Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Fishing Festival with Trazy

By in Asia, festival, Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Fishing Festival, ice fishing, review, South Korea, sponsor, tour, Trazy, winter on January 12, 2018
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It is cold in Korea right now. Very cold. I’m a winter person, I love the cold, but it’s frigid out there, let me tell you. However, if it’s going to be a tad nippy, might as well go do something that suits the weather!

That’s why when Trazy.com, a great English-friendly tour booking website here in Korea, asked if I wanted to head up to the Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Fishing Festival in the coldest part of the country I said, sure, why not?! I decided to bring my friend Tamar along for the adventure.

Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Fishing Festival with Trazy - The Nerdventurists - www.nerdventurists.com

The Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Fishing Festival has been a staple of Korean wintertime since 2003 in sleepy Hwacheon in Gangwon-do. We went on opening weekend, but the festival runs until January 28th, so you have plenty of time to still check it out.

Related: Sounds of Seoul: Bongeunsa Temple


Ice Fishing

It’s been a number of years since I went fishing, and Tamar had never been… ever… so we were an interesting pair armed with our fishing rods and sparkly tackle. But never fear, there’s not much to it. The guides will help you if you’re struggling.

Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Fishing Festival with Trazy - The Nerdventurists - www.nerdventurists.com

I looked on as Tamar bobbed her tackle up and down, catching and missing many a mountain trout. They like to bite, but not hold on.

Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Fishing Festival with Trazy - The Nerdventurists - www.nerdventurists.com

Fun fact: There are 19,000 holes drilled into the ice for patrons to go ice fishing.

Eventually she caught one! Bagging it up, we left it at that (though you can leave with up to three fish per the rules) and explore more of what the festival had to offer.

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Have you ever been ice fishing? 🐟❄ My friend @tazigo and I headed to the Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival's opening weekend thanks to @trazy_korea. There's ice skating, sledding, and food galore too. You can even eat what you catch! . . . If you're looking for interesting tours around #Korea, including #Seoul and beyond, make sure to check out @trazy_korea ! . . . #ad #Trazy #TrazyKorea #TravelCrazyKorea #imagineyourkorea #iseoulu #seoulmagazine #ig_korea #ig_seoul #igs_asia #getoutdoors #getoutside #travelcolorfully #colorventures #colormyworld #livelifecolorfully #seetheworld #mytinyatlas #mytraveldiary #visit_korea #visitkorea #passporttoasia #lifewelltraveled #shewhowanders #wanderlust #sheexplores #ladiesgoneglobal

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Skating, Sledding, and Ice Sculptures Oh My!

If you’re a particularly brave soul, you can try and catch a trout with your bare hands further upstream. Or teeth. Let’s just say I passed on that opportunity. Other activities available are sledding, ice skating, a bobsled (aka sled down a steep slide), and ice sledding.

Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Fishing Festival with Trazy - The Nerdventurists - www.nerdventurists.com

There’s a few snow sculptures around to be admired, and you can enjoy tons of traditional Korean food and snacks at one of the many tents. We chowed down on some kimchi tofu, mandu, and lots of hotteok (which are the best things ever and you need at least seven). Despite it being past Christmas, there’s a tent where you can mail a postcard to Santa, in Finland. The neat thing about this is that Santa will write back to you this coming Christmas.

Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Fishing Festival with Trazy - The Nerdventurists - www.nerdventurists.com

Tamar wrote a few postcards and sent them on their way up to the North Pole. I’m super curious what reply she is going to get back!

Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Fishing Festival with Trazy - The Nerdventurists - www.nerdventurists.com

Without a doubt, however, our favorite part of the festival were the ice sculptures. If you follow the fish sculptures from the festival up the main road, you’ll eventually come to a building that boasts hosting the largest indoor ice sculptures in Korea. And walking in, there’s no doubt about that. It’s literally a giant freezer.

Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Fishing Festival with Trazy - The Nerdventurists - www.nerdventurists.com

But it’s just so pretty.

Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Fishing Festival with Trazy - The Nerdventurists - www.nerdventurists.com

There’s even an ice slide to go down! I’ve always been a big fan of ice sculptures, and it was fun to try and guess what each one was before reading the placard. They’re all really beautiful and you’re free to roam around as long as you like.


Booking the Trip

Public transport is frankly really good in Korea, but if you’re looking to get somewhere a bit more remote, you’re going to need a car or a tour bus. That’s where Trazy comes in and is SUPER handy. With pick-ups in three different locations in Seoul, we were able to meet the bus and head up to the Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Fishing Festival with relative ease.

They give you easy to follow instructions on meeting the guide from the subway stop of your choice and then it’s smooth sailing as you’re whisked away into the mountains. The trip is two and a half (ish) hours long and winds through some pretty beautiful countryside. Or you can take a nap, like yours truly.

Upon arrival you’ll be given a pamphlet and then your fishing gear as you’re lead out onto the ice. While there are meetups schedule throughout the day, in case you wanted to eat your fish, you’re more or less free to enjoy the festival as you wish. Just make sure you’re back at the bus at the right time because the traffic getting out of Hwacheon is killer!

Trazy makes booking easy, so head on over to the Hwacheon Sanheoneo Ice Fishing Festival page and check it out!

Check out our other Trazy adventures below!


Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Fishing Festival with Trazy - The Nerdventurists - www.nerdventurists.com

This trip to the Hwacheon Sanheoneo Ice Fishing Festival was sponsored by Trazy.com, but all opinions are my own.

Kristina is an ardent traveler and has been to over 48 countries and has no plans to stop. She taught English in a small fishing city in Japan for a year, volunteered on an archaeological dig on an Iron Age site in Israel, drove 10,000 miles in a 1994 Corsa from London to Ulaanbataar for charity, and accidentally fell in love with K-pop in Seoul. It’s been a wild ride.
  1. Reply

    I love random crazy festivals that give you an excuse to get outside in winter! This looks interesting, although from the US Midwest, where ice fishing on lakes is common, it’s funny to see this almost-artificial or manufactured version!

    • Dan
    • January 21, 2018

    It looks a bit like you stepped in to the Frozen movie. I kept expecting to hear “Let it go!” when you were walking around. Well done on catching a fish. I hope it was delicious!

    • Tom
    • January 21, 2018

    Holy crap I want to do ice fishing! Serioulsy that is so cool, when I was younger I always tried, but always failed and you caught one! How cool. Thanks for this post! 🙂

  2. Reply

    Oh wow those ice sculptures are so pretty. The ice slide looks amazing too and reminds me of our visit to the Hotel Du Glace in Quebec. I wish I had heard of this before I went to Korea

  3. Reply

    Wow! I never thought of Korea as a winter destination, but all of these look adorable! You found a perfect winter wonderland! I would love to see the ice sculptures and write letters to Santa (yeah, I’m 26, I can’t believe it either). I genuinly want to go to this place now! Thanks for all the amazing suggestions!

  4. Reply

    Wow, fun things to do in the winter in Korea. I would not be interested in the ice fishing, but the ice sculpture and slide – those would be fun to see and try out!

  5. Reply

    It’s amazing that the entire festival is held on top of the frozen lake. I would probably be scared all the time that the ice would break, even if I can see from your photos that it is very thick. Ice fishing sounds like great fun, especially that your friend actually managed to catch a fish! What did you do with it afterwards? All the ice sculpture look so surreal!

  6. Reply

    WOW! this festival looks so much fun. I had never been to South Korea in winters. However, I did try ice fishing in Finland. And, i really loved the sport. I would love to attend thi sfestival someday.

  7. Reply

    I had not heard of something like Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Fishing festival but I thoroughly loved reading about it here. Wow, Ice fishing looks os much fun. I have never tried my hands at it. 19000 holes, that was a cool fun fact. You did have a good catch. South Korea in winters will be on my mind.

    • Ada
    • February 7, 2018

    This post made me cold after you described the temperature. i am definitely not a winter person so I am not sure if I would enjoy the festival as much as you did but it does look fun! Ive never heard about Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Fishing but it does looks pretty interesting! Tamar looks super cute with that little fish haha congratulation to her on catching one!

    • Swati Jain
    • February 8, 2018

    This is interesting. I never knew that there is something called ice fish festival. This is really cool stuff you wrote about. Hope to attend it myself one day 🙂

  8. Reply

    This is so cool and the first time I am hearing about the festival. I am big on cold weather as well so it is something I would totally enjoy. I did some ice fishing in Norway once and it really is fun but requires a lot of patience. The ice sculptures are quite grand and all lighted up look awesome.

  9. Reply

    The cutest snowman I’ve ever seen! Wow! I’ve never heard of this festival, it’s off my radar and will definitely add on my list. Is it not crowded? I see not too many people in your pictures.

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