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Olympic Vacations


olymsu

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I've become an Olympics tourist recently. I've only been to the Winter Games so far and Sochi will be my fourth. I enjoy watching the events and visiting the cultural sites of the cities because these hosts are putting their best face forward during those two+ weeks. Each city I've been to (Salt Lake, Torino, Vancouver) had tons to see and do outside the Olympic events (well, not so much with Salt Lake). Not quite sure what Sochi will offer yet as I research.

I hope to plan a trip in 2018 to any of the three candidate cities. Korea would be cool because I never been to Asia before. But outside of the Alpensia resort what is there to do in PyeongChang? I'm confused. Is it a city or a county? I've not seen any images of the city itself. Must one get a taste of the local culture and site-seeing then in the coastal cluster of Gangnueng? Does it have a good nightlife? Sites? Or must one go to Seoul which is not a part of the Olympic footprint?

Just curious. Any PyeongChang supporters out there that can shed some light.

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If you've never been to Asia before, you'll love coming to Korea in 2018, and especially Gangwon-do, the province where Pyeongchang is located in. It's a mountainous region filled with national parks, hot springs, waterfalls and traditional Buddhist temples nestled in the mountains. And of course, the province is also by the coastal sea.

You'll have to visit Seoraksan, the most famous national park in Korea, and also a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve:

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A view of Cheonbuldong Valley from a hike.

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A Buddhist presence in the park.

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Buddhist temples in Seoraksan:

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Sinheungsa Temple complete with dragon stairway, believed to be the oldest Zen temple in the world. First built in 653 A.D., burnt in 1645 and rebuilt in 1648.

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Seoraksan in autumn

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Seoraksan in winter.

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This is Ulsanbawi Rock. Local folklore has it that the Creator of the Universe gathered the biggest rocks in the world to create Diamond Mountain (Geumgang-san just above the North Korean border) but Ulsanbawi Rock was too big that he just left it there, where it stands now.

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This is the path to hike to get up to Ulsanbawi Rock.

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Gwongeumseong Fortress, the site of a castle ruins where people sought refuge during a Mongolian invasion in 1253.

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Biryong Waterfall

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Edit: Sorry for the messed up format above, I forgot Gamesbids won't let me post repeatedly. I think I have to wait 5-10 min to post again?

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This is Ulsanbawi Rock. Local folklore has it that the Creator of the Universe gathered the biggest rocks in the world to create Diamond Mountain (Geumgang-san just above the North Korean border) but Ulsanbawi Rock was too big that he just left it there, where it stands now.

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This is the path to get up to Ulsanbawi Rock.

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Gwongeumseong Fortress, the site of a castle ruins where people sought refuge during a Mongolian invasion in 1253.

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Biryong Waterfall

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Odaesan National Park is also a popular spot in Gangwon Province. Here's a temple in the park

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Woljeonsa Temple, inside Odaesan National Park, is actually composed of 60 temples and 8 hermitages made into one large temple. First built in 643 A.D.

Woljeongsa in winter

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Sangwonsa Temple

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Sokcho Beach, (near Gangneung, the site of the 2018 Olympic ice events). You won't go to the beach in February, but the area around Pyeongchang and Gangneung is still attractive year-round

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This area is famous for eating fresh fish, and sea-fishing.

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Hajodae Beach

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Gangwon coast

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Hot springs

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I tried to show a good mixture of winter and non-winter photos.

The Pyeongchang area is a natural and mountainous one. The places I mentioned above are just some of the landmarks and attractions around Gangwon Province, but the real treasures of the area are in the hidden Buddhist temples up in the mountains with no name, and the other unnamed ancient and traditional structures built hundreds or thousands of years ago. It’s these little things that make this land Korea. As Tulsa likes to say, you can’t build tradition. And these traditions in the Gangwon mountains go back to ancient times.

To Olymsu, the original poster, I focused on the things that make Gangwon and Korea unique. But to answer your other questions, the coastal cities of Gangneung and Sokcho are pretty decent-sized cities, and the nightlife is fun for their size. And during the Olympics? Gangneung will be hopping!! And Seoul is an hour away by high-speed train as well. I think that's part of the beauty of this Pyeongchang bid. The snow events will be held in the isolated mountains, where the athletes will have their own community. But Seoul (and half of Korea's population) is only an hour away train ride away once the high-speed rail is built, so the crowds will be there.

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I tried to show a good mixture of winter and non-winter photos.

The Pyeongchang area is a natural and mountainous one.

Pyeongchang is unique mountain ranges of less than 1500 meters.

I want to keep these beautiful mountains.

Downhill development will be destroying the beauty.

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NONE of those places I showed will be interfered with. These are national treasures for all Koreans, both natural and man-made. These places are sacred for Koreans. And besides, Seoraksan is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Odaesan is a national park. Those temples are a source of pride to all Koreans (except maybe to you). ALL OF THAT will be there for the Olympics, and afterwards.

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Your double stand.

Pyeongchang Jungbong is a rorest reserves.

Under current law, development and hiking is illegal.

Maybe there are more valuable than Seoraksan.

I don't give a *%!# about your stupid flowers ok? There is no mountain more valuable than Seoraksan in Korea, except for maybe Hallasan (and Baekdusan and Geumgangsan in North Korea).

The original poster wanted to know where he/she could visit as an Olympic tourist. If you want to talk about your stupid flowers again, make your own thread, and leave us alone here.

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I don't give a *%!# about your stupid flowers ok? There is no mountain more valuable than Seoraksan in Korea, except for maybe Hallasan (and Baekdusan and Geumgangsan in North Korea).

The original poster wanted to know where he/she could visit as an Olympic tourist. If you want to talk about your stupid flowers again, make your own thread, and leave us alone here.

Seems to be that you do not know about Jungbong, You Canada now. Seoraksan and Jungbong are different. Sorak is National Park, Jungbong is a forest reserves. It is the primeval forest.

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National Park is a tourist destination for tourist. It focuses on the beauty and mountain climbing is allowed. Forest Reserves is not a tourist destination. In order to preserve forests, country have managed. Mountain climbing is banned. The flowers are rare plants that you mention it.

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LOL Baron.

Anyway, this is for the food lovers out there. If you're like me, you love food, and I'm one of those people that will choose a destination based on food. If you come to Korea, you must try one of Koreans' all-time favourite dishes, kalbi. It's marinated beef, grilled or barbequed. I promise you this is one of the best tastes you'll ever have, and if Pyeongchang hosts in 2018 and as long as you haven't been an asshole on these boards, I will be happy to treat you to some servings of kalbi!

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For those who prefer pork, sam-gyup-sal is a must! What usually happens is each table will have their own mini grill, with which you will get to cook the sam-gyup-sal yourself as a group.

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One of the reasons I love the sea so much is because I can have my craving of fresh fish. Not everyone likes it, but for those that do, Korea has some of the best fresh fish in the world. Raw fish, or saengseon hoe, (pronounced "hwae") is Korea's version of the more well-known sashimi. If you go to a seafood restaurant or fish market in Gangneung (site of the proposed ice events and located right by the sea), you can choose some fish in a tank and watch the chefs/vendors gut the fish in front of you, and then prepare it for you to eat with seasoning.

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For something a little lighter and snackier, don't forget to try some kimbap while in Korea! It's much like Japan's sushi rolls, except Korean kimbap uses salt and sesame oil while the Japanese use sugar and vinegar. It's one of Koreans' favourite snacks, and you'll find them everywhere.

kimbap.gif

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Annency looks dull in the summer. Looks like NO ONE I know goes there, Tulsa. ;)

:rolleyes:

Annecy is one of the most touristic destination in France in summer... And France is the first touristic destination in the world... B)

I hope one day you comeback in France and you will visit Annecy, I think you will understand why I tell Annecy is the best place to host WoG in 2018. ;)

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Annency looks dull in the summer. Looks like NO ONE I know goes there, Tulsa. ;)

That's what the Olympics are about -- bringing the Games of Peace and Friendship to NEW and various parts of the world...

Maybe Annecy should bod for Summer games?

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LOL Baron.

Anyway, this is for the food lovers out there. If you're like me, you love food, and I'm one of those people that will choose a destination based on food. If you come to Korea, you must try one of Koreans' all-time favourite dishes, kalbi. It's marinated beef, grilled or barbequed. I promise you this is one of the best tastes you'll ever have, and if Pyeongchang hosts in 2018 and as long as you haven't been an asshole on these boards, I will be happy to treat you to some servings of kalbi!

For those who prefer pork, sam-gyup-sal is a must! What usually happens is each table will have their own mini grill, with which you will get to cook the sam-gyup-sal yourself as a group.

20101227-090543.jpg

One of the reasons I love the sea so much is because I can have my craving of fresh fish. Not everyone likes it, but for those that do, Korea has some of the best fresh fish in the world. Raw fish, or saengseon hoe, (pronounced "hwae") is Korea's version of the more well-known sashimi. If you go to a seafood restaurant or fish market in Gangneung (site of the proposed ice events and located right by the sea), you can choose some fish in a tank and watch the chefs/vendors gut the fish in front of you, and then prepare it for you to eat with seasoning.

az-Korea_style_raw_fish.jpg

For something a little lighter and snackier, don't forget to try some kimbap while in Korea! It's much like Japan's sushi rolls, except Korean kimbap uses salt and sesame oil while the Japanese use sugar and vinegar. It's one of Koreans' favourite snacks, and you'll find them everywhere.

kimbap.gif

I hope those flowers in the last photo are not from the primitive forest.

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