Hwacheon Ice Festival

Monday, 13 March 2017

Having travelled all the way to Pyeongchang to have the trout festival pushed back due to weather (apparently the rain melts the ice and it's renders it not thick enough to be on), I was pretty sad that I was not able to go for a trout festival. On top of that, all my friends went back home and I didn't have people who really wanted to go to go with me. But I managed to get into this program that brought us to the Hwacheon Ice Festival (named one of the seven wonders). Glad that I was able to try out many different events!

Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival
Hwacheon-eup, Hwacheon-gun, Gangwon-do
강원도, 화천군, 화천읍

Went down with Keila and met Saulo on the bus as well. It was a nice time to catch up since we haven't met for too long. Arrived there and just saw a lengthy canal or river entirely frozen. It's what I would see in movies where people gather to ice skate. (There really is an area cordoned off for ice skating here). There were many different activities available, from barehanded fishing, to ice skating, ice soccer, ice hockey, zipline, ice sledding, snow sledding and of course, the main highlight, ice fishing.

The entire place is easily accessible, with a lot of parking space and there are many signs and even a booth meant for foreigners where they have volunteers (or workers) who speak many different languages to help foreigners get accustomed to the area and knowing what they can look out for. There's even special areas that's targeted at foreigners to ensure that they have access to guidance. 

It was extremely easy to catch these trout seeing as all we had was a hook and a line, not even a reel. We just had to give the rod a tug the moment the fish bites just to get the hook in place, then we pull up the line with our hand and then bag the fish. I have it all on video which you might not see till I compile another video. You can stay tuned to my posts till then :P

It's pretty patient work, just standing there with the line in the water, waiting for them to bite. If you think that they are there naturally, you're wrong. The fish are added to the waters by the people in Hwacheon who have caught them in the hundreds beforehand. It's just an activity that's man-made for people to enjoy. The interesting thing about these trouts is that they aren't like usual ones. The ones here do not have the fishy smell like others and therefore Korea is able to have them raw as sashimi. That makes it special. The trouts here have lines on their scales unlike the ones in other countries. 

Photo by Gibs

Headed for lunch after the fishing event where we had some pork cutlet before heading back out there into the cold. We were split into groups and we had an hour shift at the Korean Tourism Organization booth where we had to volunteer to get other visitors to take photos with our instagram board so that they could help promote this event through social media. 

Crossed the iconic bridge and headed to see the snow sculptures. Unfortunately we weren't able to ride the zipline since it was windy. (How unfortunate that we didn't have the time to when it was possible, but when we wanted to the winds came) but nevertheless, it was fun trying out ice sledding, snow sledding and finally having the trout grilled and served to us. 

Photo by Gibs

Photo by Gibs

It was a memorable and fun day. Finally visited a winter festival in Korea, was able to do ice fishing and ate a Korean trout! Till next time guys~

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