Its spring and flowers are blooming everywhere in South Korea! However, it has been raining continuously these few days in Seoul and I am afraid the raindrops will knock the cherry blossom petals off thus cutting the bloom short. If you missed (or might be missing) the cherry blossom season, here’s something else you can look forward to — the pink azaleas.
I am not talking about one or two rows of azaleas in the park, but something really massive. A mountain full of blooming azaleas that turn the entire site an eye feasting one.
Located in Bucheon, a city at the outskirt of Seoul, this place is perfect for half-day-outing, especially during the first 3 weeks in April due to its famous azalea bloom. The Wonmi Mountain (원미산) will be covered with hundreds and thousands of brightly coloured azaleas in full bloom this time every year. You may want to pack your own picnic bag and spend your entire morning there appreciating the beauty of mother earth.
I especially enjoyed my morning at Wonmi mountain. You’ll see adorable elementary school kids hiking up the stairs with their teachers, and ajummas sharing sweet potatoes and a cup of coffee under the trees. The better air, the bright pink flowers, and the relaxed vibe there at the park are all so wonderful.
I’ll totally list it as one of the not touristy things to do in Seoul! It is true that the cherry blossom waits for no one, but always remember you have an alternative. The azaleas never disappoint.
Writer’s Note: Aside admiring the bloom, there’s an annual Wonmisan Azalea Festival where visitors can participate in various activities. It is usually held on the 2nd week of April. If picnic is your kind of activity, there’s a huge convenient storeto get some snacks at the Bucheon Sports Complex Station. Alternatively, you can pack your own food before departing from Seoul. Azalea flowers last about 3 weeks to a month. However, it is best to visit the place before the 3rd weekend of April to avoid disappointment. Please wear comfortable shoes as you’ll need to walk uphill quite a bit to reach the park.
Wonmi Mountain Azalea Hill
482, Sosa-ro, Wonmi-gu, Bucheon-si, Gyeonggi-do
경기도 부천시 소사로 482 (춘의동)
The Wonmi Mountain Azalea Hill can be accessed from anywhere in Seoul.
1. Get on subway line No. 7 and alight at Bucheon Sports Complex Station (부천 종합운동장역), then exit from Exit No. 2. Continue walking straight and you’ll find a stadium on your right-hand side.
2. Walk into the compound of the stadium, until you see the above slope on your way up. You’ll be able to find a notice board with Korean wordings that read “진달래동산 가는길” (circled in red in the picture above). Follow the direction indicated: go up the slope.
3. Once you climbed up the slope, you’ll be able to see the blooming azaleas on the hills. Follow the crowd and continue to walk uphill, towards the mountain.
4. You should be able to see the staircase leading upward. Climb up these stairs and you’ll reach the entrance of the Wonmi Mountain Azalea Hill soon!
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