Whilst not the only ski resort in North Korea, Masikryong Ski resort is special so far in the sense that it is the only one open to tourists. Samjiyon Ski Field has long been for domestic skiers only and Yangdok Ski Resort has yet to accept foreigners (Though we have our fingers crossed). So for most people, Masikryong is what they think of when they think of ski resorts in North Korea.
The ski resort opened to the public in 2013 and was designed by the Pyongyang Architectural Institute. The construction of the resort was undertaken by Military builders, who were exhorted to undertake the project at “Masikryong speed”. The Daily Telegraph noted that this was a throwback to the old Chollima speed movement, but in fact, various permutations of the original movement have already been a consistent feature in North Korea, often taking names from large projects such as Huichon Speed from the Huichon dam and Power Station construction or the recent Manllima Speed movement.
At any rate, the resort was constructed in a reasonably astounding 10 month period. It has however not lived up to projections, in particular- while originally anticipating a ski season running from November to March, often it has been as short as January-February, despite the use of snowmaking machines, due to inconsistent snowfall.
Where is North Korea’s ski resort?
The ski resort is located just off the main highway from Pyongyang-Wonsan. It is 176 kilometres East of Pyongyang and 32km West of Wonsan city on the East Coast. The highest point in the resort is Taehwa Peak which is 1363 meters above sea level.
How can I ski at Masikryong?
As it’s a bit of a niche we don’t tend to offer group tours to ski in North Korea. However, if you book a tour at the right time of year you can add it as an extension or you can arrange your own Private tour to visit the ski resort.
What is North Korea’s ski resort like?
Pretty Good! There are ten slopes, running from beginner to some upper intermediate level slopes.
Asides from that there is an ice skating rink, a swimming pool, a gym, internet access (via cable in your room at extra charge) and even a creche for looking after children if they’re a little too young to join you on the slopes. There are multiple restaurants- our favourite being the “cave” restaurant which sadly isn’t actually in a cave, it’s just decorated as if it were.
What if it’s not Ski Season at Masikryong?
Well, you could always not go there, but if you do, there’s actually some nice hikes around the area and the ski resort costs the same as other deluxe hotels in the offseason, so it can make a very nice stay in between visits from Pyongyang to Mt Kumgang or Pyongyang to Hamhung..