May 8, 2017

PyeongChang Winter Olympic : Stadiums in Gangneung

As mentioned in my previous post, the venues for PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games are clustered at 2 areas; PyeongChang Mountain Cluster and Gangneung Coastal Cluster. 

After visiting the stadiums and attractions in Pyeongchang, the next day we travelled about 60km to the neighboring city, Gangneung. 

The venues for the Games in Gangneung are;

Gangneung Ice Arena

Gangneung Ice Arena is an indoor ice arena, which will be the venue for two sports: figure skating and short track speed skating. The arena has a seating capacity of 12,000.

The Gangneung Ice Arena is designed to house two ice rinks (60m x 30m) for competition and training respectively. The building has four floors above ground and two underground levels. An environmentally-friendly ice cooling system has been adopted, and the facility will be used for local recreational purposes after the Games.

Kwandong Hockey Centre

Kwandong Hockey Centre is an ice skating arena which is on the grounds of Catholic Kwandong University. It will be one of the two venues for Ice Hockey events. The stadium will be able to accommodate 6,000 spectators.

I was lucky to have been given the chance to watch one of the test event for the 2018 Winter Olympics, the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey Women's World Championship Div. II Group A.

We watched the match between South Korea and the Netherlands.

So exciting cos we never get to watch this games in Malaysia.

Gangneung Hockey Centre

Gangneung Hockey Centre will be one of the two venues for the ice hockey events at the 2018 Winter Olympics, serving as the main venue for the men's tournament and medal matches. It will also host the ice sledge hockey competition during the 2018 Winter Paralympics. 

Gangneung Oval

The Gangneung Oval will be the venue for the speed skating events. The venue will consist of a double track 400 m rink and has a capacity of 8000 seats. 

Gangneung Curling Centre

Gangneung Curling Centre is an indoor ice arena which was used for the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games, and will be used for both the 2018 Winter Olympics and 2018 Winter Paralympics. It will be the venue for curling and wheelchair curling. The seating capacity is 3,500.

It is the only Olympic venue in Gangneung which existed prior to the election of PyeongChang as host city of the 2018 Winter Games. Before the Games, it was known as the Gangneung Indoor Ice Rink.

May 7, 2017

PyeongChang Winter Olympic : Tourist Attractions in PyeongChang

To be honest, other than Seoul, Busan and Jeju Island, I knew nothing about other places in South Korea. Well I've never been to Busan and Jeju Island but at least I know what are their attractions.

Then came the 2018 Winter Olympics and Winter Paralympics...

And so, I was introduced to Gangwon province thanks to Korea Tourism Organization. :)

PyeongChang is a county in Gangwon province of South Korea, approximately 180km east of Seoul. The area is about 1464 km2 but the population is only 43,666. It's located in the Taebaek Mountains regions so the weather is rather cold and cool, with annual average of 10 degree Celcius. Perfect for Winter Games, right?

But other than the Winter Olympics, Pyeongchang also has its own attractions.

Yongpyong Resort

Yongpyong Resort is situated at the center of Korea’s Baekdudaegan Mountain Range, and sees an average of 250 centimeters of snowfall per season, which makes for excellent skiing conditions. Not only that, the resort’s enormous 17 million sq meter complex includes a 45-hole golf course, gondolas, swimming pool, and other facilities. This all-season recreational complex allows visitors to escape from daily life and relax.

Yongpyong Resort has an impressive ski slopes, including the popular Rainbow Slopes, and offers excellent facilities for skiers. The resort's Dragon Plaza offers a variety of services for skiers and snowboarders.

No more snow during my visit last month but you will see something like below picture during the winter season.

Sooo beautiful !!

Yongpyong Resort has hosted a number of international competitions, including the World Cup Ski Competition and the Asian Winter Games.

If you are a fan of Korean drama, this resort was also the filming site for 'Goblin' and 'Winter Sonata'.

Check out their website for more information.


The Traditional Korean Food Culture Experience Center was established in order to preserve, research, distribute and promote the values and merits of traditional Korean food culture in the world. There are various hands-on facilities for traditional food culture such as an exhibition hall, cooking room, and a fermentation room.

A great place for anyone who wants to learn more and take part in various aspects of traditional Korean food culture I must say. I had fun main masak-masak there :D

Malaysia represents! 

We made tteokbbokki, or royal court rice pasta which the ancient royal court enjoyed as the delicacy.


Check out their website if you are interested to visit.

Woljeongsa Temple

Woljeongsa Temple is located in the national park of Mt. Odaesan, and it is composed of 60 temples and 8 monasteries made into one large temple. Woljeongsa Temple has a long history, it was established in 643 during the Goryeo period by Monk Ja Jang.

During the Korean War in the early 1950s, the temple was totally destroyed as opposing forces took refuge there. It has since been rebuilt entirely.

Woljeongsa has many items of cultural heritage. There are 9 items of state-designated heritage that include the 9-storey Octagonal Pagoda and a Seated Stone Buddha figure.

Octagonal 9 story stone pagoda believed to have been constructed in the 10th century

tunnel of lanterns

Woljeongsa offers Templestay programs for visitors where they can experience Buddhist culture. 

We had the chance to make 108 prayer beads. Why 108 you wonder? Each one represents an affliction you need to dispose of in order to walk the path of enlightenment.

If you are interested to visit, refer here .

Other attractions in Pyeongchang  include Sky Ranch, Samyang Ranch, Daegwallyeong Sheep Farm and Uiyaji Wind Village.  I didn't get the chance to visit them but they look interesting!

Sky Ranch

Established in 1974, the Sky Ranch has a 40-year-old history with a huge ranch of 9 million sq meters. Currently, about 400 Holstein cows are bred up along with a hundred of hanu (Korean cow) in an eco-friendly way.

For more info, refer here .

Samyang Ranch

Asia's largest green pasture, this vast meadow is where milking cows feed on the fresh, clean grass. The view from the plateau, reaching a height of 1,470 meters, is remarkable as well. If you go up to Daegwallyeong Observatory, you can see as far as Gangneung, Jumunjin, and even the East Sea.

For more info, refer here .

Daegwallyeong Sheep Farm

Daegwallyeong Sheep Farm raises sheep on an area of 195km2, and is privately owned. There are many ranches in Pyeongchang, but Daegwallyeong Sheep Farm is the only ranch that raises sheep. The sheep grazing field is surrounded by a 1.2 meter-long circular walkway, so visitors can view the sheep at all times during their visit.

To get a closer experience with the sheep, sign up for the feeding experience, where you can give dried hay to the sheep and even reach out to touch their fuzzy heads.

For more info, refer here .

Uiyaji Wind Village

Located on the highlands of Pyeongchang County, Uiyaji Wind Village is a mountain village situated on top of Daegwatllyeong. At Uiyaji Wind Village, one can enjoy various types of activities such as making cheese or ice cream as well as enjoying the beautiful sight of wind-mills standing high above the frozen plain.

For more info, refer here

May 6, 2017

PyeongChang Winter Olympic : Stadiums in PyeongChang

The venues for PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games are clustered at 2 areas; PyeongChang Mountain Cluster and Gangneung Coastal Cluster.

Pyeongchang Mountain Cluster are for snow and sliding sports, while Gangneung Coastal Cluster for ice sports.

I had the privilege to visit some of the venues during the recent KTO Fam Trip for 2018 Olympic sites.
Being in the stadiums... I can feel the excitement already! 9 months to go!!

The venues for the Games in Pyeongchang are;

Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium

The Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium will be the venue for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2018 Winter Olympics and 2018 Winter Paralympics. The stadium is located in Daegwallyeong-myeon, in the precinct of the Pyeongchang Olympic Plaza, about 2km away from Alpensia Resort. The pentagonal arena will also serve as the medal plaza during the Games, hosting medal ceremonies.

The stadium will be installed on an 80,000 sq metre site in Hoenggye. It will be a temporary 50,000-seat stadium, which will be dismantled after the Games. The stadium will be the final major Olympic venue to be completed, with end of construction expected in September 2017.

In addition, next to the stadium will be an Olympic exhibition hall, as well as traditional food markets and other attractions, which will remain as heritage facilities.

Alpensia Biathlon Centre

Alpensia Biathlon Centre is a biathlon venue in the Alpensia Resort. It was first completed in 1998. The renovation as part of later established Alpensia was completed in 2007. 11 biathlon events will take place at this venue, with seating and standing capacity of 7,500 spectators.

Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre

Alpensia Ski Jump is the symbol of 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic. Located in Alpensia Resort, it was originally planned to be the venue for the opening and closing ceremonies for the Games. 4 ski jumping events will be held here and the area can accommodate up to 13,500 spectators.

practice area

Alpensia Sliding Centre

The Alpensia Sliding Centre is a bobsleigh, luge and skeleton track that will be located in Alpensia Resort. It will host 4 luge, 3 bobsleigh and 2 skeleton events during the Games. The stadium will be able to accommodate 7,000 spectators.

One interesting fact to know is that the track will be 2,018 metres long to commemorate the Olympic Games.

Alpensia Cross-Country Skiing Centre

Alpensia Cross-Country Centre is a cross-country skiing venue in the Alpensia Resort. It was first completed in 1998. The renovation as part of later established Alpensia was completed in 2009.
12 cross-country skiing events will take place here and the venue is able to accommodate 7,500 spectators.

Yongpyong Alpine Centre

Yongpyong Alpine competition venue, which is located in Yongpyong Resort, was completed in 1998. It has hosted four FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup and the 2006 IPC Paralympic World Cup.

Bokwang Phoenix Snow Park

Bokwang Phoenix Park is a ski resort located in the township of Bongpyeong-myeon, in the county of Pyeongchang. The snow park will be the venue for the freestyle skiing and snowboard.

March 20, 2017

PyeongChang Winter Olympic : Process of 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic preparation

PyeongChang Winter Olympic is scheduled to take place from 9 to 25 February 2018. 

It will be the first Winter Olympic Games and second Olympic Games in South Korea. Seoul hosted the first one, 1988 Summer Olympic Games. PyeongChang will also be the third East Asian city to host the Winter Games after Sapporo, Japan (1972) and Nagano, Japan (1998).

One interesting fact I learnt about 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic is that the preparation for it had started since 2003!

The first bid was in 2003. In the first-round voting at the IOC Session in Prague, PyeongChang won the most votes, but lost to Vancouver by 3 votes (53-56) in the final vote.

Then, they tried again in 2007. The highest number of votes was cast to PyeongChang in the first round of voting at the IOC Session in Guatemala but Sochi won the final vote by four more ballots (47-51).

You would think it was over after two failed attempts but PyeongChang never gave up. Hope came again in 2010 when the IOC shortlisted PyeongChang together with Munich and Annecy as candidate cities for 2018 Games.

After 3 consecutive bids, their determination paid off in 2011 when PyeongChang was selected as the host city for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, receiving an overwhelming 63 out of 95 votes during the IOC Session in Durban, South Africa. That same year, PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games was founded, and the real preparation began.

The venues for PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games are clustered at 2 areas; PyeongChang Mountain Cluster and Gangneung Coastal Cluster.

The construction of the 2nd Yeongdong highway between Gwangju in Gyeonggi province and Wonju had completed, and the new highway between East Hongcheon and Yangyang is now under construction.

When the new highway opens to operation, it will distribute the traffic volume between Seoul area and Gangwon province or Gangneung and improve the travel between these two regions. Also, for spectators who are going to Gangneung for ice sport competitions, the new highway between East Hongcheon and Yangyang will shorten the travel time.

For more info about 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic, click here.

March 14, 2017

PyeongChang Winter Olympic : Olympic Test Event

The PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games is having the Olympic Test Event from February 2016 until April 2017.

In total, there are 29 sporting events taking place in the same competition venues which will be used during the Games next year, giving the opportunity for athletes and officials to familiarize themselves with the competition venues and the host region.

3000 athletes are expected to participate in the test events (20 Olympic events, 5 Paralympic events, 2 non-competition events and 2 non-sport events), with support from 1000 volunteers. 

It will be an ideal platform for the public to participate and engage with the events and the Games. Thus, if you are in Korea or planning to visit Korea soon, you may want to include a trip to Gangwon province and catch a glimpse of how the Olympic Games will be next year at these venues;

Snow & Sliding Sports

Alpensia Biathlon Centre - Biathlon / IPC Biathlon and Cross-Country Skiing

Alpensia Cross-Country Skiing Centre - Cross-Country Skiing / Nordic Combined

Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre - Nordic Combined / Ski Jumping

Yongpyong Alpine Centre - Alpine Skiing Technical Events

Alpensia Sliding Centre - Bobsleigh / Luge / Skeleton

Bokwang Phoenix Park - Freestyle Skiing / Snowboard

Jeongseon Alpine Centre - (Para) Alpine Skiing Speed Events

Ice Sports

Gangneung Hockey Centre - Ice Hockey I / Ice Sledge Hockey

Gangneung Oval - Speed Skating

Gangneung Ice Arena - Figure Skating / Short Track Speed Skating

Gangneung Curling Centre - Curling / Wheelchair Curling

Kwandong Hockey Centre - Ice Hockey II

Here are some of the events that already took place.

2017 FIS Ski Jumping World Cup presented by Viessmann

FIS Cross-Country World Cup presented by Viessmann

Viessmann Luge World Cup & Viessmann Team Relay World Cup presented by BMW

Audi FIS Ski World Cup 2017

FIS Snowboard World Cup 2016/17

ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2017

World Wheelchair Curling Championship 2017

BMW IBU World Cup Biathlon 2017

PyeongChang 2017 World Para Nordic Skiing World Cup

For results, schedules, transportation etc, you may check it here .