Despite its status as Gangwon’s capital city, CHUNCHEON (춘천) remains small and relatively relaxed; in fact, it’s the country’s smallest provincial capital. Mountain-fringed and surrounded by artificial lakes, it boasts fresh air that’s a welcome change for anyone who has been cooped up in a larger city. The main draw is the chance to sample dakgalbi, a famed local chicken dish. Otherwise, Chuncheon is more of an “activity” destination, and there are a few good bicycle tracks.
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You may have sampled regular galbi, whereby you cook (or to be more precise, set fire to) meat at your own table. Dakgalbi (닭갈비) is a little different – it’s made with chicken meat, rather than beef or pork, and is grilled in a wide pan so there’s no visible flame action for regular galbi arsonists to enjoy. You’ll find this dish pretty much anywhere in Korea, but for some reason Chuncheon gets the glory. Imagine throwing a raw chicken kebab into a hot metal tray to boil up with a load of veg – you get to do this at your table for around W8000 per portion. You usually need at least two people for a meal, and once you’re nearly finished it’s common, or perhaps obligatory, to throw some rice or noodles into the pan for a stomach-expanding second course.