Blogs from Hwacheon, Gangwon-do, South Korea, Asia


Asia » South Korea » Gangwon-do » Hwacheon January 5th 2013

5th Jan: Up at 6. Showered, layered up, and had brekky. Skidded down the road to get a taxi. One came pretty quick. Taxi driver was chatty, sad face, I can't be arsed to make conversation in broken English first thing in the morning. Got to Suwon station by about half seven. Went and got a coffee at Maccy Ds in the station and then headed out to the subway exit, where the bus would be picking us up. Chain smoked, while waiting. The bus turned up about ten to eight. We all got on. Bloody hell, it was freezing on the bus. We waited for a bit and then drove into Seoul to pick up the people there, at the Express Bus Terminal and Yongsan. My God I was bursting for the toilet. Tried to ... read more
Ice Fishing
Fish No. 1
Bagged up

Asia » South Korea » Gangwon-do » Hwacheon January 14th 2012

Ranked in the top 3 winter festivals in Korea, Hwacheon Ice Festival is popular among Koreans and foreigners alike. For the past 7 years, thousands of people have flocked to Hwacheon to attend this chilly festival and this year it was my turn. First things first – Hwacheon is in Gangwon Do province (yes the one I live in!) which is known for its deep winter freeze. Saying it’s cold is an understatement – rather it chills you to the bone and even when you're wearing 2 pairs of socks, 5 jumpers (or jackets) AND boots you can still feel the cold. On the plus side, festivals like this one help all us waygooks make the most of the chilly weather, and keep our minds off the cold. We arrived and instantly found ourselves amused by ... read more
The corridor!
It's ice fishing time!
Two sets of hands are better than one right?

Asia » South Korea » Gangwon-do » Hwacheon January 11th 2010

No, I fishies were caught this past weekend. But WHAT a weekend. I had pretty much decided to cross off the months of January and February when it came to exploring and travelling just because it was cold, icy, and just not-cool weather (geez, listen to this Canadian complain) for exploring the country. HOWEVER, when Adventure Korea e-mailed me about an upcoming "ice fishing festival" trip on their website, I just couldn't resist. And boy, did I make the right choice. This past weekend was two fun-filled days of ice, snow, hiking, sancheoneo (mountain trout), bbq, and jet-fueled bonfires. I left Daejeon early Saturday morning to catch the KTX to Seoul in order to meet up with Adventure Korea at the Express Bus Terminal station. I was wired with excitement which resulted in complete lack ... read more
catch of the day!
reunited once again!
excited to begin our festival!

Asia » South Korea » Gangwon-do » Hwacheon May 24th 2009

On a sunny Sunday afternoon wanting to get outside and explore we decided on the Cheongpyeongsa temple. I had been there just a week before on Teachers' Day and really enjoyed the 30 min hike from the parking lot to the temple. There is little online about directions to the temple and those that are available only give directions coming from Chuncheon. However it is possible to get to the temple from Hwacheon. We took the No.5 local bus from the terminal in Hwacheon and took it all the way to the end of the route. A small village past Ouem-ri called.......... From there you have to hitch a lift for the 15 minute car ride to the temple. I would have happily taken a taxi but there are none in this village. From what I ... read more
The walk up to the temple
Cheongpyeong-sa temple
Chinese Lanterns

Asia » South Korea » Gangwon-do » Hwacheon April 19th 2009

Spring in Gangwon-Do is definately here and while the flowers bloom the insects awaken my smile and mood is elevating daily. The long Korean winter had a huge effect on my motivation and mood in general and I had almost forgotten what it felt like to walk outside without a coat and scarf! I finally opened the box of summer clothes I had been storing under my bed for months and months and swaped those for the scarfs, hats, ear warmers and knee high socks! It felt good to pack away winter - at least for now. I am definately a warm weather creature - I'd much rather be too hot than too cold. Koreans are very interesting to watch when it comes to weather and temperature. During winter they pump the heating 24/7 and the ... read more
Spring in Hwacheon
Pretty flowers

Asia » South Korea » Gangwon-do » Hwacheon January 13th 2009

The much awaited Ice fishing festival has begun here in Hwacheon. The festival runs form January 10th - 27th. So what is it? Well the frozen river of Hwacheon becomes the site for millions of people to have a go at fishing through holes in the ice. You just buy or bring a fishing rod (they are being sold for 2000 won at the festival) and find a hole in the ice that isn't already being used and - well wait for a hungry Sancheoneo fish to come along! There is a stage arena which when I was there had five singing and dancing Soju bottles. The festival luckily has much more than the ice fishing - if like me you are opposed to catching a fish and then letting it writher in pain for 5 ... read more
People Everywhere
Ice Fishers
Looking For Fish

Asia » South Korea » Gangwon-do » Hwacheon January 6th 2009

When I registered with travelblog about 4 months ago, I had totally convinced myself that I would be writing regularly and that my entries would be interesting and full of my adventures in yet another part of the world. The reality is not that I simply havn't had time to write more that I havnt had much to write about. In August when I arrived I had high expectations of seeing and really settling into a country I would spend the next 12 months. The first 7 days were spent at an orientation in Seoul. The long days that week meant that I saw about 2 blocks of Seoul at 11pm one evening. Then on to my new home for the next year. On the last day my friend and I were told we would be ... read more
Hwacheon Mountains
Hwacheon Town
Hwacheon Views

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