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Korea’s most spectacular spring sights

Drive or hike along flower-filled roads around the country
Mar 24,2018
The nation’s longest cherry blossom road along Lake Daecheong, North Chungcheong, is a 26.6 kilometer (16.5 mile) course. [JOONGANG ILBO]
At Oryuk Island Sunrise Park, North Gyeongsang, left, you can enjoy the view of yellow canola flowers. Korea’s famous port called Jangho, Gangwon, right, is also known as the “Napoli of Korea.” [BUSAN TOURISM ORGANIZATION, JOONGANG ILBO]
It’s that time of the year again when you hear songs about cherry blossoms in almost every cafe you visit and see people gathering in parks to enjoy the beautiful weather. Spring in Korea is also a time when families, friends and couples go for a drive in search of streets filled with flowers.

Busan is known for a number of flower-lined lanes that are perfect to walk or drive along. Hadong County in South Gyeongsang offers a variety of flowers that blossom at different times throughout the springtime, so every visit is a surprise. The Seomjin River in Gwangyang, South Jeolla, is known for its famous flower festival. And in Samcheok, Gangwon, there’s a trail with a beautiful view of the open sea that is lined with majestic yellow canola flowers.

Gyeongsang Province

Gyeongsang has several splendid places to visit for those in search of breathtaking views. Take in a night view of Busan from Mount Hwangryeong while walking along a hillside road lined with cherry blossom trees. Dalmaji Road is another place that offers a stunning night view of the moonlit cherry blossom trees right next to the sea. If you’re looking to drive through bright yellow canola flowers, then Oryuk Island Sunrise Park is the place to go - the park has 37,190 square meters (400,309 square feet) of canola flowers to walk through.

Hadong County in South Gyeongsang has different flowers that bloom each month of spring. The flowers begin to bloom in March with plum blossoms, known as maehwa in Korean, followed by cherry blossoms, pear blossoms and royal azaleas in April and poppy flowers in May. A Cherry Blossom Festival will be held on April 7 and 8 at the Hwagae Market in Hadong County.

In Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang, the Bomun Tourist Complex is the best place to experience the spring flowers. Near Lake Bomun, there are about 9,000 cherry trees and you’ll be in awe of the scenery of the cherry blossom petals drifting in the wind like snow. Gyeongju will hold its Cherry Blossom Festival at the Bomun Tourist Complex from April 6 to 15.

Jeolla Province

The Seomjin River is known to many as Korea’s best driving course. The region’s first flowers bloom at the Maehwa Village in Gwangyang and the Sansuyu Village in Gurye. The Maehwa Festival is currently taking place at the Seomjin Riverside near the Gwangyang plum farm. It began on March 17 and will end on March 25. Every year, over one million people visit this festival.

In Gokseong County, there’s a rail bike line that runs along the Seomjin River, offering a comfortable way to take in all of the flowers.

Chungcheong Province

Lake Cheongpung in Jecheon, North Chungcheong is home to a cherry blossom trail that extends about 13 kilometers (eight miles).

At the nearby Cheongpung Multae Village, there is a small amusement park called Cheongpung Land where you can enjoy a 62-meter bungee jump, Korea’s first-ever ejection seat ride and a ride known as the “Big Swing.”

Jecheon’s Cherry Blossom Festival runs from April 10 to 22. Along Lake Daecheong, there is the country’s longest cherry blossom trail. The 26.6 kilometer course begins in Okcheon, North Chungcheong, and follows Route 571 to Daejeon.

In 2015, the cherry blossom street in Cheongyang County, South Chungcheong was named one of the 100 most beautiful roads in Korea. Surrounding the flower road are many tourist attractions like Mount Chilgap, the Lake Cheonjang suspension bridge and the Kohwun Botanical Garden.

Gangwon Province

The Maengbang Flower Festival is one of the biggest spring celebrations in Korea, held every April near Samcheok, Gangwon. The festival boasts an impressive view of canola flowers, cherry blossoms and the blue sea of the East Coast. In downtown Samcheok, there is a famous port called Jangho which is known as the “Napoli of Korea.” Here, you can take the Samcheok marine cable car to enjoy the view from above.

Gyeonggi Province and Seoul

The area surrounding Everland in Yongin, Gyeonggi, is one of the most popular spring flower peeping spots. The road runs five kilometers starting from the Yeongdong Expressway to the front gate of Everland. Everland’s Tulip Festival began on March 16 and will continue until April 29. At this festival, you get to see 110 different kinds of flowers including tulips, daffodils and muscaries.

The Icheon Sansuyu Village is covered in yellow thanks to the thousands of Cornelian cherry trees that surround the area that are more than 100 years old, creating an awe-inspiring landscape in the spring. The Sansuyu Festival kicks off in the beginning of April. The nearby Seolbong Park is known for their Ceramics Festival.

The road to Bomun Temple on Seokmo Island, Incheon, is famous for its cherry blossom road. Bomun Temple is known as one of the top three Guanyin, or the Goddess of Mercy in Korean, temples in Korea.

There is also a cherry blossom orchard that is open to the public for only one week every year. The hill, located at SK Incheon Petrochem, is recognized as the largest cherry blossom areas in Incheon. The orchard opens to the public towards the end of the city’s cherry blossom season.

The Seoul Bugak Skyway is lined with three kilometers of forsythias and azaleas. You can walk along the trail or drive down the road in order to enjoy some of Seoul’s most spectacular spring sights.

BY KIM BANG-HYUN AND WEE SUNG-WOOK [sung.jieun@joongang.co.kr]
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