Design a Winter Adventure at the Hwacheon Sancheoneo (Mountain Trout) Ice Festival
Ever jump into a pool of icy water and catch a mountain trout with your bare hands? For our more masochistic readers, the annual Hwacheon Sancheoneo (mountain trout) ice festival, gives you a chance to experience what CNN named one of the 7 wonders of winter in 2011.
Only two hours north of Seoul, this ice festival runs from January 5 to 27 in Hwacheon county of Gangwon province. In addition to hypothermia, visitors can enjoy many activities including ice fishing, outdoor barbeques, sledding and breathtaking ice sculpture displays.
We especially loved the creative designs of both the ice and snow sculptures. A special exhibition structure was built to house some of the sculptures and at night, they were lit up to stunning effect. The sculptures below represent unique images from Korean culture including traditional architecture and a tiger, an animal that figures greatly in Korean history and folklore.
Photo Credit: http://bit.ly/UyMFPt
Photo Credit: http://bit.ly/VNk5VB
The festival is named for the sancheoneo, a trout native to Korea, and it’s the only place in the country where you can ice fish for them. Due to its unique geographical characteristics, Hwacheon has an unpolluted environment and it is always the first region in Korea to freeze over completely in the winter.
The frozen river at the festival is drilled with thousands of holes so that up to 3,000 people can fish for sancheoneo. Sink a lure through a hole to catch the trout that swim under the 40 cm of ice. It’s easy enough for a toddler to do, as you can see. After a day of viewing ice sculptures and fishing, grilled mountain trout is the perfect hot meal.
Photo Credit: http://bit.ly/Wn79Fb
For directions and more details, visit the festival’s homepage: