Gangneung is a city in Gangwon-do, on the east coast of South Korea. It has a population of 229,869 (as of 2006). Gangneung is the economic centre of the Yeongdong region of eastern Gangwon Province. Gangneung is a national tourist destination, offering good bathing facilities in the Sea of Japan. There is a ROK airbase south of Gangneung which formerly doubled as a civil airport.US Forces Korea (2004). Alphabetical Listing. Retrieved January 14, 2006.
Symbols of Gangneung
The flag of the city shows a red sun in the centre and blue wave in front, on a white background. The sun represents the sunrise, the wave the sea. The flower of the city is the crepe myrtle, the tree of the city is the pine tree, its bird the swan. The animal of Gangneung is the tiger.
Gangneung is considered special in that is has both access to a lake and the sea. Gyeongpodae is a legendary pavilion overlooking Gangneung's lake. It's said that one can see the moon five times when at Gyeongpodae. This is once in the sky, once reflected in the lake, once reflected in the sea, once reflected in the drinking glass and once more in the eyes of the lover. The site of Gyeongpodae is known for its beautiful location east of the centre of the city.
Inside the Gyeongpodae pavilion, built with 28 pillars, is located the Gyeongpodaebu, a poem by Yul Gok. Gyeongpodaebu describes the movement of the heaven and the moon. The best view of the moon is on the 15th of the lunar month. 
Sunrises, especially the first in the New Year, are important in traditional Korean culture. The Jeongdongjin and Gyeongpo beaches in Gangneung are popular places to enjoy a sunrise.
Gangneung City is best known for its numerous festivals. First of all there is the famous Gangneung Dano Festival (강릉단오제) at the Danojang fairground near the river Namdaechon. Since 1967 the Gangneung Dano Festival is Korean national immaterial cultural heritage No 13. Since 2005-11-25 it is designated by UNESCO as a "Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity". Nowadays it is a combination of several commemoration rites and traditional plays. An highlight is the traditional Gwanno Mask Dance (Gwanno Gamyeongeuk) which is only performed at this festival.
Except for old traditional festivals like the Gangneung Dano Festival there are several younger festivals in Gangneung. Especially the IJAF (International Junior Art Festival) enjoys great popularity. The IJAF is an cultural festival for youth groups from all over the world. The concept of the festival includes both performances of the participating groups and a diversified cultural program demonstrating the essence of Korean culture. Since 2002 the IJAF takes place at Gyeongpo Beach in the end of July. Since 2006 the IJAF is followed by the Gyeongpo Rock Festival. This rock festival, first and foremost attracting young people, offers young Korean bands from the Gangneung area a stage for their performances.
There are a number of historical remains and museums in Gangneung. First of all there is the Ojukheon Museum which is named after a special black bamboo growing in this area. It has been the birthplace of the famous Korean scholar Yulgok (1536-1584) and his mother Saimdang(1504-1551). Since 1963 the Ojukheon Museum counts as national cultural heritage No 165. It includes one of the oldest wooden buildings in Korea. Several shrines and old residential buildings deliver insight into the lives of these famous Koreans. Next to the Ojukheon Museum there is the Gangneung Municipal Museum which shows folklore and antique pieces from the history of the city. Located in the hills surrounding Gangneung City, there is the revealing Daegwallyeong Museum. It consists of a private collection with more than 1000 pieces and shows the history of Korea.
Adapted from the Wikipedia articles on South Korea from http://www.wikipedia.org/ used under the GNU Free Documentation License along with photos from Wikimedia commons http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page