Travel Review & Tips: Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival

Hello, readers! Greetings from a member of Trazy crew! 🙂

Today, I want to share my experience at the Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival, a famous ice fishing festival in Korea that I visited recently.hwacheon-sancheoneo-ice-festival-2016-24Every year in January, the festival takes place in the county of Hwacheon in Gangwon Province, South Korea, and runs throughout the whole month or less. hwacheon-sancheoneo-ice-festival-2016-42Offering visitors a chance to enjoy a unique ice fishing experience and various outdoor activities during winter, the festival was even selected as one of the 7 Winter Wonders of the World by CNN!

If you want to take a one-day trip to the Hwacheon Sancheoneo Festival without a hassle, just simply sign up on our website,

And for those of you who want to know what it’s like to be at this awesome winter festival in Korea, this travel review and tips are for you.hwacheon-sancheoneo-ice-festival-2016-27

The itinerary of the tour:

7:40am – Meet up at Gwanghwamun station Exit 6
8:00am – Depart for Hwacheon
11:00am – Arrive at the festival
~13:00pm – Ice fishing
13:00pm – Lunch (at a Korean local restaurant at the venue)
14:00pm ~ 15:40pm – Free Time
16:00pm – Depart for Seoul
19:00pm – Arrive in Gwanghwamun, Seoul

According to the itinerary, I had to wake up really early to get prepared for the journey, but I had almost 3 hours on the bus, just enough to take a nap. You don’t need to worry about going to the toilet because the bus will drop by the expressway rest stop on the way, which was around an hour and a half after the departure. 😉

I didn’t want to be late, so I arrived at the meeting location, Gwanghwamun Station Exit 6, a bit earlier, and the staff was already standing there, waiting for all the participants of the tour to arrive. hwacheon-sancheoneo-ice-festival-2016-6The tour bus was clean and cozy, and I was able to enjoy the ride very pleasantly. On the way to the festival, another staff gave us a brief explanation on the festival and the schedule of the trip, as well as a contact number, just in case for an emergency.

Don’t forget to bring some cash! The package does not include the fee for the fishing rod (costs 5,000 won per person), and so the staff collected the money in advance. hwacheon-sancheoneo-ice-festival-2016-37After a 3-hour ride, I finally arrived at the festival, and it was already packed with people enjoying ice fishing.hwacheon-sancheoneo-ice-festival-2016-17There’s an ice fishing area for foreigners only, which was less crowded. So I guess I had a less competition haha.hwacheon-sancheoneo-ice-festival-2016-11hwacheon-sancheoneo-ice-festival-2016-20SAMSUNG CSCThe ice fishing area permits a certain number of participants at a time, so we had to wait for 20~30 mins. While waiting for an admission, the staff took us to a snow tubing zone.hwacheon-sancheoneo-ice-festival-2016-21Sit on this red tube, and just sled down the hill!! YEAHH!!
After enjoying the tube ride for several minutes, the staff took us back to the fishing area and handed out this sticker ticket. No need to worry if you don’t know how to put it on your clothes, the festival staff there will help you. 🙂hwacheon-sancheoneo-ice-festival-2016-15hwacheon-sancheoneo-ice-festival-2016-16They also gave me a fishing rod and a special gift, a necklace with a cute fish pendant!hwacheon-sancheoneo-ice-festival-2016-23You will also receive this cute plastic bag where you put the fish (hope you catch one because it’s not as easy as it looks!).
hwacheon-sancheoneo-ice-festival-2016-26Once you enter the fishing zone, there are numbers of fishing holes, so just choose any! If you need any help, you can ask one of the English-speaking staffs nearby. They are wearing an orange uniform, so you will be able to spot them easily. 😉

Tips on How to Fish:

1. Use this particular rod to fish


2. Put the float inside the water and unwind the fishing lines until it reaches the bottom. When you think the float is at the bottom, rewind the rod three or four times, and it’s done.

3. Keep pulling the rod consistently up and down (snap your wrist strongly and make a float make big movements).

4. When you feel the rod is heavy, wait for like 3 sec and quickly pull the rod and the fishing line!

hwacheon-sancheoneo-ice-festival-2016-25Trust me. If you follow these steps well, you’ll be able to catch them! See what I’ve caught!!!hwacheon-sancheoneo-ice-festival-2016-28This was like the biggest fish among all the fish that other people had caught around me. I was actually screaming haha. 😀 While I was struggling with the fish, a staff came and helped me take out the float (it’s very sharp, so don’t try to take it out with your own hands!)

After two hours of enjoying ice fishing, it was time for lunch. Guess what the menu was. Yes. The grilled fish I’ve caught!hwacheon-sancheoneo-ice-festival-2016-30There’s a particular booth with tables for the meal. After submitting the plastic bag of fish, the staff served us the grilled fish and chopsticks. Don’t worry if you’re not fond of the meal, you will also receive tasty ‘Kimchijeon (a Korean style pancake)’.
Never ever forget to wear thick clothes! On the day I visited, it snowed A LOT that I couldn’t even open my eyes properly.
hwacheon-sancheoneo-ice-festival-2016-36hwacheon-sancheoneo-ice-festival-2016-34After lunch, free time was provided. During the free time, you may want to try other programs like an ice soccer or an ice sleigh.
hwacheon-sancheoneo-ice-festival-2016-38hwacheon-sancheoneo-ice-festival-2016-33Or try walking across the blue bridge where you can peer down the whole venue!


Overall, I had a great time at Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival, this tour package was decent. To be honest, I would give 4.0 out of 5.0! 🙂 hwacheon sancheoneo ice festival 2016 (18).jpgI saw lots of family, friends and couples and even solo travelers enjoying this festival. So, I guess both kids and adults can spend a fabulous time altogether. Also, the activities and programs themselves were very enjoyable.

The only reasons I took away the points are because it was too cold and there were too many people that I almost got lost (so always be aware of where the guide and your group is). To sum up, I would say that this is a festival worth visiting once in your lifetime, especially if you’ve never experienced ice fishing, you definitely should! For details of the tour package, click here.

If you’re interested in going to the Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival, you can book your trip hereallowto_freedownload_landscape_1473For those of you who haven’t read my first travel review on another tour package, Nami Island, Gangchon Rail Bike and the Garden of Morning Calm, go ahead and click here to read on.

Last but not least, don’t forget to visit for a whole lot more awesome deals on tour packages in South Korea! 😉button3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *