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aerial view of PyeongChang, South Korea

Spotlight: PyeongChang, South Korea

Spotlight: PyeongChang, South Korea

The 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea are in full swing and as the USA’s gold-medal count increases so does our interest in PyeongChang, a county in South Korea’s Gangwon Province. Located two hours away from the country’s capital of Seoul, PyeongChang’s Alpensia Olympic Village is the site of the action, as is the Yongpyong Ski Resort a half-hour away. You may not have known about PyeongChang prior to the Olympics Opening Ceremony, but now it’s a household term. Here, a few of the must-visits should the Olympics inspired you to make the trek there.

Woljeongsa’s Head Temple. Photo courtesy of Robert Koehler.

Woljeongsa Temple is a series of seventh-century Buddhist structures in a forest east of PyeongChang’s Odaesan Mountain. The vast complex is comprised of 60 temples and eight monasteries where visitors can stay overnight to live as the monks do while learning about the history and culture of the site, participating in a tea ceremony, practicing yoga, and attending a Korean Buddhist religious service.

Location: 63, Dongsan-ri, Jinbu-myeon, PyeongChang-gun, Gangwon-do.

The only sheep ranch in PyeongChang, Daegwallyeong Farm is known for its serene surroundings and scenic hills. The farm was designed with a wide circular walkway so visitors could take in the stunning views. To get a closer experience with the herd, sign up for the feeding experience where you can channel your inner rancher.

Location: 483-32, Daegwallyeongmaru-gil, Daegwannyeong-myeon, PyeongChang-gun, Gangwon-do.

The Donggang River. Photo Courtesy of Seoul Magazine.

Reserve a local guide and embark on the 11-hour journey along the Donggang River as it flows through the Gangwon-do district of PyeongChang. The winding trail takes you along the river’s edge from village to village where you will hike through fields and interact with the local farmers. The path then leads hikers to the Mt. Baegun mountain range where you can take in views of the Donggang River from above. Once you make your way down the mountain, the scenic, several-hour adventure concludes where it began.

Location: Donggang River, PyeongChang

Alpensia Ski Resort at night. Photo courtesy of Korea Tourism Organization.

An official venue for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, Alpensia Resort is situated 30 minutes PyeongChang and is one of the most popular ski and snowboard resort in Korea. Once the Olympics are over, come experience it for yourself and carve down the same slopes as the gold medalists. But Alpensia is not just for winter travellers: The year-round resort transforms the lower area of the mountain into a massive wild flower garden during the summer months.

Location: 325, Solbong-ro, Daegwallyeong-myeon, PyeongChang-gun, Gangwon-do.