Yongpyong Resort

Snow bikers at Yongpyong

Yongpyong is located in Pyeongchang County, in the province of Gangwon-do; Yongpyong is Korea’s oldest resort (built in 1974) and known for being the biggest & best all-round hill in Korea (along with High1). Nearby Alpensia was built with an Olympics bid in mind, and this pair of neighbouring resorts was the focal point of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Games, with Alpensia hosting the ski jumping, bobsleigh, and Nordic events, while Yongpyong hosted the slalom & giant slalom (the other downhill events were held at the purpose-built Jeongseon Alpine Centre, with the freestyle events at Phoenix Park)

Mountain stats for Yongpyong
Highest lifted point: 1420m
Lowest skiable point: 780m
Vertical drop: 640m
Lifts: 14
Runs: 28
Longest run: 5.6km (‘Rainbow Paradise’)
Terrain park: yes (large, beginner to intermediate)
Halfpipe: no

Homepage and piste map

For Alpensia info see here

Yongpyong: the hill

There’s no golf course or water park here; Yongpyong is a proper ski hill. While still fairly small by European or North American standards, Yongpyong is as big as it gets in Korea and has enough scope and variety for a satisfying day riding the groomers; they also have a decent park. Yongpyong has one of the best snowfall records in Korea, so it isn’t reliant (as most Korean hills are) on snowmaking – that still isn’t saying much though!

Yongpyong piste map

The box at upper right shows the Rainbow section which was used for the Olympic slalom events

Yongpyong is basically split into two areas, with a low altitude area of easy and intermediate pistes around the base and a higher area of more challenging terrain including some genuinely steep runs where the Olympic technical (slalom) events took place. The two areas are connected by the gondola, with one long top-to-bottom run back down; I was expecting this run to be fairly tedious on a board, but actually the gradient is sufficient to keep decent speed up and it’s pretty good fun carving round the bends.

View from the top of the Rainbow runs at Yongpyong

This is the top section of the Rainbow runs, where the Pyeongchang 2018 slalom events were held

Once you’ve gone up the gondola, the upper area has one chairlift serving the handful of runs up there; the lower area has a total of 12 chairlifts. The resort’s vertical drop of 640m applies to the top-to-bottom run from the gondola; the lower area alone has 340m max vert (from the ‘Gold’ chair), while the upper area (‘Rainbow’ chair) runs have 460m vert – well short of the 800m required for the Olympic Downhill, hence the need to build Jeongseon Alpine Centre.

Terrain park at Yongpyong

Yongpyong’s terrain park (looking a bit shabby in this pic as it was very late in the season)

Yongpyong is good for:

The biggest & most varied resort in Korea (along with High1), with some nice steep stuff off the Rainbow chair at the top

Freestyle; the park is one of the better efforts in Korea.

All levels of rider.

40% discount on lift tickets if you first buy a gift card (see here), then use it to buy your tickets.

Yongpyong is not so good for:

By the standards of Korean ski resorts, Yongpyong is as good as it gets (along with High1) and doesn’t have any particular negatives other than the lack of powder days and off-piste skiing – issues which apply to all resorts in Korea.

View from Yongpyong of the ski jump tower at Alpensia Resort

View from Yongpyong’s ‘Gold’ slopes of the ski jump tower at Alpensia Resort

Yongpyong lift tickets

Yongpyong follows the standard ticketing model in Korea, with the operating hours split into day & night by a 2-hour snow grooming break at 4:30pm; the slopes are open from 8:30am – 4:30pm, and 6:30pm – 2:30am. The daytime hours are subdivided into morning and afternoon, and the nighttime hours are subdivided into evening, night, and late night. You can get lift tickets for any of these individual slots, or for various combinations (details here) with prices ranging from 38,000 won for a late-night pass to 89,000 for afternoon & evening combined.

If you need a full set of equipment & wear rentals and want to take a lesson, it works out cheaper to book a package (also including transportation), see here (or here for the overnight version with accommodation)

Yongpyong sells gift cards which can be used throughout the resort to buy food etc, and can also be used to buy lift tickets with a 40% discount; this means you can buy the gift card first, then use it to buy your pass, and have enough left on the card to buy food & coffee – who said there’s no such thing as a free lunch! (based on buying a half-day pass, and correct as of 2016/17 season)

Yongpyong accommodation

There are three condo developments and a hotel at the Yongpyong base (click on each to view details or make a reservation): Dragon Valley Hotel, Tower Condo, Villa Condo, Greenpia Condo (check here too to compare the price). If you also need rentals, lessons etc then it’s usually better to book a package, see here

You could also stay at the more modern & upmarket accommodation in Alpensia, see here

Alternatively there’s a number of independent pension-style options in the surrounding area which you can search & book here

If you’re planning to stay in Seoul and hit Yongpyong / Alpensia from there, search Agoda for hotel deals in Seoul

Airbnb is also a good option in Korea – they have listings near Yongpyong/Alpensia (search for Daegwalnyeong-myeon, the local town) in addition to those in Seoul. If you haven’t used Airbnb before, you can get a 35-dollar discount off your first rental by signing up through Snow Guide Korea; simply click on this link and register!

How to get to Yongpyong

If you book a 1-day package (here) or 2D1N package (here) then your transportation is included.

To travel there independently, the most convenient way is to use the direct shuttle buses from Seoul; these are privately operated and require advance reservation, take 2.5 hours, and cost around 20,000 won. You can book these here, and they can also arrange direct airport transfers.

Alternatively, you can take public buses from Seoul’s Nambu Terminal or Dong Seoul Terminal to Hoenggye Bus Terminal (in Daegwallyeong), and a local bus or taxi from there (3 hours plus, all in).

These options are all clearly explained on Yongpyong’s website here

The private shuttles are way more convenient, and well-worth the extra 5 dollars or so.

The Gangneung KTX bullet train opened in late 2017 and stops at Jinbu Station, about 90 minutes journey time from Seoul Station for 22,000 won. There’s a free shuttle bus from Jinbu to Alpensia & Yongpyong, see here; unfortunately it’s only for resort guests, so if you don’t have a reservation it’s about 20,000 won by taxi. Train tickets: you can easily buy tickets on the day from the ticket counters & machines at railway stations, but trains do sell out (especially during peak hours & on holidays) so if you want to be sure of a seat on a specific train it’s better to book in advance. Again you can do this in person by visiting a station, or you can try booking online on the official Korail site; depending on your browser or your credit/bank card it may not work for you, in which case try Trip.com for a more international-friendly and generally more user-friendly experience (usually for a small markup e.g. markup on a Seoul-Pyeongchang ticket is just a dollar or so, but prices are sometimes actually lower on Trip).

Top station at Yongpyong ski resort

Mountain scenery at Yongpyong Resort

Ski slopes at Yongpyong Resort

Any questions about Yongpyong? Leave a comment below!

For more Gangwon-do resorts, see here; for full reviews of every Korean ski resort, see here

Also check out the best Korean ski resorts according to various criteria, and this size comparison of Korea’s ski resorts using satellite imagery.

If you’re visiting during the Olympics, see the top 5 hills to ski at during Pyeongchang 2018, and for more information and the latest updates on Pyeongchang 2018 see here

134 comments on “Yongpyong Resort
  1. Joan says:

    Hi! Me and my friends would love to try to ski at Yongpyong. When is ski season? We will be in Korean on November 20 to 25. Thank you

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Joan,

      Yongpyong is opening on November 17th!

      Are you planning to stay at the resort, or do a daytrip from Seoul?

    • Leticia says:

      Hi, my mum and I will be traveling to seoul end of Feb 2018 and we are keen to stay 2 nights at alpensia. We do not ski but wanna chill and play snow. Would like to get you advice if it’s ok to stay at alpensia during this period.

  2. Rose says:

    Hi, my family is planning for a daytrip to Alpensia on 22 Dec from Seoul. Since this is our first trip we want to bring our children to try out the ski. Is that possible? Are we able to get back to Seoul on the same day? What is the time of the last transport available? Appreciate you advice. Thank you.

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Rose,

      There is no skiing at Alpensia this season due to the Olympic Games, so you should go to Yongpyong Resort instead. And yes, you can easily go there & back in the same day, don’t worry about that. You can go there on the new KTX bullet train to Jinbu Station, then take the free shuttle bus from the station to the resort.

      • Marc says:

        Do you have any indication that the bullet train will run by that time? I will spend a couple of days between Christmas and New Year in Yongpyong and will visit some other places in the country afterwards, but in absence of firm announcements I am not able to buy the train pass (uncertainty around how many days I will use the pass)

        • Simon Norton says:

          Hi Marc,

          I’m afraid we still don’t know the exact launch date for the KTX – only that it will be some time in December. Could be the 1st, could be the 30th… though it does seem more likely that they’ll get it done before the Xmas/New Year period, it can’t be guaranteed until the date’s confirmed.

          Given that December is only a week away it’s amazing they haven’t announced it yet! All very last-minute… hopefully we’ll know any day know, and I’ll update this page as soon as we do.

          Sorry I don’t have a more helpful answer for you at this stage!

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi again Rose, for Yongpyong/Alpensia on the 22nd you can see the KTX schedule here. Last train from Jinbu Station at 21:50

  3. alicia says:

    Are the hotel accommodations in Alpensia open between Dec 25 to Dec30 this year?
    How far is Yongpyong ski from Alpensia? how to get there? any shuttle bus or transport from Alpensia? thanks

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Alicia, yes, Alpensia’s hotels are open as usual in December. Alpensia and Yongpyong are very close, but the road between them goes around a (small) mountain, so it’s a road distance of several km. You could walk it an hour (or less), while a taxi would take only 5 minutes but cost around 15000 won (because they charge for the callout from town). As for shuttle buses, the shuttle schedules for this winter still haven’t been announced – hopefully, there’ll be a direct shuttle between them, but there might not be. If there isn’t, you’d have to take the Alpensia shuttle to Jinbu Station, then the Yongpyong shuttle back out to Yongpyong – obviously this could take quite a while, depending on the schedules. Once the shuttle schedules are announced I’ll add the links to this page

  4. Fenn says:

    Hi there

    We are planning a ski trip from jan 2-6. Will YongPyong’s Rainbow and Silver trails be closed by then? I read somewhere they are only closing it mid Jan

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Fenn, the Rainbow & Silver areas are completely closed all season.

      Phoenix Park is closing in mid-Jan, so perhaps that’s what you read?

  5. Fenn says:

    Possibly, thanks Simon! Now my heart is set on High1 but all the condos are fully booked! 🙁

  6. Alan says:


    Any updates on if there will be a shuttle bus linking Alpensia and Yongpyong? Thanks!

  7. Meetz says:

    Hi Simon , my family of 6 will be in Alpensia booked At Holiday Inn and Suites for 3 days 2 nights. Are all establishment within vicinity are open although ski resort are closed? Which is better getting snowboard and gear rental in Alpensia or YongPyong? Thanks.

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Meetz, so you’re staying at Alpensia and skiing at Yongpyong? In that case, it’s surely easier to rent your gear at Yongpyong so you don’t have to carry it from Alpensia! I’m also not sure if Alpensia will be renting equipment this season anyway.

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

  8. Jia Lin Luo says:

    Thanks for all your great info Simon!
    I’m planning on doing some snowboarding in Korea during the first week of January 2018. I had originally planned to go to Yongpyong/Alpensia but have recently found out about the closure. I was wondering as a beginner (I’m most likely going to need a refresher lesson or two), whether I should stick with Yongpyong (as it sounds like the beginner area is still open) or just go to High1 instead? What are the beginner/intermediate slopes like at Yongpyong vs High1?


    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Jia Lin,

      Yongpyong and High1 are both good places to learn. But if you’re a beginner, the closures at Yongpyong won’t really affect you, and Yongpyong is easier to get to than High1. So actually I think you can just stick with Yongpyong to be honest!

      • Jia Lin Luo says:

        Thanks for the reply Simon!
        Do you know if Yongpyong has something similar to the 50% off for foreigners deal that High1 has? I was somewhat swayed towards High1 when I read about the 50% off from your High1 page, but if Yongpyong has something similar, is easier to get to and the slopes are similar for beginner/intermediate, then I might just stick with Yongpyong. Also do you know if Yongpyong offers lessons?


        • Simon Norton says:

          Hi again Jia Lin, actually yes that’s a good point – the 50% discount at High1 makes it an attractive option. High1 and Yongpyong both have good ski schools with English-speaking instructors available, so you don’t need to worry about that.

          For convenience Yongpyong is better, but the discount at High1 might make that the cheaper option. Maybe it also depends what accommodation you can find – the actual resort accommodations are already mostly booked in the first week of January, so you’ll probably have to stay in the nearby towns (e.g. if you go to High1, stay in Gohan town). See the accommodation section on my High1 page for full details: http://www.snowguidekorea.com/ski-resorts/gangwondo/high1-resort/

          • Jia Lin Luo says:

            I’ve just read the Yongpyong page again but in more detail and it looks like there’s a gift card that I can get that’ll give me similar discounts (40% off)? If I get that, I’m guessing that Yongpyong would come to a similar price to High1? If that’s the case, then I think I’ll choose Yongpyong

            • Simon Norton says:

              Hi Jia Lin, yes that’s a good point too! The only thing is, I can’t guarantee that they’re still doing the gift card discount this season, as I haven’t been up there yet and they don’t give those details on their site. On the other hand, High1 definitely has the foreigner discount as per their site. So there could be a slight risk that you don’t get a discount at Yongpyong… but if you’re ok with taking a chance on that, then go for it! (and if you do, please let me know if you could get the discount or not – the feedback would be really useful to keep this page updated)

  9. Jianqin says:

    Hello, do you know how long the shuttle bus ride between KTX Jinbu Station to Yongpyong Alpine Center will be during Winter Olympics? Trying to figure out how early we should get on the train to catch the 10AM game. Thanks!

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Jianqin,

      I don’t know for sure how long the shuttles will take, but judging from the distance I’d estimate probably 25-30 minutes. Also remember to factor in enough time for finding your way through Jinbu Station, and the possibility of having to line up for the shuttle bus. I think at an absolute minimum I’d aim to arrive at Jinbu Station at least 1 hour before the event, or 90 minutes to be safe. As I said, I can’t give a concrete answer, this is just my best guess. Let me know if you have any other questions!

  10. Tracy says:


    Your website has been a great help with Olympic planning–better than the official Olympic site. Related to last post about shuttle time between KTX Jinbu and Yongpyong, is the distance to Alpensia (biathlon) about the same? I’m not too worried about arrival, but rather making sure I get the train when I leave at 22:00. Thanks.

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Tracy, good to hear the site’s useful – I agree the official site’s a bit lacking in some regards, they should’ve just paid me to do it! haha

      Anyway, yes Alpensia & Yongpyong are a similar distance from Jinbu KTX, although Alpensia’s closer to the highway so the shuttles to events there will be a bit faster (20 mins perhaps, without heavy traffic).

      You’ll be fine for getting the train after a 22:00 finish. I wouldn’t try for the 22:34 though – I’d say book your seats on the 23:34 (reaching Seoul Station at 1:07). If somehow that doesn’t work, there are still two more trains at 0:44 and 1:24, but only as far as Sangbong and Cheongnyangi stations respectively (i.e. leaving you with a fairly long taxi ride to central Seoul)

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

  11. Hazizal says:

    Hi, is the cable car to dragon peak closed during winter olympics? I’m planning to go there on 2nd February 2018.

  12. Via says:

    Hi Simon,

    Thanks for your comprehensive sharing on this site. It’s really helpful, appreciate it!

    Anyway, I’ll be in Seoul on 4th Jan for 8 days, it’ll be my first winter trip coming from tropical country.

    Would you suggest me to head to ski resort (planned on YongPyong considering the ease of access) on weekend, or wait for weekday for less crowd; or it doesn’t matter?

    Besides, I’m also trying to find an all-in package for first-time ski lesson (including ski clothes, equipment, and the lift tickets) in YongPyong. Do you happen to have any contact / recommendation? I tried to contact the ski lessons PIC from YongPyong website, but it seems that they only offer the ski lesson while I’m still waiting for their reply too on the gear rental.

    Thanks in advance,

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Via,

      It’s definitely more crowded at weekends, so if you have a free choice between weekday or weekend I’d personally got for a weekday.

      Yes, Yongpyong does have gear rental available, you can arrange it when you arrive there.

      Have a great trip and enjoy your first winter holiday!

  13. Nadine DICKINSON says:

    Hi Simon

    Thanks for the info on this site. Some questions, though. My family and I (all of us are low intermediate level) were planning to ski for 3 days in Alpensia right at the end of March (28-31). Firstly, will there be snow at this time of year, and also will there be any lifts/facilities open? I read they are closed in Alpensia for the Olympics, but even the Paralympics end on March 18 so was wondering if they will open after that?

    If not, are the slopes at YongPyong open that would suit us? And where would you recommend we stay for ski in/out? We had booked at the Holiday Inn in Alpensia but can cancel without penalty if need be.


    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Nadine,

      There’s no skiing whatsoever at Alpensia this season. If you stay at Alpensia, you’ll have to take the hourly shuttle bus to Yongpyong and ski there. Yongpyong’s runs will still be open in late March except the Rainbow & Silver areas (but these are the more advanced slopes anyway). Looking at the open areas, Yellow & Red are good for low intermediates, and if you find those too easy you can try the Gold area.

      If you want to have accommodation near the slopes, then yes I’d advise cancelling Holiday Inn and instead booking one of these: Dragon Valley Hotel, Tower Condo, Villa Condo, Greenpia Condo. Those are the four in-resort options at Yongpyong.

      Let me know if you have any more questions!

  14. Hi Simon! Great info about snow sports in Korea! I have a question too. My sister is flying in from Canada to check out some Olympic sports. She’s a snowboarder herself, so I’m recommending that she spend some time on the slopes at Yongpyong while she’s here, just for fun.
    My question is: does she have to reserve a board and lift tickets in advance? She won’t be staying at the resort, so I’m wondering if she can just show up and do a half-day, or if we should get that sorted out for her in advance.

  15. Len says:

    Hi! We plan to go to Alpensia on the last week of March, will there still be snow on this time? And where is the best hotel to stay if travelling with kids. Thanks!

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Len, yes there’ll still be snow on the ground in late March. Just remember that there’s no skiing at Alpensia this season, so you wouldn’t be able to do that… sledding may be available, though I’m not 100% sure. I think the Holiday Inn Alpensia would be a good choice, you can search & book their rooms here. Let me know if you have any more questions!

  16. Lonny says:

    Is the cross country run still available after the Olympic in Alpensia? It seems a good XC area in Asia. Is any other available in Korea??

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Lonny, very good question – sadly, I think the answer will prove to be negative. They still haven’t decided how all the Olympic venues will be used in future, or if they’ll just be scrapped, but given the lack of cross-country ski culture in Korea I don’t see the Alpensia course surviving (and no, there aren’t any others). The ski jump stadium is going to be (and already has been) used for football (soccer), but we may well see the words ‘Alpensia’ and ‘white elephant’ used together a lot in the next few years…

  17. Mallory says:

    I will be in Korea to watch my brother in the Paralympics in March 2018. I am confused on where I can ski. Will any of YongPyong Resort be open to the public? If not, which of the mountains close by are open to public for skiing?


    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Mallory, yes Yongpyong will be open, but not the Rainbow & Silver areas. If you’re staying near there, Yongpyong’s your best option for skiing. (If you’re staying in Seoul then you might want to hit Welli Hilli Park or Vivaldi Park instead)

  18. Kim Seevers says:

    Hi Simon….your site is by far the most informative of any I’ve seen so far. So glad I stumbled on it. We are coming for the Paralympic Games and are staying at the Kensington Flora. Since the Olympics have been going for a week now, do you have any knowledge of whether we will have convenient shuttle service from the Kensington to the bus or train stations to go to the alpine site? The Paralympics are not using Alpensia, just Jeongseon Center I believe. Thanks again so much.

    • Simon Norton says:

      Thanks Kim!

      Alpensia is actually a venue for the Paralympics – the cross-country & biathlon events will be held there, as well as the opening & closing ceremonies at the stadium. Jeongseon has the skiing & snowboarding.

      The Kensington Flora looks to be about 5 miles from Jinbu Station. I don’t know if the hotel has any kind of bus connection to the station, or if you’ll require taxis. But from Jinbu Station, you’ll be able to take the free shuttles to Jeongseon and Alpensia. I actually enquired about the Paralympics shuttles at Jinbu Station yesterday, and was told that they would be running, but the schedule hasn’t been determined yet. I’ll post the info once it’s available.

      Hope this helps! Cheers

  19. KH Tan says:

    Hi. Very good website. How is the snow condition during the 2nd week of Dec? Just before christmas? Thanks

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi, Yongpyong usually opens in mid-November, so by the 2nd week of December they should have all the runs open. In terms of snow conditions, the snow is mostly artificial so the conditions are pretty consistent throughout most of the season.

  20. Jena says:

    Hi Simon! Thanks for this very informative post! My friends and I are planning to visit the Yongpyong Ski Resort on March 25-26, 2018, will it still be open and will we be able to ski? And do you happen to know how we can get to Odaesan National Park from the ski resort?
    What’s the best mode of transportation in that area? Thank you so much!

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Jena, I think Yongpyong’s ski slopes will already be closed by then unfortunately. You can still visit, but you won’t be able to ski there. I’ve never been to Odaesan, but you can take a bus there from Jinbu (the KTX station’s in Jinbu)

  21. Jade says:

    Hello Simon,

    Thank you so much for this informative post, it helps so much on my winter planning this year. Between do u know how is the Yongpyong gift card works? As it stated up to 40-50% discount and I’d like to know can it use for ski, ski wear rental, gondola ride, sled ticket and food or it can only be used on the lift rental and food? Thank you so much and

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Jade, I’ve only ever used it for lift tickets (which includes the gondola) & food. I’m fairly certain you can also use it for ski wear rental & sledding though… basically you buy the gift card first, then use it to pay for everything to get the discount.

  22. Janice says:

    We will be staying in Holiday inn in early Dec. How do we travel to BusDaegwallyeong Sheep Farm. How convenient is the to use the Hoenggye Local Bus

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Janice,

      I’m sorry, I don’t know anything at all about the sheep farm. It says here that the best way would be a taxi, for around 8000 won (bit more direct from Holiday Inn, about 16000 won according to Kakao Map)

  23. Danny says:

    Heading there this coming December with my wife & 2 years old son. I was wondering how much does it cost to book a taxi for whole day (8 hours) so that he can drive us around to nearby attraction like Woljeongsa, Mount Odaesan, Daegwallyeong, Seonjalyeong.

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Danny,

      I’m afraid I don’t really know the answer to this – I guess you’d want to negotiate a fixed price direct with the driver. Maybe if you work out roughly what the total cost would be if you were to do them all as separate journeys on the meter, you can use that to give you an idea what you’re negotiating down from. If you download the app called KakaoMap (it’s Korean but has English version), you can use it to search directions by car from A to B and it gives you the estimated taxi fare. Total all the journeys up, and then you have a rough idea what a fair price might be. Sorry I don’t have a better answer, but hope this helps.

  24. Hong says:

    hi simon,

    i am going korea 18-28 nov, would there be any ski resort that offers sledding for kid abt 5yo?

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Hong,

      Yongpyong, High1, and Phoenix Park all usually open in the second half of November. It’s too early to know the exact dates, but if you aim to go on one of the later days of your visit (e.g. 26th) then I’m pretty confident those 3 will be open (possibly also Vivaldi Park and the other hills closer to Seoul, but can’t be sure)

  25. Deric says:

    Hi Simon,

    Is Alpensia open for ski & sledding on 2nd week of December 2018? Is that safe for driving from Seoul to there?

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Deric, yes they should be open by then, they usually open in late November. The highway from Seoul is good

  26. Sitti says:

    Hi Simon
    My family and I are planning to go to Pyongchang this November, tentatively 20th – 22nd of November. I am undecided on which ski resort we should go to. None of us knows how to ski, the main reason is just to entertain my 6 yrs old son who so eagerly wanna experience “winter” but unfortunately our Seoul trip is in autumn. Can u suggest which one is a better resort for us just to enjoy a scenic landscape of winter. Thanks!

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Sitti,

      20th of November’s very early in the ski season, so the only mountains I’d expect to be open then are High1 (which isn’t in Pyeongchang) and Yongpyong. Alpensia’s slopes may be open by then, but they might not, however Alpensia’s probably the best choice for a family resort stay, especially for non-skiers. Yongpyong’s close to Alpensia, so if you can’t play on the snow at Alpensia yet you could visit Yongpyong for a day. Alpensia page here

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

  27. ZAN ZUFNIM says:

    Hi Simon,
    We plan to go to YongPyong Resort on the last week of March 2019 which is next year. Will there still be snow on that period? Are we still be able to ski? None of us know how to ski.

    • Simon Norton says:


      They usually close in late March, so I’m afraid you might be too late. For the best chance of catching them while they’re still open, you should plan to go on your first day in Korea! And then when the time gets closer, you can check on their website (or just ask me) to see if they’re going to be open when you come.

  28. Johnny says:

    Do we need to pay to enter the skiing area to ski?

  29. Heng says:

    Hi there, i’m planning to do a day trip for ski during 15th – 21st Nov 2018. Would you recommend YongPyong Resort for first-timer? Or any other ski resort you would recommend? Thank you.

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Heng, that’s still very early in the season so your only real safe options are Yongpyong and High1. They’re both good but High1’s a long way from Seoul which makes it a tough day trip, so yes I’d recommend Yongpyong. Cheers

  30. Hanie Hamdi says:

    Hi Simon!

    I’m planning to go to Yongpyong ski resort in October. Just wondering, is the direct shuttle bus from Seoul operates in October? I found that it only operates in November to March?

    I’m planning to go on the mountain coaster & on the gondola ride to the dragon’s peak. Any tips?

    Thanks in advance

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Hanie,

      Yeah the ski season doesn’t start until November, so the transportation options are more limited before then. I’m also not sure if there’ll be any shuttle bus from the KTX station in October either, so to be honest I think your best option would be the public highway bus from Nambu Terminal to Hoenggye, then jump in a taxi (10 minutes) up to Yongpyong.

  31. Bob says:

    Hey Simon,

    Took sometime to read your site about skiing, I’m going late FEB ’19, was shortlisting this 3 resorts, YongPyong, High1 and Welli Hilli. I’m going as a group, say 4~6pax, mostly low intermediate skiier/snowboarder. Which resort would you recommend for us? In my mind I was thinking about High1, but just the travelling itself will take us 4hours up =/ I will be spending 1 night there, probably doing 3 session, NOON/PM/AM.

    Ideally wide skiing terrain and softer snow, and ofcourse lesser crowd! Thanks for your input.

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hey Bob,

      I’d only recommend Welli Hilli above the other 2 if you’re keen to ride freestyle & halfpipe, but that doesn’t sound like what you’re looking for so that should narrow it down to High1 or Yongpyong. In terms of terrain & snow quality they’re fairly even, so the main differences are that Yongpyong’s easier to get to, but High1’s a more modern resort so the accommodation & facilities are better. So maybe consider those points and make your decision according to which is more important for you.

      Hope this helps and let me know if you have any further questions. Cheers!

  32. Sri says:

    Hi Simon,

    We are visiting Seoul in the around mid-October to mid-November and planning a trip to some ski resort. We want our 5 year old daughter to have a good winter experience as none of us know, how to ski. Can you please suggest the best place and the time in November to visit Yongpyong-alpensia?

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hello Sri,

      October’s too early, you’ll need to go at the end of your trip as the resorts usually open in mid-November. Even then, if it’s a warm autumn you may find that the ski slopes aren’t open until the last week of November, it’s impossible to predict at this point. But anyway you can still go and stay there, and even if the ski slopes aren’t open yet you should still be able to see and experience snow on the ground. Yongpyong ski area usually opens slightly earlier than Alpensia, but Alpensia is a nicer resort for a non-skier family stay as it’s a much newer & more modern resort.

      Hope this helps and let me know if you have any further questions.

  33. Zahra Ahmedy says:

    Hi. I will be going to yongpyong on 13/11-14/11. I just want to know, if there any snow on that time? Its ok if the ski is still now open yet, but what about on the ground? Is it snow?

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Zahra, I’m not sure. It’s unlikely you’ll see any snow on the ground around the resort, but there’s probably a decent chance you’ll see snow on the ski runs (they start making snow as soon as it’s cold enough), and if you ride up the gondola you might be able to walk around on snow at the top of the mountain.

  34. rupert says:

    HI Simon,

    When does the snow fall in Yongpyong and is it good in December? we are planning a family trip from the 20th December for 10 days. Where is the best place to stay for families ? and whats the best avenue to buy lift passes, can you buy several days at a time?

    Thanks in advance and sorry for the amount of questions

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Rupert, yes if you go on December 20th it’ll be in full swing. Natural snowfall isn’t great, but most of what does fall comes in December & January, and they make snow from early November onwards. Advise booking accommodation asap as you’re planning to go over the Christmas & NY period and it’ll be busy. If you want a hotel, Dragon Valley’s the only option at the resort itself; if you’re happy to rent a condo they have a few condo buildings there too. If none of that’s available you’ll have to try accommodation in the nearby town of Daegwallyeong.

      • Rupert says:

        Hi Simon,

        Not sure if you received the last reply?

        Is the Am hotel and Ramada near the slopes and if so is there transport everyday between the 2. I would like to book one of these asap.

        Do you know which is the better of the 2?

        Thanks in advance.


        • Simon Norton says:

          Hi Rupert,

          Apologies for the delay, I don’t always have time to check messages every day, yesterday being one of those.

          So, I’ve had a look at each of those options. Am Hotel is well positioned in the middle of Daegwallyeong, so would be most convenient for arrival & departure. It’d be about 10 dollars (and 10 minutes) for a taxi from there to the slopes; the hotel may have a shuttle bus to Yongpyong, but I’m not sure about this. The Ramada’s a little bit out of the town proper, in a different direction to Yongpyong. I’m pretty sure they’ll have shuttles to & from the town centre, but again I’m not sure whether those would also be available to Yongpyong.

          Yongpyong itself may have a shuttle bus running from the bullet train station (20 minutes out of town), which would presumably stop in Daegwallyeong on the way through – but they haven’t announced their transportation plans for the season, and I don’t expect them to do so any time before November. Sorry, things are often a bit last-minute in Korea! The bullet train only opened earlier this year and the Olympics were obviously disrupting normal operations at the time, so we’re not yet sure what the new normal will be.

          The pension you mentioned is in the same direction as Yongpyong, but a few km further out. I would imagine they’d be able to drop you off & pick you up from the resort, but again I don’t know this for sure. There’d be basically nothing to do there in the evenings though – on that front, Am Hotel definitely looks the best spot due to being right in town. It’s not exactly a lively town (don’t expect anything like Whistler or Verbier!) but there are a decent number of restaurants, cafes and bars dotted about. The Ramada’s obviously a large resort with plenty of on-site facilities, but you’d need to use buses or taxis to go back & forth if you wanted to mix it up & eat in town.

          Hope this helps, and fire away with any further questions. Cheers

  35. Rupert says:

    Hi Simon

    Thanks for the swift reply and information, is the Am hotel, Ramada Sanbang and Rodem tree pension close to where we want to be? if so how far and how do I get to the slopes everyday and what is there for things to do for families in the evenings? Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.


  36. Jenny Ham says:

    Hi Simon,

    We are going to stay at the Yongpyong resort from 12-14 Dec. Is Greenpia condo a good choice? We need to catch a flight to Jeju on 14 Dec at 3.35pm, do you think there will be any issue if we take the 9.10am shuttle bus from Yongpyong to Gimpo Airport?

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Jenny,

      I’ve never actually stayed at any of Yongpyong’s accommodation, but yes I think Greenpia is a good choice.

      The 9.10 shuttle should be perfect for your flight from Gimpo, it should get you there a couple of hours before the flight so plenty of time to check in and have lunch.

      Give me a shout if you have any more questions, and I hope you have a great trip!

  37. shah says:



    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Shah,

      Yongpyong usually opens around that date, so it may be possible but the official opening date hasn’t been announced yet.

  38. Su Yap says:

    Hi Simon

    I’m wondering if there has been any update regarding shuttles to and from Jinbu to Yongpyong/Alpensia and between those two resorts? I’m booked to get to Alpensia on 26 December 2018 and now realise that it might have been a silly idea to go at such a peak period!

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi, sorry we’re still waiting for them to announce their transportation plans for the season. But the peak period is the most likely time for them to run a shuttle bus, so as long as you already have your accommodation booked it isn’t a silly idea! If there’s no shuttle you can take a taxi for around 20 dollars, or alternatively just take a direct bus from Seoul to Alpensia.

      • Su Yap says:

        Thanks so much for the quick reply, Simon. Yes, I’ve got my accommodation booked and I’m just fretting about transportation now! 🙂

  39. Richard says:

    We (2 adults and 18-year old daughter) plan to ski at YongPyong ski fields from Dec 4 – 8, 2018 and would like to stay in a hotel/condo facing the ski slopes. Unfortunately, the family or large rooms are fully booked out.
    Can we book a twin room at any of the hotel/condos facing the ski field and all 3 of us stay in the room? No need extra bed. Not sure about the various hotel/condos policy on sharing rooms. Thanks

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Richard, for a definite answer please ask them directly. But as far as I know, they do allow 3 people to share a twin room but will charge for an extra bed.

  40. paolo says:

    hi we will be staying in yongpyong this nov 21-22. is it skii season already? will there be snow enough to skii?

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Paolo,

      They haven’t announced their opening date yet, it depends what the weather’s like over the next month. But they usually aim to open in mid-November, so hopefully you’ll be able to ski (but even if they are open for your visit, it will probably only be a limited number of runs)

      • paolo says:

        thanks for the reply!:D but i think i saw somewhere that they’ll be opening on nov17 but im not sure if that was legit. do you have a reliable website for any skii news in yongpyong?

        • Simon Norton says:

          The weekend of November 17th would be my best guess, I think that’s probably the date they’re aiming for. But they can’t announce it yet until they know they’ll have enough snow ready, which depends on the temperature over the coming weeks. They told me the opening date will be announced at the start of November, at which point I’ll post an update here.

  41. Ursula says:

    Hi Simon,
    Great advice here!
    Just wondering if it is still good to ski for intermediates at Yong Pyongyang in mid March from approx 9-16th

    • Simon Norton says:

      Cheers Ursula! By that time there’ll only be a few resorts still open, possibly only Yongpyong and High1, so you won’t have many options. The snow on the lower slopes is pretty slushy by then, but still nice further up so yes still worth going

  42. Amber says:

    Hi! May I know if they are open for ski 20-21 Nov?

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Amber, sorry, still not sure. They usually open in mid-November but it seems like it’s been too warm recently, I guess the resorts might open later than usual this year

  43. Rupert Willmott says:

    HI Simon,

    I hope you are well.

    Could you please tell me are there any good shops locally that I can purchase snow gear for the children?

    Is it getting cold yet?

    Best regards


    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Rupert,

      There are shops in Daegwallyeong, but I’ve never visited them so can’t make any recommendations I’m afraid. If you have time, there’s a whole bunch of ski shops in Seoul concentrated in the Hakdong area in Gangnam (along the main road between Eonju & Hakdong stations).

      Temperatures have been unseasonably warm for November so far, some of the resorts were able to start snowmaking in October but that’s all melted again! This season’s looking like a late starter. Temps are forecast to drop again next week thankfully, and should hopefully stay cold after that

  44. Adcel says:

    We just want to visit the ski resort. But not gonna do some skiing. Is this allow?

  45. Azreen says:

    I’m planning to go to Yongpyong on 15 December 2018. I will drive a car from seoul. Do I need to standby car snow chain?

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Azreen,

      Natural snowfall in the area is light, so the roads are usually clear. To be honest I’ve never driven in Korea and I’m not sure if there’s any legal requirement to carry chains. I wouldn’t expect so, but if you’re renting a car it’d be better to ask the rental company.

  46. henri says:

    Hi Simon, first I’d like to say thank you for the super informative site. Incredibly helpful for anyone looking to visit a skiresort in South Korea.

    I wanted to ask if you had knowledge of the shuttle bus between Yongpyo and Incheon aiport. Specifically I am trying to find out
    – where it picks up passengers at the resort,
    – how long does the travel really take and
    – does it go direct to Incheon aiport or stop in Gimpo airport/Seoul first?

    Trying to figure out if I can ski for most of the day and then board the 16:00 shuttle bus and be at the Incheon airport before 20:00. Been stuck in bad Seoul evening traffic before so know that it can take a while.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Henri,

      Thanks, glad you’ve found it useful!

      I’ve never personally used the airport shuttles, but my understanding is that:

      – they pick up in the usual spot in the parking area about 5 mins walk from the hotel
      – should be about 4 hours
      – yes I think the same bus stops at Gimpo en route to Incheon

      So, it’s a pretty tight call. For a 10pm flight I probably wouldn’t risk it, for a midnight flight it should be fine, for something in between I can only say your call!

      If you do decide to go for it, I always use Trazy for booking ski buses and find them to be good & efficient, it’d be awesome if you could book using this link. Cheers!

  47. Bob says:

    Hello, I just booked yongpyong ski resort for 1 night on 25feb. Still within ski season and probably off peak. Am I right?

  48. Michael says:

    Hi, we’re going to Alpensia on 9 December 2018. Will the ski & sledding facilities be opened by then?

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Michael, the ski slopes are opening on December 1st (I think they might even bring that forward due to this weekend’s snowfall), but the snow sledding probably won’t be open by the 9th (usually mid-December for that)

  49. Derick Ting says:

    Hi Simon, thank you for the very informative site and helpful responses! Would you happen to know if it will be easy to get a taxi from the resort to Jinbu (where the trout festival is) and an estimated cost of the fare? Also, any way to buy the gift card in advance and use it to book the ski lessons and ski pass since that’s up to 40% off?

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Derick, a taxi should take about 25 minutes, and cost 20 to 30 dollars. Ask the hotel staff to book one for you. Alternatively you could take the resort shuttle bus to Jinbu KTX station, then from there it’d be maybe a 20-minute walk or a quick taxi ride.

      You don’t need to pre-book ski passes & lessons, so when you arrive you can just get the gift card first and then use it to pay for them.

  50. Beyan says:

    hey simon , I’m getting a little worried about the snow fall for my ski trip in yongpyong on the 12~ 15 december. i have checked the cams on yongpyong resort and some of the hills such as gold slope and rainbow slope does not have much snow on them. so may i ask by the 12 december will all slopes be fully covered in snow and all of the slopes ready for ski ? or will some slopes be closed. Thanks !

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Beyan,

      It’s impossible to say at this point as it depends on the weather between now & then. As long as temperatures remain nice & cold they can keep making snow, and hopefully there’ll be some good natural snow dumps too; they’re usually fully up & running by that time though, so even though it’s been a slightly late start this season I don’t think you need to worry too much unless it suddenly gets warmer again (it’s forecast to hit minus 10 Celsius overnight in Seoul next week, so that bodes well).

  51. Beyan says:

    hi simon another question, if there is not enough snow they just dump in fake snow ?? and by 12 dec all slopes r up for ski ? thanks 🙂

    • Simon Norton says:

      They have snow-making equipment, which they use whenever it’s cold enough. So yeah, if there’s no natural snow you can still ski thanks to the man-made snow. If there’s natural snowfall then they still top it up with man-made snow, so you’re usually skiing on a mix of the two.

  52. Timothy says:

    hey simon are all the slopes up by mid December ?

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Timothy,

      The answer to that would usually be yes, but the weather really isn’t helping so far this season. Temperatures are looking good & cold from now on though so they’ll crank the snowmaking and hope for some natural snowfall.

      So that’s a maybe – if there’s a dump, it should all be open by mid-December; without snowfall, they might still be struggling with the Rainbow section at the top but the rest should be open.

  53. Richard says:

    Just started skiing at the resort today. Currently only 3 lifts are operational, i.e. No. 5 New Red, No. 7 Pink and No. 8 Yellow ski lifts. It is not crowded. The runs are more suitable for beginners than intermediate skiers. There is no natural snow, only man-made snow. The other runs are being gradually filled with man-made snow. Hopefully they will open more runs within the next few days as the weather gets colder.

    • Simon Norton says:

      Thanks for the update Richard, been checking the webcams every day but very useful to get a report from someone on the ground! Looks like it’s going to be seriously cold over there over the next week

  54. Richard says:

    This morning (6 Dec.) it snowed and we had a bit of powder to ski. By noon, the snow was sluggish. Only the usual 3 ski lifts were operating. Hopefully it will snow again tonight.

    • Simon Norton says:

      It actually snowed a little in Seoul last night, but just a few flurries. Gave me hope for the mountains though. Thanks again for the updates, fingers crossed for a proper dump!

  55. Richard says:

    Today (7 Dec) is my last day at the resort. So this is my last update. It was very cold (-11 C) and windy. They opened another “Blue Run” near the Villa Condo and No. 9 New Yellow ski lift. With the very cold environment and man-made snow, good chance of more runs and ski lifts opening next week. It was more crowded with many school students.
    Buy the “Gift Card” in denominations of 50K, 100K, 300K or 500K Won at the Hotel reception that will enable discounts of 5% at the bakery opposite the reception, 40% ski lift & ski gear rental and 30% for the gondola ride. Not sure about others. Can buy any number of “Gift Cards”, it cannot be top up unlike T-money, just buy more cards. Any residue amount (after using more than 60%) can be refunded at the Hotel reception (no admin. charges). All the outlets that I patronized accepts the “Gift Card” including the food kiosks, cafe or restaurants, so no problems using the Gift Card.
    Enjoy your skiing holiday.

    • Simon Norton says:

      Cheers Richard, good to hear they’re getting more lifts open. Hope you enjoyed your time there even though you didn’t get much snow

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