This is my second time skiing at Yongpyong, so I thought I’d write a guide for all of you who are thinking of going.
How to get there
The cheapest way to get to Yongpyong from Seoul is to head to the DongSeoul Bus Terminal (Gangbyeon station, Line 2) and buy the 14,500 won bus ticket to Hoenggye (pronounced Hweng-gay). Buses run a few times every hour and the ride takes about 2.5 or 3 hours, depending on the personality of the driver. The bus stops at two other towns before reaching Hoenggye.
At Hoenggye, you can shop for groceries at the supermarket next to the bus terminal before grabbing a taxi to your accomodation. There is also a free shuttle bus to the resort. Alternatively hook up with one of the private rental shops and they will likely pick you up for no extra charge.
Where to stay
The first time, I stayed in the Pension Village (Pen-shun Ma-eul in Korean) which is about 20-30 minutes’ walk from the town centre. We paid 70,000 won a night for a beautiful room for the three of us (two slept on the bed and one on extra beddings on the floor). The Pension Village is generally cheaper and is breathtakingly scenic (photos below), in the midst of snowy fields. But the location is the least convenient; ensure you’ve got a transport plan and are prepared to walk a bit. There is a shuttle bus stop about 10 minutes’ walk.
The second time, I stayed in the Greenpia Condo which is part of the Yongpyong Resort complex. We paid 320,000 won a night for a huge apartment for seven of us, after getting a 35% discount through our rental shop. The apartment has a big living room and two bedrooms, plus a kitchenette with gas stove, fridge, rice cooker etc. Two bathrooms. The best part is that it’s right at the ski field with a great view of the slopes. So you can save money on taxi and ski lockers.
Where to rent gear
Both times, I rented my gear from a private shop called Buy Sports. The owner Kim Min (contact him at facebook.com/hornetmin) speaks decent English and he charges us 15,000 (beginner) or 20,000 (intermediate) for ski and boots rental. He also rents helmet (5,000), goggles (10,000), and whatever else you might need. The best part is that he can help you to book the accomodation and lift passes. He also provides free pickup from the bus station.
Take the gondola to Dragon Peak for amazing views of the surrounding mountains. You can have a coffee at Holly’s Cafe or grab a hotdog and churros from the ahjumma stall. Don’t forget to try the 10-minute hike into the forest that leads to a helipad with great photo opportunities. After you’ve used up your camera battery, grab your skis for an awesome 5-km run all the way to the bottom.
Yongpyong is extremely beginner-friendly with plenty of easy slopes and extremely comprehensive safety features (everything is fenced up, so fans of off-piste skiing or going into the trees will be disappointed). The only problem is that the beginner slopes can get really crowded especially with school groups taking lessons there.
There are not too many intermediate and expert slopes but because most Koreans are beginners, you’ll find that most of the harder slopes are mercifully empty. Silver Paradise in particular is one slope where you might not see another soul at all.
Lift passes are 72,000 won but you can get a huge discount (say 30-40%) with a Korean credit card or through the private rental shops. We paid 37,000 won in December and 50,000 won in January.
When to go
When we went in December, we had great snow but the Dragon Peak was not open, so the runs were limited.
For our second trip, we picked January as we thought there would be more snow. But we hardly had any. Nevertheless, Dragon Peak was open and the snow machines are always active at Yongpyong.
The locals tell me that February has the most snow. Till next year then!
Yongpyong vs High1 vs Niseko
The other place I’ve been to in Korea is High1, which is similar in location and price to Yongpyong. High1 is much newer but overall I’d say Yongpyong is the clear winner. In particular Yongpyong has better variety of slopes while High1 feels like every slope has been divided into 3 lanes to create the illusion of more.
In comparison to Niseko in Japan, Yongpyong is quite a bit cheaper but cannot compare in terms of snowfall, size and off-piste options.
I maintain this site as a hobby and have personally verified or experienced most of the information posted here. However, prices and conditions may have changed since my last visit. Please double check with other sources such as official tourist hotlines to avoid disappointment. If you’d like to contribute an update or additional useful information for other travelers, please comment below!
Prices provided in Korean won or US dollars.