Korea has four distinct seasons and one of the best seasons to visit Korea is winter. Aside from seeing the streets covered in snow, people can also go to ski resorts to ski. After all, winter time means skiing time! Visit one of Korea’s most popular winter sports resorts – the Vivaldi Park Ski World (비발디 파크 스키월드) or most commonly known as Vivaldi Ski Resort.
Vivaldi Ski Resort is convenient to go to because it is just a little over an hour away from Seoul. It has slopes designed for beginners, intermediate, advanced and experts. Thus, you don’t have to worry if it will be your first time to try skiing or snowboarding. The resort also offers round-trip shuttle transportation, ski lift pass, ski gear rental and even winter clothing rental.
When is best time to go to Vivaldi Ski Resort?
The peak season for going to ski resort is from December to February of the following year. However, don’t expect that it would snow all the time. The resort maintains the snow on the slopes by using a machine which I found surprising when I first went to a ski resort. Therefore, if you want to experience skiing with legit snow falling from the sky, try to check the weather forecast first. You can also have a look at the current look of the different slopes of the resort through their Online Cam.
Where to Buy Tickets and How Much?
When planning to go to Vivaldi Ski Resort, it is more convenient to buy tour packages. Ski packages mostly include round-trip shuttle bus from Seoul, ski pass, ski gear rental or snowboard rental and winter clothing rental. I bough mine from Klook which costs around 85,000 Korean won. But the price varies from the type of package that you will get. It usually ranges from 85,000 to 100,000 Korean won. Here are sample packages and their inclusions:
*Disclaimer: Klook, KKDay and other tour package providers may change their pricing from time to time.
Skiing, Snow Sledding or Snowboarding?
Another thing to consider when choosing a package is which type of activity you’d like to do. You have options from Skiing, Snow Sledding and Snowboarding. The package also has an option if you want to learn Basic Ski Lesson. If you are new to skiing and snowboarding, know that the gear and equipment are quite heavy. And you also have to wear the appropriate shoes for them which is already included in the rental. Note that the shoes are heavy too. My friends and I chose snowboarding package thinking that it would be easier than skiing. But after few minutes of trying and walking in a heavy pair of shoes and a heavy snowboard, we just decided to leave the snowboard on the side.
What to Wear?
Since it’s winter, you have to wear warm clothes, preferably bring a padded jacket too. The temperature could go as low as -15°C or even 20°C. Hence, if you want to enjoy the ski resort and not be bothered by the cold, then make sure to dress warmly. If you think your jacket or coat won’t be able to protect you from cold, then consider the renting a winter clothing too. The winter clothes that the resort offers have variety of sizes, colors and designs that you can choose from. The clothes also have multiple pockets where you can put your wallet and cellphone.
Moreover, as mentioned, you will have to change your shoes if you want to try skiing and snowboarding. There are sizes to choose from but sometimes, if there are too many people, you might have to wait for a while to have an available size that fits you. Note also that if you use the newly returned shoes, it might be damp inside so make sure you to put on your socks before going to the resort.
What to Bring?
Hot Pack and Gloves
You can buy hot packs from convenience stores for as low as 1,000 Korean won. I suggest that you also wear hand gloves to warm. There are also reusable hand warmer like the one I bought from Day6 Entropy Exhibit in Seoul
Beanie and Ear Muffs
These are optional if you want to further warm your head. Can be a fashion statement too if you are into that.
Even though the weather is cold and your body is covered in thick clothing, your face can still be exposed to sun. And exposure to sun isn’t good for your skin especially between 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
With a negative temperature, cellphone and camera batteries are drained easily so bringing a power bank can save you. This is a reminder particularly if you want to document your memories in the resort through photos, videos and social media updates.
Where to Leave Valuables or Bulky Belongings?
If you have some valuables or bulky items that you do not want to bring with you inside the resort, you can leave them at the locker area. You can use the locker for your belongings specially if you rent winter clothes. The small locker costs 1,000 Korean won and you will need to use two 500 coins. But you can only use it one time. Thus, it’s important to ensure that everything is inside the locker before closing it or else, you will have to put two 500 coins again.
Going Around the Ski Resort
From the base of the resort, there is an 8-seater gondola which takes you up to the peak in about 7 minutes. It offers an amazing panoramic view of the entire resort and the surrounding winter landscapes. There’s also a group swing at the peak.
There are different slopes for every difficulty levels. It is categorized into Beginners, Intermediate, Upper intermediate, Advanced and Expert.
An addition to Vivaldi Ski Resorts’ attraction is the Snowy Land. It is a snow village with different types of sled and where you can do traditional winter sports.
Where to Eat?
If you get tired and hungry, you can find food trucks, food court, restaurants, cafes and food stalls at the Main Center building. There is also an underground complex called Viva Plex near the Main Center entrance where you can find various dining places.
Kdramas Filmed at Vivaldi Ski Resort:
How to get there
Address: 262, Hanchigol-gil, Hongcheon-gun, Gangwon-do
COMMUTE VIA BUS
- From Seoul Sangbong Bus Terminal or Dong Seoul Bus Terminal, take a bus to Hongcheon Bus Terminal.
- From Hongcheon Bus Terminal, take Bus No. 70-1 or 70-2 and get off at Vivaldi Park Bus Stop.
VIVALDI FREE SHUTTLE BUS FOR FOREIGNERS
You can book Vivaldi Ski Resorts’ Free Shuttle Bus from Seoul here.
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