Asia

Published: Friday February 28, 2014 MYT 6:00:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday February 19, 2014 MYT 6:00:59 PM

Let's go skiing in North Korea

A room at the Masik Pass Ski resort in North Korea. - Photo from AFP

A room at the Masik Pass Ski resort in North Korea. - Photo from AFP

Ready for something different? Well first you need to know how to book a ski holiday in...North Korea!

YOU’VE been to Vail, gone to Whistler and bought the T-shirt in Chamonix. But for skiers looking for their next powdery adventure – and, perhaps, one of the most interesting cocktail party conversation starters ever – an American tour company has launched special ski packages to North Korea.

Just weeks after the controversial ski resort in North Korea opened to the public on Jan 1, New Jersey-based Uri Tours has launched five and seven-day ski holidays to the Masik Pass Skiing Grounds, billed as “the most exotic skiing destination on.”

So far, the tour operator told the Voice of America that they’ve received bookings from six Americans, who will be among the first foreigners to hit the North Korean slopes this winter.

Originally scheduled to be unveiled in October, the resort experienced a series of setbacks, notably after being slapped with United Nations sanctions over the purchase of Swiss chair lifts. The ski lifts currently in place are from China.

The ski packages, meanwhile, include access to the resort’s nine ski runs and four chairlifts. Getting to the top of the Masik Pass at 1,360m requires taking three separate chair lifts and takes up to 40 minutes.

Here are a few other interesting resort specs:

-The total resort area is 1,412ha.

-All slopes combined have a total length of 110,000m.

-Slope widths vary from 40 - 120m.

-The maximum slope is 39.8 degrees.

-The resort has 120 rooms.

-A day-long ski lift pass is Euro 25 – RM 114 (included in the package).

-Resort amenities include a lap pool, fitness centre, massage, sauna, billiards and hair salon.

So far, the tour operator has scheduled six ski trips into March. Rates range between US$1,895 (RM6,260) for doubles and US$2,850 (RM9,415) for singles. A trip to the DMZ is also included.

Budget travel operator Young Pioneers Tours (www.youngpioneertours.com/ski-trips-north-korea/) also offers to tack on ski options to existing packages. – AFP Relaxnews

Tags / Keywords: Travel, North Korea, Masik Pass, ski resort, tour

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