Hello Spring! I have stopped blogging for the past weeks as I have been busy with my graduation thesis and fighting a stubborn flu. For two weeks, I literally cough my lungs out, especially at night. But well, if you have been following me on my Instagram (@pheurontay) you know I have also travelled quite a bit for some Cherry Blossom escapade. The cherry flowers are in full bloom now in Seoul this week. As flowers spring up everywhere, I am thinking of sharing some photos taken earlier in the week here. So enjoy! ; )
Best Time to see Cherry Blossoms?
Some of you may wonder when is the best time to visit Korea in Spring. If you love cherry blossom, I would say it will be the 2nd week of April. The blooming period varies each year but usually the peak bloom falls around 9th to 12th April. I am not an expert in cherry blossom, but each and every year (usually in early April) KTO official website will release a bloom forecast. You may want to search up the forecast in the recent 2-3 years to have a better gauge before you book the ticket. I would say the mid 2nd week of April would be the safest period. However this is again, based on my observation in the recent years. Please bear in mind that cherry blossom season is relatively short, and if it rains it may dramatically cut the whole season even shorter.
Night Time Cherry Blossom?
It is called Bam-beotkot (밤벚꽃) in Korean, literally means night cherry blossom in English, another option for those who prefer a romantic view of your cherry blossom. One trending location to see cherry blossom in Seoul would be Seokchon Lake 석촌호수. The Seokchon Lake is a relatively new area in Seoul to embrace the blizzard of sweet smelling falling petals. Their annual cherry blossom festival only started 3 years ago. I would say it is less popular compared to Yeouido Park — a good thing in my book. Bordered by cherry blossom trees, this lake has its unique charm especially during the full bloom period. I arrived just before the sun began to set and was able to catch the beautiful cherry blossom in both sunlight and moonlight.
Recently there’s this rather silly dispute between Japan and Korea about the originality of cherry blossom. (And shortly later the Chinese join the “Cherry Blossom Originated Here” soap opera *facepalm*) Well…. can we just shut up and enjoy the beautiful scene? I have yet to visit Japan and China during spring. However, judging from the pictures on the internet, one can easily tell the difference between 夜桜 Yozakura in Japan and Bambeotkot in Korea.
If you are looking for grandeur and vigor in your cherry blossom outing at night, I would say Bambeotkot might not be your cup of tea. This is again, something quite related to the way Korean and Japanese do their gardening. If you ever been to a Japanese garden, you will realize everything around you is so meticulously planned and painstakingly groomed, a contrast to a more informally planned Korean garden that emphasize a harmonious blend with the nature. This rule applies to the cherry blossom in the respective countries. You won’t find fancy and magically illuminated cherry blossom in South Korea at night, but I’d say both countries’ cherry blossom has its own charm and it is really tough to say which is good and which isn’t.
1. Take the subway and get off at Line No. 2 Jamsil Station (잠실역). Take exit No. 3 and go all the way down to the park, which is located 200m away, approximately 10 minutes walking distance.
148, Jamsil-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 송파구 잠실로 148 (잠실동)
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