Hey guys, I’m back. Haven’t been posting for a while for several reasons (final exams, paper submissions, trips on the weekends, several farewells) but I’m back~
I’ve been wanting to try snow sports and I finally had the chance to go with Wow Korea Supporters a few weekends ago! We went to Pyeongchang, the place where the 2018 Winter Olympics will be held, and skied at Alpensia Resort (well.. actually I snowboarded, not ski).
Pyeongchang Alpensia Ski Resort
Alpensia resort is a very beautiful ski resort with a touch of European-styled buildings in Pyeongchang, around 3 hours away from Seoul. They offer 6 slopes in the resort with 3 slopes at their ski jump tower.
You can get to the resort by taking express bus from Dong Seoul Terminal to Hoenggye (14500 KRW for adults or 11600 KRW for children) and then take taxi to the resort from the bus terminal. Alternatively, take this shuttle bus that runs from December to February every year.
For those new to this sport, like me, there are several things you will need to pay for if you want to ski: the ski lift pass to get up to the top of the slope, the equipment rental and if you don’t have your ski clothes, you will need to rent them too. There are also 3 main block of times that you can ski: Morning, afternoon and night. The table below shows the timings each slot, lift rates and the relevant rental fees (taken from Alpensia resort’s website).
We snowboarded for both the morning and afternoon session and some of us even continued with the night session too. We snowboarded for around 6 hours in total and although I took breaks in between each round, it was very tiring. Because it was my first time, I fell down a lot.. in all sorts of direction and way LOL. It took me so long to get down from the Bravo “Intermediate” difficulty slope that’s 1.2km especially on my first and second time.
On my third and fourth time down the slope, I had the privilege of having a personal coach from JSKI. He really made a difference! Initially I was already about to give up on snowboarding but I felt bad for him if I gave up so I continued haha. He was so patient in coaching a sucky student like me and he also helped me get up when I was too sore.
There are several accommodation options in Alpensia Ski Resort if you are planning to stay overnight. The two main hotels are Intercontinental Hotel and Holiday Inn. Check the room information out here. We stayed in a 3 bed apartment in Holiday Inn Resort and it was really nice! Perfect for an outing with family or friends.
The facilities around the resort is also very impressive. They have stores like Baskin Robbins, GS25 convenience stores (ofcourse they have this!), Angel-in-Us, Karaoke room and even an arcade! You won’t be bored at night. There also many restaurants and a food court to satisfy any hungry stomach.
If you do not want to go through the trouble of planning your ski trip, I would recommend using this day trip ski package or 2D1N package. You can book in advance before your arrival in Korea if you are only coming for a short trip and pay with your credit card or you can also pay by bank transfer. It’s a more convenient way of arranging your ski trip to Alpensia.
If you are planning to go ski or snowboard in Korea, here are some tips that I learned from my trip (although I am no pro snowboarder obviously):
- Bring your gloves, they are not provided and your hands will freeze without them
- The best way to learn is to just go up the slope and ski down, do not waste your time by learning theory (which some instructors will try to make you do, especially if its your first time skiing)
- If you are snowboarding, wear your board at the top of the slope instead of at the bottom because it’s really heavy when it hangs from your feet on the ski lift
- If you are scared and feel that you are going to fast, the best thing to do is to fall
- If you board, falling backwards is always the best. Try not to fall forward on your knees, it’s really painful!
- Go to the food court in the Ski house for free water after skiing or boarding if you need some. I felt really thirsty after each round of boarding so the water really was a life saver.
There are also many other things to do around the Ski Resort which I will cover in another post soon!