Advice needed Winter Olympics PyeongChang Travel

Discussion in 'Less Travelled' started by LMB, May 31, 2017.

  1. LMB

    LMB Old And Crusty
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    Hello Snow Gurus,
    Some of you would've spotted in the Japan thread that I am doing a Visa Hop to Seoul in mid Feb. And as luck would have it a few hours on the not yet completed high speed train would get us to PyeongChang and all the Winter Olympic action.

    Why not?! :cheers:

    But here is where I hit a snag.:cry_ubb:
    The official website to get tickets and accommodation packages has some big combos (more than we want) available for purchase, but they are rather unhelpful with any advice or offering outside of these few packages (cheers Victor). A couple go close to suiting our needs but include the opening ceremony or closing ceremony that we wont be there for - an exxy ticket to waste!
    And the ticket packages are quite random groupings rather than just single events...

    :emoji_arrow_right:We have to do a visa hop.
    :emoji_arrow_right:South Korea is the cheapest/quickest, so that's a no brainer. We will go regardless.

    I've considered booking accommodation in Seoul close to a train stop on the new high speed train under construction, and then just heading out to a ticket office for whatever we can get on the day/for the next day... A girlfriend did that in Rio and got great tickets to every event she wanted to see including the closing ceremony. We are there anyway, so I don't mind taking that risk too much.

    o_O But I'm struggling to get a clear map of where the train will go and what stations to look for accommodation around.

    I'd appreciate any/all advice and will listen to it all with gratitude.
    Ideally if I can book a half decent roof over our heads without remortgaging the house and pre purchase just 2 tickets to one event so we know we can go see something I would be delighted.

    Also welcome suggestions from those who know re: locations to stay/see/eat in Seoul in case the whole Olympic experience becomes more effort than its worth.

    :thumbs: Thanks in advance!!
     
  2. Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty
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    I did a similar thing for the Nagano games in 1998. I booked package through a sports tour company for Lillehammer in 1994 staying in Oslo and commuting by bus which they organised and that all worked well. Looked at doing similr for Nagano but the packages were stupid expensive. So instead booked hotel in Tokyo, got a 7 day JR pass and commuted on the new Shinkansen on 3 or 4 days. Much cheaper. Was still able to book tickets for particular events by ballot - certain numbers I think were reserved for each country and got tickets for all the things I wanted to see. All went well although the Shinkansen back to Tokyo on closing day was standing room only.

    Surely you must be able to get specific event tickets? Opening & closing ceremonies would be the last events I would choose! Also may have to see if Korea has a JR pass equivalent.

    Getting a hotel in Seoul obviously shouldn't be a problem, though I have no idea where the station for the high speed train will be. From what I recall though Seoul did have a decent subway system, so like Tokyo you should be able to get to the main station without too much trouble.
     
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  3. LMB

    LMB Old And Crusty
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    I thought the same, the ticket prices are listed but Victor was not very helpful with regard to helping me get them. The ticket 'packages' for those days are extremely limited. I expect what is listed will change from time to time.

    My interests would be in seeing a game of Men's Ice Hockey, or the Women's Aerial Qualifying rounds, Men's Skeleton Heat, Men's or Ladies Snowboard Cross final, or Mens Large Hill Ski Jump Qualifiers. They are all on on the days we will be there.

    Opening and Closing ceremonies would be great if you had all the money in the world and were there for the whole thing.

    Will do.
     
  4. Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty
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    I organised the tickets for Nagano through a travel agent (back in the days I still used them). I don't know how she got them. Maybe check with the Australian Olympic organisation? You'd think they would know. I really can't believe you can't get specific events. At Nagano I got short track, aerials, ski jumping, slalom and the hockey final.
     
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  5. LMB

    LMB Old And Crusty
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    The only official channel is Co Sport. And Victor was not my friend ;)LOL
    Ill keep at it. Maybe its just a tricky website to navigate. Its much easier on my laptop - tablet and phone navigation was impossible. tonight's job - exhaust all possibilities. I have tried a couple of travel agents - no joy yet.
     
  6. teckel

    teckel Old And Crusty
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  7. LMB

    LMB Old And Crusty
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    Thanks @teckel
    Ive looked at so many pages my head is spinning! But I'll check that one out too.

    I think I've worked the website out.
    I had to create an account and now I've found individual tickets - not simple to find!
    Now to work out what PB wants to do...

    I've also found a package option for 3 events of our choice plus 3 nights accom (one day earlier to what I wanted but we are flexible... and I did tell Victor that...). its not cheap, but might be worth the atmosphere..
     
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  8. Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty
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    Good one. There had to be a way! No thanks to Victor..

    I think you'll enjoy it. I imagine the Koreans will be like the Japanese enthusiastic in their support even if they don't fully understand the event. Different though from the Norwegians who were absolutely mad keen especially for any cross country events camping out in -20C temps in Lillehammer near the course. And not surprisingly the first fans I saw in Japan in 1998 at 6am at Tokyo station were a bunch of Norwegians.

    And I assume there will be the usual frantic pin trading in the Olympic village.
     
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  9. Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty
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    This Victor?

    Victor you are very unattractive man.
     
  10. LMB

    LMB Old And Crusty
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  11. LMB

    LMB Old And Crusty
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    That was the image I had of him when reading his emails! LOL
     
  12. LMB

    LMB Old And Crusty
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    You've gotta laugh!

    I selected a package last night (got the 40 minute count down to book it - which I let lapse a) cooling off period b) I wanted to make sure I could book all the other stuff around it).

    Then this morning Victor emails me back recommending that exact package...

    New package added and he was just being helpful?

    Or got a prompt from the system that someone was looking at booking but didn't and he realised that client he blew off might actually be serious?

    Or a ski.com stalker ...

    Whatever way. I don't care. Happy camper! I'm booking the Olympic experience in tonight!
     
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  13. LMB

    LMB Old And Crusty
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    Woot!!! :woohoo::woohoo:

    We are booked!!! :D:D

    2 nights accomodation in Alpensia.

    Tix to 3 events (one each day).
    Ladies Aerial Quals
    Ladies Boardercross
    Men's Ice Hockey QUAL (no idea who yet)

    The tickets were very limited so I got the best mix I could and will be happy if that's all we get to see but I'll continue stalking the website for new ticket releases and will hit up the ticket office when we get there. The Boardercross is a morning event on our full day, so I'd love to get something in the afternoon and/or evening. Men's ski jump quals is on that night near our accomodation - would LOVE to score tix to that!

    Now I just need to book the flights and Seoul accomodation a night either side.
    I'm just a little bit excited!! :nerd:
     
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  14. SuskiQ

    SuskiQ Part of the Furniture
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    If got a gf who does a lot of work in Seoul. I'll ask her for her fave places :):thumbs:
     
  15. LMB

    LMB Old And Crusty
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    I'd appreciate that.
    1 night accom - easy access to the airport. Somewhere we can get a feel for Seoul by wandering about and find some fabulous Korean food.
     
  16. Pink

    Pink Active Member

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    Insa-dong and surrounds is the best area for wandering around the tourist traps of central Seoul. Restaurant and street food overload. Convenient to Seoul Station. There's also 3 train lines through the area, from memory, so it's easy to explore further afield if you have time.
     
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  17. gmn

    gmn Active Member

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    I thought it was about 2.5hrs by bus to PyeongChang from Central Seoul. Should be much faster with a high speed train.
     
  18. Seth

    Seth Old And Crusty
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    Imagine how much better this whole experience would be @LMB if you were going to Annecy instead.
     
  19. LMB

    LMB Old And Crusty
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    Yep. 1.5hrs from Seoul apparently. 2 - 2.5 from the airport.

    Ain't that the truth.
    HOWEVER I wouldn't be going as I'm just taking advantage of a Visa Hop from Japan
     
  20. LMB

    LMB Old And Crusty
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    Winning!
    Direct flights booked Narita - Incheon, then Incheon - Sapporo $850 return for the two of us total!
    Its Korean Air, but even the JAL flight into Sapporo was code share with Korean - I couldn't see why it'd be worth paying an extra $250pp to be able to collect the QFF points from JAL ticketing.
    We will be arriving at Incheon on Valentines Day! Might have to organise some Champers and chocolates as we go through the duty free!
     
  21. Draizuh

    Draizuh Dedicated Member

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    Just booked AKL > INC > CTS HND > INC>AKL for 1400pp return. Was just going to go to japan but seeing as we are going to be in korea and its the olympics we thought we would have a look. Have booked accom in Myeong-dong near Seoul central station. havent arranged tickets for events as all the NZ allocated tickets are gone so will try my luck in the general sales when they come online.
     
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  22. LMB

    LMB Old And Crusty
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    What dates are you there @Draizuh
    I'm checking out event ticketing again tonight in case there are any changes.
     
  23. Draizuh

    Draizuh Dedicated Member

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    We arrive in Korea the 8th and leave on the 12th. would have stayed a bit longer but wanted to catch the last night of the sapporo snow and ice festival!
    Would be keen to see the Mens Downhill Skiing and the Mens luge!
     
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  24. LMB

    LMB Old And Crusty
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    Righto, you're out a couple of days before we get there. I'll have a scan while I'm searching for extra tix.
     
  25. LMB

    LMB Old And Crusty
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    Blue dots or yellow medal events are the ones that have currently available tickets through the Aus website.



    The Luge is men's singles heats 1&2 and 3&4 (I don't think it's medals at all..when you click through to the description it says heats).

    The Alpine skiing on the 12th is Ladies Giant Slalom - so not what you're interested in.

    Ski Jumping is Men's normal hill. I'd get tix to that if it were me! Is that the same as what you can see for NZ or is it vastly different offerings?
     
  26. Draizuh

    Draizuh Dedicated Member

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    Cant get anything NZ, the quota is all sold :(
     
  27. LMB

    LMB Old And Crusty
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    If it's any consolation the things I read about CoSport and their customer service are not good. I tried to log in today to alter the delivery address to our business (rather than the one that matched the credit card as was initially required) as they won't do e-delivery and will be posting them AFTER we've left for Japan (I'll be relying on staff to sign for them and the kids to remember to bring them when they come!). But the bloody website wouldn't even load. Everything else was working fine. And good old Victor was no help when I asked him if we could collect from the accomodation or ticket office on arrival.

    My thoughts are there will be tickets available on the day at much cheaper prices. And without the CoSport bullshit. Latest rant I read from Rio was seats issued NOT SEATED TOGETHER! Family of 4 with kids 2 seats together and 2 singles in far off sections!!! WTF!!

    If I didn't have concerns about the delivery as it is I'd offer to grab the Aus Tix for you, but it's such a gamble with these cowboys I just wouldn't risk it with someone else's money! My own, I'll take the risk.
     
  28. Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty
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    If you are desperate, there will always be plenty of ticket scalpers (usually Poms) at the station or at the venue on the day, but you will be paying extra. I always already had my ticket so avoided them.
     
  29. LMB

    LMB Old And Crusty
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    I might be wrong about being able to get tickets from the ticket office when you get there - who knows how it'll go in Korea, and Winter Olympics might be different to Summer. But my girlfriend and her family got tickets for everything they fancied including the closing ceremony in Rio. All short notice. All seated together.
     
  30. Draizuh

    Draizuh Dedicated Member

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    Im not super worried, id only like to see events i never usually get to see, hence wanting to see the Luge! If we get tickets we do, if we dont ill just go snowboarding!
     
  31. LMB

    LMB Old And Crusty
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    Have you tried Luge yourself?

    Oh my, one of the things I never would've considered was possible, let alone have on my bucket list. But it is possible at La Plagne in France.

    We did the Bobraft, which is like a sticking a toddler on a trike with kneepads, a helmet, and a layer of bubble wrap and sending them off down a sloping driveway. Protected, fairly safe but scary as hell!

    You can also do solo bobsled and skeleton - I'd be keen if we went back that way after having done the bobraft.
     
  32. Draizuh

    Draizuh Dedicated Member

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    I did a season in Les Arcs attached to La Plagne but the vanoise express was shut the season i was there :(
     
  33. LMB

    LMB Old And Crusty
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    Bit of a CoSport update for anyone else thinking about running this gauntlet in future.

    I received an email giving me explicit instructions on how to update delivery details for the tickets. Had to be home address to order, but if needed to be delivered elsewhere then you update later.

    First try the page wouldn't even load.

    Few days later I did everything right but the area to update delivery details remained blank.

    I sent an email explaining this and asking what to do. I got an email a few days later saying they're working on it. Then the other day a phone call my old mate Victor (who actually seemed lovely!) asking me to send him the amendments and he would do it manually. The system doesn't work.

    So while Victor seems lovely, polite helpful the whole CoSport thing is very inefficient and not customer friendly at all!!! It will make me think twice about bothering to do Olympics trips in future.
     
  34. Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty
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    Ha. Almost sounds like it was easier in the old pre internet days. I can't even remember exactly how I did it for 3 Olympics, through mostly involved a travel agent and manual forms sent in the post. But it all seemed to work out.
     
  35. LMB

    LMB Old And Crusty
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    100% @Heinz
    They have got the contract stitched up so no competition - can't use a TA. And if you google them it's nothing but horror stories.
    I feel a bit mean making jokes earlier about Victor now that I've talked to him, he seems like a genuinely nice guy wanting to help. I'd say he is dealing with poor systems.
     
  36. LMB

    LMB Old And Crusty
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    Hey @Draizuh I found out where all the ticket availability has gone!

    Got an email from CoSport introducing their partner JetSetSports offering exclusive packages for 'sought after' tickets (frankly nothing I am interested in though).

    I checked it out out of curiosity - just the one I looked at (Speed Skating) was more than a thousand US dollars PER TICKET! Justified by access to an exclusive 'hospitality' room with drinks and nibbles.

    Far out!!
    Nope!!
     
  37. skichanger

    skichanger Dedicated Member
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    mmm going to be interesting to see how all the families of competitors go. Most of them will not be booking till later because some will not know if they are going or not till after they compete in Nth America next season.
     
  38. LMB

    LMB Old And Crusty
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    Just going off the experiences of friends in Beijing, London and Rio Summer Olympics - many sports had an allocation of tickets for family/supporters. How they chose to allocate/make available varied.

    There has to be a formula - seats for dignitaries, royals, ambassadors; seats for competitors loved ones; seats for other competitors in the teams; general seats.
    I'd guess it's only general seats that are on sale at the moment.

    Which is why I think there should be a few tickets to most events floating around on the day/day before.

    As I've said before my friend rocked up with no tickets to Rio and got seats for every event they wanted including the closing ceremony. With Zika I expect that was easier than usual though.
     
  39. Draizuh

    Draizuh Dedicated Member

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    Yeah no thanks!!! Ill be more excited about drinking a lot of Soju at this rate haha!