This February 2018, from February 9th to February 25th, Pyeongchang, South Korea will play host to the 2018 Winter Olympics from. This stunning winter landscape by Gangwon Province is sure to draw both locals and tourists alike as they cheer on their home countries in the winter games. Home to impressive ski resorts, Pyeongchang is the perfect winter wonderland for the 2018 Olympics.
For those heading to this Pyeongchang, or for those interested in checking out this underrated South Korean destination, we’ve put together a Pyeongchang travel with everything you need to know. Whether you’re wondering how to get around in Pyeongchang, where to eat or what to do, we’ve got your answers!
How to Get Around Pyeongchang:
Getting to Pyeongchang from within Korea is fairly simple, tourists can grab a Pyeongchang KORAIL pass that gives them unlimited travel throughout Korea on KORAIL. The nearest train station to Pyeongchang is Wonju, but you can also travel by bus. The Pyeongchang bus terminal is near the sports complex. You can hop on a bus from Seoul, Wonju or Chuncheon. Unfortunately, once you arrive in Pyeongchang there aren’t many buses available to get around the city but you can easily hail a cab to get you where you want to go.
What and Where to Eat in Pyeongchang:
While in Pyeongchang, take advantage of the authentic fare and sample some local Korean cuisine. With no major grocery stores, opt to dine at a traditional market or a restaurant.
Pyeongchang Olympic Market: Established in 1955, this market is famous for its buckwheat fry dish.
Bongpyung Traditional Market: Find delicacies like buckwheat noodles, buckwheat pancakes, buckwheat muk, potato rice cakes, Tadpole noodles
Paldo Myeon Ga: This tried and true joint has been around for nearly 30 years. Their signature dishes include broiled eels and spicy stir-fried chicken.
Youngchun Garden: Get the Korean stewed chicken using traditional herbs at this restaurant
What to do in Pyeongchang:
Of course, the obvious answer is to check out the 2018 winter olympics! Pyeongchang is home to two popular ski hills: Alpensia and Yongpyong. Head over to see olympians show off their exceptional skills.
During your off time though, take in some of the Pyeongchang sights and landmarks. Here’s a few Pyeongchang attractions for your itinerary:
Winter Olympics 2016: Get your tickets to this global, multi-sport event and take in alpine skiing, ice hockey, luge, snowboarding and more.
Odaesan National Park: The centerpiece to Odaesan National Park is Mount Odeasan, a majestic peak surrounded by lush wilderness. Stop to see Woljeongsa, a famed Buddhist temple featuring historic Buddha sculptures and an impressive nine-story pagoda.
Lee Hyo-seok Cultural Village: Journey quaint Lee Hyo-seok Cultural Village, the setting to popular Korean story ‘When Buckwheat Flowers Bloom’ and birthplace to its author, Lee Hyo-seok. Wander through the village that features the author’s house, Gasan Park, a watermill, Lee Hyo-seok Memorial Hall and charming thatch-roof structures. Stop by one of the restaurants to indulge in dishes made with local buckwheat.
Sangwonsa: Make your way to Sangwonsa Temple, originally built in the 600s, it was last restored in the 1940s. It boasts the oldest bronze bell in South Korea and ornate and colorful architecture.
Ocean 700: Looking to escape the cold for a while? Head to Alpensia’s Ocean 700 water park. At an altitude of 700 meters, this park includes indoor swimming, water slides, cabanas, sun beds, a sauna and play areas for kids.
Honorable Mention: Pyeongchang Trout Festival
As the Trout Festival takes place from January 18th to February 9th, it doesn’t quite overlap with the Winter Olympics however this unique celebration is worth a trek to. So if you’re looking to book your vacation a few days before the games start, this is a worthy activity to add to your Pyeongchang itinerary. Watch fish being caught with bare hands or drop a line and try your hand at ice fishing at this ‘cool’ festival.
With tradition, history, thrilling activities and delicious Korean cuisine, Pyeongchang is truly a hidden gem in South Korea. Go for the 2018 Winter Olympics but stay for everything else.