Yangpyeong Paragliding Park is an incredible experience that feels like a dream from the time you jump to the time you arrive safely back on solid ground. The park is located only an hour outside of Seoul and makes for the perfect day trip for adrenaline junkies. Match all of this with an expert guide and a relatively friendly price tag, and this is one local experience that you won’t want to miss.
Yangpyeong Paragliding Park
After making a reservation for two (anniversary gift!) with Seoul Pass, my partner and I took the unconventional transportation method of driving to the center. Don’t let this worry you – most guests take the subway to Asin Station (아신역), where they will be picked up and transported to the site by a member of staff, free of charge. You’ll receive a phone call in advance to check your whereabouts. Running late? It won’t be an issue to reschedule!
Once we reached the landing grounds tucked gorgeously between the mountains, people of all ages were dressed in red and black paragliding suits. Most wore sunglasses to protect their eyes from peeking rays, although the clouds were making their way to welcome us – at least there was no rain!
Next to the makeshift parking lot were three tents bearing the names of different hosting companies. We headed over to the title company’s tent, and the rest was a breeze.
After packing our belongings in a locker and confirming our online reservation, the staff quickly matched us in our very own suits and ushered us towards a pick-up truck. Packed full of guests, including the trunk, we went straight for the peak.
The road up to the top of the mountain was the worst part of the experience: not because of the heights (those obviously don’t bother me), but because of the rocky terrain. Bouncing up and down in that well-loved vehicle reminded me somewhat of a safari, except there was only neck pain to accompany us instead of beautiful animals. As we inched closer to the peak, the stunning views finally came out, framed by the wispy white feathers of Galdae 갈대, aka common reed along the hillsides. That view alone made the bumpy ride worth it.
Making the Jump
Once you reach the peak, a group of expert gliders will be waiting for their trembling partner. They were all middle-aged men, although I did see a few female gliders jumping solo.
You are quickly paired off with an instructor, who will fly with you at your backside. They’ll strap some kneepads and a helmet around you, as well as a harness. The harness is designed with a foldable seat at the back, which you have to squat to make function.
If you’ve paid for photos and videos, which I definitely recommend for the extra 40,000 won ($40 USD), some of the instructors will snap your pic at the top of the hill. You won’t be allowed to bring your own cellphones and cameras with you, so this is your only chance! After all, don’t you want to remember that practically-Gucci uniform?
Once your instructor locks him or herself in place (prepare for a cozy hug), they’ll encourage you to start running down the hill until you can jump off. That’s not a joke. I wasn’t actually afraid to jump, but there was definitely a moment of hesitation. It was like it all just seemed so simple; too simple.
But it was.
And just like that, I was in the air.
The rest was easy, and dare I say, breezy.
When you’re paragliding, it’s incredible how smooth something as invisible as the air feels. Has anyone ever been on Soarin’ in Disneyworld? Imagine that but in Korea. Thankfully, my instructor had great control, so I knew that I was in good hands.
I suspect most guests want to soak in the lush scenery as they glide towards the ground; it’s a fantastic opportunity to soak in the countryside with its miniature mountains and forests.
I didn’t do that.
At the first opportunity, I asked the instructor to do loops. Or spins. Upside down? And while some of my requests were ignored, he did agree to a tornado spiral.
The only downfall was that made me hold the selfie stick, which felt like more responsibility than raising my three cats. If we were spinning, what was I going to grab onto?
And maaaan, did we spin. He encouraged me to scream for my friends and family, but I didn’t need egging on – I was already screaming enough for the both of us.
Sadly, the flight only lasts around 15 minutes. And while that might seem short for 140,000 won, time moves slow. I would have happily floated for another hour, but I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the experience.
The landing is the final step in your flight. Your instructor will tell you to put your legs forward before brushing against the grass. In my case, we had a glorified stumble, but no bums were sore the next day. I forgive you, charismatic flight coach.
Overall, I felt incredibly safe during my flight with Yangpyeong Paragliding Park. The kindness and friendliness of everyone working there made it a million times better. Paragliding in Korea a fast-paced experience that you’ll be sure to remember for many years to come (and one that you may come running back to).
What to Wear & How to Get There
We jumped at 1 pm and the day was partially cloudy. There was a bit of wind, but that made for a perfect flight. If the weather doesn’t appear promising, Yangpyeong Paragliding Park will cancel in advance and refund you the money or happily change your schedule. Don’t worry if you’re not comfortable speaking Korean: an English-speaking member of staff is always available.
The next thing you may be wondering is: how do I get there?
By Car: No tolls will take you around 1.5 hours. If you’re looking to rent a car in Korea for a good price, we recommend SoCar.
By Subway: Take the subway from Seoul to Asin Station (아신역). A member of staff will meet you there. The total journey will cost around 2,000 won each way.
By Train: Yangpyeong Paragliding Park is not accessible by train. If you are coming from other parts of the country, make your way to Asin Station (아신역) via train and then subway.