#2: Stay In A Swiss-Inspired K-Chalet
Lodging options are aplenty in Pyeongchang, with its three main ski resorts – Alpensia, Yongpyong and Phoenix Park – offering both Western-style hotels and condominium apartments. But I prefer to stay in pensions, cosy wooden chalets with slate roofs. These Swiss-inspired houses are often built and run by their South Korean owners, who typically go out of their way to make visitors feel at home – from making a Western breakfast of toast and eggs for guests to offering useful travel tips.
I spent two memorable nights last autumn at a pension called Pyeongchang Four Seasons House – unaffiliated to the well-known Four Seasons hotel chain. It was beautifully decorated with Swiss and German memorabilia, making it the closest thing to the European alps here. I paid $200 a night for a duplex room for four last September.
#3: Pick Top-Grade Korean Beef To Barbecue
Pyeongchang produces one of the country’s highest grades of premium hanwoo, or Korean beef. While there is no lack of barbecue restaurants here, barbecue restaurant Daegwallyeong Hanwoo Town stands out for allowing customers to choose their own cuts from chillers in a supermarket-like space on the first floor. Diners pay for their items, then take their food upstairs for barbecuing. The kimchi and salad side dishes are kept simple so there is no distraction from the star of the meal – the juicy and tender beef that melts in your mouth.
#4: Chase Sheep On Rolling Hills
Scenes from The Sound Of Music flashed before my eyes as I stepped onto the rolling meadows and clear blue skies of Daegwallyeong Skyranch – on the highlands of the Taebaek mountains 180km east of Seoul – in late summer. My mother, sister, daughter and I paid 5,000 won (S$6) each to ride a tractor to the peak from the foot of the hill. When we arrived 15 minutes later, we saw a row of towering white windmills spinning gently in the strong winds. Then came the fun part – feeding and chasing sheep on the hill (and sometimes being chased in return). We spent a good two hours here, but hardly felt the time pass.