The Pyeongchang Trout Festival is a seasonal festival that takes place during winter in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

This year, Pyeongchang marks a ceremonial milestone as it celebrates the trout festival alongside the 2018 Winter Olympics, where most of the sports venues are located.

During the festival, visitors can experience and enjoy a variety of programs and activities aside from the traditional trout ice fishing.

South Korea Guide (2018 Blog Series)
 Ultimate Guide to Seoul, South Korea!
• Winter Korea: Here is what it’s like to go skiing in South Korea!
 
South Korea Day Trip: Nami Island, Petite France and Morning Calm Garden!

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Located high up in the mountains of Pyeongchang and 2 hours away from Seoul, the trout festival takes place in a frozen lake right outside the city.

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Trout farming first started in the rivers of Pyeongchang due to its unique location and crystal clear icy waters.

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The mighty Odaecheon river, an ideal environment where the cold water trout fish can grow abundantly.

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Trout is cold water fish that only inhabit the cleanest and coldest waters high up in the mountain valleys. The trouts themselves offer plenty of nutrients and makes for a delicious raw snack according to some locals.

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Pyeongchang is the perfect venue since it’s rich in spring waters from the limestone mountains nearby.

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We arrived in Pyeongchang early in the morning. It is said that the best time to catch the fish is before the sun starts to warm up the river.

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Part of the package that we availed included van transfers, private tent, and a meal that would otherwise be excluded if you booked it by yourself.

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It was windy when we arrived, and there were a lot of tourists trying their luck in catching the famous trout.

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Lucky for us, our package came with a private tent for the ice fishing!

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I can’t imagine myself standing out in the open for who knows how long?

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According to my guide, people from all over Korea flock to this place with their kids and families to bond and fish or share a fish that they might or might not catch.

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Asking around, I noticed that a lot of guests have invested in some expensive fishing equipment and have probably done this multiple times.

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I could also tell that some of them have been here for hours without a catch (there really is no guarantee you will catch anything).

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As fate would have it, I was able to catch a big trout just 5 minutes after I sat down! How’s that for beginner’s luck?

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What I caught was relatively big compared to the others.

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I was told I was allowed to catch as many as I could during the day, and that I could bring my catch inside to be grilled (for a fee) or eat it on the spot.

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And after 30 minutes, my freshly caught trout was ready! I shared my catch with the guides and they all loved it. I like how the tender fish meat tastes more savory and better the longer I eat.

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There are also various traditional activities that guests can participate in, such as…

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…snow sled…

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…bumper cars…

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…ice bicycle…

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…and skating while sitting!

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There are also (one-time) motorized activities for guests who availed of the package, like…

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…being pulled by a snowmobile while on a snow raft…

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…4×4 river tour…

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…and of course, ice carting.

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This is the perfect experience with your friends, family, and kids!

I really enjoyed the Annual Trout Festival in Pyeongchang despite the freezing weather.

It was an honor participating in one of South Korea’s most popular festivals. It was a fascinating festival that let me experience a traditional Korean event just like in the olden days.

Not to mention my catching a trout for the first time! Just don’t be disappointed if you don’t catch a fish; remember, you’re there for the experience and not the fish.

 

South Korea Guide (2018 Blog Series)
 Ultimate Guide to Seoul, South Korea!
• Winter Korea: Here is what it’s like to go skiing in South Korea!
 
South Korea Day Trip: Nami Island, Petite France and Morning Calm Garden!

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Live an Awesome Life,

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NICO of Team Our Awesome Planet

Disclosure: Our tour in South Korea was courtesy of Juan World Philippines & Starway Korea. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights.

P.S. Note: I highly suggest that you join an English tour package. Not only is it hassle-free, but you also save time, effort, and money. Not to mention that it’s hard to get around Korea without knowing the local language.