It is without a doubt that PyeongChang (평창) is one of South Korea’s most beautiful counties. Yet to be discovered, hence unmarred by tourism, PyeongChang boasts mountains, parks, trails, temples, museums, villages, and a whole lot more.

Thanks to its mountainous regions, come 2018, PyeongChang will play host to the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics (평창 동계 올림픽). But beyond its cold winter that’s perfect for the games and its winter attractions, PyeongChang is almost home to the Hyoseok Cultural Festival (평창 효석문화제), which takes place in September.

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The Hyoseok Cultural Festival is held to commemorate modern Korean writer Lee Hyo Seok (1907-1942) and his popular novel, “When Buckwheat Flowers Bloom”, one of the most celebrated Korean short stories to date. Lee Hyo Seok’s novel demonstrates the connection between human life and beauty of nature through the dazzling scenery of Bongpyeong. The festival offers various participatory programs such as poem exhibition, literature night, Hyoseok essay contest, nature experiences (i.e. fingernail colouring using balsam), buckwheat food cooking, and many more.

  • Admission/Participation Fees: Free
  • Period: 2nd – 10th September 2017
  • Address: 157, Ihyoseok-gil, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do. (강원도 평창군 봉평면 이효석길 157 (봉평면))
  • Transportation: Take an intercity bus to Jangpyeong Intercity Bus Terminal. From Jangpyeong Terminal, take a local bus bound for Bongpyeong or Phoenix Park shuttle bus.

Visitors who tour Lee Hyo Seok’s birthplace and memorial hall will be amazed by the endless flower field in the Lee Hyo Seok culture village. The village is where the author was born and raised, and also the setting of “When Buckwheat Flowers Bloom”.

The village is comprised of the author’s birth house, a water mill, Chungjujip, Gasan Park, Lee Hyo Seok Memorial Hall, and a buckwheat museum. At the height of the blossoming season, visitors will enjoy the beautiful scenery of snow-white fields of buckwheat flowers and from late August to early September, when the annual Lee Hyo Seok Cultural Festival takes place.

In 1990, the village place was designated “first national cultural village” by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

  • Admission / Participation Fees: Adults 2,000 won / Middle & High school students 1,500 won / Elementary school students 1,000 won.
  • Address: 73-25, Hyoseongmunhak-gil, Bongpyeong-myeon, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do. (강원도 평창군 봉평면 효석문학길 73-25)
  • Operating Hours: November – April 09:00 – 18:00 / May – October 09:00 – 19:00.

And while you’re in area, don’t forget to check out the Bongpyeong 5-Day Market too!

The market opens on days with “2” and “7”, with the interval of 5 days. As of late, buckwheat (메밀) has been the top product in the market, so you can expect a variety of buckwheat-related foods such as buckwheat noodles, buckwheat pancake, buckwheat crepe, buckwheat steamed bun, buckwheat noodles hotpot, buckwheat bibimbap, and more.

Opening Dates: Every 2nd, 7th, 12th, 17th, 22nd, and 27th.

  • Address: 14-1, Dongijangteo-gil, Bongpyeong-myeon, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do. (강원도 평창군 봉평면 동이장터길 14-1 (창동리))

For those of you who are diehard “Goblin” (도깨비) fans, you’d remember the significance of buckwheat flowers in the Korean drama. The first time Ji Eun Tak (played by Kim Go Eun) unknowingly summoned Goblin (played by Gong Yoo) at Jumunjin Breakwater, she asked him to give her the flowers in his hands. When asked for the meaning of the buckwheat flowers, Goblin explained, “Lovers.”

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Thus signalling the start of their very unexpected but also very special relationship in the Korean drama 😉

Special thanks to our friends from Korea Tourism Organisation (Malaysia) for the opportunity!

Hype Malaysia is also an official “Wow! PyeongChang!” supporter in conjunction with the upcoming 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics in South Korea. So keep a look out for our future posts as we’ll be gushing over places to go, things to do, and food to eat in Gangwon ?

For more information, hit up the Korea Tourism Organisation (Malaysia) website or Facebook page. Alternatively, you can follow them on Instagram.

Big shoutout to our friends from Travel Recommends for keeping us connected with unlimited data on our trip to South Korea, enabling us to update real-time for the entire duration without a hitch ?

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Eats, sleeps, & breathes music, but drinks mostly coffee & okay, some wine - sometimes, a little too much. A little too obsessed with the number seven, is deathly afraid of horror movies, believes that she writes better than she speaks, & currently feeling a little strange writing a profile about herself.