Wasu-ri (와수리) Gangwon-do
The Wasu-ri Market - Kirsten Williamson

Cheorwon County is located in the uppermost Eastern corner of Gangwon-do Province, and is littered with small towns. Wasu-ri (와수리) is the smallest of the three main towns in the county, with a population of less than 5000 people.
Thanks to its far Northerly location, there is a very obvious military presence. Hiking in Wasu-ri will give you clear views of North Korea. However, in spite of the lack of distance there is a distinct lack of tension in the air. Of course, this results in Wasu-ri pretty much swimming in khaki. Due to Cheorwons’ size and location there are very few Westerners, which results in you achieving a somewhat minor-celebrity status when you walk through town.
A small farming community and a culture where family and looking after each other is important, the locals will do all that they can to help you (as long as understanding is there) and every restaurant owner is delighted when you choose to eat at their restaurant (and quite amusingly impressed if you happily eat Korean food). Perhaps obviously, small town also means a distinct lack of English speakers, but the locals are willing to try and play charades with you; are delighted if you learn any Korean.
As Wasu-ri is nestled high into the mountains, Winters here are a breathtaking wonderland and the contrast of the luscious green Summer is more than satisfying. Some joke that Cheorwon only has two seasons: Summer and Winter. This is largely true but there are a few days of changeover in spring that are a welcome cool and the changes of autumn still grace the mountainsides with a beautiful array of browns, golds and oranges. If you are a fan of hiking and community spirit then Wasu-ri is well worth the visit.