Looking for a skiing resort near Seoul?
During winter, it’s really wiser to spend most of your vacation outside South Korea’s capital, preferably Gangwon province. All the action – and snow – are here. You’ll find snow-capped mountains, light shows, snow parks, snow festivals, and of course ski resorts.
Where to Go
There are a number of good resorts, actually. But I can only talk about the one I’ve tried – Vivaldi Park Ski World. When I went in early winter, they had three slopes opened, with varying heights and difficulty levels. It looked like they were preparing at least one more slope though!
It’s easy enough to go to Vivaldi on your own but for the first time in my traveling life, I really wanted to join a group tour. It was just too cold for my muscles to function! I decided I wanted to ski just two days prior to my last day in Korea and I was scared I wouldn’t find any available tour. Thankfully, there was this one in Klook that takes you not only to the ski park but also to the most romantic place in the country – Nami Island! You might think the price (roughly P2,700) is a bit steep but it’s really not. It already includes entrance to both parks, ferry ride, ski rental, and transportation. You only need to worry about what to eat for lunch!
I’ve been to Nami a couple of times but one of my friends was in Korea for the first time so we brought her there. If you want to spend the whole day at the ski park, there is another package for that. It also includes a whole day of activities at Snowy Land!
My fave Korean variety show Running Man was actually there in a recent episode. I was so jealous I missed these snowy slides!!!
How to Prepare
If you’re joining a group tour, you don’t really have to prepare much. Don’t worry about what to wear at the ski resort because they are going to dress you up with the most ridiculous thermal jacket and pants anyway!
For women, I suggest leggings and a comfortable top, nothing too thick. That’s underneath your coat or padded jacket, of course.
For men, I don’t think you’ll be open to wearing leggings so just find your most comfortable pair of pants, one that’s not too baggy.
You won’t get bus stops and CR breaks apart from your actual destinations so if you’re the always hungry type like me, bring some snacks. We brought a lot haha!
You might also want to take a small sling bag for your valuables like cellphone and a bit of money (you’ll need coins for the coin locker). You can either leave the rest of your stuff in the bus or at the coin lockers at the ski rental.
What to Expect
Note that this is only if you’ve decided to join the tour. Although I think you might find a few things to consider here if you’re going on your own.
Your first stop is Nami Island. It’s a very quick one, just two hours to two and a half, so it’s best not to go too far into the park. This also already includes your time for lunch so spend it wisely. If it’s your first time in Nami, make the most of it and just grab something to eat at a convenience store before going back to your tour bus. If it’s not, you might want to just eat somewhere nice.
Your next stop is the clothes rental where they’ll give you a pair of jacket and pants (they’ll ask for your sizes beforehand). Whoever’s preparing these is terrible at fashion so expect to look like a not-so-color-coordinated bumpkin.
Then it’s finally time for skiing! You’d think the 3 hours you’ll get at the ski park is “too short,” we certainly did! But once you’re there, you’ll find that it’s actually too long for your first time, UNLESS you brave the slopes.
The first half hour or so is dedicated to skiing lessons. Our guide, Eddie, was also our skiing instructor. He’s a very funny man so if you can, request for Eddie as your tour guide!
After learning the basics, he let us loose to practice on our own although he offered extra skiing lessons for those who want more. I didn’t ask for it but he saw me practicing and thought I needed help haha! After that, free time! That means a few more skiing attempts for me and my friend Barry and poser time for our friend Kat!
Do You Need Ski Lifts?
Your tour guide will ask you beforehand if you want to avail of ski lifts for an additional amount, W10,000 I think? We did not because we were doing it for the first time anyway. WRONG.
You get maybe 30 minutes of ski lessons and then you’re on your own. It’s fun at first but trying to ski on flat ground gets a bit boring after a while. Also, you’ll most probably get jealous of all the people (a lot of them kids!) endlessly sliding their way from various slopes. I checked on the website and availing of ski lifts from Vivaldi itself is much more expensive so the one our tour guide offered was really a bargain. When you get your chance, take it!
Is it too Cold?
We thought it would be. I intentionally wore a thick sweater to make sure I was protected from the cold. But all it did was make me look too bulky. The skiing clothes we got from the rental shop were apparently very warm. Honestly, I started sweating about an hour into the ski park!
How far is Vivaldi from Seoul?
I know a lot of you need this information to complete your itineraries. We sure did! From Vivaldi, considering the rush hour traffic, it would take about two hours to go back to Seoul. That means you can catch up on all the sleep you missed in the morning because you had to leave early for the trip!
Is it possible to do a DIY skiing trip?
Yes!!! Vivaldi Ski World is quite accessible. Just take a bus from Seoul Sangbong Bus Terminal or Dong Seoul Bus Terminal to Hongcheon Bus Terminal. From there, take Bus No. 70-1 or 70-2 to Vivaldi Park.
Note though that if you’re traveling outside Seoul for the first time, it could get confusing. I suggest you keep a copy of your destinations written in Korean just so it would be easier for you to ask the locals. You might have a hard time finding English speakers in the province. Travel time is about 1.5 to 2 hours one way.
I hope I was able to help you plan your skiing trip in South Korea! If you have questions or if there’s any info you wish I could add, feel free to let me know! Thanks a lot of reading! Annyeong!!