Yongpyong & Alpensia Ski Resorts
The alpine venue for the 2018 Winter Olympics to be held in Pyeongchang county, Yongpyong is one of Northeast Asia’s better ski resorts, though to many foreign travellers it will seem the size of a molehill. The surrounding buildings manage to be charming without being kitschy, and on a clear day it’s possible to glimpse the East Sea from the slopes.
Hallasan National Park
Hiking up 1950m Hallasan, South Korea’s highest peak, is well worth the effort. The densely wooded dormant volcano, the world’s only habitat for Korean firs, is beautiful throughout the seasons, with hillsides of azaleas flowering in April and May being a particularly notable sight. If you’re lucky, you might spot small roe deer.
Jeonju, the provincial capital, is famous for being the birthplace of both the Joseon dynasty and Korea’s most well-known culinary delight, bibimbap (rice, meat, egg and vegetables with a hot sauce). Centrally located, the city is the perfect base from which to explore Jeollabuk-do as it’s the regional hub for buses and trains.
Hahoe Folk Village
Now a Unesco World Heritage site, Hahoe Folk Village is the outstanding attraction of the region around Andong. Arrive early in the morning and the mystical beauty of this creates the illusion that you are in another time. Walk down the dirt road and you’ll pass small garden plots of squash vines, corn and green chilli peppers, all overshadowed by riverbank escarpments.