My favourite season will always be autumn but winter is no better. Most Malaysians dream of going to Korea because of Hallyu wave, thanks to Bae Yong Jun from Winter Sonata 겨울 연가 and to experience different season, of course. ^^
As my friend Yani once told me; "I want to see snow in Christmas!". She had it lucky because surprisingly it snowed on Christmas 2009. White Christmas!! She was amazed and imitated Choi Ji Woo in Winter Sonata, opening her palm waiting for the first snow.
If you want to experience winter in Korea, I bet that it won't be perfect without skiing or snowboarding at any one of these famous resorts. There are two famous provinces to visit during winter in South Korea: Gangwon-do and Gyeonggi-do. Most of the ski resorts are located here.
For now, this post will explain about Ski resorts in Gangwon-do only. Another post will cover Gyeonggi-do's.
Yongpyong Ski Resort
This is one of the filming locations for Winter Sonata. Yu-jin's company, Polaris, and Min-hyeong's (Kang Jun Sang) company sign a contract to work on the same design project at the Dragon Valley Ski Resort. The resort offers a tour for Winter Sonata fan. You can check the details here.
How to go: By Shuttle Bus
Daewon Express Bus(=Purple ski bus),Tel. 82-2-575-7710, 82-2-2201-7710 (ENGLISH)
0900 - at Lotte Mart, Gate#4 of Jamsil Station (Subway Line 2)
1300 - Gate#2 of Sports Complexs Station(Subway Line 2) - Sunday Only
By Public Express Bus from Seoul
Take a bus from Gangbyeon Station (Line 2) to Hwenggye
Donghae Express Bus - Eastern Seoul Terminal (02-458-4854~7) http://ti21.co.kr/
One way ￦ 15,000(Adult)
From Hwenggye Bus Terminal, take free shuttle bus to Yongpyong Resort (12 times a day / 10 min ride)
* 4:40am, 5:40am, 6:30am, 7:30am, 8:10am, 10:30am, 12:00am, 2:00pm, 4:20pm, 5:30pm, 11:30pm
Phoenix Ski Resort
The resort offers a total of seventeen slopes, four of which are approved by the FIS (International Ski Federation), and has superb snow quality. Particularly popular is the ‘Panorama Slope’, which is an impressive 2.2km long and has an average width of 46meters. Eight ski lifts, state-of-the-art gondolas, and six conveyer belts transport visitors around the park quickly and efficiently.
How to go:
Express, Public Bus
Dong Seoul - Jangpyeong 6:20AM-6:55PM (departs every 30min)
Nearby Tourism Attractions
Odaesan (Woljeongsa Temple) - I visited this temple when I Wwoofed in Santisuk, Jinbu. Check out my post here.
Gangwon Folk Museum, Jeongdongjin Beach, Gyeongpodae Beach, etc.
1- I recommend renting a motel/guesthouse near Yongpyong area. You could rent a 50,000 won motel per night and accommodate 5 to 6 people inside. Depends on your comfortability level. For me, it's all about enjoying snowboarding/skiing that matters most. Sleep comes second. ^^
2- There are lots of ski/snowboard rental shops around Yongpyong area and they offer cheaper rental rate than the resort.
3- Normally the ski/snowboard rental shops offer free shuttle van to the resort if you rent equipments with them. Just ask the counter for the free lift.
4- Don't forget to bring a few chocolate bars with you. When you slide down the slopes you will be hungry in no time especially in cold weather.
5- If you have a Korean friend, they could get the lift/admission and rental price cheaper using their Korean credit cards up to 40-50% off.
Adhoc Budget : A group tour budget (5-6 people)
*assuming that you don't need ski/snowboard lesson ~50,000 won