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Gangwon offers fun, exciting winter activities

By Lee Si-jin

Published : Jan. 28, 2023 - 16:01

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Monapark Yongpyong Resort (Monapark Yongpyong Resort) Monapark Yongpyong Resort (Monapark Yongpyong Resort)

As the temperature across the country plunged to the lowest points this winter this week, those looking for wintertime fun and thrills can expect even more fun in Gangwon Province, the mountainous province known for its abundant snowfall -- one of the reasons why Pyeongchang in Gangwon Province hosted the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Among the exciting options at Gangwon Province are lure fishing, bare-handed fishing, sledding, trekking, skiing and, for the die-hard K-drama fans, Korean drama filming locations.

Children enjoy ice fishing at Inje Ice Fishing Festival (Inje Ice Fishing Festival) Children enjoy ice fishing at Inje Ice Fishing Festival (Inje Ice Fishing Festival)

Enjoy ice fishing

Winter lovers may want to take the last-minute chance to enjoy ice fishing as most of Gangwon Province’s fishing events come to an end in January.

Inje Ice Fishing Festival, is held in Inje, a mountainous county in Gangwon Province some 165 kilometers northeast of Seoul. The event centers around a pond with small ice holes where you drop a line, hoping a smelt under the sheet of ice will catch the bait.

The Hwacheon Trout Festival, widely known by its Korean name, Hwacheon Sancheoneo Festival, also runs through Jan. 29, featuring exciting hands-on activities, including bare-handed fishing, trout grilling and more.

For trout fishing, there is also the Pyeongchang Trout Festival, which has recorded more than 120,000 visitors so far this season.

If you want to enjoy the latest in Gangwon Province’s winter fishing festivals, visit Hongcheongang Kkongkkong Festival held at various areas around the Hongcheon stream.

The event attracted over 150,000 anglers with its unique ginseng-fed trout.

If the cold is too much, the Hongcheongang Kkongkkong Festival also provides indoor fishing, VR fishing, a sand playground and alpaca feeding for visitors.

Admission is free for the festivals, but fees for activities, fishing equipment and bait vary by events.

Trekkers pass by a frozen waterfall in Cheorwon, Gangwon Province. (Gangwon Snow Festa) Trekkers pass by a frozen waterfall in Cheorwon, Gangwon Province. (Gangwon Snow Festa)

Trekking

If you prefer a calm, slow-tempo walk while taking in beautiful winter scenery, walk the Hantangang Trail in Cheorwon, Gangwon Province.

Famous for the Demilitarized Zone that bisects the Korean Peninsula, the remote county of Cheorwon is a popular site to enjoy a snowy Korean winter to the fullest.

Hantangang Trekking on the River, a trekking program, ventures deep inside the county with a 6-kilometer trail that starts at the ticket booth at Taebong Bridge and ends at the Goseokjeong Pavilion.

From towering mountain ridges to frozen waterfalls, the sheer beauty of the natural winterscape is bound to leave visitors awestruck.

Tickets for children cost 3,000 won and those between ages 13 and 18 cost 4,000 won. Tickets for adults cost 10,000 won.

Skiers are seen on a slope at Monapark Yongpyong Resort, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon Province. (Monapark Yongpyong Resort) Skiers are seen on a slope at Monapark Yongpyong Resort, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon Province. (Monapark Yongpyong Resort)

Winter sports

The steep drop in temperature means it's prime time to hit the slopes -- for skiing, snowboarding and sledding.

Multinational online travel company Trip.com recently announced it is offering free sledding on Nami Island, a small half-moon shaped island in Chuncheon, in collaboration with Gangwon Province.

Visitors who hold tickets to Nami Island -- made famous as the shooting location of the hugely popular 2002 television romance drama “Winter Sonata” -- can sled down the 40-meter-long slope as many times as they wish from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Gangwon Province offers a fine selection of ski resorts, including Phoenix Pyeongchang, Monapark Yongpyong Resort, Vivaldi Park Resort and High1 Resort.

Ski enthusiasts and snowboarders can take their pick of challenging Winter Olympics slopes to the more easy, picturesque trails.