K-drama in Winter Olympics!

K-drama in Winter Olympics!

K-drama in Winter Olympics!

Lu Wei Hoong | 17 March 2017
Of late, “Goblin” has been the craze word among K-drama fans.

No, it isn’t the monstrous creature from European folklore, but a handsome and immortal character played by the charismatic Gong Yoo, known for his lead role in Train to Busan.

The character is from the South Korean drama “Gaurdian: The Lonely and Great God“, or simply referred to as “Goblin“, which has emerged as the second highest rated drama on Korean cable television.


The drama, available on Kuala Lumpur-based streaming service iFlix, has also sent Malaysian K-drama fans into a frenzy.

The wildly popular and unorthodox drama features several iconic scenes which have driven tourists to flock to its filming sites.

Many of the iconic scenes were filmed in the South Korean province of Gangwon, where its city PyeongChang also happens to be hosting the Winter Olympics 2018.

One such location is Jumunjin breakwater located at 1609, Haeanro, Jumunjin-eup, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do.

In the romantic yet melancholic scene, the goblin who goes by the name Kim Shin, meets his destined bride for the first time, who is also fated to return him to ashes.

The beautiful Kim Go-eun plays the bride Ji Eun-tak, who is able to see ghosts.

Eun-tak was draped in a red scarf while holding a bouquet of buckwheat flower when she meets the goblin as the waves crash into the rocky platform they stood on.

Local merchants have started selling similar red scarves and flowers for a growing number of tourists visiting the site to reenact the scene.

Another iconic scene was filmed at Yongpyong Ski Resort, a 40 minutes drive away from the Juminjin beach.

The resort is located at 32-950, 715, Olympic-ro, Daegwanryeong-myeon, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do.

Featured in episode nine, Eun-tak who works at the resort rides, rides a cable car with the goblin.

The breathtaking scenery of the snowy mountain featured in the drama is equally is not more stunning when witnessed in person.

Stretching 7.4 kilometers, it is South Korea’s longest sightseeing cable car and takes some 20 minutes to ascend to Mount Balwangsan, which is 1,458 meters above sea level.

Below, snow sports enthusiast can be seen crisscrossing down the white slope past pine forests.

At the top, known as the Dragon Peak, are swiss-style chalets and South Korea’s first ski resort which opened in 1975.

The peak, which hosts ten giant wind turbines, offers a panoramic view of the region.

Coincidentally, Yongpyong resort was also the set for Winter Sonata, another hit series in 2002 which was also well-received in Malaysia.

Apart from Gangwon’s natural beauty being featured in dramas, the province also plays host to significant historical sites such as the Ojukheon House, located at Yulgok-ro 3139beon-gil, Gyeongpo-dong, Gangneung-si, Kangwon, Tel: +82-33-660-3301~3308.

The location was featured in the historical drama “Shin Saimdang: Memoirs of Colours“, currently being aired on Korean television.

The story follows the life of Shin, mother of a prominent 16th-century scholar Yulgok Yi.

Being a rare well-educated woman during the Joseon dynasty, Shin raised Yulgok into a scholar, who went on to become defense minister and foresaw the Japanese invasion of the Korean peninsular 100 years later.

Thriving for historical accuracy, the drama was set at Ojukheon House, the very place where Shin was born and lived some 500 years ago.

The well-preserved wooden structure, surrounded by pine trees and black bamboo, records the life of Shin and her son.

The site also gives a glimpse of the Joseon dynasty, with bank notes from that era on display as well as a bronze statue of Yulgok.

Shin on bank note

Yulgok Yi statue

Just a 10 minutes walk away is the Seongyojong House (Address: 63, Unjeong-gil, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do, Tel: +82-33-648-5303), which was also featured in the historical drama.

Shin, played by Lee Young Ae, was said to have met her lover there.

The historical drama is Lee’s first debut in 14 years following her appearance in the hugely successful historical drama “A Jewel in the Palace“.

Lee is also the ambassador for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics 2018.

This trip was sponsored by Gangwon-do Province and Korea Tourism Organisation

Fresh crab, bibimbap and crunchy Hangwa

Fresh crab, bibimbap and crunchy Hangwa

Fresh crab, bibimbap and crunchy Hangwa

2018 Korea's Winter Olympics

Lu Wei Hoong | 15 March 2017

For Malaysians, Korean barbecue and kimchi are probably be the first things that come to mind when discussing about Korean food.

These dishes are typical of many local restaurants in Klang Valley offering a taste of South Korea.

However, nothing beats an authentic experience and the upcoming Winter Olympics 2018 poses an opportunity.

While the focus of attention may be in the host city of PyeongChang, the wider province of Gangwon promises to offer a delightful culinary experience.

Being a thriving agricultural province with a coastline of over 200km, it has more to offer than the mundane, including an abundance of seafood.

One such gem of a restaurant is Daegewangguk.

Restaurant name: Daegewangguk
Address: 55, Saecheonnyeon-doro, Samcheok-si, Gangwon-do
Tel: +82-33-573-8185

Daegewangguk, literally meaning the Kingdom of Crab, offers a rich selection of crustaceans dishes.

At the restaurant, guests are greeted with a tray of nine kinds of appetisers, including fresh prawns, baby octopus, mussel and quail eggs.

A popular main dish here is its steamed red snow crab.

The shells of the palm-sized crabs are broken up and neatly placed on a plate, allowing diners to easily savour the succulent meat instead of having to deal with the hassle of a crab mallet.

The legs of the crabs are also removed and broken up and can be easily eaten with the aid of a scissor.

Another must have is its crab meat soup and crab shell fried rice.

Bibimpap-variety of vegetable

Away from the coast, the Taebaek mountainous region produces a variety of vegetables which are used in Bibimpap, a traditional Korean mixed rice.

Restaurant name: Jeong Gang Won (serves authentic Bibimpap)
Address: 21 Baekokpo-ri, Yongpyeong-myeon, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do
Tel: +82-33-333-1011

Similar to the ‘lousang‘ concept in Klang Valley back home, diners can mix the myriad of ingredients before tucking in. The ingredients include shredded mushroom, cucumber, turnip, carrot, bean sprouts, spinach and five other vegetables. They are simultaneously poured into a giant wooden bowl filled with rice, along with gochujang chili sauce and sesame oil. After being tossed around, the dish is completed with a seasoning of seaweed.

The restaurant only uses the freshest vegetables from the region and diners can savour in its crunchiness.

Diners with a penchant for spiciness can add on brown chili sauce.

Hundreds of Onggi earthenware can be seen in the dining hall, which is used by the restaurant to produce its own brown chili sauce, red chili paste and kimchi which complements the Bibimpap.

They come with side dishes including kimchi, pickled turnip and lotus root.

Hangwa dessert maybe?

After the scrumptious meals, diners may want try a traditional Korean dessert, the Hangwa.

Galgol Hangwa Village is well-known for this dish.

Restaurant name: Galgol Hangwa Village
Address: 446, Nodong-ri, Sacheon-myeon, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do.

In Korean culture, Hangwa is a festival food, served in wedding receptions, parties and paying homage to ancestors.

In the past, it was considered a rare confectionery for commoners.

Choi Hyung Jun, a fifth generation owner of the restaurant, said the popular sweet was even banned during the 1960s to 1980s on grounds of saving rice.

“The government had difficulty taxing small businesses selling the sweet, so they banned it.

“My father had to sell it secretly,” he said.

These dishes and treat are only a taste of what the province of Gangwon has to offer for an authentic Korean experience.

This trip was sponsored by Gangwon-do Province and Korea Tourism Organisation

Cool breezing experience watching athlete

Cool breezing experience watching athlete

Cool breezing experience watching athlete

PyeongChang Winter Olympics

Lu Wei Hoong | 13 March 2017

Ever thought about escaping the hot and humid weather of Malaysia for something different? Perhaps somewhere with winter for a change of scenery?

PyeongChang, 180km east of the South Korean capital of Seoul, would be a timely destination as it gears up for the Winter Olympics 2018.

The city is busy preparing a hospitable welcome for visitors with a new high speed rail, upgrades to hotels as well as a brand new stadium.

It is a six-hour flight from Kuala Lumpur International Airport to Incheon International Airport.

From there, the new Korean Train Express bullet train service, due to be completed in late 2017, will allow visitors to get to PyeongChang in just two hours.


At PyeongChang, visitors can enjoy the sights of snowy mountains and smell the breeze of fresh air.

PyeongChang is located within the province of Gangwon-do, which has a thriving agriculture industry.

Apart from the natural sights PyeongChang has to offer, the city is also pulling all the stops for an Winter Olympics experience to be remembered.

The upcoming Winter Olympics will take place from Feb 9 to 25, 2018.

Ahead of the games, the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics Centre, (address: 131, Nanseolheon-ro, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do, 25466) offers an early experience.

The sporting events are split into two clusters, namely the PyeongChang mountainous cluster and Gangneung coastal cluster.

PyeongChang will be the focal point of all snow sports, hosting the Alpensia Sports Park, Alpensia Sliding Centre, Yongpyong Alpine Centre, Jeongseon Alpine Centre and Bokwang Snow Park.

Within the Alpensia Sports Park are a ski jumping centre, biathlon centre and cross-country skiing centre.

Most importantly, it is also where the 35,000-capacity Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium is located.

A main attraction within the PyeongChang cluster is the Bokwang Snow Park. (Address: 1095, Myeonon-ri, Bongpyeong-myeon, Pyeongchang-gun, Kangwon), a popular resort for ski sports lovers.

With an annual snowfall of 210cm, visitors can enjoy uninterrupted skiing from November up until March.

Skiing and snowboarding are common sports for locals at the resort which has opened its doors for 22 years.

It will also be the place where athletes show off their free style skiing and and snowboarding skills for the Winter Olympics.

The Alpensia Sports Park (Address: 225-3 Yongsan-ri, Daekwallyeong-myeon,Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do) will play host to six sports, namely cross-country skiing, nordic combined, biathlon, bobsleigh, luge and ski jumping.

The ski-jumping range has the stunning Baekdusan Mountain ridges as backdrop, a major national park in South Korea.

Organisers have made it a point to ensure that all venues are accessible within a short drive.

The Olympics Centre’s public engagement team project manager Jasmine Lim said the compact concept was a result of lessons learnt in two previous unsuccessful bids to host the Winter Olympics in 2010 and 2014.

In the two previous bids, PyeongChang narrowly lost the to Vancouver and Sochi respectively.

From the PyeongChang mountainous cluster, it is around a 30 minute ride by coach to the Gangneung coastal cluster.

In Gangneung, much of the venues are concentrated within its Olympic Park which hosts a hockey centre, oval, ice arena and curling centre. It also hosts the Kwandong Hockey Centre.

At the Gangneung Ice Arena, visitors can witness graceful skaters taking to the ice to the tune of soft musics and if they wish, toss flower bouquets or soft toys into the arena as a sign of appreciation for the performance.

After three tries, PyeongChang is set to become only the second Asian city to host the Winter Olympics after Japan’s Sapporo.

The city aspires to capitalise on the prestigious sporting event to become an Asian winter sports hub.

So if you’re up for a unique getaway, PyeongChang beckons.

This trip was sponsored by Gangwon-do Province and Korea Tourism Organisation