Yangji Pine is one of a cluster of three ski hills located in close proximity to each other on the southeastern edge of the Seoul area, just outside the city limits in neighbouring Gyeonggi-do province (the others being Konjiam and Jisan Forest Resort). Yangji Pine and Jisan Forest are in fact only about two miles apart as the crow flies, though it’s much further by road and the public transport access details are completely different (see below).
Yangji Pine follows the standard Korean resort model, the small ski area being part of a much larger resort concept along with a golf course and a huge hotel/condo development. Despite the proximity to Seoul, access is a little tricky without your own vehicle (the resort has free shuttle buses which are an easy way to get back to Seoul, but a bit hard to arrange to get to the resort if you don’t speak Korean); Yangji Pine also has a bit less to offer from a riding perspective, so for international visitors Konjiam is the most convenient (and largest) option of the three while Jisan is the best choice if you want a decent park. All that said, if you’re looking for somewhere to learn and can find a good deal to stay at the resort with transfers included, Yangji Pine is a reasonable choice.
Yangji Pine: the hill
In terms of the skiing on offer at Yangji Pine, it’s a mediocre hill with 200m of vert and essentially two sides to choose from when going down from the top chair; skier’s right has the longer runs and is the more interesting of the two (though there isn’t much in it), with skier’s left taking you down a wide piste back to the main base area. There’s no park at Yangji; if you specifically want to ride park, Jisan Forest is the best option in the vicinity of Seoul.
For beginners, the bunny hill (with bunny chair) looks like a good place to learn; intermediates will find enough for a reasonably satisfying half day, but advanced riders will have the whole hill skied out in an hour.
Yangji Pine is good for:
Late hours (open until 2am)
Judging by the languages overheard on the slopes (and the signs displayed in the windows of all the tour buses in the parking area), Yangji Pine appears to be a popular hill for ski package holidays from Taiwan, China, and SE Asia; if you’re from those areas, want to learn to ski in Korea, and find a good package deal with a travel agent, Yangji Pine is a decent option for you.
Yangji Pine is not so good for:
Size – small even by Korean standards.
Freestyle – no terrain park.
Access. Despite the proximity to Seoul, access isn’t all that convenient without your own vehicle (see below)
Their English website is pretty useless!
Yangji Pine lift tickets
Yangji Pine lift tickets follow the usual system in Korea with the day divided into AM, PM, Evening, and Night slots, with a 90-minute snow grooming break at 5pm. The slopes are open from 9am to 2am.
You can check the rates on their site here, and here’s a photo of the 2016/17 rates as displayed at the ticket window:
Yangji Pine: accommodation
The resort offers several accommodation options at the base of the slopes, in the form of two hotels (here and here) and a hostel (here); on each page, click the “객실요금보기” button to see the rates. Reservation is by phone on 02-516-7161, with lines open 9:30-5:30 (9:30-12:30 on Saturdays).
If that all seems a bit too difficult, or you’d simply prefer to stay in the city, search Agoda for hotel deals in Seoul (though be aware the transportation from Seoul to Yangji Pine is a bit of a fiddle – see below)
Airbnb is also a great choice for Seoul – hosts usually have it set up so you can arrive & check in by yourself without having to wait around or meet anyone, and the housing standards are decent with underfloor heating and excellent internet connections as standard. 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!
…and you could always stay at one of the love motels in Yangji town, around 20 minutes’ walk down the road (see below!)
How to get to Yangji Pine Resort
The best way is by free shuttle, but for international visitors this is hard to arrange as you have to make a booking on their shuttle bus page which requires you to register with a Korean ID – not to mention you’ll need to be able to read it!
The public transportation options aren’t great either though, and leave you with a long walk or a taxi ride. You can take a bus from the Nambu Bus Terminal (on Seoul Metro line 3) to the town of Yangji; when you get off (at a random-looking bus stop), it’s a 30-minute walk or you can look for a taxi.
You get off at this stop:
It’s a small town and there isn’t much around, though there’s a bunch of random love motels on the way; when you get off the bus, keep going straight over the big intersection and follow that same road up past the love motels until you come to the Yangji Pine Resort sign, then turn right up the access road.
Walk past the motels:
The slopes come into view ahead & to the right:
And eventually you reach the access road:
(The day I did this, as I was walking up the access road a passing car pulled over and gave me a ride, which saved me the last 10 minutes of a freezing cold walk; the friendly bloke driving didn’t speak much English, but he taught he how to say “f*** me it’s cold” in Korean, and then we listened to some Michael Jackson!)
Alternatively, take a highway bus from Nambu Bus Terminal to Yongin Bus Terminal, and a taxi or local bus to Yangji Pine Resort from there; it’s around 10km, and you can take bus number 10 or 11. There’s a bus stop near the turnoff for the Yangji Pine Resort access road, and it takes about 45 minutes from Yongin.
For going back to Seoul by public bus, should you wish to, the staff at Yangji Pine’s information desk advised me I’d need to go to Yongin in order to take a highway bus, as Yongin has a proper bus terminal whereas Yangji town doesn’t – again, it’s a 45-minute bus ride to Yongin from the stop near the turnoff for the access road (bus 10 or 11), so it’s best to take a taxi from the resort to Yongin. I suspect it is actually possible to get a highway bus direct to Seoul from Yangji town, but probably requires Korean language skills and a knowledge of the right booking apps to use, etc
Thankfully none of that should be necessary though, as to get back from Yangji Pine Resort the shuttle buses are perfect. You just need to pop in to the information desk (on the right just inside the building where the ticket offices & ski rental are located, on the floor above the ticket windows) to make a reservation; get this done before you start skiing! You can check which locations they have buses running to that day and book whichever is most convenient for you; you should be able to get one to Gangam Station, possibly further (Myeongdong, Sadang, etc), and in any case at least as far as Migeum Station, from where you can continue by Metro.
It has to be said that due to the lack of a convenient and easily-arranged way for foreign visitors to get to Yangji Pine, nearby Konjiam is a better option (or go to Jisan Forest if you want to ride park – though be warned the access for Jisan is also a little long-winded!)
Any questions about Yangji Pine Resort? Leave a comment below!