Last October, we visited Daegwallyeong Baby Animal Farm. It had rained the whole day and we couldn’t do much after the visit to the animal farm. Thankfully, on the next day, the rain had stopped and the sun was out.
While the others slept, Basil and I were up and ready to explore the natural beauty around the room. The leaves had started changing colour and the pathways looked quite stunning.
We walked to the parking area of the resort and reached a road — probably leading back to the city. We were tempted to walk along this road and explore the natural beauty of the location. However, we didn’t know where we were or how often public transport came along, so we decided to head back.
We finally found boards pointing towards the cable car boarding area of Yongpyong Resort. It was about 9:00 a.m. and there were barely any people standing in line. Certain Korean credit cards will get you a discount on the ticket price. We were lucky to add this unexpected trip to our morning walk.
Cable Car Ride (UP)
This is one of the longest cable car rides in Korea and spans a distance of about 7.4 km. It was the first week of October and the leaves were turning yellow. In certain sections, the trees were bright red, and the sun brought out those pops of colour. We saw few people climbing the mountain and I felt guilty for taking the easy way up.
Dragon Plaza Platform
Dragon Plaza Platform has a range of eating options and a coffee shop with a stunning view of Taebak Mountains.
K-Drama Stars & Popular Mascots
We had never heard of Balwangsan (1,458 m) before the cable car ride. We did remember the scene in the K-Drama: Goblin, where the female lead takes a job at Yongpyong Resort. And sure enough, there were boards with descriptions of the dramas that were shot here. I could see why many K-Drama fans would want to add this to their Korea itinerary.
The view looked spectacular from the top and we could spot low lying clouds cover the peaks of distant mountains. Some trees were bare and added a distinct characteristic to the scenery.
Koreans truly appreciate nature and know how to absorb its beauty.
The peak of Balwangsan is about 500 m from Dragon Plaza. It’s an easy walking path surrounded by trees and shrubs. Balwangsan is also the 12th highest mountain in Korea.
The heavy rain would have caused the leaves to fall earlier. Most of the trees, on the trail, were already bare. I was happy to find one tree that was still flaming red.
The trail had sharp rocks in some sections. We found few rocks that were white and wondered if it was marble. The summit (and the view) wasn’t impressive and we only found collections of rocks (probably ceremonial mounds). We didn’t stay for very long and walked back to Dragon Plaza.
On the way back, we got a vantage view of the trail and Dragon Plaza.
We were quite captivated by the hues of red and couldn’t help taking more shots.
Cable Car Ride (Down)
We had to check-out earlier than we expected and had to rush back to the room. More people had started arriving and we were lucky to get an empty cable car for the downward ride. The views were spectacular and we spotted multiple paths leading to the mountain top. Although, I’m not sure if this was a hiking trail or a transport road.
Yongpyong Ski Resort is famous for skiing in the winter months. There are many hotels next to the ski lifts and kids entertainment area. Although, on weekends, most of them would be sold out.
The resort had a lot of options to keep kids and adults entertained. The trampoline looked scary, but that didn’t stop kids from getting their dose of fun. The ski lift was used to get tourists to the highest point of the luge. By afternoon, this place was swarming with families.
Bus Ride to Seoul
We took the evening bus (to Seoul) from Hoenggye Intercity Bus Terminal. There are regular shuttle buses from the bus terminal to the resort and back. It was nice way to spend the weekend and we were lucky to watch sunset from the comfort of our bus.