Thursday, January 4, 2018

Daemyung Vivaldi Park Ski World (South Korea) - Winter 2017/2018 Review

👍 ~1 hour travel time from Seoul makes it day-trippable. Lots of indoor, underground activities (and restaurants) for non-skiiers, or for in-between runs.
👎 Mostly man-made snow, only 11 (fairly boring) slopes, proximity to Seoul means it's super crowded during peak periods.

Let's get one thing out of the way: If you're an advanced ski'ier or snowboarder (or even a strong intermediate) looking for fresh powder, off piste, and long scenic thigh-burning runs, you will be disappointed here.

But if you're a first-timer or beginner looking to just dip your toes in the world of ski'ing for a day or two before continuing for the rest of your Seoul/South Korea itinerary, then Vivaldi Park Ski World could tick quite a few boxes very satisfactorily!

The park is entirely purpose-built, so the complex has a bit of a "theme-park" look & feel. What you lose in character, though, you gain in efficiency: The ski complex and all the accommodation towers are linked up via the basement. The basement, in turn, houses a dozen or so cafes and restaurants, a supermarket, a few shops selling souvenirs and clothes, and an assortment of attractions/activities like an electric go-kart track, carousel, VR arcade, bowling alley, table tennis, movie theatre, billiards tables, and handicraft studio. The adjoining Ocean Park does double duty as a jijimbang (Korean Spa) in winter, so there really is a LOT to if a few of your travel party doesn't want to hit the slopes.

Vivaldi Park Ski Map

While it's possible to DIY your ski trip here, we decided to go through Koreal Trip (in conjunction with JSki): Paying ₩260,000/night for a 4-person Maple Family Room, plus ₩70,000/person/day for the ski lift ticket plus gear rental (skis, boots, poles, jacket and pants only). Consider topping up ₩22,000/person for a 1-hour group ski lesson if everyone in your group is a beginner or first timer.

The advantage of going through Koreal Trip / JSki is, of course, a less stressful trip as they'll arrange everything for you (they'll even help you with your hotel check in while you're out skiing on the first day).

Vivaldi Park Ski World Slopes

Of course, not everything's clear and sunny skies. Being so near to Seoul, Vivaldi Park attracts a ton of visitors from Seoul, making it ridiculously crowded on the weekends, holidays and other peak periods. And given that there are only two beginner slopes, the 30-45 minute queues for the lifts can get pretty annoying. The slopes are also limited (2 beginner, 5 intermediate, 4 advanced/expert, 1 half-pipe), and are 'boring,' so once you're a comfortable intermediate, this place can really only be a "practice your technique" hill rather than a "cruise and enjoy the scenery, twists and turns" one.

Nevertheless, it's still a great place for a weekday (or two) detour from Seoul to get some snow under your feet. Let us know in the comments below if you've got any other questions!

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