Hyangsan, North Pyongan, North Korea
North Korea in the WinterDriving through North Korea's countryside is a sight to be seen any time of year. But in the winter, it's particularly cool and insightful. Once fresh snowfall hits the roads, you see people from the small villages, young and old, come out to shovel the roads. As I understand, each village is responsible for taking care of their portion of the public roads and highways. So, the same highways that are usually somewhat empty during the summers are filled with people during the winters. The shovels that they use are pretty makeshift -- wood plank attached to a wood handle. They are heavy, although surprisingly effective. I'm reminded that North Korean people are tough when I see young kids who come out to shovel alongside their parents, and as kids do, find ways to make chores fun.
North Korea is 80% comprised of mountains. It's beautiful in the snowy winters. Usually closed to tourism during the months of December and January, DPRK is now open to tourists all year-round, which means you can spend your New Year's in North Korea this year. Masik Pass ski resort is also slated to open this year, which will be open to tourists. For anyone wanting a cool winter experience, I would highly recommend visiting North Korea in the winter.