It’s day 4 and we started the day a bit early than the other days. Why? Because we were bound to catch the train from Seoul to Gangneung and join the Go Pyeongchang 2018 with Lee Dong Wook and watch a Winter Olympics Ice Hockey match between Czech Republic and Japan. The Go Pyeongchang 2018 with Lee Dong Wook is an event attended by fans of Lee Dong Wook and starts from Cheongnyangri Station and ends with the Ice Hockey match. Not knowing what to expect, we were greeted by Soohorang and Bandabi at the train station.
There were many people at the train station. Normal commuters and those who participated in the Fan Meet with Lee Dong Wook. Upon arrival, we were given a snack box with Lee Dong Wook’s sticker on the box, and a red shawl (psst, Ji Eun Tak’s signature shawl from the drama Goblin). We were also asked to put on the shawl and for today, everyone will be Ji Eun Tak (we imagined that Lee Dong Wook will be waiting for us at Gangneung station but as expected, he was not there 😅).
There was a lot of photographers as the Hallyu train is joined by fans not only from Malaysia, but from all over. We boarded the train and it’s just like the usual KTX train, the only difference was the standees of Lee Dong Wook and from the drama was everywhere, setting up the atmosphere for the Hallyu experience.
The trip to Gangneung was truly a fun experience, as people decked in Lee Dong Wook’s character from the drama Goblin (Grimreaper – black coat, shirt, pants with black hat) showed up and organized games while giving winners Bandabi and Soohorang as the prize. Not enough with games, a kpop team came out next, enticing us with dance routines from Big Bang and such.
After about an hour plus on the fun train, we reached Gangneung, and was greeted by more photographers – we were a bit overwhelmed as usually we were the ones behind the lenses 😅. We were then whisked off to a famous market – Jungang Songbam Danonuri Traditional Market, before heading to Baekje Samgyetang to try traditional samgyetang.
Samgyetang is chicken soup cooked with ginseng, consisting of young chicken, filled with garlic, jujube, rice and ginseng. It is normally eaten on a hot summer day to promote health. Samgyetang is particularly famous during three distinct days in the lunar calendar – believed to be the hottest and most sultry days of summer in Korea.
After lunch, we were taken to Gangneung Arts Centre for the fan meeting with Lee Dong Wook. We were planning to just sit and stare at Lee Dong Wook because we thought that we would not understand anything but to our surprise, we were each given a small device which translates what the man of the hour says. Cool huh! Strapped in to our seats, we were ready to meet Lee Dong Wook! Before the event started, there were multiple announcements that pictures are not allowed, be it using camera or your camera phones. That was when all fans had to keep all media technology in their bags.
At 3pm, Lee Dong Wook showed up. In the next few hours the actor shared personal pictures and played games with several lucky fans. The fans were give ‘Wook Candy’ and selfies with the star – LUCKY fans. Other fans did not leave with an empty hand, other than memories with the actor, each fan were given Asian tour picture collection and limited ambassador name cards.
After the fan meet, we moved to the Ice Hockey stadium to catch a match between the Czech Republic team and Japan. The match was a fierce match from the beginning but spectators attention was diverted for a while as Lee Dong Wook showed up to watch the match with fans. The match ended with Czech Republic winning 2-0.
With the ice hockey match, our schedule in South Korea, mainly Pyeongchang ended. We had a wonderful time getting to know the beauty of Pyeongchang, making new friends and getting in the sport spirit, cheering for a team and enjoying the match.
We would like to once again thank Korea Tourism Organisation for organising such a wonderful trip.
*photos by Korea Tourism Organisation unless stated otherwise