Advisory: Winter Olympics

With the Winter Olympics underway, INSI has been working to support our members on the ground in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Here are some tips from a recent members’ advisory we produced on covering the Games safely: 

  • Tensions between North and South Korea may have put some spectators off attending the Olympics. But South Korea is a safe country with crime against foreigners rare
  • Occasional isolated incidents include thefts and assaults around bars and nightlife areas
  • South Korea has one of the highest rates of traffic deaths for a developed country, particularly for pedestrians
  • Drivers are aggressive: speeding and running red lights are common
  • Watch out for motorcycles driving on footpaths and pedestrian crossings
  • PyeongChang is one of the coldest regions in South Korea and known for its biting winds from Siberia. Temperatures can be as low as -20°C in February
  • Spectators in the Olympic Stadium are reportedly being given heating pads to keep warm (AP)
  • Vaccinations for hepatitis A and typhoid (which can be contracted through contaminated food and water) are recommended for travellers
  • English is not widely spoken at hospitals. A local fixer is useful if you need medical assistance
  • Google Maps doesn’t work in South Korea. Naver Maps is the local option (recently upgraded to include English)
  • The free Emergency Ready app provides shelter locations around the country

For more information on joining INSI and receiving full access to our advisories get in touch with us at [email protected]