Sunday, October 30, 2016

Day Trip to Jisan Ski Resort in Korea


There are three things that are important if you plan to go skiing in Korea:
  1. When? Ski season usually runs through from December until February. We went there late December to be sure. However, there was no actual snow falling down our faces (which we would have loved!) when we went as snow starts around mid-January in Korea.
  2. Where? There are a lot of options for skiing or snowboarding in Korea. The best options (and most hardcore!) are in Gangwon-do which is around 2-3 hours outside of Seoul. These places will also host the upcoming 2018 winter Olympics. We decided to go to Jisan Forest Ski Resort (check their official website here) which is one of the closest in Seoul (around 1 hour) and also beginner friendly. We felt that we made the right decision as Jisan Forest was still extremely huge and had state of the art facilities. The only downside was that there were so many people (especially beginners like us) that congested the ski areas.
  3. How long? A lot of people go to ski resorts as a vacation trip on its own so they spend several days in these resorts. We just wanted to experience it for fun so we decided a one-day trip will be sufficient for us. Spending more days in the resort will cost you more money since ski resorts if you avail of the full package can be very expensive.
DIRECTIONS TO JISAN FOREST RESORT:
Take the Subway (Green Line) and alight at Gangbyeon Station.
Upon reaching the terminal, go to exit 4 (Dongseoul Bus Terminal).
Upon reaching the exit, you will see a huge complex right in front of you. Walk across and enter the bus terminal building.
Look for the Ticketing Center (you can ask around on where to buy tickets) as seen below.
Buy one way ticket going to Icheon (note this is different from Incheon!). Fare will cost 4,700 KWN or around 200 PHP.
Buses in Korea leave right on time, so go out of the terminal and look for the gate number that goes to Icheon (Gate 27). Wait in front of the bus 5-10 mins before and enter as soon as the driver checks your ticket.
You will all alight at this bus terminal (Icheon bus terminal). Once you get here, you will need to ride another bus going to Jisan Resort.
Enter the building and look for the bus going to Jisan (Bus #12). The bus ride will only take 15-20 mins.
No need to buy ticket to ride the Bus #12 - you need to pay either through cash inside the bus or use your T-money card. Fare will be around 1,000-2,000 KWN only.
Ask the bus driver to drop you off near the Ski Resort. There is no landmark there and you won't see the ski resort immediately. You'll see a mart similar to below.
Look for the sign going to Jisan Forest Resort and walk towards it. You can ride the taxi if there is one. But we did not see any so we decided to walk towards it.
You will see signs going to Jisan resort and you'll also see a lot of rental shops of ski/snowboarding equipment on the way there. No need to buy or rent since there are rental options in the resort itself. The total walking time will be around 30 mins and will be uphill so brace for the long walk in the cold weather!
Once you arrive in the resort, go first in the ticketing center.

HOW MUCH IT COST?
There are several options on specific time and packages you can avail. We arrived at the venue around 11AM and availed the half-day package (From 12:30-5:00 PM). We did NOT pay for the lift service which is expensive and useless if you're a beginner. You'll only need the lift if you're already experienced since it will take you to the top of the mountains which we never attempted. We only availed of rental which cost 21,000 KWN or around 800 PHP.
Luckily, we saw a 30% discount option for credit card holders which also accepted our international Citibank card! So we only paid 14,800 KWN or around 600 PHP each!

SKI INSTRUCTIONS:
This is the map of the resort. You will need to pay for lift if you want to go up from 1-7 as it's impossible and dangerous for you to walk going up without using the lift.
We decided to have lunch first in the indoor food court. There are various food options: Korean noodles, Vietnamese Pho, Japanese Katsu, and other traditional Korean food that are all within 10,000 KWN or 400 PHP. Ordering is done through this vending machine and you'll just need to pick-up the food in each counter when your number is called.
After lunch we went down again to get our gears. You'll need to get both ski/snowboard equipment and clothes downstairs near the ticketing center.
Choose if you'll take the snow board or ski rental. Follow the procedure in getting the equipment and boots. You do not need to rent clothes which most of the people there do. We decided NOT to rent since it was okay for us to get our pants wet to save money on rental.haha
There are locker rooms available. But each use of the locker room will cost you 500 KWN which is non-refundable! We learned that it was non-refundable when my boyfriend left something inside the locker then upon opening we had to pay another 500 to lock it again! :)
Once you got your gear, go up again to the resort. WARNING: the equipment is extremely heavy and you'll have a difficult time to walk when wearing it!
There is food court outside where you can leave your things and rest. You can also buy Korean street food there!
There are ski lockers and ski blower to clear snow from your boots and ski after using it.
We initially thought skiing will be easy, but later on realized that it's extremely difficult to ski since the boots are heavy and it can lead you to go out of balance easily. It's also scary once you're going on a fast pace since it's difficult to turn on your breaks. But it was overall a great experience to capture great photos and videos (see here!) and have a great workout as we were sweating the whole time despite the cold weather.haha
Going back to the city, you'll need to follow the same path and walk down the resort to look for the bus station. I suggest you go down before night since it will be colder and difficult to navigate compared to early in the day. Ask around where you can ride bus #12 going back to Icheon Bus Terminal since there are no landmarks nearby the bus station but is in front of a convenience store. After riding Bus #12, buy tickets in Icheon Bus Terminal going back to Dong Seoul Bus Terminal.

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7 comments:

  1. Hi! Do you know what time the last bus is from icheon going to dong seoul?

    ReplyDelete
  2. What does the 21000 won rental include? How much is the ski suit/gloves/goggles rental? Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Tin! Question, what if we (or I) don't want to ski? we just want to see the resort and have lunch there. Do we need to pay the rental fee? TIA :)

    ReplyDelete

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