Going on a Korean winter sonata? We all dream of that full gear winter OOTD while walking on snow under the leafless trees of Nami Island or maybe in a cute ski outfit riding an open lift so that we can ski down on a mountain of snow. After all, snow is something that we, tropical girls, don’t often experience or at all.
So why don’t we make that Korean winter dream real, shall we?
GOING TO SEOUL? Read my Winter in Seoul 2019: DIY Itinerary and Travel Guide for Filipino Families
Booking A ski tour with Klook
Before our travel, I already knew that I’d be booking a ski tour with Klook to save me from commuting my travel group of 15 to the ski park, and I also found out that it will be cheaper than doing it DIY. There are numerous ski tours in Klook; you can choose what will suit you well. I was confused with these two:
- Daemyung Vivaldi Ski World Day Tour from Seoul – P3,574
- Nami Island, Petite France & Daemyung Vivaldi Ski World Tour by KTOURSTORY – P3,941
It would be reasonably good to allot a whole day to the ski park, but considering my parents, uncles, and aunties I’ll be with, a full day might bore them. Also, we only have four whole days in Seoul, so the second tour choice would help up save time in visiting Nami Island as well. We didn’t get Petite France because if we did, we can only avail the Vivaldi Ski World sightseeing and not be able to experience ski. We are here for the ski in the first place!
Also, what I love with Ktourstory with Klook, they have different packages you can choose which perfect, especially if you are in a big group with different interests.
- The parents (you know the 50s and above haha) purchased the Nami Island + Vivaldi Ski World Sightseeing Tour (P2,508), so instead of waiting for us Millenials to finish skiing, they’ll be toured in the ski park – with a cable car ride and snow experience.
- While one group of the Millenials (including me!) availed the Nami Island + Vivaldi Park Ski World Tour (P3,070), it’s easier and cheaper, so I went with that. We also availed the unlimited ski-lift ticket for P870.
- While the other group got the Nami Island + Vivaldi Park Snowboard World Tour (P3,689), same with the ski tour, you can also avail of the unlimited ski-lift ticket for P870.
Both ski and snowboard tours have inclusive of ski/snowboard equipment (clothes, goggles, gloves, boots, and boards) and a one-hour basic lesson.
Now, if you’re thinking of doing it on your own, I researched it also before. Vivaldi Ski World has a free shuttle (from Hongdae, Myeongdong, and Seoul) for foreigners, BUT you have to reserve online for a spot. And when you’re there, a whole day equipment rental would cost 36,000KRW (1,600PHP) and 76,000KRW (3,250PHP) for the lift. And this fee doesn’t even include ski/snowboard lessons; you’ll have to pay around P10,000 for a 2 hr lesson for five people. You can see their fees here. As I told you, Klook is a better and hassle-free option.
A Sidetrip to Nami Island
KTourStory picked up in the Hongik Station at 7 AM and told us that they’d only wait for 20 minutes. The guide asked for our names and Klook confirmation email before he let us on the bus. We picked our other bus mates in Myeondong and Seoul Station before we headed to Nami Island.
The bus ride took more than an hour, and we arrived in Nami Island by past 9 AM. Our guide ushered us out of the bus and gathered us all in one place to tell us everything about Nami Island and some tips on what to do on the island while the other guide is distributing tickets. They didn’t accompany us and just told us that we must be back on the bus at 11:30 AM. I knew from the start that two hours wouldn’t be enough.
We took the Nami ferry to bring us to the island. It was colder in this region than Seoul that we all stayed inside because the cold wind is unbearable. In the first week of March, the snow has already melted, but the trees are still leafless, and the cloudy skies still look winter in photos. I had been here before in spring but again was awed by its winter beauty.
We took a lot of photos and tried to roam the whole area. We even lost each other at some time. We only bought some snacks in the stores around because two hours isn’t enough to enjoy the island and get dak galbi lunch. I’ll be back on an autumn season someday with a more relaxed and more extended stay.
Now, it’s time for some ski time in Vivaldi Ski World
We left Nami Island at 12nn and went to our next stop-over – the Ski Clothes Rental Shop. So everyone who availed the ski or snowboard tour was asked to go down the bus. The rental shop was clean, but they already have ski clothes available for you, depending on your size. We didn’t get the chance to pick the designs, so we got the most conspicuous ones. The ski clothes and gloves smelled nice, and they helped us in wearing them. It’s time for some skiing in Korea.
After the rental shop, we headed to Vivaldi Ski World, which is only 30 minutes away. We got our inclusive ski boots and ski equipment, but the locker, on the other hand, costs 500KRW. Our guide taught us how to wear our ski boots and walk with them. It was not easy; I told you, especially when he led us already in the snow! I’m quite sure I’ll slip anytime.
But I survived until we reach the foot of beginner’s slope. Our tour guides were also the ones who’ll be teaching us – the basics, the proper posture, how to go forward and backward, how to stop and the most important of all – what to do if you lose control.
As usual, I struggled with anything physical, and Paul, of course, is excelled in it. We finished our lesson after an hour, and we were given two hours to play in the beginner’s slope ONLY. The snowboarder group was having a tough time, but we all hopped to the ski lift to bring us to the top of the beginner’s slope. Finger’s crossed
The ski lift was enjoyable, but going down from it is a different topic. Upon reaching the top, you need to jump and ski your way. I always ended up rolling down the snow because balance is not my strong feature.
Going down the beginner’s slope for the first time is hard. I fell million times, accidentally and purposely, because I’m losing control. Let’s add the fact that I have a fear of speed, unwanted anxiety when things get fast. Paul, on the other hand, was a pro on this. He was able to learn it fast, and I’m thankful for him being patient and helping me.
We were able to go down after maybe almost an hour. We tried again to make the most of what we paid. I’m a slow learner in terms of physical activity, but after the second and third rounds in the slope, I was getting more confident with it.
Here are my tita tips for the first time skiers
- Even though it is optional, purchase the ski lift ticket. Skiing in the foot of the slope is not that exciting, and it’s hard to climb up a snow slope. If you can already spend thousands of pesos for a ski experience, why not get the most of it?
- You’ll be falling a lot, butt or hips first. If you have health issues with your hips or knees, think again before purchasing.
- 3.5 hours in the ski park is not enough. If you have enough time on your trip, make this trip to Vivaldi Ski World a whole day.
- Bring a pain killer ointment like Omega or Katinko; you’ll feel sore after.
- Listen to your guide’s instructions and lessons. Skiing can lead to accidents if you’re not responsible and accountable enough.
- And don’t try the other slopes – aside from the beginner’s despite that you think you’re good at skiing. The others are steep for the first-timers.
We left Vivaldi Ski World at around 5 PM and arrived at Seoul at around 6:30 PM already. We headed to the first samgyupsal store that we saw in Hongdae because we were starving since we didn’t eat a decent meal the whole day! Well, at least for Paul and me since we didn’t make time to get some.
So, is this Klook tour worth it?
YES! If like us, you only have four whole days SoKor trip, then this fast-paced tour is just the right for you. You’ll be able to check off two destinations that are outside Seoul in just a day. With its price of almost 4,000 pesos, I can say that I didn’t regret spending that amount for a once in a lifetime activity (esp. for us tropical children). At least, I can say that I had a full Korean winter experience by trying ski. As I also said, this Klook ski tour is already cheaper than doing it on your own.
My one tip for you is to allot time for food. The guides will tell you what time you must be in the assembly place, so try to make even 30 minutes before the agreed time to buy yourself some food. Or you can just pack some in your bag in case you wanted to max out the time with the activities.