[box_dark]Gangneung Danoje Festival (June 9–16) | 강릉단오제[/box_dark]
The beautiful east coast city of Gangneung hosts the annual Gangneung Danoje Festival, a fascinating piece of Korea’s folk culture. Designated a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2005, the Gangneung Danoje Festival is held all over Gangneung and on Daegwallyeong Ridge, where people pay homage to the mountain deity and male and female tutelary deities. The festival features folk music and dancing, shamanist rites, parades, ssireum wrestling and other folk games, the brewing of sacrificial wine, the washing of hair with iris-infused water, and much, much more. There’s a traditional market as well. This is a truly special event, and if you’re in Korea at this time, do yourself a favor and go.
Gangneung is best known for chodang sundubu 초당순두부, a tofu dish prepared with sea water.
Gangneung has some spectacular examples of Joseon Dynasty architecture, including historic Ojukheon House and Seongyojang House.
See the sunrise from nearby Jeongdongjin, one of Korea’s best sunrise spots.
The spectacular Seongyojang House (T. 033-646-3270) has rooms for rent, and you’ll find plenty of beachfront hotels near Gyeongpo Beach.
(722-2 Noam-dong, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do | 강원도 강릉시 노암동 722-2)
Buses to Gangneung depart from Seoul Express Bus Terminal (travel time: about 3 hours).