2019.1.23 Travel CalendarHwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival
Hwacheon Stream, Hwacheon County, Gangwon
Through Jan. 27: Clad in thick winter clothes, families and foreign tourists flocked to Hwacheon Stream to ice fish for sancheoneo - a species of trout known to live only in very clean fresh water. They were keen to fish for trout with their forearms in any of the 21,000 holes made along a 2.1-kilometer (1.3-mile) section of the frozen stream.
The festival also features various outdoor activities, including bare-hand fishing and ice sculptures, as well as an area to walk around lit-up lanterns. The festive mood continued into the night with 27,000 lanterns lighting up Seondeung Street in the rural county. For more information, visit www.narafestival.com or call 1688-3005.
The Book Company, southern Seoul
Jan. 31: Before it opens the doors of its first shop in Korea later this year, Blue Bottle Coffee is holding an event to meet local consumers. The company, which set to open its first store in Seongsu-dong, eastern Seoul’s Seongdong District, in the second quarter of this year, will bring Michael Phillips, the company’s director of coffee culture, as a part of its attempt to get things ready for the opening. The brand was established in Oakland, Calif., in 2002 and has expanded to cities across the United States and Japan.
Phillips will not only introduce more details about the brand’s expansion to Seoul, but will also share his experiences as a barista. He got to know more about the world of specialty coffee in 2006 and started entering barista competitions the following year. He ended up winning many barista competitions, and even opened Handsome Coffee Roasters in Los Angeles in 2011. The company was bought by Blue Bottle in 2014 and Phillips has been working for them since.
The event will have two different sessions, inviting 40 people to each. The company is accepting applications from those who want to come through its Instagram account, @blubottlecoffee_korea.
The application deadline is Jan. 27, and the company will accept applicants on a first-come first serve basis. Those chosen will receive a notification from the company. More details about the two sessions will become available on Instagram.
Odori Park and others in Sapporo, Hokkaido
From Jan. 31 to Feb. 11: One of the most well-known winter festivals in Asia, which attracts around 3 million people annually, is beginning again soon. Hokkaido, known for its long winters, usually gets snow from November until March. The festival, which began with ice and snow sculptures that students in the area made 70 years ago, now uses 35,000 tons of snow for the festival.
This year is the festival’s 70th anniversary and events throughout will celebrate its long history of snowy fun. Events at Tsudome site will open from Jan. 31, and others including Odori and Susukino site will open from Feb. 4. Go to www.snowfes.com, for more information.
Dubai Shopping Festival
Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Through Feb. 2: Visit Dubai is now hosting its 24th mega sale festival. About 700 brands are participating in the shopping event in order to offer visitors to Dubai a chance to bring something back to their home countries.
Special discount events will be held, such as the “12 Hour Sale” and the “Weekend Surprise.” Some of the shopping malls in Dubai will offer a chance to buy select items at a 90-percent discount for only 12 hours.
The Mall of Emirates, City Centre Deira, City Centre Mirdif, City Centre Me’aisem, My City Centre Al Barsha and City Centre Al Shindagha are just some of the shopping centers offering the sales, which run from noon to midnight.
Some brands offer further discounts from Thursdays to Saturdays. There will also be opportunities for visitors to take styling classes and take home a gift bag beginning on Jan. 9.
While some choice items may already have been taken, the festival will offer the greatest discounts right before the shopping festival ends, starting Jan. 31.
For visitors in search of unique items while doing their discount shopping, the festival is also hosting “Market Outside the Box,” a pop-up market at Burj Park right in front of Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, from Jan. 24 to Feb. 2. Many local and international designers open pop-up stores there. Live bands, D.J. performances and some other activities for children will also be available alongside food offerings.
For more information, go to https://www.visitdubai.com/en/dsf.
Mount Taebaek Snow Festival
Mount Taebaek Provincial Park, Hwangji Lake and Taebaek, Gangwon
Through: Feb. 3: Held annually in the highlands of Taebaek Mountain, this 17-day festival is filled with events that are sure to entertain the whole family. The program includes a snow sculpture competition for college students, snowball fights, snow rafting, concerts and a fireworks show.
For more information, contact the Taebaek City tourism and cultural division at 033-550-2828 or visit http://festival.taebaek.go.kr.
Cheongpyeong Trout Festival
Through Feb. 24: Cheongpyeong is a town about one hour east of Seoul in Gapyeong County, Gyeonggi.
It is a popular destination for Koreans as it is situated on the bank of a beautiful lake with dramatic mountains surrounding it, populated by resorts focusing mostly on water sports. Visitors can enjoy trout fishing and various winter sports, such as snowmobile riding. call 031-585-9449 or visit www.cpfestival.net for more.
Lotte Water Park
Gimhae, South Gyeongsang
Through Feb. 24: Lotte Water Park is not just a place for summertime fun - this winter, the water park has been transformed into a place for winter activities. The park’s wave pool, the largest of its kind in Korea, is now a 100-meter (328-foot) long sledding slope.
Two sledding zones are featured at the park: one for speed and thrills, and another flatter one for young children to sled on and play in. Besides sledding, there are sections where one can try ice fishing, and a section where young children can drive their own “racing cars.” To warm up after spending time in the snow, there are saunas and steam rooms on site.
Outdoor sledding is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hours of operation may be changed due to the weather. Check the hours on the day of your visit by calling 1661-2000.
By Yonhap, Lee Sun-min