Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Festival | Travel Review & Tips

When it comes to spring in Korea, we can never leave out the cherry blossoms. But if you don’t know where to go and catch them, here’s the perfect destination for you!

About Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Festival

The picture-perfect Bomun Lake in Gyeongju, a historic city in the southern part of Korea, shows off its best every April when 9,000 cherry trees around the lake burst into bloom.gyeongju-cherryblossoms (17)Bomun Lake is located at the center of Bomun Tourist Complex, a tourist district where you can find hotels, resorts, theme parks, an amusement park and other various attractions. gyeongju-cherryblossoms (10)If you visit during the Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Festival, there are also live music and performances to keep you entertained as well.

To get a better idea of what Gyeongju has to offer, I took a day trip during the festival period via a tour organized by Trazy.com, Korea’s #1 Travel Shop, which saved my time and made my trip very easy and convenient.

  • Festival Date: March 31~April 9, 2017 (10 days)
  • Location: Around Bomun Lake in Bomun Tourist Complex (east of downtown Gyeongju)
  • Why this festival? Beautiful cherry trees around Bomun Lake and across Bomun Tourist Complex, coupled with a variety of attractions to enjoy
  • Book one-day tour to Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Festival

Note that the bus ride takes around 5 hours (more or less depending on weekend or weekday) from Seoul to Bomun Lake.gyeongju-cherryblossoms (14)The festival runs during the peak of cherry blossom season, but you can still visit the lake and admire the cherry blossoms until mid-April.

※Like many other seasonal tours, I strongly advise you to check for weather conditions, availability of the tour and book your trip ahead of time.

Enjoy the festival according to your travel style!

Walking along the 8km-long cherry tree-lined path around the lake and taking in the beautiful lakeside scenery of Bomun Lake can be the best part of the festival, but there are certainly more options for you to enjoy.
gyeongju-cherryblossoms (11)To help you maximize your trip via Trazy’s tour, here I recommend two routes – choose according to your travel style!

※Completing the entire walkway around Bomun Lake can take about 2 hours more or less and completing these recommended routes can take around 3~4 hours.

※See the map below for the location of each spot in the routes.

gyeongju-bomun-lake-map
Click to enlarge the map.

Route 1. For hardcore travelers

For travelers who want to see a little bit of everything and are comfortable with a tight schedule, follow this route below!

  • Gyeongju World Culture Expo Park Parking Lot – Hwangnyongwon (a 9-story tower) – Bomun Pavilion – Bomun Lake – Wooden Bridge – Hoban Square – Waterwheel Square – Silla Millennium Park – Gyeongju World Culture Expo Park Parking Lot

Route 2. For slow and easy walkers

For those who want to make the most of their time around the lake and appreciate the scenery, take this route below!

  • Waterwheel Square – Bomun Pavilion – Bomun Lake – Hoban Square – Wooden Bridge – Mulneoulgyo Bridge – Donggungwon (Gyeongju East Palace Garden) – Waterwheel Square

4 Tips on how to double your joy at Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Festival

Tip 1. Snap photos at two iconic spots

Everywhere in Gyeongju’s Bomun Tourist Complex are Instagram gold. But here are two of the most popular spots to take incredible photos!

  • Waterwheel Square: This square is one of the most popular photo zones where many visitors take photos in front of this huge waterwheel set against a small waterfall and tree-lined path.

gyeongju-cherryblossoms (6)

  • Bomun Pavilion (Bomunjeong): Known as one of the “50 Beautiful Places to Visit in Korea” by CNN Travel, this is a picturesque pavilion that is a must-visit spot for all avid photographers. Takes 5 min from the Waterwheel Square by foot, across from the Hilton Hotel.

gyeongju-cherryblossoms (18)

Tip 2. Pedal on a cute duck boat

Gyeongju’s Bomun Tourist Complex is very famous for their duck boats! So head over to Hoban Square and get yourself one of the duck boats. Paddle around the lake and share the fun experience with your loved ones.gyeongju-cherryblossoms (19)gyeongju-cherryblossoms (20)

  • Options: 2-seater / 4-seater
  • Duration: 40 mins
  • Price: 20,000 KRW
  • Operation hours: 9am~6pm

Tip 3. Ride a bike like the wind

Why not try riding a bike instead of walking all the way around the entire lake? Feel the cool breeze and take in the view around the lake. gyeongju-cherryblossoms (5)gyeongju-cherryblossoms (13)Drop by the bike rental shop in front of Daemyung Resort in Bomun Tourist Complex. Rental fee costs 5,000 KRW for an hour.

Tip 4. Drop by other attractions nearby

There are plenty of attractions to enjoy around the lake such as Gyeongju World Amusement Park, Gyeongju Teddy Bear Museum and Donggungwon, Korea’s first zoo and botanical garden.

In my case, I dropped by Silla Millennium Park on my way back to the parking lot where I spent about an hour and a half during the trip.  gyeongju-cherryblossoms (4)The park is quite impressive as it features traditional houses and historical landmarks from the Silla Kingdom and also offers beautiful cherry tree-lined paths.gyeongju-cherryblossoms (3)Also, I was lucky enough to watch a horse-riding performance by Hwarang warriors!gyeongju-cherryblossoms (2)For those who want to see more than just the lake, stop by Silla Millennium Park or any of the other attractions nearby during your visit. The admission fee for Silla Millennium Park costs 14,400 KRW for adults.

What to Eat in Gyeongju

Here are some of the best Gyeongju’s local specialty dishes you should try!gyeongju-food.jpg

  1. Ssambap: Rice wraps served with fresh vegetables, stews, grilled fish and more
  2. Tteokgalbi: Minced short rib that is grilled in the shape of a round rice cake
  3. Sundubu: Meals made of soft, light tofu
  4. Hanjeongsik: Korean traditional meal
  5. Hwangnam-ppang: Sticky barley bread

Places to Eat in Gyeongju

  • Bomun Lake Complex (south of Bomun Lake, near Gyeongju World Culture Expo Park)
    • Bomun Hanu: Barbecued beef short ribs (10,000 KRW~)
    • Pulipchae: Buffet of traditional Korean dishes (12,900 KRW~)
    • Gyeongju Cheonnyn Hanu: Barbecued beef short ribs, (7,000 KRW~)
    • Jinsuseongchan: Marinated fresh crabs (8,000 KRW~)
    • Daedokjang: Kimchi Stew, (7,000 KRW~)
  • Bukgundong Complex (north of Bomun Lake)
    • Nakjimasil: Spicy stir-fried octopus (7,000 KRW~)
    • Jeonju Bibimbap: Bibimbap mixed rice bowl (9,000 KRW~)
    • Unsudaetong: Barbecued beef short ribs (20,000 KRW~)
    • Maetdol Sundubu: Sundubu tofu stew (9,000 KRW~)
    • Hobakneongkul Daegejang: Marinated fresh crabs, sundubu tofu stew (8,000 KRW~)

Enjoyed reading this blog post? Make sure to check out Trazy’s Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Festival Tour!gyeongju-cherryblossom

First time traveling to Gyeongju?

Once the capital of the ancient kingdom of Silla, Gyeongju stands as a city with a rich history of the thousand-year-old Silla Kingdom today. Known as ‘museum without walls‘, the history city of Gyeongju offers bountiful UNESCO-designated sites and national treasures.

For those traveling on a budget, there is a city tour bus in Gyeongju, which takes you around the major historical destinations on two different courses. For more information, click here.gyeongju-city-tour-bus-ticketSince Gyeongju is relatively close to the southern port city of Busan, it can be convenient to travel from Busan to Gyeongju.

For those who want to visit Gyeongju from Busan, Trazy offers the following tours.

gyeongju-1day-small-groupgyeongju-private-van

Find more tours to Korea’s major spring festivals and cherry blossom festivals here.

Follow our blog for upcoming travel reviews with handy travel tips!

Check out Trazy.com, Korea’s #1 Travel Shop, for all the latest things to do in South Korea.button_main 2

Photo Credits
By by Pachinee Buathonghttp://flickr.com/photos/buathong/564808691/, CC BY-SA 2.0, 링크
By by Jinho Jung from South Korea – http://www.flickr.com/photos/phploveme/2485858159/, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
By by titanium22http://flickr.com/photos/nagarazoku/38559204/, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link
By ProjectManhattanProjectManhattan, CC0, Link
By Gyeongju City

Why is April the Best Time to Visit Korea?

South Korea is a fascinating country to visit at any time of year, and there’s no better time to do so than in the spring, particularly in April.

Read on to find out why you never really need an excuse to visit Korea in April.

1. Hello, Sunshine!

In Korea, April is the month of spring breeze and warm sunlight and the weather continues to get warmer throughout the month.

While the average April’s high temperatures in Seoul are around 12~18ºC (53.6~64.4ºF), the temperatures in the southern region of Korea, including Busan, Gyeongju and Jeju Island, are 2~3 degrees higher.

※There may be some sporadic cold snaps and big gaps in temperatures at night, so make sure you bring a couple of warm sweaters or a light-weight jacket or coat!

At this time of the year, you will start seeing restaurants and cafes reopen their beautiful terraces and locals going outdoors to enjoy family outing or spring picnic.

april-hanbok.jpg
Travelers enjoying the outdoors in ‘Hanbok’

The weather in April also offers travelers and tourists the perfect opportunity to enjoy the outdoors dressed in Korean traditional outfit ‘hanbok‘ as well.

2. Blooms ‘n’ Blossoms

Weather is not the only reason why April is the best time to visit Korea.

It is when travelers and tourists can witness the spring’s splendor and admire the colorful blooming flowers and the vibrant colors on the streets everywhere.

Here are some of the best features of Spring not to be missed in Korea are: cherry blossoms, tulips and spring flower gardens.

1) Cherry Blossoms

Cherry blossom season reaches its peak in early April and they tend to bloom earlier in the southern parts of Korea. Most of them fall when there is a strong wind or rain, so be sure to catch them before they are gone!

jinhae-cherry-blossoms-12
Breathtaking cherry blossoms at Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival

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2) Tulips

Don’t be disappointed when the cherry blossoms are gone as there are colorful tulips for you to enjoy.

A. Taean Tulip Festival

taean-tulip-festival-1

Taean Tulip Festival is by far the largest tulip festival in Korea, which features more than 1.5 million of colorful tulips. It is also known as one of the world’s top 5 tulip festivals!

  • Date: April 13~May 10
  • Location: Taean County, Chungcheong-do (mid-west province)
  • Best things to see: Flower gardens (tulips, canola, digitalis, lupine)
  • Book a tour

For more information, click here.

B. Everland Tulip Festival

Everland_Tulip Festival

If you want to celebrate spring somewhere closer to Seoul, head out to Korea’s largest theme park, Everland. There is an annual tulip festival and a fantastic garden of spring blooms called Four Seasons Garden for visitors to enjoy.

Browse more deals on Everland here.

3) Azaleas

Azaleas are the late-bloomers of the spring season in Korea. You will be able to see them until late-April, so catch them before they are gone.

Goryeosan Mountain Festival

goryeosan-azaleaOnly a two-hour bus ride from Seoul, you can enjoy a short excursion to Goryeosan Mountain Azalea Festival. Covered with various shades of pink and magenta azaleas, Goyreosan Mountain in April just seems like an otherworldly place!

  • Date: April 12~23, 2017
  • Location: Gangwha County, Incheon, Gyeonggi-do (mid-west province)
  • Best things to see: azaleas, azalea tea tasting, azalea rice pancake making experience
  • Book a tour

For more information, click here.

4) Spring Flower Gardens & Parks

This April, visit two of Korea’s best-loved spring flower garden and park: The Garden of Morning Calm and Hallim Park. Featuring from fascinating displays of seasonal flowers, tropical gardens, exotic plants to scenic paths, they are the perfect places to revel in spring.

A. The Garden of Morning Calm

아침고요_본문04The Garden of Morning Calm is a popular tourist destination near Seoul where visitors can admire fantastic botanical gardens and flowers all year round.

Every April, Spring Festival is held from mid-April to the end of May at the Garden of the Morning Calm.

  • Date: Mid-April~Late May
  • Location: Gapyeong County, Gyeonggi-do (mid-west province)
  • Best things to see: Wildflower exhibition, cherry blossoms, magnolia, azalea, Japanese apricot, forsythia
  • Book our recommended tour

For more information, click here.

B. Hallim Park

jeju-island-spring (4)Stop and smell the flowers at Hallim Park in northwest Jeju. Unlike other botanical gardens that display flowers, this park is dedicated to different flowers every month.

In April, the cherry blossoms and canola flowers burst into bloom all over the park!

  • Date: Throughout April
  • Location: Hallim-eup, Jeju City, Jeju Island
  • Best things to see: Cherry blossoms, canola flowers, botanical gardens, Ssangyonggul Cave
  • Buy a discount ticket

For more information, click here.

3. It’s a Festival Frenzy!

Throughout April, a series of unique and authentic festivals will be held across Korea. Here are some of the best festivals where you can release all the pent up energy you’ve been storing up during the winter!

1) Jindo Miracle Sea Road Festival

jindo-sea-parting-festivalEvery April, thousands of visitors flock to Jindo Sea Parting Festival, a.k.a Jindo Miracle Sea Road Festival, to see ‘the modern Mose’s miracle’ in Jindo Island and walk on the exposed sea road when the sea opens up!

  • Date: April 26~29, 2017
  • Location: Jindo Island, Jeolla-do (southwest province)
  • Best things to enjoy: Miracle sea road walking experience, hands-on programs including learning Korean folk song ‘Jindo Arirang’ and traditional music ‘Gukak’, Jindo Hongju experience (Jindo traditional alcohol tasting)
  • Book a tour

For more information, click here.

2) Mungyeong Traditional Chasabal (Tea Bowl) Festival

mungyeong-tea-bowl-festival-2If you still haven’t experienced Korean tea culture, Mungyeong Traditional Chasabal Festival is the perfect place to be.

The festival gives you the chance to spin the potter’s wheel, paint designs and make your own ceramic tea sets for 4,000 won. You can also taste different types of Korean teas, including omija, dandelion and lotus leaf.

  • Date: April 28~30, 2017
  • Location: Mungyeong, Gyeongsang-do (southeast province)
  • Best things to enjoy: Hands-on programs for making pottery and teaware, Korean tea tasting
  • Book a tour

For more information, click here.

3) Lotus Lantern Festival (Yeondeunghoe)

lotus-lantern-festival-bongeunsa-(1).jpgThe annual Lotus Lantern Festival, or Yeondeunghoe, is a major lantern festival in Seoul that is held to celebrate Buddha’s birthday. There will be a fascinating lantern parade and traditional cultural events along the Jongno Street and spectacular lantern displays at Jogyesa Temple and Bongeunsa Temple.

  • Date: April 28~30, 2017
  • Location: Jogyesa, Bongeunsa temple, along the Jongno Street (Seoul)
  • Best things & places to see: A lotus lantern parade on April 29 (Sat) (Dongdaemun Gate → Jogyesa Temple 7:00pm-9:30pm), Bongeunsa Temple exhibition, Jogyesa Temple exhibition, Cheonggyecheon Stream exhibition

Now, if you are planning your spring trip to Korea, April is surely the best time to do so.

Check out the best tours and travel deals for April!

taean-tulip-festivalspring-goryeosan-azalea-festival 2jindo-sea-partingmungyeong-traditional-chasabal-festival 2

For more spring tours and travel deals for Korea, make sure you visit Trazy.com, Korea’s #1 Travel Shop!button_main 2

Photo Credits
Taean Tulip Festival Official Homepage
Hallim Park Official Homepage
Jindo Sea Parting Festival Official Homepage
Everland Official Homepage
The Garden of Morning Calm Official Homepage
Bongeunsa Temple Official Homepage
By KOREA.NET – Official page of the Republic of Korea Korea_YeonDeungHoe_20130511_18 via photopin (license)

Jeju Spring Travel (March-April) | Weather, Best Attractions & Suggested Itineraries

If you are planning to travel to Jeju Island in the spring season, make sure you read our ultimate spring travel guide before you go!

Spring in Jeju

Best time to visit
While the spring season in Jeju Island spans from mid-March to May in general, the peak season lasts from mid-March until early April, which is when you can fully enjoy the stunning spring flowers on the island.

Weather
Spring weather in Jeju is mild and pleasant. The weather conditions may vary across the island but the weather is gorgeous for outdoor activities during the day, with average high temperatures of 12~14ºC (53.6~57.2ºF). But take note that it can still be chilly at night.

※Make sure you watch the weather forecast for indication of rain before you go!

What to wear & pack
Casual and lightweight clothes that can be layered work best, and wear sunscreen, comfortable shoes and hats.

Where to go in Jeju

During the spring season, much of Jeju Island teems with beautiful yellow canola flowers and stunning cherry blossoms.jeju-island-spring (10)jeju-island-spring (12)Those who want to fully enjoy Jeju’s spring, check out the 3 best destinations where you can find the best view of these beautiful spring flowers on the island.

3 Best places to visit during spring

1. Seongsan Sunrise Peak

jeju-island-spring (5)Located on the eastern coast of Jeju Island, Seongsan Ilchulbong, also known as Seongsan Sunrise Peak, is a famous volcanic cone designated as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site.

The peak itself does not offer canola flowers but you can find breathtaking canola fields near the peak, especially along Gwangchigi Beach.

Tip. If you sign up for Trazy’s Jeju Island Spring Flower Taxi Tour, you will be able to stop by Noksan Road on the way to Seongsan Sunrise Peak, which is a fantastic cherry tree-lined driveway bursting with both canola flowers and cherry blossoms. For more information on the tour, click here.

2. Hallim Park

jeju-island-spring (4).jpgHallim Park, located in western Jeju, is a must-visit park with 9 different themed gardens, two lava caves and Jeju folk village.

While Hallim Park holds flower-related events every month, the park will first kick off with colorful tulips in March, followed by cherry blossoms and canola flowers in April.

3. Mount Sanbangsan

jeju-island-spring (2).jpgMount Sanbangsan, located in southern Jeju, is another must-see spring destination, which offers an otherworldly landscape. Set against the backdrop of a unique volcanic formation, the carpets of vivid yellow canola flowers are seriously Instagram-worthy!

Set against the backdrop of a unique volcanic formation, the carpets of vivid yellow canola flowers are seriously Instagram-worthy!

Tip. There are several canola fields around Mount Sanbangsan, all of which are private properties. It is absolutely free to see them, but if you’d like to enter the field and take photos, you will have to pay 1,000 KRW in cash. It doesn’t cost much money, so go inside! 😉

Here are the best places to see canola flowers and cherry blossoms in Jeju Island. Follow our recommended routes for fulfilling springtime in Jeju!jeju-spring-map.jpg

Suggested Itineraries for Jeju Spring Travel

Here are Trazy’s suggested itineraries that will help you take in Jeju Island’s all the most beautiful spring flowers – canola flowers and cherry blossoms.

Day 1. Eastern part of Jeju
Jeju University & Cherry Blossom Street cherry-blossom.png
Seongsan Sunrise Peak canola-flower
Seongeup Folk Village canola-flowercherry-blossom.png
Seopjikoji Hill canola-flower
Day 2. Western part of Jeju
Samseonghyeol Shrine cherry-blossom.png
Hallim Park canola-flowercherry-blossom.png
Yongmeori Coast canola-flower
Mount Sanbangsan canola-flower

*Click on each destination for the details and discount tickets.

Book Trazy’s Jeju Island Spring Flower Taxi Tour Now

If you want to conveniently travel on a chartered taxi and tour around Jeju’s best spring destinations, book this tour!04-1-jeju-spring-taxiWith this taxi tour, specially designed for the spring season, you will be able to take in the splendid cherry blossoms and the yellow canola flowers of Jeju Island.

This tour is only available from Mar 31~ Apr 9, so hurry up and book in advance! Booking is available here.

*The driver can speak conversational English so you won’t have to worry about communicating. The driver is very friendly and welcoming so you’ll be able to enjoy a pleasant private trip. 🙂

For more information on the tour, click here.

If you have any questions about the tour, feel free to contact us at inquiry@trazy.com. 😀

Here are more travel deals on Jeju Island you may be interested in!

jeju-small-group-tourjeju-1day-bus-package-2jeju-seoul-flight-package.jpg

Check out Trazy.com, Korea’s #1 Travel Shop, for more spring getaways and festivals across South Korea!button31

Photo Credits
Visit Jeju Homepage
Hallim Park Homepage
“제주도 산방산 봄 (Sanbang Mountain on Jeju Island)” by miquitos

The Coolest Instagram Photos of #JejuIsland That Will Spark Your Wanderlust This Spring!

Looking for some major travel inspiration?

Here we’ve put together incredibly beautiful and creative travel photos of Jeju Island captured by Instagrammers that will fuel your wanderlust instantly!

For those who hardly know Jeju Island or Jeju, it is one of the most beloved travel destinations in South Korea. This charming island, located in the southernmost part of Korea, offers stunning natural wonders, unique attractions and exciting outdoor activities, making it an ideal destination for long-term stays as well as weekend breakaways.

Go ahead and enjoy these wonderful travel photos on Instagram that will inspire you to travel to Jeju Island! 😀

1. @mustard___

Marvelous and unique photos! Using various props, @mustard___ sure does know how to bring fantasy to life!

하늘도 색칠해욧! Create your own sky !

A post shared by KJ, Korea (@mustard___) on

구름을 배달해 드려요 ♪ ♬ _ Cloud delivery service♪ ♬

A post shared by KJ, Korea (@mustard___) on

나도 좀 봐줘

A post shared by KJ, Korea (@mustard___) on

다시 돌아온 앨리스 2016 – Alice returns, – http://facebook.com/our.mustard

A post shared by KJ, Korea (@mustard___) on

2. @lim_goun

These snapshots of a great looking couple and Jeju Island’s Sanbangsan as a backdrop show you how Jeju can be a splendid destination for a wedding photography. Congratulations to @lim_goun by the way! 😉

3. @rememberblair

Capture the bright vivid colors of spring in Jeju Island like @remembeerblair! Beautiful, yet bold, this is how you should take a pose in front of the camera!

 

Now, don’t you want to hop on a plane and fly across to this amazing island in South Korea? If you want to see more awe-inspiring photos of Jeju Island, follow these cool Instagram accounts! Also, don’t forget to visit Trazy.com, Korea’s #1 Travel Shop, to discover where you can take Instagram photos of your lifetime in Jeju Island and in other parts of South Korea! 😉button_main 2

5 Best Travel-Worthy Spring Destinations in South Korea

Spring is in the air, which means it’s time for a new adventure!

Scroll down and admire these incredibly beautiful photographs of South Korea in springtime.

See which travel destination in Korea that you would like to put on your travel bucket list! 😉

1. Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festivalspring-destinations-travel-korea-11

2. Nami Island spring-destinations-travel-korea-(56).jpg

3. Jeju Islandspring-destinations-travel-korea-1

4. Petite Francespring-destinations-travel-korea-65

5. Bomun Lake in Gyeongju
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Enjoyed the photos? Then, start planning your next spring getaway with us!

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Don’t forget to visit Trazy.com, Korea’s #1 Travel Shop, where you can discover all the latest, trendiest and newest things to do in South Korea!button_main 2