The Korea Herald


[Travel Bits] Festivals, sights across Korea

By Choi Si-young

Published : Dec. 22, 2023 - 09:01

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Lighting at Cheonggye Plaza

Cheonggye Plaza is lit up in festival lights until the end of this month from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Visitors can drop by and see the area illuminated with a giant Christmas tree set up along the Cheonggye Stream, which runs from west to east starting from the plaza.

There is no admission fee. Parking and public bathrooms are not separately available. Visitors are encouraged to use the subway. The nearest stations to the area are Exit No. 5 from Gwanghwamun Station on Line No. 5, Exit No. 4 from City Hall Station on Line Nos. 1 and 2 and Exit Nos. 5 and 6 from Jonggak Station on Line No. 1.

The event will be canceled in case of bad weather, prompted by high levels of fine dust, snow or rain. Check for updates at

Gwanghwamun Flea Market

Potentially the largest winter flea market in the capital is taking place at Gwanghwamun Square through Jan. 21, 2024. Open from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., the market not only sells goods, including crafts of quality, but offers street food from food trucks.

The Seoul Lantern Festival is taking place concurrently, covering areas as far to the south as Seoul Plaza. The flea market at Gwanghwamun Square and lighting show are open during the same period in the evening.

Visitors are not charged for either event. More information is available at

Nature Park

A zoo for those curious about how animals survive winter has opened in Daegu.

Visitors can feed the animals and enjoy the nearby flower garden and playground. Through early January, guests will receive presents if they buy a “Lucky Bag” sold on the spot.

Admission is priced at 20,000 won for adults and 18,000 won for elementary school students and younger children. The zoo is open Wednesday to Monday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with last admissions at 5 p.m. More details are available at

Jeju Camellia Festival

Winter on Jeju Island would not be complete without camellia flowers, a symbol of the island itself. The resort island invites visitors tired of the freezing cold to its camellia festival, which runs to the end of January next year.

At Hueree Park, visitors will be surrounded by blooming camellias in lush greenhouses, gardens and trails. Jeju tangerines add a flavor that makes the trip all worthwhile. Fees for adults are 13,000 won, or 10,000 to 11,000 won for those younger, depending on age.

Tickets do not include the citrus fruit, sold additionally for 8,000 won. The park opens at 9 a.m. and closes at 6 p.m., though visitors often leave the place a little past 5 p.m., as the sun sets earlier on the island in the winter. Visit for updates.

Pyeongchang Trout Festival

For the last 16 years, the Pyeongchang Trout Festival has attracted visitors eager to brave below-freezing temperatures to catch trout beneath the ice.

The festival is being held from Dec. 29 to Jan. 28, 2024, near the Songjeong Stream in Pyeongchang, Gangwon Province. The festival offers tent fishing, lure fishing and even bare-handed fishing.

Trout caught at the site can be cooked in different dishes at nearby restaurants. Fees for admission and activities vary, ranging from 15,000 won to 49,000 won. The festival welcomes visitors of all ages.