Though not blessed with the quantity of powder that falls in Japan, South Korea has resorts that cater to the domestic market and value-oriented international visitors, some upgraded ready to host the 2018 Winter Olympics.
One thing to get straight about the host area of next year’s Olympics is its name: it is Pyeongchang and not Pyong Yang, which is the capital of North Korea. There are stories of people trying to go to the wrong one by mistake, so during the campaign, the name was officially changed, adding that ‘e’ and pushing the words together while retaining the capital ‘C’. The area lies near the east coast, where much of South Korea’s best snow falls, and ties together four of South Korea’s best resorts: Alpensia (shown above right), Bokwang or Phoenix Park, High One or Jeongseon, and Yongpyong. It's a mix of old and new: long-established names that have been spruced up for the occasion, and newer resorts that are helping to shape a new identity for Korean skiing in the future. For more on these resorts and the Games themselves, turn to the special section elsewhere in this guide. Outside of those four, Muju Deogyusan (above) is one of the biggest, most developed resor ts. With a sprawl of hotels, malls and restaurants, it has plenty to do, in a setting tailored to families. It is further south than most other resorts though, which means it is a little warmer and therefore relies on artificial snow much of the time. Indeed, the relatively light snowfall, plus the modest elevation of many mountains in South Korea, often cause resorts to deploy the
snowmaking gear. This is the main reason behind the affordability of the skiing. While purists may turn their noses up, if you are a learner or improver, not looking for a tree run or backcountry to drop into, or perhaps just want a different feel to your next ski trip, South Korea is worth a look.