Gangwon Travelogue by Yoke and Julian
Beautiful, Fun and Delicious!
예뻐요, 재미있어요, 맛있어요!
Gangwon Province, the 2nd largest province is located in the east-northern part of South Korea. It is well-known for beautiful nature, especially featured in TV shows such as Nami Island (Winter Sonata), Hwajinpo Beach (Autumn In My Heart), Jumunjin Breakwater and Yongpyong Resort (Goblin) and has been loved by domestic and international visitors. At the same time, this province is the winter heaven with the 49cm of snowfall every year, which made it out to be the host destination of PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
Astro’s songbird, Yoke together with the first Malaysian Winter Olympian and Gangwon Tourism Ambassador, Julian Yee traveled around the new attractions in Seoul and Gangwon this time, now they are ready to describe interesting places and activities they’ve experienced in 3 simple Korean adjective words!
Part 1: Beautiful, 예뻐요
Gyeongbukgung Palace 景福宮 was the main royal palace of the Joseon dynasty and served as the home of Kings of the Joseon dynasty, the Kings’ households, as well as the government of Joseon. Royal Guard-Changing Ceremony is made at the main gate of Gyeongbokgung, Gwanghwamun every day, and it was nominated that their third favorite activity in Seoul by 2,000 foreign visitors in 2011.
K-Star Road featuring the latest Hallyu trend, visitors will be able to discover restaurants and attractions frequented by popular Hallyu stars while walking along the Hallyu K-Star Road. At SM Town @ coexartium, you can look around studios, a hologram theater, a lifestyle shop, and more, where Hallyu stars are created. You may incidentally meet your favorite Hallyu star during tours. A professional photographer is available to take photos of visitors, which will be an unforgettable memory.
Ojukheon 烏竹軒 gets its name from the many black bamboo trees that surround it. It was built during the time of the 11th King of Joseon, King Jungjong (1506-1544), and remains one of the oldest wooden residential buildings in Korea.
It was the place where Sinsaimdang (1504-1551) lived and where her son Yi I (1536-1584) was born. Sinsaimdang, the model of Korean bank note 50,000 won, was the best female artist in Joseon dynasty and the role model of a wise wife and good mother. Yi I, the model of Korean bank note 5,000 won, was the great politician and scholar. It is the first case to have both mother and son on the bank notes.
Heo Gyun Heo Nanseolheon Memorial Park 許筠-許蘭雪軒記念公園 was built to commemorate the talented writing brother and sister, Heo Gyun (1569-1618) and Heo Nanseolheon (1563-1589) in 2007. During tea ceremony session at the traditional tea experience center, the instructor explains about tea utensils such as tea kettle, teacup, cooling bowl and draining tray. And the instructor moves on teaching how to serve tea step by step from pre-heating the tea utensil to brewing the tea.
Wolhwa Street is named after the famous couple lived in Gangneung in Silla dynasty, Muwollang and Yeonhwa. While Muwollang moved to Gyeongju for his study, Yeonhwa’s parents tried to get her married to someone else. Yeonhwa, who was brave to find her true love back, threw the letter into the pond then carp fishes delivered it to Muwollang so finally couple could get back together. Hence, Gangwon Province built up the “Wish Tree” at Wolhwa Street to wish great success of 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic, good luck to athletes and for everyone’s dreams come true.
Nongoldam-gil Street refers to the road going uphill from Mukho Port to Mukho lighthouse. 30 years ago, Nongol was the representative port of pollack and squid, but about 20,000 residents left town as fishing resources dwindled. To improve the ambiance of the town, Donghae Cultural Center, they started visiting older people living in Nongol Village to find out their life story and then painted their stories on the walls throughout the village’s alley. Members who majored in art made the sketches and the elderly in their 60-70s colored the sketches to create the mural street of Nongol Village. The starting point of the street has various frames hanging on the wall which depict the history and process of the village.
Jeongdongjin 正東津 is a famous town in Gangneung, South Korea and one of the most popular sites in Korea for watching the sunrise on New Year’s Day. During the New Year, Jeongdongjin Sunrise Park is the location of the Sunrise Festival and the ceremonial “turning of the hourglass”, signifying the changing year. Jeongdongjin Station is listed in the Guinness World Records as the closest station and tracks to a beach anywhere in the world.
Part 2: Fun, 재미있어요
Korea Train eXpress (KTX) is South Korea’s high-speed rail system, operated by Korail. KTX operates from Seoul Station and Yongsan Station towards Busan and Gwangju. The new line, Gyeonggang line from Seoul to Gangneung started operation officially from December 2017 to serve the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.
Pyeongchang Trout Festival takes place from the end of December to next year January in the town of Jinbu-myeon in Pyeongchang-gun district. Visitors to the festival can enjoy a variety of programs including ice and lure fishing for trout, snow programs, ice programs, folk programs, and more. There will also be traditional folk games including sledding and top spinning, and visitors can try out sports such as riding 4-wheel ATVs, snow rafting, sleigh trains. Any trout caught from ice fishing and lure fishing can be prepared right away at a nearby restaurant.
Curling is a sport in which players slide stones on a sheet of ice towards a target area which is segmented into four concentric circles. In PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games, Korea Female Curling team, “Team Kim” went viral. Team’s skip, Kim Eun-jung sent the sign with her signature catchphrase “Yeong-mi-!” to the team’s lead sweeper, Kim Yeong-mi (in a different tone and pitch depending on the situation) caught the eyes of audiences.
As Gangwon Province has 49cm of snow every year, it’s the paradise for Winter Sports as Ski, Snowboarding and others. 8 ski resorts are located in Gangwon Province, especially Yongpyong Resort hosted Alpine Ski Game in PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Yongpyong as the first ski resort in Korea has facilities of hotels, condominiums, golf resort, water theme park, Jjimjilbang (Korean sauna) and others.
You can feel the hospitality in one of the oldest market in Gangneung, Jungang Market. Opened in 1980, this market offers various options of local market delicacy such as Hotteok (pan-fried pancake) with ice cream or cheese, fish cake croquette, fried chicken and others.
Jumunjin Fish Market founded in 1936 is a home to a large fleet of squid boats. It is the largest seafood market on the East Coast and includes a dried seafood market and a sashimi center. The market is a favorite among both Koreans and international visitors. Market specialties include a variety of fresh seafood caught on the East Coast such as squid, mackerel, pollacks, pikes, and crabs.
Sea Train running across 3 cities in East Coastal Line, Gangneung, Donghae and Samcheok is a tourist train with four cars, three of them with seats that face the windows, for a full ocean-view and the fourth car has family seats where passengers can face each other.
The Jeongdongjin Rail Bike is one of the must-try experiences when you are traveling in Gangwon-do. Departing from Jeongdongjin Station, ride on the rail bike and feel the fresh air from the sea that is just alongside the railway tracks.
Part 3: Delicious, 맛있어요
Samgyetang 蔘鷄湯, the traditional ginseng chicken soup consists primarily of a whole young chicken (poussin) – filled with garlic, rice, jujube, and ginseng. According to the study, the role of samgyetang intake was determined on the maintenance of health, effects of this food on plasma lipids and glucose levels, the percentage of glycosylated hemoglobin and anti-stress activity.
Hwangtae is a dried pollack fish which tastes a bit similar to codfish. Unlike other fish dishes, Hwangtae‘s meat has a very chewy texture since it is dried in the cold weather of Inje for many days. In the meantime, fish meat goes half way frozen and softened continuously- that’s the secret of the chewy texture. Grilled Hwangtae with spicy sauce in a clay pan is loved by everyone. For who has a serious hangover after drinking, you will need to drink Hwangtae soup to detox your body.
Chodang Dubu Village is famous for tofu. Along Gangneung’s most famous food street the beans are ground for Chodang tofu, then through several steps, salt water from the East Sea is used in the congealing process resulting in soft and light tofu. The name of this village, Chodang, originates from the name of Chodang Heo Yeop, who is the father of Heo Gyun and Heo Nanseolheon. When Heo Yeop was a minister in Samcheok, he made tofu with sea water of Gangneung and people complimented on tofu’s plain and savory taste. That is how it named after Chodang, Heo Yeop’s pen name.
Hangwa 韓菓 is the traditional rice cracker in Korea, used for major holidays as New Year’s day, Mid-Autumn Festival, events as the wedding, birthday and funeral for over centuries. In Galgol Hangwa Village, visitors can try frying Hangwa and decorate with sweet sauce and nuts together.
Gangneung is a city of Coffee. Especially, Anmok cafe street where visitors used to watch the ocean holding cups of coffee from vending machines slowly transformed into coffee heaven attracting coffee chain stores and café owned by baristas. Each café in Anmok Coffee Street offers its own specialty coffee so there is a vast variety that you can choose from. Particularly, terrace seats facing the coastal line of the East Sea of Korea are popular among visitors. Furthermore, you can find coffee vending machines that started this coffee street in numerous spots.
Strawberry, one of the main winter fruits in Korea is well known to toughen the immune system and full of antioxidants and vitamin C, both of which are excellent for fighting free radicals. Lee Seong Don Ginseng Strawberry in Gangeneung is especially famous with the extra juicy and sweet flavor as the ginseng essence was infused into the soil to nutritionalize strawberry even better.
Let’s come back next time!
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