Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

Where Is PyeongChang? The Olympic Games Are Bringing Lots Of Attention To The South Korean Resort Town

By
Share
Ad failed to load

On Feb. 9, the Olympic Games will bring nearly 100 countries together for friendly athletic competition to promote international cooperation and camaraderie. The global audience gets a taste of each country's culture during the Parade of Nations, but the host country and specific city where the games are held have a special opportunity to introduce themselves to the world. Those on the other side of the world might be wondering, where is PyeongChang, the place where we're sending our best athletes this year?

Located in the Taebaek Mountains region of South Korea (also known as the Republic of Korea), PyeongChang is about 100 miles east of the nation's capital in Seoul — a 90 minute trip, thanks to a new Olympics-inspired bullet train. The area is known for its Buddhist temples and ski resorts, and it's home to about 43,000 people, according to U.S. News & World Report.

If you're curious about the spelling, it was a very deliberate choice; it was originally called Pyongchang, but travelers often confused the popular tourist spot with North Korean capital Pyongyang. In 2007, South Korea's Olympic bid committee came up with the idea to add an "e" and capitalize the "C" to differentiate between the two. The region lost out on the 2010 and 2014 games, but the third time was the charm.

Ad failed to load
Handout/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

PyeongChang is just 50 miles south of the Demilitarized Zone separating South Korea from North Korea. For those worried about all those missiles the neighbors have been messing around with lately, it might be comforting to learn that North Korea has sent its own delegation of athletes, as well as performers, to participate in the games. According to The New York Times, South Korea has tens of thousands of security personnel, including 50,000 soldiers, standing by to keep the event safe.

The Korean Tourism Organization credits PyeongChang's "lush forests and clean rivers," as well as its reputation for heavy snowfall, in its role as a winter sports travel destination. Those attending the Olympics will have plenty to do during down time at PyeongChang's two different ice climbing walls and several indoor and outdoor skating rinks. Visitors can also hike on the Odaesan Mountain Seonjaegil Road, or the trail connecting the Woljeongsa Temple and Sangwonsa Temple. Kids will enjoy sledding at Pocheon Sanjeonghosu Lake, which features an ice slide.

Ad failed to load

Visitors who would rather watch sports than actually participate in them can check out the PyeongChang Trout Festival at the Odaecheon Stream, located right in the heart of the cluster of Olympic venues. Guests can participate in traditional folk games, take a ride on an ATV or a sleigh train, or try their hand at ice fishing. Anything caught can be brought to a local restaurant, where they'll cook it or prepare it raw upon request. The festival runs through Feb. 25.

If you're not attending the Olympics, but PyeongChang has piqued your interest, there's still plenty going on there the rest of the year. Condé Nast Traveler hails the region as "the Tahoe to Seoul's Los Angeles," thanks to its 12 ski areas, four of which are in PyeongChang proper. In the summer, visitors can enjoy kayaking on Paroho Lake, hiking the pine forests of Chiaksan National Park, and surfing at the sandy beaches of PyeongChang's east coast, which is popular with Australians and "Japanese hipsters" (BRB, Googling images of "Japanese hipsters surfing"). The more daring vacationer might want to check out 38 Parallel Beach, which is so close to the DMZ, barbed wire actually extends into the water. And for the less daring (no shame), there's the seaside resort town of Samcheok. PyeongChang sounds like it really has something for everyone.

Ad failed to load

Check out Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:

Watch full episodes of Romper's Doula Diaries on Facebook Watch.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

Umm, Toys "R" Us Has A BOGO 50 Percent Off Deal So You Better Stock Up

After the holidays, you were probably hoping that your kid's massive toy collection would keep him entertained for a little while, at least. But that was wishful thinking, wasn't it? Because now that a couple of months have passed, all those must-hav…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

This Woman Thought She Had An Eyelash Stuck In Her Eye. Then It Moved.

I'm not a person who is easily icked out. As a kid, I collected bugs and thought I was going to be an entomologist and asked Santa Claus for ant farms and nets to catch bees. I'm still super curious about anything that flies and crawls, which might s…
By Karen Fratti

A Hot Mess Mom's Guide To Surviving Winter

As I sit here at my home office in Connecticut, it's cold. Damn cold. Winter is a rough season in New England and it's even worse when you're a parent and have to manage cooped up, restless children. It's even worse when you're a hot mess as it is, u…
By Jamie Kenney

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

11 Ways Your Pregnancy Will Be Different If You Have A Boy Vs A Girl

If you've been pregnant before, you might start comparing your previous pregnancies to that of your current pregnancy. A lot of things can change from pregnancy to pregnancy, based on a whole host of different factors (including how well you remember…
By Lauren Schumacker

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

8 Reasons I Let My Toddler Play Outside Unsupervised

I'm not a helicopter mom, but I'm not exactly a free-range parent either. I like to think of myself as safely ensconced somewhere in the middle. I insist on certain safety measures, like car seats and helmets. I prefer to keep my 2-year-old in my sig…
By Kimmie Fink

12 Moms Share How They Stay Healthy During Flu Season

Unfortunately, we're in the middle of the roughest flu seasons in recent memory. And we’re not totally out of the woods, either. People around the country are still getting the flu, and, sadly, some of them are having to be hospitalized due to flu-re…
By Priscilla Blossom

8 "Mistakes" I'm Glad I Made During My First Pregnancy

As an adult, I've learned you never really stop hating being told what to do. When I was pregnant I was getting instructions at every turn, from doctors, relatives, and complete strangers on the subway. I would nod and smile but then go about making …
By Liza Wyles

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack