Jan 8, 2014 / Issue No. 614
Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival (thru Jan 26)
Don’t miss one of Asia’s top winter festivals
Rugged mountains, deep blue lakes and rushing rivers—these are what the county of Hwacheon is all about.
For most of the year, the town is a little more than a sleepy mountain town (albeit a beautiful one), mostly frequented by sportsmen hoping to do a little fishing and Korean military personnel, who outnumber residents in this sparsely populated region near the heavily guarded inter-Korean border. In January, however, its frozen rivers host one of the nation’s most popular winter festivals, the Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival (Thru Jan 26). Dedicated to the sancheoneo, an indigenous freshwater mountain trout that thrives in the ice cold rivers of the county, the event features as its signature event ice fishing. Equipment is on hand to help visitors do this, though ice fishing barehanded is also recommended. Even if the fish seem unappealing, plenty of other winter activities are going on, like sledding and skating. If nothing else, they give you an excuse to visit.
EAT: Hwacheon Eojuktang (T. 033-442-5544), located in front of Hwacheon Hydroelectric Power Station, does a mean eojuktang (spicy fish stew) on the cheap.
STAY: About 20 or so motels and Korean-style inns in the town.
DO: Go icefishing. For those with the stomach and endurance for cold, try catching trout barehanded, too.
SEE: Really off the beaten track is Peace Dam, a rather curious piece of Cold War history that has been turned into a peace park.
FYI: www.narafestival.com
GO: Buses to Hwacheon-gun depart from Dong Seoul Terminal (travel time: three hours).
Good Eats in Insa-dong
Looking for good Korean food in Insa-dong? Kimchigol (T. 02-720-6436) does Great kimchi jjigae (kimchi stew) and steamed pig’s trotters. Give the kimchi shabu-shabu a try, too. Todamgol Charcoal Beef Barbecue (T. 02-733-4592), meanwhile, does a lovely sutbul gamagui—tender slices of beef, roasted in a charcoal oven.
Around the Web
A miscellany of high-quality hyperlinks from the week, courtesy of SEOUL editor-in-chief Robert Koehler.
– A Korean-Chinese boy band reportedly caused a stir in a Taiwanese aiport.
– What happens when Korean cinema tackles real life.
– Everything you wanted to know about Korean subway vending machines.
Strauss Festival Orchestra of Vienna, New Year Concert
Founded in 1978, the Strauss Festival Orchestra has earned an international reputation for its authentic interpretation of Viennese music. The orchestra sparkles with its wide range of repertoire, from the classical period to the music of the Strauss dynasty to the Viennese Operette. Its Seoul program is charged with a wide selection of Strauss waltzes such as “Voice of Spring,” “The Beautiful Blue Danube” and “Kaiser,” as well as Hungarian composer Franz Lehar’s “The Merry Widow.”
VENUE: Concert Hall, Seoul Arts Center
DATE: Jan 15, 8pm
ADMISSION: KRW 30,000–130,000
MORE INFO: T. 02-580-1300, www.sac.or.kr
GETTING THERE: Nambu Bus Terminal Station 남부터미널역 (Line 3), Exit 5. Transfer to shuttle bus, or green bus No. 4429.
Jeff Bernat Live Concert In Seoul
Jeff Bernat is a 23-year old singer-songwriter from Reno, Nevada. He released his debut album “The Gentleman Approach” in December 2011, which reached No. 5 on the iTunes R&B chart. He has performed all over the U.S. and other countries. Bernat had two sold-out shows in Seoul last year and has become good friends with Nick Khun and Jun K of the Korean boy band 2PM. Catch him live in Seoul!
DATE: Jan 11, 6pm
MORE INFO: T. 02-457-5114, www.uniqlo-ax.co.kr
GETTING THERE: Gwangnaru Station 광나루역 (Line 5), Exit 2. Cross the road, turn left and walk 5 minutes. The hall is located behind the youth center.
James Blake – Live in Seoul
British electronic musician James Blake will hold his first solo concert in Seoul, though he once performed as a headliner in the 2012 Jisan Summer Rock Festival in Korea. His eponymous debut album was released in Britain in 2011 and nominated for the Mercury Music Prize the same year. His second studio album “Overgrown” won the Mercury Prize in 2013. Blake is also known as Harmonimix, especially when releasing remixes.
DATE: Jan 19, 6pm
MORE INFO: T. 02-457-5114, www.uniqlo-ax.co.kr
GETTING THERE: Gwangnaru Station 광나루역 (Line 5), Exit 2. Cross the road, turn left and walk 5 minutes. The hall is located behind the youth center.
The Last Royal Family
This historical musical is a fictional tale about the relationship of King Gojong with his wife Empress Myeongseong and their son King Sunjong in 1888. The mere setup of the king’s flight from the palace and joining a street band is enough to pique curiosity. Humor also results when the past and present are mixed to create a scene in which Joseon-era people use social media services.
VENUE: Chungmu Art Hall
PERIOD: Jan 11–Feb 23
MORE INFO: T. 1577-3363, www.cmah.or.kr
GETTING THERE: Exit 9 of Sindang Station (Line 6).
Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra Special Concert
The Seoul-based orchestra and its artistic director Myung-Whun Chung will open the 2014 season with the concert “A Hero’s Life” to mark the 150th birthday of Richard Strauss. The German was one of the best-known composers of the late Romantic period and the early modern era. In the spirit of East meeting West, the orchestra will collaborate with sheng virtuoso Wu Wei of China and feature composer Unsuk Chin’s “Su, Concerto for Sheng and Orchestra.”
VENUE: Concert Hall, Seoul Arts Center
DATE: Jan 9, 8pm
ADMISSION: KRW 10,000–120,000
MORE INFO: T. 1588-1210, www.sac.or.kr
GETTING THERE: Nambu Bus Terminal Station 남부터미널역 (Line 3), Exit 5. Transfer to shuttle bus, or green bus No. 4429.
RASKB Lecture: Baekdu Daegan as One Mountain System
The Baekdu Daegan is the biosphere of the entire Korean peninsula. After completing the first-ever photographic documentation of the Baekdu Daegan in both Koreas, Roger Shepherd now ponders whether the Baekdu Daegan has any hope of being shared by both Koreas as a national symbol of homogeneous identity. Further to that; with South Korea vying for the Baekdu Daegan to be a UNESCO world heritage site, what obstacles and opportunities will this submission face in regards to getting the North Koreans on board? Can it be done? His talk will be followed by a slide show featuring his explorative work from DPRK.
Roger Shepherd is a New Zealander residing in Korea. Through his lens and writings he makes his full-time living exploring Korea’s Baekdu Daegan and its ethnographic connections with Korea’s identity. His photographic work has been exhibited in New Zealand, South Korea, and North Korea. Recently he published a 160p photo-art book on Mountains of the Baekdu Daegan from North & South Korea. Copies will be on sale after the lecture.
VENUE: Second floor Residents’ Lounge, Somerset Palace
DATE: Jan 14, 7:30pm (NEW DATE!)
ADMISSION: KRW 7,000 (non-member); free for members
MORE INFO: See here.
Everyday Koreans
Happy New Year

The Hangang River, Yeouido and the iconic 63 Building, photographed from one of Seoul’s new tourist helicopters. For more information, see this article in the December issue of SEOUL. Photo by Robert Koehler.
*Click the photo to see a full-size version at our website.
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SEOUL Magazine
SEOUL (January 2014)

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펜화, 한국 건축의 혼을 담다
The Terror Live
New Books
Korean Dance: Pure Emotion and Energy (Korea Essentials No.15)
The Confucian Transformation of Korea: A Study of Society and Ideology
Familiar Korean Cooking
Korean made Easy: Vocabulary
The Fragrant Well
New DVDs
Cold Eyes
Goddess of Fire
The Flu
The Spy: Undercover Operation
Scandal: A Shocking and Wrongful Incident
Publisher: Hank Kim / Editor: Robert Koehler
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