If you thought Japan was the only place to catch the pink blossoms this Spring, you’re wrong! Did you know: South Korea also gets a pink makeover in March & April when the local cherry blossoms bloom. With less than two months to the much anticipated season, we’ve put a sakura-spotting guide for South Korea. Think itinerary highlights, top viewing locations, must-see festivals, and more!
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Here’s a breakdown of sakura spots to include in your itinerary:
#1 Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Marathon, Gyeongju
Expected blooming season in Gyeongju: 29 March – 5 April 2018
What: A popular annual marathon which sees runners comb through a breathtaking stretches of blooming sakura trees. Competitive or not, there are four courses to pick from: Full (42.195km), half (21.095km),10km, and 5km. If you’re looking to take this chance to just bask in the vibrant atmosphere — and have a light workout at the same time — we recommend 5km or 10km.
When: Sat, 7 April 2018, 8 am
Where: Bodeok Dynasty Center
Other cherry blossom spots in Gyeongju:
Bomun Lake in the Bomun Tourist Complex, Waterwheel Square, Silla Millennium Park
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#2 Jeju Cherry Blossom Festival, Jeju Island
Expected blooming season: 23 – 30 March 2018
What: Set in Seogwipo’s downtown area which includes the Jeju Sports Complex and its scenic surroundings, this is where you can find the unique (and reportedly larger and more luxurious) petal variant of Jeju-exclusive King Cherry trees. The elusive flowers only stay in full bloom for three days per year, so you’d need some luck to catch these beautiful sakura.
The three-day festival will also feature local music and performances, and public contests in the evening, among others.
When: Tue – Thur, 27 – 29 March 2018
Where: Jeju Sports Complex, Seogwipo
Other cherry blossom spots in Jeju Island:
Jeonnong-ro cherry blossom street, Sinrye Village, Jeju National University Entrance & Rotary
Other places to add to your itinerary in Jeju Island:
You can’t visit Jeju without exploring the breathtaking beach resorts, hiking trails, and more. Game to explore the waters? Book this one-hour fishing and sightseeing yacht experience and get to see volcanic pillars of the Jusangjeolli Cliff and enjoy your catch! For the more adventurous ones, ride the ATV around the island or go horseback riding.
#3 Jinhae Gunhangje Cherry Blossom Festival, from Busan
Expected blooming season: 26 March – 2 April 2018
What: Home to the largest sakura festival in the country, this is where all the buzz is. The 10-day festival is packed with street food, band parade and more.
Where: Yeojwacheon Romance Bridge (just one hour away from Busan)
Other places to see in Busan:
Thanks to its beautiful beaches and mountainous skyline, the city makes the perfect destination for a retreat. Check out the touristy Haeundae Beach for a fun day out (it is also home to the SEA LIFE Busan Aquarium). Come evening, get on board this night sightseeing tour which takes you through must-see spots like Gwangalli Beach and Yeongdo Seaside Park.
#4 Seokchon Lake Cherry Blossom Festival, Seoul
Expected blooming season: 6 -13 April 2018
What: A photographer’s dream come true, the highlight includes capturing pictures of the cherry blossom that is reflected in the water! During the festival, check out the pop-up exhibits and other interactive activities to make the most of your time there.
When: Early to mid-April
Where: Seokchonhosu Lake area
Other cherry blossom spots in Seoul:
Yeouido Spring Flower Festival, Seoul Forest, Seoul Grand Park, Kyunghee University, the grand palaces which include Deoksugung Palace, Gyeongbokgung Palace and Changgyeonggung Palace.
Share with us your favourite cherry blossom viewing spot in South Korea in the comment box below!
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