1-Day trip to experience the Korean Gangneung Danoje and Korea East sea to see Goblin famous shooting spot !
May is almost ending soon but near the end of the month there is a traditional Korean festival called the DANOJE – in an interesting city of Korea called Gangneung. It recently been a new area of interest due to the hit drama Goblin! Find out more about Gangneung from KoreaTravelEasy
Today’s course :
Gangneung Danoje Festival + Jungang Market + Youngjin Beach (Goblin filming spot) + Sodol Adeulbawi Park
Where is Gangneung?
Gangneung (강릉) is the largest coastal city in Gangwon Province, the east side of South Korea’s longest mountain range, Taebaek, near the East Sea.
How to get to Gangneung?
- OPTION 1: Public transport- we don’t recommend as you have either take the bus or train and exchange for bus. What we recommend:
- OPTION 2 : 1 day tour shuttle bus
This one day shuttle bus tour departs from Seoul downtown in Hongdae and Myeongdong and takes you to the 4 exciting places in Gangneung! Just sit back and relax and do not have to worry about transferring buses and finding public transportation! The day tour will run daily during the Danoje festival from May 27th to June 3rd this year!
LOCATION1 : Gangneung Danoje (The Gangneung Danoje Festival)
- Korea’s annual Dano holiday (단오) is on May 5th of the lunar calendar each year ( Usually lands in May or June)
- The Gangneung Danoje has the longest history among Korean local festivals
- It is still held now yearly at Gangneung and this year is it on May 27, 2017 – June 3, 2017
- Originally, all the rituals performed are to worship the guardian spirit of a mountain which protects the town. the festival is a day for people to gather and wish for the following year with abundant harvest and good health. (as back in the days farming was a big thing)
- It was roughly started in the 1600s and continued till today because people in town believed there will be a disaster if they do not pay respects to the mountain spirits.
The Gangneung Danoje festival is chosen as Korea’s Masterpieces of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2005.
Events at the Danoje festival – what is there to do?
- At the festival, you can enjoy cultural events, folk games and performances.
Here are some highlights of this things you can see there!
Danogut is performed by Gangneung’s most well-known female shaman, who prays for the health and happiness of all the people at the festival. The shaman speaks to the spirits, in forms of dance and chants.
Gwanno Mask Play
The Gwanno Mask play is one of the special highlights as it can only be seen at the Gangneung Danoje Festival. It is a non-verbal traditional Korean mask drama (without words using only dance and body movements) where the lower class servants (nobi) wear masks of the upper class nobles (yangban). The play tells the story between an upper class nobleman, a young Shaman and the forces that interfere with their love
There are traditional Korean folk games for you to participate too!
Photo: From VisitSeoul.net
Ssireum is a traditional Korean wrestling for men. The wrestlers grab onto each other’s satba (a piece of cloth wrapped around the waist and legs) and whoever gets the opponent on the ground first wins the game. Gangneung locals and festival goest are able to participate in tournaments to compete
Photo: From VisitSeoul.net
Geune(Swing) is a traditional Korean swing game where girls stand on the swing board hung on a tree and tries to swing the highest to win. The Geune contest is the most popular folk games enjoyed by women during the Danoje Festival.
Experience Traditional Dano customs
For those who are more hands on, at the festival you can also experience what Koreans do for the Dano holiday: you can make surichi-tteok (rice cakes made with a Korean herb), try to drink the sinju liquor (liquor made a month before Dano to offer to the gods), washing your hair in Iris(ChangPo) water to smooth hair and block off bad fortunes, decorate your own Korean traditional fan and much more!
You definitely have lots of things to experience at the festival !
Drawing on a Dano Fan (left) / Washing hair with sweet flag-infused water (right)
Sintongdae-gil Traditional Parade
A good festival in Korean definitely can’t be without a parade!
The Sintongdaegil traditional parade is to celebrate the beginning of the Dano festival and it is the most popular event not to be missed at the festival! It is only held once per year so make sure to check which day it is on ! (Usually on the 1st or 2nd day, this year is it on May 28th)
Over 5000 lanterns light the parade path and people will also carry lanterns to follow the performers. Gangneung people will make alcohol and tteok (떡, rice cakes) from the rice offerings to the gods, and share with those who participate at the parade. It is said that those who eat the rice cakes and drink the alcohol will remain healthy for the rest of the year!
LOCATION 2: Gangneung Jung-ang Market(central market)
What’s special about the market?
- There are several market places in Gangneung. Gangneung Jung Ang Market has the longest history, the current building was refurbished in 2004
- Also it is located at the center of the city and is the largest one in the area.
It is a typical Korean market selling all sorts of foods and other goods
What is there to eat special in Gangneung?
- Coffee, Gangneung Tofu stew (초당두부), Korean fried chicken in sweet and spicy sauce ( 닭강정) are things not to be missed in Gangneung’s Jungang market!
LOCATION 3: Youngjin Beach- Drama “Goblin” filming spot
Located in Gang-won at Jumunjin, Youngjin Beach was part of the iconic scene in Goblin: The Lonely and Great God. Known for its gorgeous beaches and blue waters, Youngjin Beach offers visitors breathtaking views of the ocean and you can recall about the drama ‘s famous scene here!
What is the drama GOBLIN?
For those who did not watch,Dokkaebi or Goblin (also known as Guardian: The Lonely and Great God) is one of the hit dramas aired by tvN in 2016-2017. It was written by the famous writer Kim Eun Sook ( Descendents of the Sun, Secret Garden, etc…) and it starred A-list actors Gong Yoo, Kim Go Eun, Lee Dong Wook and Yoo In Na.
The drama was an instant hit and due to its huge popularity, tourists are interested to visit the filming spots of the drama: one of the them being right here in Gangneung!
What scene was it?
Episode 1 where Eun-tak (Kim Go Eun) first summoned Dokkaebi (Gong Yoo) by blowing out her candles, and suddenly he’s standing there by the sea with her, asking if she’s the one who called him there and they exchange one of their first heart-to-heart conversations.
Why this places is nice?
- That rocky pier that both of them stood on is called Jumunjin Breakwater. It was built to protect the coastline from the effects of erosion and longshore drift.
- The beach is known for being a great place for family outing due to its shallow water.
How to enjoy?
After its appearance in this popular drama, a lot of fans visited this place just to take photos and re-enact the famous drama scene (be prepared for LONG LINE UPS!) . On some days there are rental service available to rent a buckwheat flower bouquet and a red scarf .
LOCATION 4:Sodol Adeulbawi Park
It is located near Youngjin beach, you will be impressed by the stunning view of ocean view and rocks of fantastic shape here at Sodol Adeulbawi Park. Sodol means “bull” and Adeulbawi means “ Son’s rock” it comes from the below legend
- There is a legend that a childless old couple came to the rock to pray for 100 days and got a child after therefore this is a popular place for newlywed couples to come to wish for a child
- The main rock in the place, the Sodol Rock was formed 150 Million years ago in the Jurassic area. You can see rocks and strangely bizarre rocks naturally carved in by the wind and waves in shapes of bull, etc…
- Make sure to visit Danoje festival during May 27- June 3! Book the day tour with KoreaTravelEasy ~ it is ⅓ of the price of the regular Gangneung tour!
- Bring a red scarf and man to be your Goblin if you are a woman … or – Bring a bouquet and a woman to be your Goblin’s wife if you are a man! 😛