Tour of Hwacheon, 2020
Interactive Audio Tour
After I got married, Hwacheon became my hometown. This town has kind people and clean air. In the past, I just went to see my husband’s family and I didn’t have any time for sightseeing. But since I turned to farming, I have had more time to freely visit tourist attractions in Hwacheon. It was regrettable that I was visiting them alone. The sites seemed to match the concept of my self-portrait so I came to introduce some of my favorite places. There are more places I haven’t visited. If I have a chance, I’ll share with you more beautiful places.
Opening + Trout Festival
I’m Jungsun Kim the “Happy Person.” Today, I’ll guide you through Hwacheon County, Gangwong Province, South Korea.
Located in the northwest of Gangwon Province, Hwacheon is a place where I have many fond memories.
Today, I’ll take you to Hwacheon’s “four treasures,” places I love so much.
Please fasten your seat belt. Now, we are ready to leave!
When you hear Hwacheon, what do you think of? That’s right. Hwacheon is famous for its festivals.
In summer, there is the Hwacheon Jjokbae Festival and in winter, there is the Trout Festival, which takes a month.
The Trout Festival has been known as one of Korea’s most representative festivals.
It is fun to catch trout on ice.
It is also fun to jump into the cold water to catch the fish with your hands.
You can enjoy the fish lantern street and the world’s largest indoor ice statue plaza.
During the festival, the greatest thing to see is the spot where you can grill fish.
Here, you can eat raw fish or wrap it in aluminum foil to grill it.
The taste is amazing!
Here, you can see a beautiful landscape with two passenger ships sailing on the Paro Lake,
The boats are called “Mulbitnuri” and “Sudal” respectively.
The Paro Lake is an artificial lake that was formed at the time of constructing the Hwacheon Dam.
After Korea’s liberation from Japanes rule, this local area belonged to North Korea. But after the Korean War, it became a South Korean territory.
To mourn for the victims of the war, President Syngman Rhee of South Korea visited this lake and called it “Paro” (meaning “defeating invaders”).
Do you see the signboard of the legendary Maid Hill?
This village has two legends.
Today, I’ll tell you about one of the legends.
It is related to the Maid Hill.
Once a upon a time, there was a beautiful maid living in Pyeongyang.
She met a guy who had come to the capital to take a state exam selecting government officials. She fell in love with him.
He took the exam and went back to his hometown. He didn’t return and the maid longed to see him again. She missed him so much that she suffered from lovesickness.
One day, she decided to find the guy herself and walked over a thousand kilometers.
So exhausted, the maid stopped at an inn to take a rest.
She asked the innkeeper about the guy, hoping that she knows where he is.
She answered, “You could see him when you reach Guman-ri.”
On such a strenuous journey of a thousand kilometers, she misunderstood the innkeeper and thought that she had to walk 30,000 kilometers more to see the guy because “Guman-ri” means 30,000 kilometers in Korean.
Greatly disappointed, she climbed a hill and unfortunately, she died there.
This is the place where the maid died, longing for the guy.
The legend says that people made this statue later to remember the maid’s unfortunate love.
The statue is at the entrance to the Ttansan Amusement Park in Guman-ri, Hwacheon.
This is the Donggurae Village.
“Donggurae” is derived from the Korean word “donggran,” which means “round.”
The name of the village symbolizes all seeds and flowers.
This place has about 50 different species of of wild flowers.
Many of the flowers are rare ones like daylily, korean iris, guseongcho, Hanabusaya, Korean pasque flower and bleeding heart.
Once you get there after passing through mountains and rivers, you can enjoy all these beautiful works of art.
You see a mother lyning down with her baby.
Behind her, you see warm-hearted children praying eagerly.
In the flower garden, beautiful flowers are blooming even in shoes that have been thrown away.
It is impressive to see a small idea give a new life to an old object.
Santa Claus Post Office
Now, you are at the headquarters and first branch of the Santa Claus Post Office in South Korea.
Here, you can meet Santa Claus and send him a letter.
After sending him a letter here, you can get a reply from Santa Claus Village in Finland, which is incredible.
Throughout the year, you can send letters and take pictures wearing a Santa suit.
So it is a great weekend travel destination for families with kids.
This Christmas, how about writing a letter to Santa Claus with your family?
I can’t wait to see what Santa will write in his reply for me.
The post office is now closed because of the pandemic but if you have a chance later, you should definitely go there.
Did you enjoy traveling to Hwacheon County with me?
I visited Hwacheon with you after a long interval and my happiness doubled!
That’s it for today’s trip to Hwacheon.
I wish you a safe trip back home.
I’m Jungsun Kim the “Happy Person,” your tour guide.
See you next time. Bye!