Sunday, May 31, 2009

071230 – Skiing at Yongpyong Ski Resort

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One of the best things to do in Seoul during winter is skiing and snowboarding. Yongpyong is considered one of the Asia’s best ski resorts and also most popular ski resorts in Korea. Yongpyong has a total of 31 different ski slopes and it has different level of difficulty from beginner to expert. The resort also equipped with 15 ski-lifts and cable car ride for advanced skiers or snowboarders. Ski and snowboard lessons are also offered to different skill levels, even for kids.

My wife and I engaged a guided tour service provided by the US military based in Seoul, called USO Korea located at Itaewon. I have been engaging with this tour for all previous tours and 90% of the tourists are foreigners. If you are in Seoul and wanted to engage a local tour, USO Korea is highly recommended. I normally sent an email to requesting their monthly tour itinerary so that I could plan my travel schedule promptly. You may also call them at 0082-2-795-3063/3028. The one-day tour fare per person was USD109 included bus transportation, ski/snowboard rental and full pass for the ski-lifts. Ski jacket and pant was not covered in the fare.

We took a subway from Subway Line 1 from Jongno 3-ga, transfer to Line 6 via Seoul Station to Samgakji. USO office is 5 minutes walk from the subway exit. The fare cost 1000won. The tour bus departed around 7am and it was a 2 hours drive away from Seoul. Most of the tourists in the bus are US military personnel. We were fortunate enough that 2 military personnel volunteered to be the ski and snowboard trainer for first timer like us. That really saved us a bomb if we were to enroll a lesson at the ski resort and it’s not cheap.

We arrived at the ski resort and we had to wait for our fluent English speaking tour leader to arrange our ski equipment at Dragon Plaza. While waiting, we went to rent only 2 pair of ski pants, each cost 15000won, if you do not want your pant or jean to get wet after falling down on the snow. We wore our own winter jacket. We put our belongings inside a locker, cost 1000won. Our tour guide instructed us to gather back at 4.00pm at Dragon Plaza before we departed the bus back to Seoul.

After we geared up and ready to ski, the trainer gave us 2-3 hours basic ski lesson before guided us to ski at the beginner slope. I believed I actually need few more lessons before I can actually ski confidently and able to steer with ease.

Do I look like an expert skier?

Surrounding view

It’s not easy to ask someone with a thick glove to snap a photo for us

View of the apartment and condo at the ski resort

Posing moment

A lovely picture with a Korean twin at the ski resort, just lovely

Behind was the beginner slope we managed to conquer.

I believe that should be the advance slope, next time I will be back…

View inside the Dragon Plaza with a non-functional cable-car

After a tiring ski and had to bear with the terrible cold weather, finally it’s time to onboard the bus and headed back to Seoul for a satisfying dinner.

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