Note: Yangji Pine is closed until further notice
Yangji Pine is one of a cluster of three ski hills located in close proximity to each other on the southeastern edge of the Seoul area, just outside the city limits in neighbouring Gyeonggi-do province (the others being Konjiam and Jisan Forest Resort). Yangji Pine and Jisan Forest are in fact only about two miles apart as the crow flies, though it’s much further by road and the public transport access details are completely different (see below).
Yangji Pine follows the standard Korean resort model, the small ski area being part of a much larger resort concept along with a golf course and a huge hotel/condo development. Despite the proximity to Seoul, access is a little tricky without your own vehicle (the resort has free shuttle buses which are an easy way to get back to Seoul, but a bit hard to arrange to get to the resort if you don’t speak Korean); Yangji Pine also has a bit less to offer from a riding perspective, so for international visitors Konjiam is the most convenient (and largest) option of the three while Jisan is the best choice if you want a decent park. All that said, if you’re looking for somewhere to learn and can find a good deal to stay at the resort with transfers included, Yangji Pine is a reasonable choice.
Yangji Pine: the hill
In terms of the skiing on offer at Yangji Pine, it’s a mediocre hill with 200m of vert in theory, however the top chair is not in use as of the 2018/19 season which means run 7 and the top of run 6 are closed. When I visited in spring 2017 the top was still open, however between then and my subsequent visit early in the 2018/19 season it had already overgrown this much:
That’s the top of run 6; furthermore, run 2 has been turned into a small waterpark and runs 5 & 9 were completely devoid of snow (these changes are shown on the updated piste map here). Other signs of cost-cutting at Yangji these days are that they no longer run shuttle buses, and they now close at midnight rather than 2am. Given all this, I really can’t recommend Yangji unless you’re staying in the vicinity.
There’s also no terrain park at Yangji; if you specifically want to ride park, Jisan Forest is the best option in the vicinity of Seoul.
For beginners, the bunny hill (with bunny chair) looks like a good place to learn; intermediates will find enough for a reasonably satisfying half day, but advanced riders will have the whole hill skied out in under an hour.
Yangji Pine is good for:
40% discount for foreigners (remember to bring your passport to show at the ticket counter)
Judging by the languages overheard on the slopes (and the signs displayed in the windows of all the tour buses in the parking area), Yangji Pine appears to be a popular hill for ski package holidays from Taiwan, China, and SE Asia; if you’re from those areas, want to learn to ski in Korea, and find a good package deal with a travel agent, Yangji Pine is a decent option for you.
Yangji Pine is not so good for:
Size – small even by Korean standards, even more so with the top chair out of action.
Freestyle – no terrain park.
Access. Despite the proximity to Seoul, access isn’t all that convenient without your own vehicle (see below)
Their English website is pretty useless!
Yangji Pine lift tickets
Yangji Pine lift tickets follow the usual system in Korea with the day divided into AM, PM, Evening, and Night slots, with a 90-minute snow grooming break at 5pm. The slopes are open from 9am to midnight.
You can check the rates on their site here, and here’s a photo of the 2019 rates as displayed at the ticket window:
Yangji Pine: accommodation
The resort offers several accommodation options at the base of the slopes, in the form of two hotels and a hostel. See their accommodation page here (contact details are at the bottom; to make a reservation try calling or emailing them)
If that all seems a bit too difficult, or you’d simply prefer to stay in the city, search for hotel deals in Seoul (though be aware the transportation from Seoul to Yangji Pine is a bit of a fiddle – see below)
Airbnb is also a great choice for Seoul – hosts usually have it set up so you can arrive & check in by yourself without having to wait around or meet anyone, and the housing standards are decent with underfloor heating and excellent internet connections as standard. If you haven’t used Airbnb before, you can get a 35-dollar discount off your first rental by signing up through Snow Guide Korea; simply click on this link and register!
…and you could always stay at one of the love motels in Yangji town, around 20 minutes’ walk down the road (see below!)
How to get to Yangji Pine Resort
The best way is by free shuttle, but for international visitors this is hard to arrange as you have to make a booking on their homepage which requires you to register with a Korean ID – not to mention you’ll need to be able to read it! Update: Yangji Pine is no longer running shuttle buses; you need to use public buses or drive yourself.
The public transportation options aren’t great, and leave you with a long walk or a taxi ride. You can take a bus from the Nambu Bus Terminal (on Seoul Metro line 3) to the town of Yangji; when you get off (at a random-looking bus stop), it’s a 40-minute walk or you can look for a taxi.
You get off at this stop:
It’s a small town and there isn’t much around, though there’s a bunch of random love motels on the way; when you get off the bus, keep going straight over the big intersection and follow that same road up past the love motels until you come to the Yangji Pine Resort sign, then turn right up the access road.
Walk past the motels:
The slopes come into view ahead & to the right:
And eventually you reach the access road:
(The first time I did this, as I was walking up the access road a passing car pulled over and gave me a ride, which saved me the last 10 minutes of a freezing cold walk; the friendly bloke driving didn’t speak much English, but he taught he how to say “f*** me it’s cold” in Korean, and then we listened to some Michael Jackson)
You don’t have to walk the entire way up though – from the same bus stop where you get off you can take bus number 10 or 11 up to the intersection with the access road (still a 20-minute walk from there though). The #10 & 11 buses originate from Yongin Bus Terminal, so alternatively you can take a bus or the Everline train to Yongin and the local bus (or taxi) to Yangji Pine Resort from there. It takes about 45 minutes from Yongin though, so this is only a good route if you can get to Yongin easily or if you’re coming from Everland theme park.
If you’re going to try one of these bus routes you should download the app KakaoMap and use that to work things out.
To head back to Seoul from Yangji town, wait for the highway bus at the exact same bus stop as where you get off (in the same direction). There’s a lottery ticket shop immediately behind the bus stop where you can buy a ticket (3000 won) as the driver won’t take cash.
It has to be said that due to the lack of a convenient way for non-driving independent visitors to get to Yangji Pine, nearby Konjiam is a better option (or go to Jisan Forest if you want to ride park – though be warned the access for Jisan is also a little long-winded)
Any questions about Yangji Pine Resort? Leave a comment below!