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Konjiam Ski Resort Seoul

A Quest for Snow

All we wanted was to see snow. We had been in Seoul for four days, braved the butt-freezing cold, but still hadn’t seen one flake of snow. The receptionist at our hotel told us that it had been snowing steadily the week before we arrived, but for some reason, it had stopped. In the middle of January!

It seemed like I was always unlucky with snow. In February 2012, when I was in Beijing, the temperature dropped to -2 degrees Celsius, the cold was biting, the rivers were frozen, and kids were skating on them, but there was no snow.

In the same year, I went to New Zealand close to winter time. The days were getting shorter and the temperature was dropping fast. A friend and I drove to Mount Cook, and what we saw was only a teeny weeny bit of frost by the roadside, looking more like shaved ice than the powdery type that I imagined snow to be. A week after I left New Zealand, the whole country was covered in white.

Looking for snow at Mount Cook
Admiring the frost by the roadside near Mount Cook.

So when I visited Seoul with my travel partner who had also never seen snow, we had high hopes. But four days in and still no luck.

Meanwhile, another friend of mine — who was in Tokyo at the time — posted pictures of herself being stuck at a train station because of heavy snow. And Tokyo was actually a lot warmer than Seoul! What a cruel joke.

Since we were flying home the next day, we figured the best solution we had was to find a ski resort close to Seoul. If we were not going to experience snowfall, we wanted to at least see snow on the ground — lots of it. We didn’t care anymore if it was real or artificial.

After some research on the internet, we discovered that there were quite a number of ski resorts in the vicinity of Seoul. In the end, we picked Konjiam Ski Resort.

Konjiam Ski Resort

Konjiam Ski Resort is located in the Gyeonggi Province, to the south of Seoul. It has 7.2 km of slopes that are suitable for skiing and snowboarding. The winter sports area is situated between the elevations of 177 m and 497 m.

There were a few reasons why we chose Konjiam Ski Resort over the many others.
  • It was the closest to the city. While all the other ski resorts required between 1.5 – 3 hours of journey time, Konjiam was only 45 minutes away from Seoul.
  • Although there were one or two other resorts that were almost as near, Konjiam was the most accessible by public transports.
  • The rate was cheaper, and they offered hourly tickets, unlike some other resorts, which only sold daily passes, or rigid morning/evening slots.
  • According to reviews, it is one of the best in the area.
Konjiam Ski Resort
Credit: Konjiam Resorts
Address
산23-1 Doung-ri, Docheok-myeon, Gwangju-si, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea

Phone Number
+82-31-8026-5779


Opening Hours

Mon – Fri: 9 a.m. – 4 a.m. (No, that’s not a typo — they’re really open till 4 a.m.)
Sat & Sun: 7 a.m. – 4 a.m.

*Break time from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. every day.

How to Get to Konjiam Ski Resort

We found an article by someone who had recently been there and followed his instructions on how to get to the place. There was supposedly a shuttle bus that would pick up passengers at a few stops in Seoul, so we went to the one that was the nearest to our hotel: Sadang.

However, the article we read didn’t publish the exact schedule, and we had mistakenly assumed that the bus would be frequent. At the bus stop, we hoped to see other people with ski gear, but there was none. We sat down anyway and looked out for the shuttle bus.

However, after waiting for over an hour in the freezing cold, there was still no bus. We were starting to lose hope. It was already past noon. Would it be too late now to look for other options? Was it really not meant to be?

Seoul Korea in winter
Seoul was freezing. Brrrrr!

After weighing our options, we decided that we’d still go to Konjiam Ski Resort by hook or by crook. They’d be open till the wee hours of the morning after all. So, we took the Seoul Metro’s Gyeonggang line to Gonjiam station to get the shuttle bus from there instead.

The bus stop was right outside Gonjiam station (in front of Kiss & Ride boarding place). Not long after we got there, the bus arrived. Phew! It was only 4 km to get from the station to the ski resort. We wished we had chosen this route from the very beginning.

konjiam bus station
Credit: Snow Guide Korea

If you’re going to Konjiam Ski Resort from Seoul using the shuttle bus, I highly recommend waiting at Gonjiam Station, instead of Sadang or Jamsil, as the buses are not as frequent at those two stops. The one from Gonjiam station departs every hour from 9:15 a.m. to 8:15 p.m*.

 

Fare: Free + service charge USD 5 per one-way trip (so not exactly free).

 

*Bus schedule is subject to change without prior notification depending on operational circumstances.

(Visit Package Korea for instructions on how to get to Konjiam Ski Resort from Sadang, Jamsil, or Incheon Airport).

 

Konjiam Ski Resort Entrance Fees

Unfortunately, to enter the ski slope area was not as simple or as cheap as we thought. The hourly fee was only one part of the equation.

Gonjiam Me-Time Pass

Weekday (Adult / Child)
1 Hour: KRW 29,000 / KRW 22,000
2 Hours: KRW 48,000 / KRW 36,000 
3 Hours: KRW 54,000 / KRW 41,000 
4 Hours: KRW 58,000 / KRW 43,000
6 Hours: KRW 67,000 / KRW 47,000

Weekend (Adult / Child)
1 Hour: KRW 34,000 / KRW 25,000
2 Hours: KRW 58,000 / KRW 42,000
3 Hours: KRW 64,000 / KRW 47,000
4 Hours: KRW 68,000 / KRW 49,000
6 Hours: KRW 77,000 / KRW 53,000

In addition to that, there were also the rental fees for helmets, jackets, pants, knee pads, hip protectors,  and of course, skis. You have to buy your own goggles and gloves.

Ski / Board Rental

4 Hours: KRW 28,000 (Adult) / KRW 23,000 (Child)

6 Hours: KRW 30,000 (Adult) / KRW 25,000 (Child)

Skiwear Rental

– SET (SUIT & PANTS)
Less than 4 Hours: KRW 23,000
More than 4 Hours: KRW 30,000
 
– ONLY SUIT OR PANTS
Less than 4 Hours: KRW 15,000
More than 4 Hours: KRW 20,000
 
– HELMET
Less than 4 Hours: KRW 7,000
More than 4 Hours: KRW 10,000
 
– KNEE PADS, HIP PROTECTOR
KRW 10,000
 

 

“Could we just go and have a walk on the ski slopes and come back?” we asked the man at the ticketing counter. 

No, we couldn’t. And no, we couldn’t go on a joy ride on the ski lift either. They were very strict about the rules. Either you rent the complete ski gear or you bring your own. No gear, no go.

Konjiam ski slopes.
 You need to be in complete ski attire to go on the slopes in Konjiam. Otherwise, you can only watch from behind the barricade.

But, but… they didn’t understand. Skiing wasn’t our top priority. We came from the equator. We just wanted to walk on snow.

Oh well.

My partner didn’t want to ski. And I didn’t want to go alone. What if I fell down and couldn’t get up? It would be less embarrassing if I had someone with me — we could tumble down the slope together. If all else failed, we could just stand to one side and talk to each other.

Just as we were about to give up, we saw something that we didn’t notice before: right at the bottom of the pricing chart was something called “sledding”. It was only KRW 15,000 per person for five rides.

We had no idea what sledding was. What we did know was that we could enter the ski slope area for cheap, and without any of the ski gear nonsense. And we got to do it five times, whatever it was.

Snow Sled Fees

1 Time: KRW 5,000 (Adult) / KRW 4,000 (Child)
5 Times: KRW 15,000 (Adult) / KRW 12,000 (Child)
Half Day: KRW 20,000 (Adult) / KRW 15,000 (Child)

Sledding at Konjiam Ski Resort

So, we quickly bought the tickets and went up to the access gate. And there, right in front of us were the sloping hills all covered in white. It was a tremendous sight.

Skiers dotted the slopes like ants on mounds of sugar. The ski slopes were fenced in. Non-paying guests could watch or talk to the skiers from the other side of the fence, like in a prison.

It turned out that we didn’t get to go on the ski slopes after all. The sledding field was a small space located on one side of the ski slopes, but cordoned off from the skiing area. There was an underground walkway to lead us from the access gate to the field so that we wouldn’t disturb the skiers.

It was sort of like a playroom where parents left their smaller children to entertain themselves while they took the older ones to go skiing. Indeed, we were surrounded by preschoolers. The only other adults around were the crew members and parents accompanying their kids.

Sledding field at Konjiam Ski Resort
The sledding field was cordoned off from the ski slopes.

Each of us was given a wrist tag to be shown to the attendant at the entrance of the sledding field. The attendant would put a mark on the tag, to indicate the number of times we had entered. After the fifth entry, the tag would be removed.

Upon entering the field, we each took a sled and went up the snow escalator to get to the top of the sledding slope. The sleds were actually those round floating tubes with a crater in the middle. When the snow fell on them, they looked like large donuts dusted with icing sugar.
 
Sledding tubes
Sledding tubes looking like donuts with icing.

The field had about 10 lanes. People queued up at the top of each lane to wait for their turns. You could either go on your own, or if you’re scaredy cats like us, you could hold on to your partner’s sled and go together.

It was terrifying at first. We were both scared of heights and on top of that, I was also scared of speed and the free-fall sensation (the first few inches of the slope were almost vertical!).

But as we were whizzing down the slope, the fear was gone, and we were thoroughly enjoying ourselves. The five rides were over very quickly.

 

We Finally Experienced Snowfall!

When our bus dropped us off earlier, we saw a few tiny flakes floating down from the sky that we would have easily missed had we not been staring heavenwards the whole time. But that was it.

Around us, there were lumps of leftover snow on the sidewalk, probably from the previous week. They were grayish and rapidly turning into sludge.

On the sledding field, the snow under our feet was coarse, like shaved ice. There was no snowfall.

snow like shaved ice
Snow underfoot looking like shaved ice.

We tried not to let our hopes up too high. After all, we had already got our wish granted — to walk on snow. And sledding proved to be a lot of fun, with or without snowfall.

It was only when the day grew dark that suddenly, thick flakes of snow started to fall down from the sky!

It was a weird feeling — like being in the rain, but not quite. The snowflakes were not as heavy or as wet. They stuck to my hair and my clothes like a really bad case of dandruff. But for the first time, I was not embarrassed about having white flakes on my shoulders. 

 

It actually didn’t feel so cold out there, despite the snow.

As the wind picked up, bringing more and more of the white substance, and as we whizzed down the slope on our sleds, we felt the sensation of being in a blizzard (not that we knew what a real blizzard felt like).

It was the perfect ending to our winter holiday.

Dancing in snow | Ummi Goes Where?
Dancing in the snow.
Snow for the first time
Look at the excited faces of these two equatorial people experiencing snowfall for the first time.

Best Time to Go to Ski Resorts in South Korea

The winter season in South Korea runs from late November until the beginning of April. Many ski resorts are open from early December till late March, but the peak time for skiing is in January and February.

That is when schools are on their winter break, which unfortunately means more crowd on the ski slopes. However, it’s also the coldest time of the year, with a greater chance of snowfall.

What to Pack

Most ski resorts provide these items for rental or purchase, but you can save a lot if you bring what you already have at home. It’s also cheaper if you rent them from other ski shops instead. If you’re booking a ski package with an agent, be sure to check if these are included.

  • Skis or snowboards
  • Ski boots
  • Ski poles
  • Helmets
  • Waterproof ski jacket and pants
  • Gloves
  • Goggles
Other things you should bring that aren’t usually available at the resorts:
  • Thick socks (plus an extra pair for after)
  • Scarf or neck gaiter
  • Beanie or warm hat
  • Hot packs
  • Lipbalm
  • Sunscreen
  • Thermal underwear
  • Extra pair of clothes to change into after

Additional Info

  • For those who have never tried skiing or snowboarding before, there are lessons available. They are usually an hour long per session and conducted in English.
  • There are lockers available at the ski resort where you can keep your valuables, but do bring some money with you on the slopes in case you want to go to one of the eateries.
  • The ski resorts can get very crowded during the peak season and weekends.
  • The ski resorts in Korea are quite small and may not have the same vibe as the ones in Europe or the US. The slopes are mostly made of artificial snow, with some parts that can be icy. Therefore, if you are used to world-class ski slopes in Europe or the US, the ones in Korea might leave you disappointed.

Have you tried skiing/snowboarding/sledding in South Korea? What did you think about it? Share your experience in the comment section below.

Posted in South Korea

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42 Comments

    • ummi

      Finally, that’s one thing we have in common, Rawlins! Bangkok is my most favorite city in the world. And I can’t stand anything below 20 degrees Celsius. Freezes my brain! But I would still love to experience thick snow.

    • ummi

      Ya, Ayu. Kalau di Asia ni boleh la cuba ski di Korea Selatan, Jepun, China, India dan negara-negara Asia Tengah. Tapi bagi saya, yang paling senang untuk travel ialah di Korea Selatan. Semoga berpeluang suatu hari nanti.

    • ummi

      Thanks, Bae. Saya pun, seumur hidup baru ni la sekali dapat rasa snowfall, walaupun dah banyak negara pergi. Semoga Bae pun berpeluang nanti.

  1. Kitkat Nelfei

    Ohhh, i fully understand your feeling about the snowfall.. I had the same experience as well when I was in Seoul back in 2010.. I remember that cold morning, everyone jumped and shouted when the road suddenly turned white, excited but the snow stopped way before we realize this.. We almost get disappointed for the 2nd time when we waited whole day at Nami Island and the moment we decided to leave, snowfall began 😛 Exactly just like yours.. Ohhh, how i miss that..

    • ummi

      Ohhh, good for you! At least you got to experience it too, even if it was at the last minute. It seems like the universe was saving the best for last for us! 😃

    • ummi

      Oh, Everland saya belum pernah pergi lagi. Sebab selalu travel sorang atau berdua je, tak best la pergi theme park. Semoga suatu hari nanti sis pun berpeluang pergi ski resort, ya. Saya pun kena pergi sekali lagi ni, nak try ski pulak, ni baru sled.

    • ummi

      Semoga ada rezeki suatu hari nanti, Huda. Saya pun belum puas lagi ni, sebab belum merasa lagi salji tebal. Haritu salji turun malu2 je.

  2. Nina Mirza

    Kita suka tau baca cerira Ummi! Kita belum pernah rasa salji tapi dapat baca, tengok gambar Ummi cukup buat kita teruja!
    Kita save yaaa.. Moga satu hari nanti tercapai kita travel merata macam Ummi…

  3. Chloe Beaver

    I’ve only tried skiing and snowboarding in the US, but I can say it is a lot more difficult than it looks! Especially for someone new, snowboarding and skiing can get frustrating because you usually spend more time falling than you do standing. Once you get the hang of it, it is great fun, but I always enjoyed the days of sledding & tubing because it was just pure bliss and no physical work. I’m glad you got to experience that!

    • ummi

      Thank you, Chloe. We really enjoyed the experience — it was our perfect introduction to winter activities. And thank you for being honest about skiing and snowboarding, I now know what to expect when I try them for the first time in the future.

  4. molly

    I am so glad that your friend who had never seen snow finally got the chance! only 45 minutes way! I have not heard of hourly tickets anywhere but love the idea! Recommending lessons for beginners is also a good idea!

    • ummi

      Yup, Molly, only 45 minutes away! That was the main draw for me, and of course the hourly rates too. I wish I had enough time (and money and courage) to take one of the lessons. Maybe on my next visit. 🙂

  5. Jamie

    Seoul in winter is my favourite but I never had a chance to go seeking the mountains, as you did. What an incredible experience to ski in Korea! The details you’ve shared are incredible, and I’m regretting not having thought about this on my last trip. Maybe next time? I feel inspired now!

    • ummi

      Ya, maybe next time, Jamie. Bear in mind though, that if you’re used to skiing in Europe or the US, maybe you won’t find the Korean slopes very impressive. But it’s still fun to visit if you happen to be in the area. 🙂

  6. Clarice

    I also want to see snow! We were supposed to spend Christmas in US but it was cancelled due to the pandemic. Anyway, happy to read about your adventure in Seoul. Would definitely consider a trip there during winter next time and keep Konjiam in mind.

  7. Agnes

    It is such a great guide to a winter ski resort near Seul. Amazing winter adventure! It is so helpful that you provide prices and other tips about Konjiam Ski Resort. I haven’t been to Seoul yet, but I’d love to see the city sometime.

    • ummi

      I hope you will, Agnes. It’s a wonderful city. I love the people, food, and culture especially. And if you do go during winter, be sure to visit Konjiam Ski Resort! 🙂

  8. Antoine

    I live in the French Alps so skiing is a big part of the culture here. I didn’t know there were ski resorts in S. Korea. We love the country so it’s nice to know that you can do activities like that there too. Adds for more variety to visiting the country. I will def save this guide for when we visit Korea again.

    • ummi

      Thank you, Antoine. You’re so lucky to live in the French Alps! Yes, there are many ski resorts in South Korea, Konjiam being the nearest to Seoul. They might not impress you much though, but like you said, it adds to more variety if you happen to visit the country in winter. 🙂

  9. Ami Bhat

    Wheee!!! That is what I screamed as I saw your sledging video It seems like so much fun in those iced donuts as you call them. I definitely want to go now after seeing the fun that you had. Good info on this particular place – on how to get there and what to expect.

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