Gangneung KTX (Pyeongchang bullet train)

If you’re looking for information on where to stay for the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympics, see this page for a full breakdown
Olympic Shuttle Buses
Finally! We have a clear picture of the shuttle bus system, which you can see here (scroll down). The drop-down arrows below the diagram show the journey times & departure frequency.

Lunar New Year situation: the Korean New Year holiday of Seollal falls on February 14th – 18th, so those dates will be very busy and have a different reservation system. Unfortunately, it was finally announced that bookings will be available from January 17th at 6:00 (Korean time) for people in Korea but not until 16:00 for people outside Korea.This essentially means that the seats will likely be sold out before Olympics visitors have a chance to try and reserve them. This is obviously causing a good deal of anger & frustration, especially for Pyeongchang Pass holders who’ve already paid only for other passengers to probably buy the very seats they thought they were paying for.

Standing room tickets are also available though there’s no clear information about how many exactly, so a lot of people are concerned they won’t be able to make it to their events on those dates.

Update: trains didn’t end up being instantly fully-booked by local passengers on the 17th (probably due to it being a rural region with low population density), and there was still reasonable availability when tickets became available to overseas customers at 4pm; seems like most people who got online at that time were able to book at least workable train times (though in many cases not their 1st choice options). However, by now (24 hours later) the trains are mostly booked out on the Seollal dates. If you’re still searching, remember to also check Cheongnyangi & Sangbong stations (in eastern Seoul) as they have more departures & arrivals than Seoul Station; and if that’s no good, there’s still (hopefully) hope as Korail have announced a second special reservation period for Pyeongchang Pass holders (see the announcement here). Remember there’s also standing room on the train, but we don’t know what the capacity will be. If you have events on those dates and haven’t booked accommodation yet, you should probably consider options other than Seoul (see here)

Opening Ceremony: there’s also been some concern for those wanting to get back to Seoul from Jinbu after the opening ceremony on the 9th; although not shown on the schedule here (page 4), trains were also made available at 0:44 to Sangbong Station and 1:24 to Cheongnyangni Station (originating at 0:20 and 1:00 from Gangneung). Seats are now fully booked on all of them, but for standing tickets you can try 22:54, 0:44, and 1:24. Again, if you’re attending the ceremony but haven’t booked accommodation yet, you should probably consider options other than Seoul (see here)

Gangneung KTX latest update (January 2018): The line started service on December 22nd, and you can see the full schedule here (scroll down to see the schedule during the Olympics). Tickets for KTX trains are available 30 days in advance (60 days for the Olympics, except Feb 14th – 18th as above), and you can search & book online here. Also check out this video of the KTX in action

Shuttle buses: schedule from Pyeongchang Station to Phoenix Park here. Schedule from Dunnae Station to Welli Hilli Park here. Yongpyong has shuttle buses from Jinbu Station, but the schedule isn’t online yet; Alpensia doesn’t have a shuttle from the station, but there’s now an hourly shuttle connecting Yongpyong & Alpensia as per here. High1 have confirmed they will have no extra arrangements for the KTX. Note that (with the exception of Welli Hilli) these resort shuttles won’t be running during the Olympics – see ‘Olympic Shuttle Buses’ above.

A special Pyeongchang Pass is presently available allowing unlimited travel for 5 or 7 days during the Olympics & Paralympics. This is exactly what you need if you’re staying in Seoul and travelling back & forth repeatedly to the events. Full details here; sales period is October 10th to January 31st.

The newly-built Gangneung KTX bullet train line (officially called the Kyungkang or Gyeonggang Line) links Incheon Airport to the port of Gangneung, crossing the north of the country from coast to coast and connecting Seoul to the Winter Olympic venues in Pyeongchang.

Map showing the route of the Gangneung KTX

Construction of the line formed a key part of the Pyeongchang 2018 bid, shortening the Seoul – Pyeonchang travel time from 2.5 hours on the highway to just an hour by train. The line was actually planned regardless of the Olympics, but the awarding of the Games to Korea provided the impetus to finally get it built; the Gangneung KTX is therefore arguably the main legacy of Pyeongchang 2018, along with the purpose-built Jeongseon Alpine Centre.

The new line runs from the city of Wonju across to Gangneung; trains will run along existing tracks from Incheon & Seoul to Wonju, and then onto the new tracks from there.

The stations on the new line are:

Manjong (in Wonju)
Hoengseong
Dunnae
Pyeongchang
Jinbu
Gangneung

The stops in Seoul – Incheon are Incheon Airport, Geomam, Seoul Station, Cheongnyangni, and Sangbong (Incheon Airport & Geomam are only included during the Olympic period). During the Olympics 35 trains per day will originate from Seoul Station, Cheongnyangni, or Sangbong; Cheongnyangni (in the northeast of the city) has the highest frequency of service. Furthermore, 16 trains per day will originate from Incheon Airport and stop at Geomam plus Seoul Station and/or Cheongnyangni on the way through to Jinbu and Gangneung.

There’s an accurate map here (and that’s a cool site if you’re interested in Korea and a bit of an infrastructure geek!). The other maps on this page are approximate (I knocked them up on Google Maps):

Map of korea showing the route of the Gangneung KTX

This line will of course be of great benefit to the population in the region, but also game-changing for us skiers and boarders wanting to get to Korea’s best ski resorts from Seoul – travel times will be significantly reduced for a number of Gangwon-do resorts, including but not limited to the Olympic host resorts, as follows (with closest station in brackets):

Map of the Gangneung KTX route also showing ski resort locations

1. Oak Valley (Manjong Station)
2. Welli Hilli Park (Dunnae Station)
3. Phoenix Park (Pyeongchang Station)
4. Jeongseon Alpine Centre (Jinbu Station)
5. Yongpyong & Alpensia (Jinbu Station)
6. High1 (via Gangneung, but still requiring a highway bus from there)

Click on each resort name for its Snow Guide Korea review, with full access details including how the journey is expected to work using the Gangneung KTX.

The journey time from Seoul Station to Gangneung is just under 2 hours, for a fare of 27,600 won ($30 US); Cheongnyangni to Pyeongchang is just over an hour.

Tickets can be booked up to 30 days in advance (extended to 60 for the Olympics), and you can do this on the Korail website. If you’re planning on staying in Seoul for the Olympics and taking the train to the venues, there are three key bits of advice – take advantage of the Pyeongchang Pass if you’re making repeated round-trips, reserve your train seats ASAP (i.e. 60 days before) as they’re likely to be at capacity, and try to stay as close as possible to Seoul’s Cheongnyangni Station (in the northeast of the city) if you’re concerned about journey times or late arrivals back in the city after late-finishing events. If you’re more concerned about being close to good nightlife, sightseeing etc (and don’t mind having to take taxis if you end up back at Cheongnyangni after the Metro finishes), it’s better to stay near Seoul Station.

If you’re trying to work out your Pyeongchang 2018 transportation & accommodation options, see here for more details

For more on Pyeongchang 2018 generally, click here

Any questions about the Gangneung KTX? Leave a message below!


199 comments on “Gangneung KTX (Pyeongchang bullet train)
  1. Eric says:

    Any ideas on how much the train tickets will cost? Will it be better to rent a car?!

    • snorton says:

      Hi Eric, the ticket prices haven’t been confirmed yet, but based on distances the estimated price from Seoul to Gangneung will be 30000 – 40000 won (30 to 40 US dollars), and Seoul to Pyeongchang around 25000.

      Are you going for the Olympics and staying in Seoul? Personally I would prefer to use the KTX, with a rental car as backup plan in case you can’t get KTX tickets.

    • T c c says:

      Isn’t Hongseong and Dunnae the same KTX stop?

      I took the wonderfully fast KTX from Cheongnyangni to Pyongcheong yesterday. I only seem to remember one stop between Manjong and Pyongcheong. Maybe I missed Dunnae though.

      • Simon Norton says:

        Hi, not every train stops at every station, so the one you were on must have skipped Hoengseong. Looks like only a few trains stop at both on the same run

  2. Emily says:

    Would you recommend staying next to Cheongnyangni station or an area close to Gangneung such as Yangyang or Sokcho? I was also considering Hoengseong
    since it’s along the KTX line. Which one would make more sense?

    I’m leaning toward Cheongnyangni station because I feel like it’s safer to stick with KTX but I’m worried for the events ending close to midnight. Do you think KTX back to Cheongnyangni will still run past midnight?

    • snorton says:

      Hi Emily,

      Hoengseong would be good for sure, if you can find anything there – it’s a very small town.

      Getting back to Cheongnyangni from an event finishing at midnight probably won’t work – remember that you’ll have to take a shuttle bus from the venue to the KTX station, and this could involve some waiting time. We still don’t know the KTX schedule for sure, so it’s impossible to give a concrete answer; but it does seem unlikely you can make it back to Seoul after a midnight finish in Pyeongchang (or anyway, you’d need to leave early). Something close to Gangneung is therefore better for late-finishing events. See my accomodation page for more details:

      http://www.snowguidekorea.com/pyeongchang-2018-accommodation-winter-olympics/

      • Rosy Martinez says:

        We were told at the Seoul Train Station that the last train leaving Gangneung towards Seoul will be 0100 (1am) to allow people to go to the late night events.

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi again Emily, the schedule was finally announced and the last train back to Cheongnyangni leaves Gangneung at 1am, stopping at Jinbu at 1.24, so midnight finishing events should actually be ok for making it back to Seoul the same night.

      Let me know if you have any more questions!

  3. Hannah says:

    Any idea on what the KTX timetable might be? I’m planning to stay in Seoul since I only have tickets for 1 event in Gangneung. My primary concern is that event I am going to ends around midnight. 🙁

    • snorton says:

      Hi Hannah,

      I’m afraid we’re STILL waiting for them to announce the timetables… I feel your frustration!

      To be honest though, I’m not optimistic about your being able to get the KTX back to Seoul after a midnight finish in Gangneung. Even if there is a midnight train, remember you’ll still have to get from the venue to the KTX station.

      Hopefully they come up with some 1am trains to solve all these issues, but if they don’t you’ll need to either be ready to leave the event slightly early, or ready to spend the night in Gangneung and catch an early train back

      You might just be able to find a room available in Gangneung – see my accoodation page: http://www.snowguidekorea.com/pyeongchang-2018-accommodation-winter-olympics/ – but if not, or you don’t want to, it’s perfectly possible in Korea to safely wait out a few hours overnight in a 24-hr cafe or a (private) karaoke booth. Not ideal, of course, but it’s a last-resort option.

      Let me know if you have any more questions

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi again Hannah, ok so the schedule was finally announced, and the last train from Gangneung back to Seoul (terminating at Cheongnyangni Station) leaves at 1am. So I think you’ll be ok with a midnight finish, just make sure you don’t get caught out by possible long lines for the shuttle bus (be ready to jump in a cab if needed).

      Let me know if you have any more questions, and I hope you have an awesome time coming to Korea!

      • Elaine Corning says:

        I can’t find this 1am train. We have tickets to opening ceremonies but can’t figure out a way to get back to our hotel in Seoul. Help! Don’t know if we should plan to eat the cost of the tickets or plan to sleep on the street. Not ideal for “opening” day. I’ve tried Gangneung to Cheongyang ni and Gangneung to Seoul. Anything else I can try??

        • Simon Norton says:

          Hi Elaine, after the opening ceremony there’s a 0:44 to Sangbong, and a 1:24 to Cheongnyangni. If you don’t see them on the Korail site, it’s likely just because they’re after midnight so you need to set the date for the 10th. Go here and set the date for Feb 10th and the hour to 0:00, and check from Jinbu to Sangbong & Cheongnyangni, and you’ll see those trains. I’m afraid they’re already fully booked though, so you won’t be able to reserve them either.

          Standing tickets are also available, but you can only buy those in Korea so make that your first priority after landing (you can do it at the KTX counter in the airport). If you feel that’s too risky, you might have to consider switching your accommodation that night to Pyeongchang/Gangneung.

  4. gina saylor says:

    i can’t get the url http://www.letskorail.com to work. none of the links work, either. grrrr.

    • snorton says:

      Hi Gina,

      Sorry you’re having issues… if you just google “Korail” that should get it for you.

      Or perhaps it’s a problem with your browser settings for popup windows? I say this because the Korail site usually tries to open one or two popups when you load it; if your browser is auto-blocking them, it could be preventing the site from loading. Try checking your settings and changing it if you have it set to autoblock popup windows, then try Korail again.

      Hope this helps!

  5. Yanni says:

    We will travel from Busan to Phoenix Park. What will be the best way?

    • snorton says:

      Hi Yanni,

      When are you going? If it’s after the new Gangneung KTX train opens in December, the fastest way would be to go via Seoul on the KTX i.e. main KTX line from Busan to Seoul Station, then the Gangneung KTX from there to Pyeongchang Station.

      Alternatively you could travel up the east coast by train or bus from Busan to Gangneung, then take the KTX from there to Pyeongchang Station. This route is much slower, but also cheaper.

      • Yanni says:

        Hi thx for the reply.
        il be going on 11dec. Do you think the Gangneung KTX will already open by then?

        • snorton says:

          hmmm, it’s really hard to say, sorry! The schedule still hasn’t been announced, we just know that the service will start some time in December. I’ll post an announcement when we finally know the start date!

        • Simon Norton says:

          Hi again Yanni, bad news I’m afraid, the new KTX starts on the 22nd so that won’t be an option for you. So I think your best route from Busan will be to take the SRT from Busan Station to Suseo Station, then Seoul Metro to Gangbyeon Station (20 mins), then the highway bus from Dong Seoul Terminal to Jangpyeong (2 hours), and finally the Phoenix Park shuttle bus from Jangpyeong bus terminal to the resort. Details on Seoul to Phoenix Park by bus here: http://www.snowguidekorea.com/ski-resorts/gangwondo/phoenix-park-ski-resort/

  6. Dicky says:

    Hi Snorton,

    I would like to take KTX from Incheon airport to Pyeongchong station for my trip to Yongpyong during Christmas holidays. May I know when will KTX schedule for December be announced?

    • snorton says:

      Hi Dicky,

      I’m afraid we still don’t know when the schedule will be announced; however, as rail tickets are usually available 30 days in advance, I do expect it should be announced some time in November.

      This page will be updated as soon as the information is available!

  7. yanqiu says:

    Hi, i will like to bring my kids to play with real snow (if possible) around 11th to 14th december.

    may i know which ski resort with the best possibility of seeing real snow?

    my 3 kids are aged 8 years, 5 years and 3 years. I will also like to ask is there any ski resort with snow sledding and tube sledding while my 8 years old one learn skiing.

    • snorton says:

      Hi Yanqiu,

      All of the ski resorts will have real snow in mid-December; Alpensia has no skiing this season though, so definitely avoid Alpensia if your 8-year old wants ski lessons.

      Basically, if you want to do a day trip from Seoul, as you have 3 kids I’d recommend Vivaldi Park or Konjiam for the ease of access. Whereas if you want to go and actually stay at a resort, High1, Yongpyong, or Muju are probably the best choices. (they all have sledding & English-speaking instructors available)

      Let me know if you have any more questions!

  8. Serena Kuan says:

    Can I purchase the train ticket from Seoul to Jinbu station?
    I plan to visit Alpensia on 25th December 2017. Will it be available? If Yes, I have plan to stay in Terrace on the cloud, where is the nearer station? Is it Jinbu?
    Please advise.
    Thank you

    • snorton says:

      Hi Serena,

      Yes, Jinbu is the correct station. You can get tickets from Seoul to Jinbu, but they’re not available yet – Korean train tickets are usually available 30 days in advance, though we’re still waiting for the schedule announcement for the new train. This page will be updated as soon as we know the schedule!

      Until then, let me know if you have any more questions!

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi again Serena, the KTX starts service on the 22nd, so you’ll be able to use it to visit Alpensia on the 25th!

  9. Kevin says:

    Great information for those of us coming over for the Olympics, thank you for posting this! I plan to purchase a Pyeongchang Pass for the duration of my visit. You specifically mention “reserve your train seats ASAP”. Will KTX trains require a reservation for an actual seat on the train(s) that riders plan to use? I assumed with the Pyeongchang Pass you would be guaranteed admission and seats would be first come, first serve until capacity is reached. Will I need to make a reservation for a seat on the specific train(s)/time(s) I intend to travel on IN ADDITION to purchasing my PyeongChang Pass? Thanks for clarifying. Also, do KTX trains allow riders to stand if all seats are occupied?

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Kevin, thanks for reading & commenting, good to hear it’s useful!

      First of all, yes Korail recently announced you’ll be able to stand on the Gangneung KTX if there are no seats available on the train you want to ride, so capacity should be adequate.

      As for reservations, yes from my understanding of it you do need to make a seat/standing reservation for the specific train you wish to ride, in addition to the pass you hold. If you want to actually have a seat, I suggest doing this 30 days in advance! Of course it’s hard to know which train you’ll be wanting to board, especially if coming back to Seoul directly after an event finishes in Pyeongchang, so it may not be practical in such a case to book ahead… in that case, I guess you’ll just have to make the reservation on the day and put up with standing for an hour.

      Btw are you planning to stay in Seoul, and have you booked yet? (You need to be careful not to stay too far from the KTX stations)

  10. barb says:

    how far is the new Le Meridien in Seoul from the Olympic station?

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Barb,

      Le Meridien is in Gangnam, near Shinnonhyeon Station… from there it’s half an hour by Metro to Seoul Station (1 transfer) or 35 minutes (2 transfers) to Cheongnyangni Station (the latter has more KTX departures for Pyeongchang)

  11. LAINE LE BRETON Myriam says:

    Hello !
    I’m comnig to Korea for the Paralympic Games, and I’ve booked a hotel room in Gangneung. My question is : I was told we can take the shuttle for free with our ticket for the daily competition. Is there a shuttle from Gangneung railway station direct to Alpensia ( for biathlon and cross counrty skiing), or do we have to take the train ( KTX or other ) from Gangneung to Jinbu station, and then a shuttle to go to Alpensia ( nordic venue)? And, in that case, is the train free too, with our competition ticket ( it was the case in Sochi )… And, last but not least, are all the shuttles and trains accessible in wheelchair? Thansk in advance for your help, because we don’t have many informations about the transportation system during the Games…not yet !!!

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hello, good questions! I’m afraid I can’t give 100% accurate answers, but to the best of my knowledge:

      I’m not aware of any direct shuttles from Gangneung to the alpine venues. I think you should expect and plan for taking the KTX to Jinbu first (and if there does then turn out to be a direct shuttle from Gangneung, treat it as a welcome bonus!)

      I’m also not aware of any suggestion of free KTX journeys for event ticket holders; so, again, you should budget for paying for the KTX, then if you do manage to ride for free it’s a bonus

      Wheelchair accessibility can be an issue at older train stations in Korea but more recent constructions are all fully accessible. As this KTX line and its stations have literally just been built, I think it’s safe to assume the trains & stations will be fine. As for the shuttle buses, one would assume that the organisers will make sure they’re also wheelchair accessible – but I can’t say this with any guarantee.

      I’m going to try and get more concrete answers to your questions, and will post an update here once I have better information!

      In the meantime, let me know if you have any more questions

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hello again Myriam, sorry for taking so long to get back to you, but the info’s only just come out. Regarding wheelchair accessibility, apparently some shuttle buses will be accessible, but not all of them.

      The shuttle bus schedule for the Olymoics was finally released the other day, and you can see it here; it’s only in Korean unfortunately, but it shows you can in fact go from Gangneung Station to Alpensia by shuttle bus. However, this involves 3 changes of bus (the route is TS22 > TS26 > TS31 > TS10 and would take minimum 90 minutes (plus anything up to an hour of waiting time). On the other hand from Jinbu Station it’s just shuttle TS4 to Alpensia, taking 20 minutes.

      One other thing to note, though, is that this shuttle schedule is for the Olympics – it’ll probably be a bit different for the Paralympics.

      I’ve made a Paralympics page here where I’ll post any transportation updates as & when we get further information, so keep checking back!

  12. Kelvin Chan says:

    Am I correct to understand that we should buy KTX tickets from Seoul to Pyeongchang Station then take shuttle bus to Phoenix Snow Park for the ski programmes, and to Gangneung Station for skating programmes?
    Would there be shuttle bus service from Gangneung Station to Gangneung Speed Skating Oval? Our programme finished at 2200, would it be too late to catch the last KTX train back to Seoul?

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Kelvin,

      You have that mostly correct, just be careful about the alpine events as some are at Phoenix Park (near Pyeongchang Station), but the majority are at Yongpyong, Alpensia, and Jeongseon (all near Jinbu Station).

      That aside, yes you need to buy KTX tickets, then take a spectator shuttle bus from the station to your event. And yes, there’ll be shuttle buses between the speed skating venue and Gangneung Station – unfortunately we still don’t know the KTX schedule, so I’m afraid I can’t yet advise you on the last KTX time. As soon as the schedule is announced, I’ll update the info on this page, so keep checking back.

      Until then, let me know if you have any more questions

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi again Kelvin, the schedule was finally announced and the last train from Gangneung is at 1am, so you’re all good!

      • Kelvin Chan says:

        Thanks for the update, Simon.
        We would be heading to Phoenix Snow Park for the Free Style Skiing programme and understand that we should disembark KTX trains at Jinbu Station for shuttle service.
        Then for the Alpine Skiing programme, is it that we should also get off at Jinbu Station then take shuttle bus to Daewallyeong Transport Mall for further shuttle service to Yongpyong Alpine Centre?
        As for the skating programme in Gangneung Oval, is it that we should head to Gangneung Station then to take shuttle bus to the skating centre.
        For each of these connecting shuttle service, are you aware the duration of travel to the respective sports venues, such that we could plan ahead of which KTX train to take to ensure we arrive on time when the programme starts.
        Thanks again.

        • Simon Norton says:

          Hi again Kelvin,

          Be careful – Phoenix Park is near Pyeongchang Station, not Jinbu Station. So for your freestyle event, take the shuttle from Pyeongchang Stn. The road distance is around 10km

          For Yongpyong, I’m expecting there to be a direct shuttle from Jinbu Stn to Yongpyong, which is about 15-20km road distance (mostly on the highway). Have you read somewhere that you have to change shuttles?

          For Gangneung Oval, yes it’s just a couple of km from Gangneung Station.

          In each case it obviously depends on traffic etc, but I would think all of those shuttles would take 20-25 minutes (or less) in good conditions. But do also bear in mind that you might also have to queue up for a while to actually board the shuttle buses, so add some time on for that possibility

          • Kelvin Chan says:

            Hi Simon,

            I notice from other websites that there are private transportation offered to different Olympics venues. Since we would be heading to
            Phoenix Snow Park, Yongpyong Alpine Centre and Gangneung Speed Skating Oval, money and traveling time aside, are you aware whether private vehicles or taxi could actually take passengers all the way to these venues? Or, would the driver simply be requested to drop off people at shuttle bus centre for further distribution.

            • Simon Norton says:

              Hi Kelvin,

              People driving to the Olympics have to park at one of the parking areas, then ride shuttle buses to the venues. My assumption is that taxi drivers have to follow the same procedure and drop passengers at the park & ride areas. Are you heading to those 3 venues on the same day?

              • Kelvin Chan says:

                No, to Phoenix Snow Park on Feb 17 and to Yongpyong Alpine Centre and Gangneung Speed Skating Oval on Feb 18.

                • Simon Norton says:

                  Ok, so have a look at the shuttle bus system here.

                  Shuttle TS15 connects Pyeongchang Station & Jangpyeong Bus Terminal to Phoenix Park, so you could have a taxi drop you at one of those (Jangpyeong Bus Terminal is slightly closer) and jump on the shuttle from there.

                  For Yongpyong to the speed skating the route is TS17 > TS12 > TS31 > TS26 (or TS20), which takes at least 90 minutes (plus waiting & transfer times). You could do the TS31 leg (Daegwallyeong parking area to North Gangneung parking area) by taxi, which would speed things up a bit. The other route is by KTX: TS17 > TS5 > KTX (Jinbu to Gangneung) > TS22

                  • Kelvin Chan says:

                    Wow, that’s very useful information.
                    As for Yongpyong Alpine Centre, which parking area would you suggest to drop us off on 18 Feb.
                    Besides, do you have any idea about the distance between Seoul (where we stay) and Pyeongchang, Yongpyong and Guangneung such that we could estimate the traveling time. Coz, I was having difficulty to do that in Google map for Korean places?!

                    • Simon Norton says:

                      Hi Kelvin,

                      Yeah Google Maps kinda sucks in Korea unfortunately! Naver Map is much better – but it’s only in Korean. What travel times are you trying to estimate? Do you mean by car from Seoul to Pyeongchang? If so, that’s normally around 2.5 hours, but I’d budget for longer as the traffic might be bad.

                      For Yongpyong, you’ll want to be dropped at Jinbu Station (then shuttle TS5 & TS17) or Daegwallyeong Parking Area (then shuttle TS12 & TS17). There is also a Yongpyong Rainbow Parking Area (where shuttle TS17 goes from), but from what I can make out that’s just for bus transfers – but do ask your driver if he’d be able to drop you there, as it would be faster if possible.

  13. Dicky says:

    I have just checked the timetable available in the pyeongchang pass webpage. According to the timetable, all of the KTX trains of the Kyungkang line start from Seoul station before January 25 . If I have to take KTX to go from Incheon Airport to Jinbu station on December 26, how can I do?

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Dicky, I think that’s the timetable from start of service in December until January 25th – presumably (hopefully!) because they’re planning extra services during the Olympics. The KTX is supposed to start service some time in December, but we still don’t know exactly what date. Hopefully you’ll be able to use it on December 26th, but this can’t be guaranteed.

      If it’s not in service yet by then, you’ll need to take a bus from Dong Seoul Bus Station, which is located in front of Gangbyeon Station on Seoul Metro Line 2. You can go from Incheon Airport to Gangbyeon Station by Metro with one change (from Airport Line to Line 2) at Hongik University, which would take around 100 minutes. Then the bus will be about 2.5 hours from there.

      Obviously it’s much better if you can use the KTX to go direct! As soon as the KTX start date is known I’ll update this page, so keep checking back!

      • Dicky says:

        Hi Simon,
        Even if the Kyungkang line operates on December 26, I can’t go directly from Incheon Airport to Jinbu station by taking KTX as the train goes from Seoul to Gangneung. That means I have to take AREX train to Seoul first, and then transfer to Kyungkang line for taking KTX to Jinbu station. Am I right?

        • Simon Norton says:

          Hi Dicky,

          Ah, yeah sorry you’re right about that – it looks like the direct KTX trains from the airport to Jinbu won’t be running until late January. So yes, you’d need to change at Seoul Station… but that’s still much better than taking the bus from Gangbyeon!

        • Simon Norton says:

          Hi again Dicky – the start date for the KTX is now confirmed to be December 22nd, so you’ll be able to use it! AREX to Seoul Station, then KTX to Jinbu; total travel time of around 3 hours depending on the connection.

  14. Tricia says:

    Hello,

    I am looking to attend a ski jump event that ends at 9:30 pm. Do you think we could make it on a KTX to go back to Seoul that night? I know the timetable isn’t up but maybe I could catch the midnight one, or earlier if possible?

    Thanks!

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Tricia,

      Of course I can’t give any sure answer yet without knowing the schedule, but I would think that you’ll be okay to get back to Seoul after a 9:30 finish.

      Here’s the initial schedule for the KTX in December/January: http://www.letskorail.com/etc/pyeongChang/eng_timetable.pdf

      As you can see, the last train back to Seoul from Jinbu (the station you’ll be using) on that schedule is at 21:50, which would probably be impossible to catch if you leave at 21:30 due to having to wait for & take the shuttle bus from event venue to train station.

      However, there will be a different schedule in place for February – hopefully (surely?!) with later trains on it!

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi again Tricia, ok so we finally know the schedule! You can check it here (page 6). As you can see, the last train from Jinbu is at 1.24 am so you’re all good! (last one all the way to Seoul Station is 23.34)

      • Patricia says:

        Thank you for your responses! Actually the ski jump events ends at 10:30 pm, not 9:30. Do you think one hour is enough time to wait and take the shuttle bus to the train station? I would prefer to take the 23.34 train to go back to Seoul station!

        • Simon Norton says:

          Hey Patricia, wow, it’s really hard to say! The road distance from Alpensia to Jinbu Station is a good 20km; that’s mostly along the highway, so in light traffic it should take maybe 25 mins. But of course the traffic may be heavy, so it could well take longer. Furthermore we have no idea how long you’ll have to wait for the bus; it could be super-efficient, but there could be a long wait.

          The 23:34 train is certainly far more attractive than the 0:44 time, due to both the time and the terminus (Seoul Station rather than Sangbong). However, if you’re buying single tickets I’d probably err on the side of caution and go for 0:44 (or even 1:24 to Cheongnyangni if you don’t want to deal with a taxi from Sangbong).

          But if you’re using a rail pass, I think you can make the reservation for 23:34 and hope for the best, as if you miss it you can just make a new reservation at the station for the next train… well… assuming they keep the ticket office open that late, that is… damn, that’s only just occurred to me! Something else to try and find out! Will update as best can, as soon as I can!

      • Snower says:

        The service commence next day on 22 Dec but cant find Dec schedule. How to book the ticket for 22 Dec?

  15. Marc says:

    Here we go: “The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport revealed Monday that a launching ceremony for the KTX Gyeonggang high-speed train line will be held in Gangneung on December 21st with service to officially begin the next day.”

    Source: http://world.kbs.co.kr/english/news/news_Dm_detail.htm?No=131976

    Date of post: 27 Nov

    • Simon Norton says:

      Good stuff – now they just need to actually tell us what the schedule’s going to be during the Olympics!

      • Hooray for the Olympics says:

        It’s in the PDF link that you posted? Page 5.

        Also, it appears that the deadline to purchase passes has been extended to Jan. 31, 2018.

        • Simon Norton says:

          Woah, that wasn’t there before, they’ve updated it!

          Well spotted and thanks for commenting to point it out. Very good to see there’s a 1am train from Gangneung, that means people can make it back to Seoul after late events. I’ll get this page updated now, cheers!

          • Hooray for the Olympics says:

            Thanks for the updates! This is the best page by far for updates on transportation options (and convinced me to stay in Seoul instead of trying to find mucho expensive and scarce accommodations near the venues).

            • Simon Norton says:

              You’re very welcome, thanks for the kind comment! Have you booked some accommodation in Seoul then?

              • Hooray for the Olympics says:

                Just saw this now. Yes indeed, although now after a first attempt at reserving KTX Seollal seats on the pass (not as bad as I had feared, but let’s see if extra seats open up during the special resevation period), I may need to base myself in a more strategically located area for those early-morning and late-evening trains. Will also have to see about bus shuttles between venues (like Phoenix to Alpensia, for example) or whether train reservations are required!

  16. Michael says:

    Hi Simon, thanks for all your help so far! Much appreciated! Just wondering though(maybe I missed it somewhere on this website), is there a website to find out more details on the shuttle busses that will link the main Olympic-games-serving stations to the venues? Also, are the shuttles free? And finally would you have an idea of when their schedules will be released? Thanks again!

    • Michael says:

      Another question Simon!
      For events at Yongpyong and Alpensia, there is a shuttle bus from Jinbu station. However will there be a shuttle bus linking the two venues? Or will you have to walk or get a taxi from one to the other? Thanks!

      • Simon Norton says:

        Hi Michael, the official transportation page is here, but I’m afraid it doesn’t give much info about the shuttles other than that they will exist! So unfortunately I have absolutely no idea what the schedules will be like. I do believe they will be free though.

        As for direct shuttles between Yongpyong and Alpensia, I’d certainly hope there will be but again I have no idea if there will or not. Would seem a bit crazy to have people having to double back all the way to Jinbu Station, but then security & access at Olympics venues is very rigid so it isn’t unthinkable.

        I’ll be keeping the info on this page as up-to-date as I can!

  17. Julie says:

    Hello!
    I have looked everywhere to see where I can buy a single day KTX train ticket (Seoul-Gangneung) as I am going only for one hockey game. I can only see the 5 day pass and 7 day pass. Where can I buy it?

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Julie, the online booking page is here. You can make reservations from 30 days in advance – I suggest you do it as soon as they’re available!

      Hope this helps, and let me know if you have any more questions

  18. Stanley says:

    Hello, Many thx for your kindly info collection.My questions is: Do you know the arrurate location of “Manjong Station”? Is it far from Wonju Station? I think Manjong is a good accommodation base to visit games and Seoul,Do you have any good suggestion for the hospitality near “Manjong” Thanks in advance!

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Stanley, Manjong Station is on the northwest edge of Wonju City, not far from Oak Valley Ski Resort. Manjong Station is about 4km due west of the main Wonju Station. There isn’t any accommodation around Manjong, so you’d want to stay in central Wonju and take local transportation to the KTX. There are loads of hotels in Wonju, but they’re already pretty booked out. You can still see a few available here though.

      Hope this helps, and let me know if you have any more questions!

      • Paul Loomis says:

        simon, you seem to be very knowledgeable about the travel arrangements.
        I have a difficult predicament- my sons compete in Nordic Combined, and there’s about a 60 % chance that one of them might qualify for the Olympics….but we wont know for sure until mid- January! We really don’t know what to do and whether to look into lodging and transportation options now, but I cant imagine they’re cancellable. it looks like everything near Alpensia is booked. and we cant afford to spend much on lodging so we might have to commute from Seoul. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated! thanks!

        • Simon Norton says:

          Hi Paul – sounds like a difficult predicament, but also a pretty good one to be in!

          Yes, if you book in mid-January I’d say it’ll be almost certainly impossible to find any reasonable accommodation in Pyeongchang/Gangneung. So yes, I’d say you should probably make your plans around staying in Seoul and commuting on the new KTX. Prices in Seoul will basically be normal (or perhaps slightly inflated but nothing crazy), and I’d suggest you go ahead and make a booking on Agoda – their cancellation policy means if you end up wanting to cancel in mid-Jan, you can do so and still get a full refund. You can search & book Seoul rooms on Agoda here (and you can see the specifics of their cancellation policy here)

          As for the transportation, if you’d need to be going back & forth on multiple days you’d want to get the Pyeongchang Pass; but if you’d only need to do one or two round-trips, it’ll be cheaper to book the tickets individually. The pass is on sale until the end of January, while individual tickets become available 30 days in advance, so in both cases you can hold off on booking anything until your sons qualify (best of luck to them!)

          Hope this helps, and let me know if you have any more questions!

  19. Joshua says:

    Hello simon, Would like to ask can the Korail pass from Busan to Seoul also be used to Gangneung? Travel date won’t be during the time of Olympic. Would be on early January 2018. Would like to book the flexi one. Thanks so much for your help.

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Joshua, yes the regular Korail Pass can be used on the Gangneung KTX in January. In February & March it won’t be valid on that line, but in January it’s fine (see third bullet point here (in red) for confirmation)

      • Joshua says:

        For flexi 4 days. Lets say I go from Busan to Seoul on the 3rd January 2018. On the 4th I’m not using the train. Does it mean on the 5th January I still have 3 more days? Can the regular korail pass reserve seat at the Gangneung KTX? Really appreciate what you are doing right now. I’m planning to go to pyeongchang on the 5th January.

        • Simon Norton says:

          Hi Joshua, I’ve never used the flexi pass, but yes that’s my understanding of it – you can use it on 4 days of your choice within a 10-day period.

          And yes you can use it for the Gangneung KTX in January (but not in Feb or March), so you can use it from Seoul to Pyeongchang on the 5th.

          Hope this helps and let me know if you have any more questions!

          • Joshua says:

            DO I need to reserve seat if i were to go on the 5th jan?

            • Simon Norton says:

              Hi Joshua, you just need to buy a ticket, which includes the seat reservation. Unless you mean using the Korail Pass or Pyeongchang Pass? In that case, yes you need to reserve a seat before riding the train.

  20. Daniel says:

    Hello there.

    We are staying at Welly Hilly (Dunnae) and are attending the ski jump final on the 10th (alpensia ski jumping). It should start around 9.30 and finish late around 11.30 pm. What would be the best option to head back Welly Hilly (shuttle bus? Train available to Dunnhae? Or really a taxi for the whole distance). I would really appreciate any help. thanks a lot!

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Daniel, well in theory the answer would be just to take the KTX back from Jinbu Station to Dunnae Station… however, the last train stopping at Dunnae leaves Jinbu at 22:34, so that’s no good. You could take the 0:44 train to Pyeongchang Station, then a taxi from there – it’s a distance of about 20km so shouldn’t break the bank. I’d probably try to get that taxi arranged in advance if that’s what you decide to do. And to be honest I’m not sure if there’s any other option other than renting a car.

      Hope this helps, and let me know if you have any more questions!

  21. Simone Yamamoto says:

    Hi Simon 🙂

    Thanks for your advices!
    Could you help me in my question?

    I have a winter game at Gangneung at 9AM, but I’m afraid to lose the game because of the time of the trains.

    It’s possible for me, to schedule a seat at 11PM for a day before and wait until 6AM at the Gangneung Station?

    Or Do you have some recommendations for some 24hours locations?

    Thanks

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Simone, I definitely wouldn’t try to spend the night at Gangneung Station itself – I expect they’ll close the station overnight, and it’s going to be absolutely freezing outside!

      There’s a 6:00 a.m. train from Seoul arriving Gangneung at 7:58, which looks to me like your best option. But if you don’t feel confident about that and want to travel the night before and spend the night near Gangneung Station, you should look for a 24-hour cafe or restaurant; for the price of a coffee you can wait there all night (McDonalds, for example, is good for this).

      But if it was me, I think I’d just go for the 6 a.m. train!

  22. Ilia says:

    Hi Simon,

    Thanks for all the helpful information on these thread!

    Do you know if there will be luggage storage lockers in the new KTX stations (PyeongChang, Gangneung, Jinbu)?

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Ilia, I think there will – I don’t know this for sure, but KTX stations do usually have lockers. However, I would expect that during the Olympics they’ll be very busy so it might prove very difficult to find an available locker at short notice. In other words, I’d allow plenty of extra time if you need to find a locker!

  23. Chris says:

    Hi Simon,

    First, many thanks to you for this excellent and informative website. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.

    We will be staying in Gangneung for one week during the games and need to transit to events in the mountain cluster on 5 of the days. What is our best transit method to get from Gangneung to the mountain cluster events and back each day ? We were wondering if there is a shuttle or local train of some type, or will our best option be to take the new KTX Kyungkang line to the events? We plan to use the new KTX line to get to and from the ICN airport so are trying to decide if we should purchase those train tickets individually or if we will be using the line for transit to the events then should get the one week pass ? Thank you.

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Chris, thanks for the nice comment, it’s always good to hear the site’s helpful!

      Yes, for Gangneung to the mountain cluster you should take the KTX one stop to Jinbu Station, or two stops to Pyeongchang Station for events at Phoenix Park. From the KTX station you then take a free shuttle bus to the venue itself.

      Tickets from Gangneung to Jinbu/Pyeongchang are only in the 7-8000 range, and Incheon Airport to Gangneung is 40000. So by my calculations it will actually be cheaper for you to buy individual tickets, rather than the 7-day pass.

      Hope this helps, and let me know if you have any more questions

  24. Ina says:

    Hi! I hope you can help, as I’m confused about the date that the KTX to Pyeongchang would start operating :/ I thought the timetable (link: http://www.letskorail.com/etc/pyeongChang/eng_timetable.pdf ) meant that it would only start running on Jan 25, 2018, but I’m seeing on the news that it turns out it’s operational now — is that correct? I’m arriving on Thursday (Dec 28) with a little child and a senior citizen, so the KTX would have been mighty convenient. But due to the uncertainty, I booked a Purple Ski Bus instead, since it would take us directly from the Incheon airport to the Alpensia resort. Do you by any chance have confirmed info that the KTX is now operating, and we can simply take that from the Incheon airport straight to Alpensia? Thanks much for any info you can provide! 🙂

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hello Ina, yes the KTX is now fully operational, however the direct trains from Incheon Airport will only be during the Olympics. This means to take the KTX on the 28th you’d first take the AREX (airport express subway line) from Incheon Airport to Seoul Station (70 minutes), then the KTX from there (90 minutes). Then after reaching Jinbu Station, you’d need to either take a taxi to Alpensia, or take a shuttle bus to Yongpyong followed by the Alpensia shuttle from there. Including transfers this is going to take 4 hours or so, and be quite a lot of hassle – to be honest I think you should stick with the bus reservation you’ve already made!

      Let me know if you have any more questions, and have a great trip!

  25. Ricky Sandoval says:

    Hi Simon, I am so glad to have found your site! Most of the sites I’ve checked out in my research for ways to reach Alpensia / Pyeongchang were Korean websites that I found difficult to decipher. I really hope you can help me out. I’ll be taking my family to Holiday Inn Resort Pyeongchang on January 13-15, and am hoping to go straight there upon touching down in Incheon International Airport. Would you be able to provide me with clear directions on how to go about this? Backreading a bit, it seems that the KTX train coming from the airport will not yet be available in time for our trip? Thank you so much for your help! 🙂

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Ricky,

      Yes that’s correct, the direct trains from Incheon Airport will only be during the Olympics. This means to take the KTX on January 13th you’d first need to take the AREX (airport express subway line) from Incheon Airport to Seoul Station (70 minutes), then the KTX from there (90 minutes). Then after reaching Jinbu Station, you’d need to either take a taxi to Alpensia, or take a shuttle bus to Yongpyong followed by the Alpensia shuttle from there. Including transfers this is going to take 4 hours or so if you do the last bit by taxi, or 5 hours if you take the shuttle buses.

      The best option for you is going to be to take the Purple Ski Bus instead, as it goes direct from the airport to Alpensia resort. This will be cheaper, and while it’ll take the same amount of time it’s much less hassle as you don’t have to deal with any transfers or lugging your luggage around Seoul Station. Departures at 7:30, 9:00, 11:00, 15:00, 19:30, and you can book it here. Hope this helps!

  26. Sarah W says:

    Hi Simon,

    Really appreciate your wealth commuter knowledge! I will be a volunteer at the Olympics and they say we should take the KTX to Manjong station where they will have shuttles operating to Yonsei University Wonju Campus. Unfortunately, I will be arriving before the shuttles are functional. From your experience/knowledge, are there many taxi’s at Manjong station? Do you know how much the fare would be?

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Sarah, I would certainly expect there to be taxis available at Manjong Station, but this isn’t something I’ve confirmed with my own eyes as I haven’t been there yet.

      However, looking at the location of the campus, if you’re going there by taxi I think it might be more convenient to take a highway bus from Seoul Express Bus Terminal to Wonju, then a taxi from Wonju bus terminal to the campus. I say this because the bus terminal is central and therefore quite a bit closer to the campus than either Wonju Station or Manjong Station – the campus is south of town, but Manjong Station is quite far out to the northwest. I’d guesstimate the taxi fare from the bus terminal at around 10000 KRW, and perhaps 15000 from Wonju Station and 20000 from Manjong Station – but please take these as very rough guesses, because that’s what they are!

      Let me know if you have any more questions!

    • Nicole C. says:

      Hello Sarah,

      I will also be volunteering for the Olympics and arriving on February 1st. I was checking the schedule for the KTX from Incheon Airport to Manjong station and it seems that the train won’t be stopping at Manjong station? This is just my interpretation and I was wondering if you may have a better understanding of how the schedule works. If so, please let me know! Also, have you purchased your Korail pass? Any luck there? If yes, please advise me on how you did it.

      Thank you and I appreciate any help you can provide!!

      Kind regards,
      Nicole C.

      • Simon Norton says:

        Hi again Nicole, I just replied to your other comment below, but for a bit more clarity – the KTX trains running from the airport that week don’t stop at Manjong (or anywhere else between Seoul & Pyeongchang), but you can ride that KTX from the airport to Seoul Station, then switch to another KTX train stopping at Manjong.

  27. Chris says:

    Great questions and answers. All your information is extremely helpful. Is it possible to purchase just a single round trip ticket from Seoul to Gangneung during the games on the KtX (going to Pyeongchang one day and returning to Seoul the next) without having to purchase a 3-day KORAIL pass? If so, how do I book it (and can I do it greater than 30 days out)? Thanks

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Chris,

      Yes absolutely you can just buy regular tickets without needing to buy a pass, no problem at all. You can book on the Korail website, or you can go to the ticket machines or ticket counters at Seoul Station (or other KTX stations like Yongsan & Cheongnyangni). Tickets are available 30 days in advance, and demand will be high so it’s probably a good idea to get it done on the earliest possible date.

      • Calvin says:

        Hi Simon,

        Thanks for all the great information. I just went on the Korail site to look at KTX tickets (not the pass) and apparently for our arrival date (Feb 8) into Incheon, most of the trains are sold out even though it is still more than 30 days out. Do they have seats seserve for Pass holders? What do you suggest we do?

        • Simon Norton says:

          Hi Calvin,

          Yes, Pyeonchang Pass holders are already able to make early seat reservations. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to score seats, but standing tickets are also available so you should still be able to get on your preferred train.

          Go on the site 30 days before and hopefully you can make standing reservations. If not, I guess you’ll have to do it by bus, but I don’t think that’ll be necessary.

  28. Ruth says:

    Hello,
    First I like the information you’ve gathered. You’ve done a good job.
    I have a question about reserving seats. I bought the Pyeongchang Korail passes and am trying to reserve seats. The problem is that, as part of the reservation process, it’s asking what kind of train I’ll be taking. The options are, Normal, O-Train, V-Train, S-Train, and so on. Do you know which one I should select?
    Thanks!

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Ruth, thanks for the comment! Glad to be of help.

      Just select ‘normal’ for that field, the others are special sightseeing trains and whatnot (nothing to do with the Olympics)

      Let me know if you have any more questions!

  29. Lori says:

    Bought the pyeongchang pass for three of us weeks ago and have not been able to reserve seats on Korail’s website. Please advise on how to reserve seats.

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Lori, seat reservations are available 30 days in advance. If you’re trying to make reservations for February, that’ll be the reason it’s not working. Try again at the 30-day mark and it should work!

  30. Donna Lumsden says:

    You are the BEST!
    I have been following your Q&A now for the past two months and your info has been prompt and informative.
    Now my turn, WE are staying in Seoul at an AirBnB near Seoul Station. First day of my son’s event is February 18th but not until the night. So we have our KTX passes but still can’t book seats as it is the last day of the Lunar Festival. Our plan is to go directly into the coastal cluster of Gangenung and wander about and try and find Canada House. We then plan to take a shuttle up to the Sliding Center for the bobsleigh events which starts at 9:30pm. WE have reserved seats on the last train leaving Jinbu but it only takes us Cheongnyangni. It been stated that if you have a ticket to the event the shuttle is free. Do you know if there is a schedule of shuttles yet?

    THANK YOU!!

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Donna, thanks for the nice comment!

      Your son’s competing? Awesome! So, yes the shuttles are free, but as far as I can make out there’s no schedule as such – there’ll be shuttle boarding points outside the stations (and various other places) and the shuttles will just go back & forth from there to the venues. So you get off the train, find the shuttle bus area, show your ticket, and get on the bus / join the line. I have no idea how efficient it’ll be – there may be a wait, there may not, so obviously allow plenty of extra time in case there is. Also it looks like you may have to change shuttle buses, so again allow plenty of time!

      Heading back, a taxi from Cheongnyangni to Seoul Station should be somewhere in the region of 20000 won.

      Hope you have a great trip, and I’ll be cheering for your son! (Team Canada I presume, as you’re heading to Canada House? I used to live in Vancouver so tend to cheer for Canada anyway, as we don’t have so many Brits to cheer on!)

      Cheers

  31. JB says:

    Hi there,
    I’m wondering if I have an event near the Jinbu stop in the afternoon and at the Gangneung at night, do I have to buy a separate ticket from Seoul to Jinbu, then Jinbu to Gangneung, and finally to Gangneung to Seoul? Or is there an easier way to do this. Also, how long will is take to get from Jinbu to Gangneung?
    Thank you!

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi JB,

      That’s correct, you’ll need to buy those 3 separate train tickets. Jinbu to Gangneung is a single stop and takes 16 or 17 minutes.

      Have a great trip!

  32. Kevin says:

    Hi Simon,

    Checking back in now that my flight and hotel are booked. I’ll be staying right next to Seoul Station. Unfortunately my Olympic dates align exactly with Seollal, and as you are probably aware, KTX tickets cannot be booked for the 2/14 – 2/18 period until January 17th. There’s a major situation brewing here, as it was just revealed that Koreans will have the first crack at ticket reservations for those dates beginning at 6 AM on 1/17, while foreigners will have to wait until 4 PM to have a chance to book, that’s a 10 hour head start. In reading other sources it sounds like KTX tickets during Seollal have 100% sold out in previous years in less than 1 hour. This has me incredibly concerned about my ability to secure reservations to get back and forth from Pyeongchang each day. There are thousands of people who have purchased the Pyeongchang Pass, who now probably won’t be able to book spots on the trains each day between 2/14 and 2/18. Is there any talk of this impending issue in Korea? Would you have any recommendations on how this issue could be raised to (Korail customer service is terrible)? It’s possible tons of foreigners who have spent considerable money and time to get to Korea will be stranded and unable to travel to/from the venues.

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Kevin,

      Yeah I agree it’s completely ridiculous that this is happening bang in the Olympics, and without much warning. I would anticipate that you won’t be able to get a seat – however, although the KTX trains are usually seating only, the Pyeongchang KTX will have standing tickets so you should still be able to get on the trains you want to. You’ll probably have to stand on crowded trains, which sucks, but you should be able to get to your events.

      Go on their website as soon as reservations open on Jan 17th and hopefully you can book the trains you want. Good luck! (and let me know if you’re successful)

  33. Kristi & Bob says:

    Dear Simon,

    We have tickets for the Winter Olympics and a place to stay in Wonju. Unfortunately, we don’t speak or read Korean, so we’d like to confirm that we understand the KTX information.

    Could you confirm if the Wonju station, which appears on Google Maps, is the same as the Manjong station for the KTX? Do you have any idea how feasible it would be to travel around Wonju on foot – is it feasible to walk to the KTX station in Wonju? (Basically, is the city pedestrian friendly?)

    Thanks so much for your help and all the great information you’ve been posting for those of us traveling from afar for these Olympics. Really appreciate it.

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Kristi & Bob,

      You’re very welcome! Glad to help.

      That’s a no – Wonju Station and Manjong Station are entirely separate. Wonju Station is fairly central (located in the northern section of central Wonju), while Manjong Station is a few km out to the northwest.

      Wonju’s pedestrian friendly and you can walk around downtown no worries, but it’d be quite time-consuming to walk to Manjong Station. There are some local trains from Wonju Station which stop at Manjong, but only a few per day. Taxis are going to be your best option, obviously it depends where exactly your accommodation is but I estimate up to 10 dollars(ish) by taxi.

      Hope you have an awesome time, and let me know if you have any more questions!

      PS unfortunately Google Maps doesn’t work well in Korea, and isn’t yet up to date with the new KTX stations. Download Naver Map instead – it’s only in Korean I’m afraid, but once you find what you’re looking for the accuracy is excellent. To search for Manjong Station, copy & paste 만종역 into the search box

  34. Chris Hyde says:

    Hello again Simon –

    We will be staying in Gangneung for the Olympics and based on your advice will take the KTX to either Jinbu or Pyeongchang station (depending on which events we go to) for the mountain events. My question is do we need to book those KTX tickets in advance or are they something we should be able to purchase once we get to the games ?

    Thanks ,Chris

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Chris, I would book them in advance if you know which trains you want to be on, but you should (hopefully!) also be able to get standing tickets on the day. Only way to be 100% sure though is to book ahead – when (if) doing so, make sure to factor in plenty of time for travel between the stations and the venues.

      • Brian G. says:

        It is HIGHLY recommended that you book your tickets in advance. “Standing Room” tickets have been mentioned as being available… but they are limited per train, and assuming that you can get a standing spot… is a decision you’ll have to live with, when/if it doesn’t happen. PLEASE be aware of the Seollal holiday booking fiasco that is occuring with the Korail tickets during Feb. 14th through Feb. 18th. Due to the ticketing policy of Korail, to pre-sell tickets only to Korean residents, the KTX trains may be completely sold-out when tickets go on sale to “foreigners”. Once again… do not assume that you will be able to use the trains during that time period. Efforts are being made (so far unsuccessfully) to change this policy… but Olympic fans may not be able to reach the venues for those 5 days. Please do everything possible to book ahead!

  35. Ken says:

    So i want to go to the olympics for two days. Stay in Seoul and take the train to Gangneung. The earliest event is 10 am, events for both days end at 23:30.
    Is there a train that covers these times?? Any thoughts as to a hotel near the train station in Seoul.
    Thanks for the help!

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Ken, yes there are trains at the times you need, see pages 5 & 6 here. For events finishing at 23:30, you can take the 0:20 (0:44 from Jinbu for the Mountain Cluster) to Sangbong Station (1:55), or the 1:00 (1:24 from Jinbu) to Cheongnyangni Station (2:34).

      Sangbong and Cheongnyangi are located in the northeast of the city; neither of them is great to stay in, but Cheongnyangni is better. In fact, I’m not sure if Sangbong even has any accommodation. Dongdaemun is a good area to go for, as it’s quite near Cheongnyangni but also a good area for shops, restaurants and sightseeing, with good access to the rest of the city too. If you stay more centrally, near Seoul Station etc, you’ll have to do some long taxi rides after you get off the KTX at Cheongnyangi or Sangbong as the subway doesn’t run that late.

      See hotels near Cheongnyangni/Dongdaemun here – seems to be plenty available in Dongdaemun, so that’s what I’d recommend.

  36. Nicole C. says:

    Hi Simon,

    I’m a volunteer for the Olympics and Paralympics and we’re supposed to undergo training before the start of the games. I arrive in Korea on Feb 1st and I was instructed to take the KTX to Manjong station from Incheon. I can’t understand the schedule as there seems to be no direct train from Incheon to Manjong. I’m not sure if I have to change trains. I arrive at 4:20 PM and if I take the 6:00 PM train from Incheon, it stops in Seoul and from there, where do I connect to get to Manjong???

    Any help in making sense of the Korail schedule would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Nicole, that’s right, you’ll need to change trains at Seoul Station. Take the AREX (Airport Express) subway line from the airport to Seoul Station, then from there take the KTX to Manjong. Schedule here, page 3.

      Let me know if you have any more questions, and hope you have a great time!

      EDIT – actually, you could also take the KTX from the airport to Seoul Station, then change to the KTX for Manjong. This will be a bit more expensive than using the subway, but faster and a much easier transfer at Seoul Station. So probably the better option!

  37. Eko says:

    Hello Simon,

    Our family will be staying in Dunnae station for 3 nights from 9 Feb 12 Feb. However we could not find KTX train from Dunnae to Jinbu on 9 Feb. How much taxi fare would be if we take taxi from Dunnae to Jinbu or Jinbu to Dunnae?

    Thanks,
    Eko

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Eko, are you sure about that? I’m still seeing plenty of availability on the 9th. I’d estimate a taxi would be perhaps 100000 won.

  38. Art B. says:

    We will be staying in Gangneung for two days as our events for those days don’t end until very late. How will we be able to travel to/from the Coastal Cluster where the events are being held back and forth to our hotel, which is north of the venues in Jumumjin?

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi, I have to be honest and say I know absolutely nothing about Jumumjin, however judging from the apparent size of the town and the location, I’d think your only option late at night will be to take a taxi. It’s about 20km, which should come in below 50000 won (as long as drivers don’t start jacking the prices up, anyway…)

  39. Nathan Harris says:

    Hi Simon,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to do this, It has been a wealth of knowledge and helped greatly in planning our trip.

    I would like to ask a question. We are staying in Gangneung for the Winter Olympics and have purchased Pyeongchang Pass. Can you get to the Opening Ceremony and Sliding Centre (They seem to be close together) using the KTX from Gangneung or would it be better to use another form of transport.

    Thanks
    Nathan

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Nathan, thanks for saying that, it’s great to hear!

      Yes, you can take the KTX from Gangneung Station to Jinbu Station (it’s just one stop), then from Jinbu take an Olympic spectator shuttle to the ceremony stadium or the sliding centre (yes they’re close together, both at Alpensia Resort).

      It may also be possible to take a direct shuttle bus from Gangneung Station to the event venues, but frankly speaking the information available about the shuttle buses is woeful so it’s hard to say! But given you already have rail passes, you may as well just jump on the KTX regardless.

      Have an awesome trip!

  40. Narelle V says:

    Hi Simon,
    What an amazingly helpful site, I really appreciate your attention to detail. I apologise if others have asked this, but I’m in frantic plan mode and don’t have time to read everything!
    I have done the calculations and with three days of travel to/from Seoul to the venues, plus return trip to airport, the cost of the Pyeongchang Pass is about the same as the individual tickets we would buy.
    If we both buy a pass, can we therefore reserve two seats together each time (does it allow us to enter the two pass numbers under the one reservation). I see its possible to just buy two tickets, but I don’t want to have to log in twice and reserve individual seats with our two separate passes and risk not sitting together.
    I gather in my situation where $ is not saved, the benefit of the pass would be that if I miss my reserved train, with a pass I can just get online and (hopefully) reserve a seat on the next train, whilst I sit waiting on the shuttle bus? If I miss a single ticket reservation, it’s gone for good, is that correct? That seems very likely to happen a LOT, have the authorities thought about that?
    Pity I didn’t read this one day earlier, as now I am going to miss the cut-off for getting my Commemerative Pass if I do buy the Pyeongchange pass!

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Narelle,

      I believe you do have to log in and make reservations separately with each pass. In any case, for many trains you may only be able to get standing tickets anyway.

      And yes you’re right about the pass having the advantage of flexibility – if you miss a train you can get online to try book he next one, and also you can go to e ticket counter at the station and ask them to issue you a standing ticket for the next available train. With single reservations you’d have to pay again to do this, but with the pass there’d be no additional fee.

      Shame about the commemorative card, but anyway hope this helps!

    • Narelle V says:

      As a addition – I bought a Pyeongchang saver pass for two people, and can book 2 tickets (for 13th) under the same booking, it automatically gave me two seats together. So that answers the first question…I forgot that with two people travelling together, the saver pass is the way to go. Now good luck to all of us foreigners for the 17th in booking tickets!

      • Simon Norton says:

        Let me know how it goes – good luck!

        • Narelle says:

          Got all the tickets I needed! Amazing… However, unfortunately failed to print out two hard copy sets of the 8 before logging off the work computer with the faster internet….only trick now is where to find a record of my bookings, I haven’t been able to do that yet, even for those on the 13th that I booked a few days ago. Any suggestions where I would find a record of my bookings on the website would be appreciated (I am about to start an indepth hunt for them….)

  41. Daisy says:

    A big thanks to you for posting such useful information. My family will be in Seoul during that period. Of which there are 3 days we will be staying at Vivaldi Resort for skiing. Wonder if you have any ideas is it possible to go to Gangneung or Pyeongchang venue for watching the games by public transportation? Is Vivaldi Resort anywhere near one of those new train stops along KTX? I’m also considering going to the venues from Seoul, instead of from Vivaldi Resort if public transportation is unavailable. Is it easier to go to the venues from Seoul rather than from Vivaldi? Many thanks

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Daisy,

      It’s easier to go to the Olympic venues from Seoul, as Vivaldi Park is nowhere near a KTX station. Although, if you’re willing to pay for a taxi you could take a taxi from Vivaldi Park to Hoengseong Station on the KTX line – this would save a LOT of time by avoiding Seoul. Then from Hoengseong it’s 3 stops to Jinbu Station (for the Mountain Cluster) or 4 stops to Gangneung. It’s about 25km from Vivaldi Park to Hoengseong in a straight line, but I guess the road distance is more like 40km due to the mountains… so, at a guess, you’d need to budget perhaps 50000 won for that taxi ride. But it would save you a couple of hours so might be worth it.

      Or just go from Seoul during your time there!

  42. Daisy says:

    Hi, sorry I have another question. I’m just thinking of going there on a day trip, so would only consider buying a round trip tickets. Are non-pass holders allowed to purchase round trip tickets a month in advance? My intended day is any day within Feb 15 and Feb 20, 2018. I have to book tickets only on Feb 17 16:00pm or a month in advance? Does the reservation system accept visa payment? Sorry I have no ideas at all. Hope you can share with me anything you know about it. many thanks.

    • Simon Norton says:

      Ok, so if you want to go on February 15th, 16th, 17th, or 18th, it’s the Seollal holiday and the tickets become available on January 17th at 16:00 and will be very hard to get. If you want to go on February 19th or 20th, the tickets are already available (it’s 60 days advance booking during the Olympics). I strongly suggest that you go on the 19th or 20th! (and yes, as non-pass holders you can book ahead, no problem with that)

  43. Juergen says:

    Hi Simon,

    I have a question regarding discounted tickets like youth or senior tickets:

    You can buy them online in the Fan to Fan sale. Is it possible to upgrade them in any way to a standard ticket?

    Thanks! Good work, I do really appreciate it!

    Juergen

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Juergen, I’m not qualified to give a 100% gospel answer on this, but I would think it’s unlikely – my guess is you should probably only buy those tickets if you’re the right age! Sorry I can’t give a concrete answer though, you could try messaging the Pyeongchang Facebook page for an official response.

  44. Cherry says:

    Good day.. my family would like to visit the pyeongchang for 1day trip only to see the olympics venue. Is it ok if we are non pass holder (pyeongchangkorailpass)
    We’ll be there on feb8, can we book now in advance?

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Cherry,

      You don’t need a rail pass, you can just buy individual tickets. And yes, you can already book in advance – I recommend to do so ASAP!

  45. Sharon says:

    Hi Simon,
    First I just want to compliment you on the amazing job you have done putting this site together and responding to people’s questions! Now hopefully you can help me with a couple of mine 🙂

    We will be flying into ICN and staying in Gangneung for the Olympics. Do you have any idea how much time we should allow for between our flight arrival time and train departure time? I’m not sure how much time to allow for customs, collecting baggage, and getting to the train station. For example, if we are scheduled to arrive at 16:30, would it be recommend to book the 18:00, 19:00, or 20:00 train?

    Also, if we have a flight on 2/18 at 11:15, do you think the 5:40 and/or 6:20 trains out of Gangneung will be sold out before we can book on the 17th due to the holiday? I dont believe there would be any other options to make that flight?

    Any advice you can provide is greatly appreciated!

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Sharon, thanks I appreciate it!

      Immigration etc at Incheon is usually very efficient, but obviously they’re going to be busier than usual during the Olympics. It’s hard to give a definite answer, but using your example personally I think if landing at 16:30 I’d probably go for the 19:00 train. Will you have rail passes? If so, and you miss a train, you can just reserve the next available seats or standing tickets on (hopefully) the next train, so it isn’t such a risk to cut things tight. But if you don’t have passes and are using single tickets, you need to be a bit more careful about allowing enough time as you’d have to pay again if you missed it.

      For your return journey, yes you’ll definitely need to be on one of those first 2 trains that day. I really don’t know if they’ll sell out before you’re able to book them or not… the conventional wisdom is that all trains book out immediately during the holidays, but given the early times and the fact it’s a very rural region I’m not sure. Best you can do is just be waiting online to book immediately at 16:00 Korean time on the 17th, and hopefully you can score seats.

      If not, the standing tickets then become available and can be also be booked in advance but not online i.e. you need to get them in Korea. Meaning, if you can’t book seats then I’d make it the very first thing you do after clearing immigration to go to the KTX counter at the airport to buy standing tickets for your return trip.

      Obviously there’d be a bit of a risk there, as we don’t know how many standing tickets are available per train or whether they’ll also sell out on those particular trains. Only other alternatives really would be to travel the day before, or drop something like 500 dollars on a taxi. Obviously not ideal, but anyway first things first try on the 17th and hopefully you can book one of those trains. Good luck!

      • Sharon says:

        Hi Simon,
        Thanks for the info. I will definitely be waiting online on the 17th to try to book that ticket!

        I have another question for you. When I go to the link for train schedules, it shows departure and arrival locations that include Incheon Airport 1T and 2T. But when I was booking tickets on line at Letskorail.com, it only offered Incheon Airport 1T as a departure/arrival option. Is 2T not available?

        • Simon Norton says:

          hmmm, that’s weird – Terminal 2 isn’t actually open yet (it’s opening on Jan 18th) so that could explain it, but I can already see both terminals on the Korail site. Perhaps they literally just updated it… sorry, I’m not sure what to suggest other than try again!

          • Sharon says:

            Hi Simon,
            I figured out what I was doing wrong. I thought that all of the departure/arrival options were shown in the chart, but when I clicked the “I” in the alphabet row below the chart, both terminals came up for the Incheon airport.

            I’ll be waiting online at 16:00 Korea time on the 17th to try to book that return!!

            Thanks again for all your help!

            • Simon Norton says:

              Ah, ok that makes sense, glad you sussed it. Please let me know how you get on with the bookings – good luck!

              • Sharon says:

                Hi Simon,
                Great news,,, I logged on at 16:00/2:00 EST and was able to book the ticket for the early departure from Gangneung to Incheon 2T on the 18th!!!

                Thank you so much for all of your helpful advice!

                Cheers,
                Sharon

  46. Jeff Morgan says:

    Hi Simon,
    I just read all of these emails and searched and cannot find out which KTX station to use if I am flying into Gimpo airport. Do I use Seoul?
    I need tickets for the 14th to Pyeonchang with return on the 16th. I am having a hard time. I bought the 5 day Pyeongcheong pass and I cannot see bookings for the 14th, only the 13th. Do I have to wait until January 17th?
    Thanks!

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Jeff, yes that’s right you’d probably want to take the AREX (Airport Express subway line) from Gimpo to Seoul Station (35 mins), then the KTX from there. Alternatively, you could take the AREX 15 mins the other way to Geomam then the KTX from there; some trains stop at Geomam but not Seoul, some the other way round, some at both, so check the schedule and see which fits better with your landing time.

      And yes I’m afraid you’re running into issues with the Lunar New Year holiday, you can’t book for Feb 14th & 16th until Jan 17th at 16:00 Korea time. Best you can do is be ready and waiting online at that time to see if you can manage to book. If not, you can use your Pyeongchang Pass to get the first available standing tickets. Good luck, and let me know if you manage to book on the 17th

  47. Vince says:

    Hi Simon,

    Got my early morning wake up alarm on the 17th so I can be online in time for reserving tickets from ICN to Gangneung for Feb 16th. Crossed fingers.

    So do I need to have an existing reservation to do this? I’ve read on here how people who have the passes can only book a ‘seat’ until 30 days from travel. Does this apply to me?

    I am also preparing for alternatives should I have no luck whatsoever. Since I am starting from the first station (ICN: Station 2), is that location have a better shot of getting a ticket all the way to Gangneung?

    If not, I plan to see if I can embark from other stations, whether it’s on the 16th or 17th. Which KTX station then can I take an alternative train line so I can hop on KTX all the way to Gangneung? In other words, can I take a regional train to Manjong so I can get to my final destination? Or anything beyond Seoul station will be fully booked?

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hey Vince,

      Well, it’s 1pm here in Korea now and it looks like there’s still a decent number of seats available for when reservations open overseas in 3 hours. So you may find you can get the train you want, or something close to it. Fingers crossed!

      No, you don’t need an existing reservation or a pass, you should be able to make single ticket bookings, and yes if you find the direct trains from the airport are already booked out, you should check from other places as only some trains originate at the airport, and those airport trains skip most other stations on the way. In this scenario, your second choice should be Seoul Station, third choice should be Cheongnyangi Station, and fourth choice should be Sangbong Station (these 3 are all reachable from the airport using the Seoul Metro)

      Let me know how you get on. Good luck!

  48. Juergen says:

    Hi Simon,

    Got this email today, don’t know if you know this already. Feel free to update your post here 🙂

    Dear valued customer,

    We truly appreciate and welcome everyone who are visiting Korea for Olympic Winter Games Pyeongchang 2018. And thank you for your interest and support on Pyeongchang Korail Pass.

    KORAIL has opened new KTX ‘Gyunggang Line’ on December 2017 which provides the most safe and fast transportation to reach olympic venues.
    Furthermore, we have developed foreigner-only railway pass called ‘Pyeongchang Korail Pass’ in order to let foreign visitors to explore Korea with KORAIL conveniently.

    As we have announced beforehand, seat reservation of KTX(Incheon-Seoul ↔ Gangneung station) for Seollal period(February 14th to 18th 2018) will be open from January 17th 16:00P.M.(Korean standard time).
    However, to resolve hardships that Pyeongchang Korail Pass holders may face, we have made additional special reservation plan as follows:

    – Special reservation period: January 25th 10:00A.M. to January 29th 16:00P.M. (Korean Standard Time)
    – Available trains: KTX(Incheon-Seoul ↔ Gangneung station) for Seollal period(February 14th to 18th 2018) only
    – Limited option: 2 seats per person for a day & up to 6 seats per person during the Seollal period in total

    The option limit is given for fair provision to every passholder within limited seat capacities. Therefore, we would like to appreciate your understandings in advance, and we recommend you to make seat reservation carefully in accordance with your itinerary.

    In addition, if you cannot reserve seats for the Seollal period, you can get on train with standing tickets at any time within valid period.
    Please note that hardcopy(printed-out) pass must be possessed with you when you request seat at stations or board trains.

    Thank you for your understandings and cooperation.
    We sincerely want you to have pleasure time in Korea with KORAIL.

  49. Gregor says:

    HI
    I luckily got tickets for the olympic giant slalom in Yongpyong Alpine. But I wonder about acomodation. There are some, close there, but it seams not so much going around there. so i was thingking about staying in gungenom. DO you know if there is a shuttle bus and is this a good idea?

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Gregor, you can see the shuttle system here. Bus TS17 connects the Yongpyong slalom venue to Yongpyong Rainbow Parking Area, which is connected by TS5 to Jinbu Station and TS12 to Daegwallyeong Parking Area.

      Sorry though, I not sure where you mean by gungenom? Did you mean Gangneung? If so, yes you could stay in Gangneung. You can take the train from Gangneung to Jinbu Station (then the shuttles), or bus TS31 runs between Gangneung & Pyeongchang. You can search hotels in Gangneung here. Hope this helps!

      • Gregor says:

        Yes, i mean Gangneung. Sorry for my bad korean. That helps me very much – thank you. Maybe do you have any idea how long this bus TS5 will take from jinbu station to the alpine center?

        • Simon Norton says:

          Hi again, yes it takes 38 minutes and departs every 10 minutes (you can check this in the drop-down menus under the diagram: 4th column is departure interval and 5th column is travel time & distance)

  50. Jackie Garcia says:

    Hi Simon.
    Thank you for all the information.
    I could only get on the late KTX from Incheon 22:15 to Jinbu station 00:15 arriving just after midnight on 9 Feb.
    I wanted to check on transport available at that time of night from Jinbu to Phoenix Snowpark to our accommodation there.
    Do you know if there will be late night shuttles or any other options?
    Thanks

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Jackie, there are shuttle buses, but they stop running 2 hours after the last event of each day. That means they’ll stop at midnight on the 9th (as the opening ceremony finishes at 10pm), so it’s probably unlikely you’ll be able to take one. The alternative would be a taxi, but it’s quite far from Jinbu to Phoenix Park – it would be better to use Pyeongchang Station, but I realise this probably wasn’t an option due to your arrival time.

      The shuttle diagram is here; shuttle T6 connects Jinbu Station to Phoenix Park, and T15 connects Phoenix Park to Jangpyeong Bus Yerminal & Pyeongchang Station. But again, as there are no events at Phoenix that day I doubt you’ll be able to take a shuttle. Do try, of course, but be prepared for having to take a lengthy taxi ride (40km or so)

  51. Ase says:

    Hi, I have a pyeongchang pass and logged in as soon as tickets were available but I had a huge problem getting outbound tickets from either the airport or Seoul to pyeongchang in the mornings across multiple days. As in, they were all sold out. I also can’t get any return tickets for some days. Most concerning are the days where the events end late and there is only 1 train that you can catch.

    It would be great to know if they end up saying how many standing tickets per train per station will be made available because I am concerned that I won’t be able to get to/from my event.

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Ase,

      Remember that you can also use Cheongnyangni Station or Sangbong Station, both located in eastern Seoul. A lot of the trains start & finish there rather than Seoul Station, so there are lots more departures available if you include them in your search. I’m still seeing good availability for both, so you should be able to get something.

      From the Seoul Station area it’s about 20 minutes to Cheongnyangni or 35 mins to Sangbong by subway (you’ll have to take a taxi if arriving back there at midnight though)

      Hope this helps, good luck!

  52. Katrina says:

    I unfortunately planned my Olympic dates as the exact same time as new years. We managed to get train tickets TO gangneung on feb 14 today, but were not able to get tickets back to Seoul on Feb 18 in the evening. Not sure what to do now… do we risk trying to get standing tickets? Are there going to be other options like buses or something? We fly out of Seoul on the 19th so obviously don’t want to miss that!! Any advice?

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Katrina, you can also take the train back to Cheongnyangni Station or Sangbong Station, they’re both located in Seoul. The last train back on most days during the Olympics leaves Gangneung at 1:00 and Jinbu at 1:24, reaching Cheongnyangni at 2:34. Check the schedule here, page 6.

      These 2 stations are a little far from the centre and you’ll need to take a taxi to your hotel if arriving back after the subway finishes, but that’s better than being stuck in Pyeongchang! (Cheongnyangni is more convenient than Sangbong)

  53. Elaine Corning says:

    Simon,

    I’m lost. I keep reading posts stating that trains are leaving at 1 Gangneung to Cheongnyangni. Or Jinbu to Cheongnyangni at 1:24. (Post 1/17/18 to Katrina). I can’t find either of these trains. The last train from Jinbu to Sangbong is 22:54 and sold out! Last train from Gangneung to Sangbong is 22:30 and sold out. Last train from Jinbu to Cheongnyangni is 22:34 and sold out! Last train from Gangneung to Sangbong is 22:30 and sold out! Where are the trains that leave at 1 or 1:24? I can’t see how to reserve a standing ticket? Can you please explain how to go about getting a standing ticket? Do you have any idea if “worst case” how long it would take us to get from Opening Ceremonies to any of these train stations? We have already purchased the Korail passes. Unfortunately we made the mistake of buying really good and expensive tickets to the Opening. Our grandson competes the next morning. We had no problems getting seats up to Jinbu on the 9th, and have seats (both directions)for his competition on the 10th and 11th. But we can’t seem to get home on the 9th. I’m thinking our choices are to 1. Give away our tickets. 2. Plan to sleep at the P&G venue or ???? Or 3. See if we can find a room anywhere that a train would go to BOTH after opening ceremonies and back to Phoenix Park by 9:30 am. Or 4. Go to the Opening for 1 hour. Can you give us some direction/advice? We are comfortable with public transportation, so a mixture of trains, buses, subways is fine with us. We are in our late 70’s, speak no Korean and have never travelled anywhere in Asia. We are staying at the 4 seasons checking in on 2/7/18 and would prefer to sleep in a bed versus the train station. But since we are on the 7:30 am train the next morning maybe we should check out on the 9th and stay up there (assuming we could find a place that would take us for 1 night).

    Can you also provide us with a name and contact information of someone we can file a complaint with? We planned on purchasing tickets to closing ceremonies, and we have another Korail pass. Our grandson also competes on the 24th. However, after this experience I won’t buy tickets to anything until I have train reservations. I think it’s a real disorganized mess and I can’t believe we are the only people who are frustrated with the train situation. After flying 17 hours it’s really disappointing not to be able to attend the first event.

    Your web site is absolutely fabulous and the Olympic committee should be paying you. If you could email me your responses I would be most
    appreciative. I still can’t find your answers to my earlier questions but I’m pretty tech challenged.

    Thank you so much for your time and help.

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Elaine,

      Haha, I agree – also really starting to think they should be paying me, thanks for saying so!

      Ok, so after the opening ceremony there’s a 0:44 to Sangbong, and a 1:24 to Cheongnyangni. If you don’t see them on the Korail site, it’s likely just because they’re after midnight so you need to set the date for the 10th. Go here and set the date for Feb 10th and the hour to 0:00, and check from Jinbu to Sangbong & Cheongnyangni, and you’ll see those trains. I’m afraid they’re already fully booked though, so you won’t be able to reserve them either.

      For the standing tickets, they can only be bought in Korea. They are available in advance though, so if you wanted to try for standing tickets my advice would be to make that the first thing you do after clearing immigration when you land on the 7th – go to the KTX counter at the airport, and try to get standing tickets for the 22:54 (Sangbong), 0:44 (Sangbong) or 1:24 (Cheongnyangni). Korail do seem to be confident that there will be enough standing tickets for everyone to travel, so if you’re willing to trust them it would seem to be ok.

      But in the event there are no standing tickets either, I would strongly advise against planning on sleeping at Jinbu Station – I expect the station will be locked shut overnight, as that’s standard practice once the last train of the day has gone. It could be below minus 10 Celsius, so being outdoors overnight really isn’t an option. If you think you’d be better trying to stay in the area overnight, only do so if you have accommodation booked.

      Sorry, it’s quite hard to give concrete advice, as it depends how comfortable you are with playing things by ear or if you prefer to have everything settled in advance. If it were me, I’d keep all the existing reservations for now and try to buy those standing tickets as soon as I landed. Then, if none are available, I’d look into either getting a room near the ceremony for the night, selling the ceremony tickets, or attending but leaving early. But if that feels too up in the air, then yes unfortunately I suppose you’ll have to look at those latter 3 options now.

      Oh, there is one more option actually – I’d estimate a taxi all the way from Alpensia to Seoul would probably clock in at around 350 dollars.

      As for complaining, I’m really not sure who to complain to, the IOC, or Korail, or both! But believe me, you definitely aren’t the only ones frustrated with the situation – far from it. I wish I could say for sure whether you can get standing tickets, obviously I can’t give a 100% definite answer on that but as I said if it were me I would try that as Plan A, and the odds seem reasonable.

      Please do feel free to ask any further questions you have, and also I guess I know who your grandson is (assuming you share the same surname), so I’ll be cheering for him!

      (I’ll copy & paste this post to your email too)

  54. Lisa says:

    OMG, you just saved my sanity!!! Thank you so much for the advice on taking the train from Cheongnyangni or Sangbong… even now (<30 days out) there are several decent times left. Now, I just need to figure out how to get to Sangbong KTX station. On the Seoul subway map (http://www.korea4expats.com/korean-subways.php) I see a subway station called Sangbong. Is that going to be the same station or reasonably close to the KTX station? I'm not staying near downtown anyway, so I believe this is going to be a more direct option, I just want to make sure I'm going to the right place.

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Lisa, yes Sangbong subway station & Sangbong KTX station are the same place. Which part of Seoul are you staying in?

      • Lisa says:

        Great!!! South of the river. Near the old olympic park I think, because there are labels like “sports complex”. Thanks again! – I finally got a full night’s sleep 🙂

        • Simon Norton says:

          Good stuff. Sports Complex is actually the name of a subway station, and yes if that’s where you’re staying then Sangbong is indeed your most convenient KTX station. By subway you’d get there via Line 2 and Line 7, changing at Konkuk University, about 30 minutes. Taxi maybe 20000 won. Hope you have a great trip!

  55. LL says:

    Hi Elaine,

    We have the same problem.:-( We will be coming with a child and don’t know how to get to Seoul after the Opening Ceremony. My host said she would help but I guess in reality she doesn’t want to buy the tickets for us. She told me that Korail told her there are no trains running after midnight but they clearly show up on Korean Korail website (but not on the English Korail website). But she is not much responsive to that but “wishes me good luck”.
    We could only buy the tickets in Korea. How frustrating! I didn’t expect such problems. I thought it would be safe and most convenient to stay in Seoul.

    Hi Simon!
    We don’t have the passes, only booked single tickets. I just need tickets for returning to Seoul after the Opening Ceremony..

  56. LL says:

    Simon, as far as I see all tickets including standing tickets are sold out now except that one leaving at 0:44 from Jinbu and going to Sangbong Station. I just wasted my time..

    • Simon Norton says:

      If that’s still available, book it! Sangbong is in northeast Seoul, you’d just have to take a taxi to your hotel (30 or 40 dollars, depending where you’re staying)

      As for standing tickets being sold out, did Korail tell you that? or, where did you hear it?

  57. Desmond Chan says:

    Alternatively, if you can’t get back to Seoul, try stay overnight in Gangneung, as from Jinbu to Gangneung has more train. I’m not managed to reserve one of the night train back to Seoul after my 11:45pm to end, and the next day I need to rush for 6am train from Seoul again. Thus, I booked a room in Gangneung instead, and it also giving me opportunity to stay overnight in another city in Korea. Great deal.

  58. LL says:

    Hi Simon, hi Desmond!

    There are no tickets available on 9th/10th. Only standing tickets and I could only buy them in Korea at the stations. My host obviously doesn’t want to do me the favour and so I have to find someone else in Korea. My Korean contact, not living in Korea, is on holiday. But I wrote her anyway and she will contact her friend in Korea. The plan is that the friend buys the standing tickets and send them to our host in Seoul. How complicated but hopefully it works. I’m wondering how other foreign visitors handle the transport problem without any Korean contact. I read from the Seollal problem. To say it directly it sucks.
    Gangneung, obviously would this be an alternative especially because we have to go there on 11th for figure skating but that would be too expensive. I mean Olympic tickets, flights, accomodation in Seoul, and the transport is enough for us and the prices for rooms in Gangneung are pricey. Or how much did cost your room?

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi LL,

      Hope that works out for you with the standing tickets.

      I can’t answer for Desmond re the price of his room in Gangneung, but try checking the Gangneung prices here

  59. Silvia says:

    Hi Simon,
    Your website is great! Full of helpful information, thanks for taking the time to help us all going to games!.
    We are staying at YangYang from 8/2 to 13/2. I’m checking the information on transportation, and it looks like there will be shuttles to the transportation mall and from there to the venues.
    My biggest concern, of course, is getting back to our hotel after the opening ceremony. Any advice?

    • Simon Norton says:

      Cheers Silvia!

      Well, 2 routes basically:

      Shuttle TS30 to Jinbu Station then take the KTX from Jinbu Station to Gangneung, then on to Yangyang from there.

      Shuttle TS30 & TS31 all the way to Gangneung, then on to Yangyang.

      See the shuttle bus diagram here (scroll down). The best route really depends where your boarding point is for the Yangyang bus i.e. if Gangneung Station, KTX route looks better; if North Gangneung Transport Mall, shuttle bus route looks better.

      • Silvia says:

        Thanks Simon,
        Yes, I see the most convenient option for us will be TS all the way to Gangneung north.
        Do you know how long it could be the ride? I will need to get transportation to the hotel and most likely they will ask me to book a certain time. So far I cant find how long it will take from the olympic stadium to Gangneung.
        Thanks again!
        Silvia

        • Simon Norton says:

          Hi again, if you look below the shuttle bus diagram there are some drop-down arrows. Click on those, and you can check the journey times & departure intervals. As you can see, it says 36 mins for TS31, but note that the 30mins for TS30 is for Daegwallyeong Transport Mall > Olympic Plaza > Jinbu Station – as you’re getting off at the plaza, I think that should be just about 10 minutes. So I think you need to allow at least an hour from North Gangneung Transport Mall to the plaza, but that’s not accounting for any lining up so preferably allow a bit longer.

  60. Silvia says:

    Thank you Simon!
    I think the shuttle option will be best for us. Do you know how long it will take the ride to Gangneung?

  61. LL says:

    Update: Standing tickets for trains running after the Opening Ceremony are sold out now.

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi again LL, thanks for the update. That sucks… how did you find this information out? Your friend went to try & buy them for you?

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