Planning a Ski Trip in South Korea – PyeongChang Phoenix Park
Since it was nearing the end of Winter when we arrived in South Korea, we did some last-minute sloppy planning and decided to head straight to PyeongChang for a weekend ski trip. PyeongChang Phoenix Park is one of the most popular ski parks near Seoul, and will also be the holding site for Winter Olympics 2018!
Transportation & Accommodation
To get there, we booked a direct bus from Seoul (Wangsimni Station) to Phoenix Ski Park via this reservation website. It is not mandatory to book a seat, but at least you’ll be guaranteed a seat, and there will also be a slight discount when you show the e-ticket to the driver. There are a few pick-up locations, so just select whichever that’s nearest to you! Do note that the return destination will be fixed at Jamsil Station. During peak season, the seats get taken up really quickly as it is the most convenient way of getting there, so do book as early as possible.
For accommodation, we booked a hotel/guesthouse through Agoda, which cost us KRW64,000 (SGD78) for 4 pax per night. That sums up to only around SGD39 per person, for a 2-night stay – which is around 3 times cheaper as compared to us staying at the Ski Resort!
For proximity wise, it is around 20 minutes’ walk away from the actual ski park along the main road. There’s nothing much along the way, just some restaurants and local ski rental shops, which brings me to my next point – get your ski rentals/lessons/ski passes from the local ski stores instead of the ski resort, if you wish to save more $$$!
One of the nicest chi-mac (chicken and beer) we’ve had, with huge portions! Just opposite the ski resort, towards the West direction
Ski Rental & Lessons
After checking out the different ski rental shops with very desperate sales people (since it was non-peak season), we got all our equipment and a ski lesson from Snow Board Z Ski.
Here’s a breakdown of the amount we paid (per pax):
Ski Equipment (jacket and pants, skis, goggles): KRW35,000 for 2 full days
2h Basic Ski Lessons: KRW35,000
2-Day Ski Lift Pass: KRW50,000
The ski lesson was super basic, mainly just about how to mount on/off the skis, how to do the v-brake, how to steer left/right, how to break fall etc. The best way to learn is to keep crashing and falling, and honestly, skiing isn’t too difficult to pick up!
Due to it being the end of ski season, there was only around 5 slopes which were opened, and the snow wasn’t in the best state either – which made falling down a little more painful, compared to falling on powder snow.
All in all, it was a really enjoyable short getaway from Seoul, and what’s exchange without some snow and skiing right? Although the snow wasn’t in the best condition, and the restaurants in the park were mostly closed due to it being non-peak season, we really shouldn’t be complaining much for the low price we paid. On the bright side, it wasn’t as crowded/packed, and we didn’t have to queue for long before getting up the ski lift and skiing down over and over again.
PyeongChang has been absolutely beautiful, and I’ll definitely be back in future during the peak season, to take on the rest of the slopes!