Friday, January 13, 2017

DIY Daytrip Seoul to Elysian Gangchon Ski Resort for only $53USD (Php 2,650)

If you're in Seoul and got an entire day to spare, why not try the winter tours that offers. Choose from various activities: Day Ski/Snowboard/Snow Sled/Ice Fish to your desired ski resort: Jisan, Bearstown, Elysian Gangchon, Vivaldi, Yong Pyong, Phoenix Park or Alpensia. They have cool reasonably priced tours but usually requires 2-3 days advance booking and meet-ups as early as 0700H or 0800H.

But what if it was just a spur of the moment idea? No previous bookings whatsoever? Then continue reading below on how to DIY a ski tour from seoul in your own pace and liking. 

Just an hour away from Seoul, Elysian Gangchon is the only ski resort reached via the ITX train in Korea. 

Take Subway Line 1: From Seoul Station --- Namyeong --- Yongsan. Fare is 1,250 krw. You can use your T-money. Travel time is approx 5 mins.

Find the ITX ticketing booth at Yongsan Station. Purchase roundtrip tickets to Baegyangri Station. Attendant will ask you to choose from the timetable. Fare is 5,800 krw one-way. T-money cannot be used on ITX train. Travel time is approx an hour.

Normally, ITX has 6 or 7 train cars, please make sure that you get on your reserved car and find the seat on your ticket.

Posted below is the timetable for your reference. ITX Cheongchun only stops at Baekyangri station during winter season ( Dec-Mar ) 4 times on weekdays, 8 times on Sat and 7 times a day on Sundays and Holidays. 

Took the 11:00 ITX from Yongsan and reached Baegyangri an hour later 12:01H

An attendant will usher you towards the exit of the Baegyangri Station and will tell you to wait for the free shuttle bus going to Elysian Gangchon.

Hop onto the shuttle bus. As a courtesy, greet the driver "Annyeonghaseyo", the most commnon greeting used in Korean and basically has the same meaning as "hello."

Kindness is like beautifies everything it covers

Paradise doesn't have to be tropical

Make your way to the cashier and line up for the rentals. Below are the timings and fees.

Since I am just a beginner, I dare not to rent ski lifts. These are for the intermediate and advanced ones who can go down from the high slopes. 

For beginners, what's important are: ski rentals 26,000 krw  ( includes boots, ski and poles) 

... Ski wear 18,000 krw (includes jacket and pants)

Optional: helmets, googles & gloves

For ski boots: One must know his korean shoe size

Locker rentals are available for 1,000 krw. There is a nearby coin machine if you do not have loose change. The above 53 USD budget includes a 6,000 krw meal at Lotteria. 

Should you want to eat at Lotteria or at the restaurant at the 2nd floor, one can just park his/her ski equipment at the designated areas. Trust me, nothing gets stolen or lost here. 

Tip: The cold weather easily drains your phone battery, bring your trusted powerbank. I managed to charge mine at Lotteria, bringing with me an adaptor. 

Snow skiing is not fun. It's life, fully lived, life lived in a blaze of reality.

It may not be as powdery snow as the ski resorts in Alpensia or YongPyong in Pyeongchang ( 3 hours away from Seoul) but it still is soo much fun! 

You don't need a hefty sum of money for beginner classes. Watch tutorials from Youtube. My ITX Train back to Yongsan departs at 18:23H and so I must bid goodbye now....