on the finish of a tough day of snowboarding.

Bathtub at the Intercontinental AlpensiaThe large soaking tub in our room on the IntercontinentalAlpensia IntercontinentalCozy rooms on the Intercontinental Alpensia

Downsides

The snowboarding is significantly costly with costs for carry tickets and rental to make your eyes water. Food and drinks costs are very affordable nevertheless with a beer within the Intercontinental costing simply 5,500 (though for some unusual cause, a espresso prices 12,000).

Alpensia skiing in KoreaAlpensia ski slopes from the ski leap tower

Yongpyong Alpine resort

Simply 5 minutes by automotive from the Intercontinental is Yongpyong  ski resort, the daddy of Korean ski resorts, with the very best pistes and the best selection of runs. This comes with a hefty price ticket of 218,000 (approx £170) for carry passes and ski rental for 2 which is vastly overpriced.

There’s additionally no shuttle bus between Alpensia and Yongpyong which means that you’ll want to take a vastly over-priced cab. Charging round 16,000 every means, these transfers add round £25 to the price of your day trip. You gained’t be getting a lot change from £200 in case you are paying for 2.

Skiing in YongpyongYongpyong ski resort – image taken courtesy of Peter Kim

Lovely snowboarding

That stated, surely the snowboarding is a few of the prettiest I’ve finished. There’s some fabulous lengthy runs from the highest of the gondola which snake across the mountain, hugging the cliff sides. Spectacular views entice you to cease ceaselessly and attain in your digital camera. It’s no marvel they’ve needed to line the complete piste with security netting. There’s rather a lot to distract!

Ski slopes

There are over 20 pistes to fit your wants, no matter your normal of snowboarding. Twelve separate lifts whisk you effectively up the mountainside and there’s a choice of cafes dotted throughout the mountain. There’s lots for at the very least two days snowboarding and you might even meet your very personal ‘Peter’, a really pleasant Korean from Jeju who turned our unofficial information/photographer for a part of our day on the mountain.

Yongpyong ski slopesYongpyong path map

Positives

Shimmering blue mountain ranges soften into vibrant azure skies beneath superb sunshine and the standard of the snowboarding is on a par with a number of the smaller resorts in Europe and America.

Downsides

Reductions apply for multi day ski passes however there’s no denying, it’s a dear vacation spot.

Given, it was the top of the season once we visited, hardly any of the eating places have been open and people who have been had a restricted selection of meals. It might be clever to return ready with your personal meals, if you’ll find one thing to your style within the native supermarkets.

We additionally couldn’t discover free water on these slopes.

Locking your skis upHandy lockers in your skis

Should you ski in Korea?

The resorts are a lot smaller than these chances are you’ll be accustomed to in Europe or stateside, and aside from some steeper blacks, they don’t seem to be technically demanding. They’re nevertheless designed with performance and comfort in thoughts. You will discover few crowds, even fewer westerners (we noticed not more than a handful over three days of snowboarding), pleasant locals and attractive native delicacies. For this purpose, I extremely advocate a snowboarding journey to Korea.

Extra info for the Olympic Video games

The Video games run from ninth to 25th February adopted by the Paralympics from ninth to 18th March. I’m going to be glued to my TV between these dates.

To seek out out a bit of extra concerning the mascots for the 2018 Winter Video games, take a look at this cool little video. Sadly, we didn’t discover any actual life mascots with which to pose!

What do you assume?

Have you ever ever skied someplace off the crushed monitor? I really like making an attempt resorts somewhere else and have my eye on returning to Japan. I’m additionally eager to ski in Iran and China. How about you? I’d like to know when you’ve got skied in South Korea, or someplace totally different I ought to be contemplating.

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