Cherry Blossoms in Korea (:

Now that spring is almost here, I am seeing more hits on my posts about planning a trip to Korea.Yes, I left the series hanging for a really long time. Maybe this post will kick me out of my inertia? ;p Here’s to hoping!

Anyways, the beginning of Spring is usually also the time for…CHERRY BLOSSOMS! Yayyy! Cherry blossoms are hard to catch though. So hopefully, this post will shine some light for light?

When is the best period to go?

Tricky questions. I have been to Korea 3 times. Once at the start of April (7 April 2012) and twice at the end of April (21 April 2011 and 26 April 2013). And…..I never did catch the cherry blossoms in full bloom! URGH.

But from experience, I think planning a trip that spans from the 2nd to the 3rd week of April would be the safest. Cos during my 2012 trip there, I was there for 10 days and  on the day that I was flying back, the cherry blossoms are in FULL BLOOM. It’s true. We saw it on the TV on our last day.

(Of course, the full bloom date tend to shift from year to year. Keep a lookout on KTO Facebook page for the official date (: 2014 date is out – check it out!)

Where is the best place to view cherry blossoms?

I’ll get to that in a bit but in the meantime….

If you have already planned your trip and it’s in early April, try to head to Busan (: The blossoms there are out much earlier. I saw them in bloom in my 2012 trip! (Let me know if the pictures aren’t showing up!)

along a street in Busan.

on the Busan City Tour bus. the blossoms are just right next to us!

And IF your trip is towards the end of April, then….you can try heading to Namsan Park. My tour guide during my 2011 trip brought us to this area near the entrance of Namsan Park (I think) and it was magical!

they were already falling.

my 1st time seeing cherry blossoms!

Or you can head to Lotte World or Everland. I heard their blossoms “stays longer” as well.

You can also try your luck at the palaces. During my trip last year, we were too late 😦 But we managed to catch some at the entrance of Gyeongbuk Palace (:

me and ber with the last few stalks of blossoms. imagine if it’s in full bloom!

The best place for cherry blossoms? 

JINHAE JINHAE JINHAE!

I’ve never been there myself but the photos on Instagram were super duper pretty! I couldn’t go there during any of my trips cos the blossoms are either gone or the itinerary was so pack, we couldn’t fit it in 😦

I did tell my ex-colleague who is making a trip to Korea in April to go there. So hopefully he can squeeze it into his itinerary and take some awesome photos.

how pretty is this!! photo from: boomsbeat.com via google

You can go to Jinhae from either Busan or Seoul by either bus or train. Heard that traffic can be quite bad during the Jinhae Festival though. But I’m sure it will be worth it! I’m afraid I can’t provide more details about getting there cos I’ve never been there 😦 But here’s the official route recommended by KTO –

[BUS] Take an intercity bus to Jinhae (진해).
From Jinhae Intercity Bus Terminal, go 30m forward and turn right onto Jungwondong-ro (중원동로) Road.
Go 350m forward, and stay left at the fork.
Go 230m forward to arrive at the festival venue.

OR

[TRAIN]
Take a train to Jinhae Station (진해역).
From Jinhae Station, go 640m forward to arrive at the festival venue.

Alternatively, you can click here and read about it on discoveringkorea.com

The Jinhae Gunhangje Festival is from 1-10 April. Do pop by if you are there!

Another place to take photos…

Yeouido! You can rent a bike and cycle through the cherry blossoms streets. Sigh. Won’t it be nice?

Other things to do in Spring…

For a list of festivals in Korea, please click here.

You can also head to Everland! I think Spring is tulip festivals there (: The number of tulips is amazing. You really can’t help but smile when you see them.

from 2011 trip (:

Oh and…In Jeju…You can see fields of these (no idea what they are. magnolia?) –

sho pretty!

Sigh. It feels kind of weird to be not going to Korea during this period 😦

I AM COMING FOR YOU, AUTUMN IN KOREA! FIGHTING!

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things i miss about Korea…

Apart from my delicious 바나나 우유 (Banana Milk) –

@ Busan back in 2012!

I miss the train stations. No, not the many many steps. But the train announcements!

much more accurate than ours!

Oh. And I miss the hearing the chime/melody that plays when a train is nearing the station. Can’t seem to video of that. Note to self: Do a recording the next time.

I also miss the TV ads. The very silent TV ads. None of the noisy attention grabbing ones we have on TV.

I remember this was playing repeatedly when I was in Korea in 2012.

I think I saw this when I was in Korea back in April.

I miss the closeness of modernity and traditional. 

Seoul 2013.

There’s something about palaces that I find fascinating (: I love palaces! I can spend the entire day there and explore every single palace again and again!

I miss slurping on ramen in cold cold weather!

cheese ramen! NOMS!

Oh! This too!

먹쉬돈나!

And I think most of all…I miss being a tourist! 

@ The Secret Garden, Seoul 2012

@ Seoul World Cup Stadium, Seoul 2013

Nothing beats the wonders of discovery (:

It’s only been 6 months and yet it feels like it’s been eons. 한국아~ 보고 싶어!

On the side, I should really continue my “Planning a Trip to Seoul” series soon ;p