Among the very first winter events to kick-off, Hongcheon Winter Festival is held every year in January with a great range of ice-and-snow activities. Come celebrate winter and join this local popular feast from January 2nd to 18th, 2015
Hongcheon Festival is much less known among the foreign community and slightly smaller than its ‘sibling’ Hwacheon Trout Festival. As a matter of fact, we were the only foreigners when we visited at the very start of the festival.
Still, it offers a similar range of festivities including trout fishing on ice, sledding, ice sculptures as well as donkey rides and other fun family-centric activities.
What we liked best
- this is the first large winter festival of this kind. An early opportunity to get some wintry fun!
- from Seoul, Hongcheon can be easily reached within less than 1h30′ taking the highways 50 and 55.
- the atmosphere was gentle, local and the food was really good including eating live ‘bing-o’ fish salad, grilled trout and local pajeons.
- unlimited fishing… and no foreigner-only reserved area.
What we liked least
- unlike Hwacheon Festival where the fishing area is often replenished with plenty of new trouts, fishing in Hongcheon is left to its natural state. There are fewer fishes indeed… You will have to be more patient (or lucky or very skilled) if you want to catch as many trouts as you would elsewhere.
Overall it was a very pleasant day, a more local and low-key alternative to some other winter festivals… But we had lots of fun including great memories such as the wonderful Korean family who so generously gave us a huge trout (certainly by pity considering our bad luck at fishing ours) or our son who managed to put his foot up to the knee into a fishing hole!
Admission: Trout fishing: 12,000 KRW/person (pre-school children free)
Check out discounts for advanced internet purchase from Coupang, Market and other online services.
How to get there:
Intercity bus for Hongcheon Terminal from Central City or Dong Seoul Bus Terminal. Walk toward Hongcheongyo Bridge.
Address: 1792, Seorak-ro, Hongcheon-eup, Hongcheon-gun, Gangwon-do
강원도 홍천군 홍천읍 설악로 1792 (홍천읍)