Life in Korea: going skiing / snowboarding

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If the recent Korea Times article or the snowboard competition in downtown Seoul whetted your appetite to try it yourself, Seoul has several places relatively nearby to ski or snowboard. As you might expect in a country of mostly mountains, skiing and snowboarding are quite popular winter sports. While there are dozens of places to give it a try, none are located in Seoul proper, and traveling to most areas works best if you speak Korean, have a car, or both. For the English teachers who claim the subway or bus as their primary mode of transportation, some skiing places offer shuttle buses from Seoul to the resort, although you usually have to call ahead for reservations. All the places listed below have decent to excellent English pages, which are directly linked.

Without further ado…

If the recent Korea Times article or the snowboard competition in downtown Seoul whetted your appetite to try it yourself, Seoul has several places relatively nearby to ski or snowboard. As you might expect in a country of mostly mountains, skiing and snowboarding are quite popular winter sports. While there are dozens of places to give it a try, none are located in Seoul proper, and traveling to most areas works best if you speak Korean, have a car, or both. For the English teachers who claim the subway or bus as their primary mode of transportation, some skiing places offer shuttle buses from Seoul to the resort, although you usually have to call ahead for reservations. All the places listed below have decent to excellent English pages, which are directly linked.

Without further ado…

Jisan Resort – free shuttle buses run to the resort from Seoul – give them a call at 031-644-1390 to learn more or reserve a spot. If coming from the Incheon area, you can take an Airport Limousine bus to the Icheon (NOT Incheon) bus terminal, then a local bus (#12) to Jisan Resort. Check out their website for more information, although the website hasn’t been updated as of this post’s publication date.

Bears Townsporting a good English-language page shouldn’t be the only reason to check it out, but it definitely makes it easy to get all the information you need. Don’t forget the hot springs in the area. The shuttle bus page wasn’t working as of publication date, so call 031-540-5000 for more information.


Yongpyong Resort – if you remember hearing about this Gangwon-do province bidding for the Winter Olympics, this area will make a case for you. With 31 slopes and 15 lifts, it’s the largest ski slope in the country with enough variety for every level. Plenty of buses (not just shuttle buses) make their way here and back – and there’s plenty of information on how much they cost and where to get them.

Vivaldi Park / Daemyung Resort – don’t let the names confuse you – the former is simply one part of the latter. The slopes are named after genres of music – a bit odd, but they’re entitled to name them whatever they like. At least they’re English names (Techno, Hip Hop, Blues, Jazz, etc.). Make a reservation online (at least 15 days in advance) or call 1588-4888 for more information.


Phoenix Park – one place that’s been heavily advertising in the Seoul area. With skiing, snowboarding, water sports, golf, and scuba diving, this is one place to check out year-round. The park caters to snowboarders, but of course skiers will have plenty of company. Check out the website for transportation details or call 1588-2828.


Muju Resort – Part of Mt. Deogyo National Park, it’s about 2 1/2 hours from Seoul (and about the same from Busan). They claim the longest slope (Silk Road at 6.2 km) and the steepest slope (Raiders has a heart-stopping 60 degree slope) in Korea. Don’t forget the snow sled, snowmobile, and gondola rides if your heart needs a break. More information about ski lessons can be found at 063-320-7348.

No matter which place you go, take a close look at your lift ticket options – there’s usually several sessions throughout the day. For the most part you’ll have at least about four hours at a time of skiing / snowboarding – if you want more, go back and get another ticket.

Bring some cash with you – 100,000 – 200,000 won per day wouldn’t be unusual to blow through after figuring in shuttle bus / other transportation, lift fees, ski / snowboard rental fees, lockers, food, souvenir(s), a place to sleep, and the like. Don’t forget your ARC or another photo ID – you’ll need it to rent stuff – and WARM clothes.

I’m not the first to write about this topic – 10 Magazine talks more about ski resorts across the country.

Wherever you go – stay warm!

Disclosure: I have no financial or material connection with any of the aforementioned places – but if they want to throw me a free pass or three, I’ll tell you 🙂

Creative Commons License © Chris Backe – 2009

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