Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Fishing Festival

by - December 31, 2020

Hi my dear readers! I will tell you the one activity that is very fun and unique in Korea during the winter and perfect for a winter getaway. Do you want to know? Make sure you check out this post!

If you are looking for unique things to do in Korea in the winter, you need to experience ice fishing! In this festival, besides ice fishing, there are many other fun activities like bare hand fishing, ice sled, snow sleigh, ice skating and so on.

After a 2 hour ride, we finally arrived at the Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Fishing Festival, and it was already packed with people enjoying ice fishing.

The Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Fishing Festival (얼음나라 화천산천어축제) has been a staple of Korean wintertime since 2003 in Hwacheon County in Gangwon Province, South Korea. This virtually untouched region is known as the first area in Korea that freezes over in winter, and the river is covered with a thick layer of ice.

The Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Fishing Festival runs from 5th January to 27th January 2019.

Show them the text messages that you got from Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Fishing Festival officer at the ticketing counter.

Entrance ticket and Famer’s Market Coupon.

You have to hang the entrance ticket on your clothes or jacket as pictured.

The staff will give you a plastic bag to put your caught trout in.

Too bad they only provide brochures in Korean.

Don't forget to wear thick and warm clothes! You must bring gloves and hot packs too. During winter the weather in Hwacheon city, Gangwon province very cold than in Seoul.

Are you ready to go ice fishing? Let’s go inside fishing place!

This place is only specifically for reservations. For tourists and locals fishing area is separated.

A good hours activity that can be enjoyed by fishing fans of all ages.

I would like to mention, I am not a tourist and I live in South Korea for almost 7 years already. I am a foreigner married to a Korean citizen, so it is not my first time in Korea. The place I went to was for Korean nationality’s only.

Have you ever wondered why people sit, squat or stand on the ice with a little hole in front of them while swinging their hand, and then staring at their fishing line, or the hole to see if they’ve caught a fish? Maybe some of you have experienced this in your home country or some could only watch it from television like me. First time I think it’s insane and unbelievable, but after I did myself, it turns out this is true and real.

There’s an ice fishing area for foreigners only! As you can see the ice fishing for foreigner got a lot of empty space, not like the one in Korean nationality zone.

If you prefer to sit while you fish, bring along a small chair and mat that can also be used to keep your personal belongings dry.

Be careful when you walking on the frozen river because of the road very slippery.

The instructor will help you if you’re struggling. The instructor was extremely informative, patient, and made the experience memorable.

You can bring a small blanket if you feel cold and you can also fish while lying on a mat.

You may begin to enjoy your Ice Fishing moments once you get into the fishing areas! But before you fishing, please read the below instruction carefully!
1. You can’t bring foods inside for a pleasant environment. (Will be confirmed at the entrance)
2. You can’t bring ice box, cooler, polystyrene, and paper box.
3. You can only catch 3 fish per person (if you catch more than 3 fish please share with others).
4. You can’t smoke in the fishing area.

You need to prepare fishing rods and bait. Alive baits are not allowed to use. If you don’t have them, you can buy in the fishing tackle store.

Finally, it's time for ice fishing!

There are plenty of fishing holes, so just choose any and you are able to see the mountain trout swimming below the ice. If your fishing hole is frozen, use the chisel which can be found easily on the river.

I let the line out until it touched the bottom and alternated pulling the fishing line at slow or quick speeds, as instructed. When you feel the rod is heavy, and quickly pull the rod and the fishing line!

Cute fish pendant.

Wohooo!!! I caught my first fish. :)

My husband finally caught one fish too!

Unhook the fish, and place it in the plastic bag.

The fish we caught is still alive.

Shortly afterward I caught a second fish. ~(˘▾˘)~ At first, it was quite hard for me but I finally got the technique right. I even caught more than 3 fish. If you are lucky, you may catch black trout. Usually, these fish can be found in rivers on unpolluted mountains and rivers. Trout is also recognized as the fastest freshwater fish swimming because it has a speed of swimming between 10 to 20 kilometers an hour. When in the water temperature five to ten degrees Celsius trout will become more active.

The officer released some fish into the ice hole.

When you feel hungry, there's a place for visitors to buy many types of snacks and Korean street foods. You could choose from hotdog (핫도그), fish cakes (오뎅), rice cakes (가래떡), cup noodle, sushi rolls and more!

I don't like Garae-tteok (가래떡) but my husband loved it so he bought one for himself to eat. Garae-tteok (가래떡) is a long, cylindrical tteok (rice cake) made with non-glutinous rice.

We didn't have lunch yet so we're a little hungry and we decided to eat a cup of noodle and Odeng (오뎅) or fishcake. They sell cup noodles and fish cake very expensive than normal prices.

After enjoying fishing and eating, don't forget to visit Farmer’s Market that you can spend your farmer's market coupon! They prepared many kinds of agriculture products there so give it a try! We bought a box of apple juice and my husband bought a traditional Korean snack.

Once you finish fishing, head over to the grilling stations, where they will grill up your fish for 2,000 Won each. You can enjoy sashimi, grilled fish, and steamed fish with trout you catch. 

After eight hours of enjoying ice fishing, we want to try eating fish that we catch ourselves. The fish that have been cleaned, cooked and wrapped in foil.

I found the grilled fish to be incredibly tasty.

My husband brought an ice box but he just put it in the car because we can't bring it inside the ice fishing festival. After we left the place, Oppa put all the fish we caught into an ice box so the fish wouldn't die.

We started fishing from the bright sky and finished when the sky was dark. 

There is no one was fishing anymore because of the weather very cold.

Seon Deung Street (선등 거리). At night during the festival, a 5-kilometer street at the heart of the town will be adorned with 27,000 lamps made by its residents in the shape of Sancheoneo, one for each person who lives in the town.

There are many restaurants here and many people sell balloons with cute shapes.

As we were so tired and hungry, we decided to have dinner around Seon Deung Street (선등 거리) and then go back home. We found this restaurant accidentally and we decided to have dinner at 대청마루 Dae-Cheong-Maru. Their foods are homemade style and have many healthy foods.

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Click HERE to search their locations!

A lot of side dishes for dinner.

Soy sauce for our main dishes.

My husband ordered the rice with thistle in a hot pot (곤드레 돌솥밥). The food was delicious and the thistle was very healthy food in Korea. 

I ordered the rice with the oyster in a hot pot (굴 돌솥밥). Inside there are slices of carrot, Korean radish, some oyster, and one large sized slice of mushroom. The food is delicious, rich with flavor, and certainly fresh. This is healthy food too, I really like it.

Overall, it was a great day and I want to thank my husband who brought me here. We had a wonderful time and we caught quite a lot of fish in 8 hours. Even you are not lucky enough to catch a fish, you will still enjoy spending your time in the beautiful winter environment and learning how to drill ice-holes. ;)

Don't forget to check out the world's largest ice fishing festival website in Korea! I highly recommend a trip to the Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Fishing Festival once for a fun and unique experience if you are in Korea during the month of January.

Starting tomorrow I will make some fun and useful articles for those of you who want to vacation in Korea, so stay tuned to my blog for more updates!

Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival (얼음나라 화천산천어축제)
☎ 1330 Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330
(Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
☎ For more info: +82-1688-3005

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