Thursday, April 26, 2012

Just keep skiing!

I'm slightly excited to be blogging about our February 25-26th weekend ski trip to Korea's Yong Pyong Resort, for two reasons:
1) Yong Pyong will be home to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games!
2) It was my favorite ski experience yet.

Ok, I lied. There are many more reasons:

3) Great friends! Bri, Chris, and Katie are some of the best company around.
4) Amazing kebabs! This turkish man saw a lot of us that weekend...
5) The weather and ski conditions were absolutely perfect.
6) I got to rent bright lime green pants and (somewhat) blend in with the flashy Koreans.
7) Noraebang fun.
8) The unexpectedly awesome nearby indoor water park.
9) There are more that I'm forgetting, I'm sure...
"Best bunk beds in Korea"
We left Saturday morning from Jamsil on a bus destined for the ski resort, which was located a few hours' drive away. We booked through WINK, a tour company that caters to Foreigners in Korea who want to experience travel inside the country. From the get-go, we regretted that decision, the tour leader informing us that he would not actually be coming on the tour, and that he had delegated leader duties to a fellow participant. Huh. We were given our discount tickets for the bus, lift, and rentals, and were on our way. It was soon obvious that we could have organized this trip on our own, without the help of a tour company, who advertised the moldy and old hostel as 'one of the best in Korea'. Ew. I could barely sleep, wheezing from the mustiness. We were decidedly disappointed with the misleading information posted on the tour group's Facebook page. (On a side note, we booked a second trip with WINK a little later, agreeing to grant them a second try, and it turned out to be our best tour in Korea yet. So they DID redeem themselves).
 Determined not to let any details ruin our fun, we proceeded to purchase our lift tickets, rental equipment, snow pants and goggles (indeed, this trip would prove to be one of the most expensive we've done in Korea). We were eager to hit the slopes, but couldn't resist the delicious smelling kebabs being sold outside the chalet. Bellies full, we made our way to the bunny hill to refresh our skills), thrilled with the fresh powder and mild weather that greeted us. This was the most snow I'd seen in Korea so far. Booking towards the end of the ski season was a fantastic idea, the hills not being overly crowded. A fifteen minute gondola ride brought us to the very top of the mountain, where the boys immediately disappeared down the double blacks, while us (slightly more cautious) girls opted for an intermediate blue. The fun continued even after sundown with the night ski experience. The best part of night skiing is that crowds have evacuated the hills by that time, as most families have gone home for supper.



A full day of intense activity was not enough to deter us from enjoying a few drinks with new acquaintances. The lame pub scene had us searching for more interesting ways to stay awake (and we all know that almost always leads to karaoke!). Noraebang it was!
Drunk in a mock 4D ski lift
Noraebangin' with some friends
Jason singing his staple "Bohemian Rhapsody"
The snow continued well into Sunday, when we agreed to take a break from the slopes and try out the new nearby water park. We all had a fun time chilling in the lazy river, taking underwater pictures with our (now insanely corroded) underwater camera, and racing down the water slides.
Lazy riverin' it

Katie coming out of the water slide!
Oops... we forgot the money in our bathing suits
Relaxing in the hot springs!
Exhausted, we returned to Jukjeon, made our usual post-trip stop at Emart to grab fresh fruit for the week, hit the pillow and woke up to the start of yet another teaching week.

Love weekend excursions :)

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