Posted by : Ruby Escalona Saturday, March 24, 2012

I knew that on my recent trip to Korea, one of the things that I really wanted to do was to learn how to snowboard and/or ski (or both). So in my itinerary, I prepared an almost-flexible four days out of my nine days in Korea to spend at a ski resort.

Originally, I wanted to go to Vivaldi Park (Daemyung Resort) which was only an hour away from Seoul. I thought it would be better if I stayed in Seoul and just go over to the resort, take a few lessons then go back to Seoul. Then I realized: that would be just like saying I tried something - like learned a lesson for an hour or so and then that's it! And so, I did my research (hello Google) - tried to find what is the best ski resort in South Korea, wanted to find a cheap hostel within the premises where I could stay a few nights, and I landed in YongPyong Resort.

It is 2 1/2 hours from Seoul by the Express Bus (the bus stop is at Jamsil station on the East Side of Seoul) and leaves at 6.10AM and 9AM. I thought at first that I need a reservation to get on this bus and after numerous attempts of trying to email the resort and got no reply, I decided to commute there instead (another way to get to YongPyong resort). Little did I know, I didn't have to reserve a slot - you could just turn up on the day itself and board the bus and pay the roundtrip fare of 28,000 Won. Oh well.

What I did was a bit more complicated: I went to the inter-city bus station in Seoul and bought a ticket to Hoenggye for 13,800 won (good thing I pronounced it correctly when I was buying a ticket - the girl at the counter managed to recognize it and she had an English spelling of the town and got me the rigt ticket. Was stupid enough not to ask someone fluent in Korean to write down the town for me in Korean). It was quite a long bus ride in a sense. 2 1/2 hours away from the city. I spent the first few hours looking out the window at the scenery but the seat was so comfy, I fell asleep and when I woke up, I was in a Korean countryside where the trees and the mountains are dusted with snow.

Seeing as I've never seen real snow before, and only seeing ice on the streets in Seoul, I got excited! It looks so powdery soft and white! Finally, I got to Hoenggye, where the bus station was not exactly what I had hoped for. It was just a stop near a gasoline station. Ok, quite rural. Tried to go to the Post Office where the shuttle bus to YongPYong would stop but it was nearly 6pm and there was no bus in sight! Turns out the information on the website was out of date. There was no 6pm bus anymore, the next bus would be at 7pm!

Okay, panicked for a moment there but thought I could kill some time by exploring the tiny town of Hoenggye rather than waiting in the cold in front of the Post Office. I saw tiny shops along the main road, but there was a Paris cafe place so I stopped by and grabbed myself something to eat and a coffee while mooching their free WiFi. That kept me busy for around 45 minutes as I waited for 6:55pm.

Got to the stop 5 minutes before and it came on time! It just stopped, picked passengers up and I finally arrived in the resort!

Amazing scenery :) I'll update more on Part Two if I ever get around to typing it :P

8 Responses so far.

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  2. Jessy says:

    Korea is where I first learned to ski. I miss the YongPyong Ski Resort. I enjoyed reading your post. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. yeye says:
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  5. yeye says:

    What month did you go to pyongyong ? We arr also going to korea next yr of march and hoping that we can see a snow

  6. @yeye - Went there February 2012, so yes, I saw real snow. It was -10 at the time so was freezing but quite fun too!

  7. Hi! Didnt get the chance to write part 2? :)
    We're also planning to go to Yongpyong next week just to try skiing/snowboarding, not really to learn it. Hahaha! Question - for the RT bus ticket, your return date does not have to be on the same day right? You said you stayed in Pyeongchang for 4 days. :)

  8. Hi @TheEarthisYellow

    It's better if you state your bus date in advance but when you get to the resort you can change it as you please - but depends on the slots too.

    Thanks for popping by, sorry for the late reply!

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