Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Getting out of Gwangju Part 2- Hwacheon Ice Festival

            The next day we got up and headed off to Hwacheon for the annual Ice Festival.  It's the largest winter festival in Korea.  It lasts for three weeks, hosting over 1,000,000 visitors.  Being only two hours from Seoul it makes a great day trip for anyone living or staying in the city.
            To be honest I wasn't prepared for the scale of the festival.  It was massive and there was plenty to do besides fishing.  You could go sledding, build snowmen, ice skate or ride ATV's and go-carts! How the festival organizers didn't make you wear a helmet is beyond me but that'll change after a lawsuit or two.

This was our hotel, Petit France.

Good thing the ice is two feet thick!

This wasn't just for Western foreigners but Chinese, Japanese and Thai too.

I started out by just sitting.

I call this piece, "Still Sitting".

I got tired of that and went after a more proactive approach. The water was so clear you could see the bottom and anything teasing your hook. It felt like I was fishing in an ice aquarium.

I finally got one! It's a Sancheoneo or wild trout.

Julie shamed us all by catching six!

After catching our fish we had them cooked and enjoyed our lunch.  Next, we walked around and checked out the other events.

Graham and Maggie setting off.

Not a bad size hill.
            Here are the ATV's and go-carts I was telling you about.  I'm filming this while waiting in-line.

A cool dragon sculpture.

Here I'm walking through the ice tunnel behind the dragon sculpture.

            I had a great time going to the festival.  I recommend it for anyone living in Korea or visiting during January.  Sadly, it was Graham's last weekend in Korea before he left to go back to England.  He was going back for a job interview. I found out later, while visiting Busan, that he got the job!  Congrats man and I'll talk about my trip to Busan next time. 


Chelsey Hale said...

Oh wow! This looks amazing!! Hi there, Im Chelsey, hope you dont mind me snooping on your blog. Im coming to South Korea (Gwangju in particular) in a few weeks to start teaching. Although its abit stalkerish, Ive been checking out a few blogs from people living there. Lets put it this way- the rest of the net it pretty usless and Im trying to get an idea of what to expect. Looks epic, cant wait!

Logan Monday said...

Hey there Chelsey, it's great to see that you're excited about coming to Gwangju! You're going to love it here. There's plenty to do at any point in the year. If you haven't found this blog check it out. They just moved back to the States but they were here for years and their blog is excellent. http://kimchicornbread.blogspot.com

Chelsey Hale said...

I will check that out for sure! Im due to start working at LCI (dunno if you know it?)I hope it all goes well. Keep up the good work with your own Blog...