By now most people probably know our feelings on South Korea's beauty, but in spring she comes alive. Each year, as the winter subsides and the final frost passes, people all across Korea start to look outdoors for the predictable change from dull gray to luscious greens; with the all-important pit stop in spring where colors burst from every plant and petal-covered sidewalk. Each area of Korea has different times and locations for their regionally favorite bloom, but we are going to focus on the city we know best in all seasons: Yeosu.
When: Mid March - April
Camellia flowers are fairly common in Korea and are especially noteworthy as being one of the earliest flowers to bloom. These gorgeous reddish-pink flowers can be found in many places around Yeosu, especially on Odongdo (an island just off of the Yeosu Expo). Camellia bushes/trees can be found randomly throughout our city, but anyone wanting to see them in droves should go to Odongdo. Not only a beautiful island park with numerous scenic viewpoints and tourist attractions, this island is also blanketed with flora. Groves of camellia trees are only one of the many beautiful flowers you can find on Odongdo, but none are as famous or as impressive in their numbers.
Where: The road towards Jungang Girls' High School, Dolsan Park, and behind the Sports Complex near the bus terminal
When: (2016) March 29 - Mid April
Probably the most iconic and noticeable blooming in all of Asia is that of the cherry blossom. These cotton candy-esque tufts of color are unquestionably beautiful and are luckily found all around Korea and Yeosu. Cherry Blossom festivals can be found from Seoul to Jinhae, but we've found ourselves more interested in the kind of scenes we discover in the countryside. The picture above is a perfect example of finding blossoms in less populated areas. For a sure-fire place to find these trees in both their white and pink form, check out our map below. The area shown is near Stephanie's school and is covered in puffy blossoms every year when these trees open up after the long winter. Walk southeast along the road for some amazing blossoms!
Where: West Yeosu Countryside & (Small Patch) Yeosu Expo
When: Mid April
Canola fields can be seen a mile away for their blanket of yellow- frequently covering entire valleys in bright yellow. Unlike cherry blossoms and camellias which grow on trees, canola is best viewed in field-form. In its overpowering color the canola (or rapeseed) flower is commonly found filling entire valleys of farmland, waiting to mesmerize anyone lucky enough to stumble upon it. We've found several places in Yeosu to see canola by car, but there are also small cultivated patches found near the Yeosu Expo Train Station. Check out the map below for our favorite location for seeing this beautiful floral display in Yeosu. You can catch bus number 90 or 91 to get there from the bus terminal. If you do visit, please be careful of where you step as this is someone's farm!
Where: Yeongchwisan & Maraesan
Yeongchwisan Azalea Festival - (2016) April 1-3
Maraesan - Early to Mid April (can easily be seen from below!)
The sides of many Korean mountains are where you'll find this next springtime spectacle. Azaleas come in several colors, but red and purple variations are the most common. Mountains have officially posted dates and times for their local festival, but you can commonly find the azaleas blooming before and after these times if you're wanting a more serene nature experience. Certainly, the largest patches of azalea bushes will be the most famous and most likely to have largely populated festivals, but most mountains have these beautiful bushes scattered here and there if you're feeling adventurous. The popular and most easily accessed places to find spring azaleas in Yeosu can be found on our map below.
Where: Jasan Park
When: Early to Mid April
Finally, there is the forsythia flower. Small and yellow, this beauty grows on bushes and is commonly used in landscaping, unlike the previously mentioned yellow spring flower. Many areas have these yellowed bushes, but the most notable is Jasan Park. This park is not new, but has renewed interest after the completion of Yeosu's Cable Car which departs from Jasan park on its course across the bay. Visitors to the cable car should absolutely venture out on the walking paths to experience the beautiful horticulture before riding on the gondola.
Probably the most beautiful of all Korean season, Spring is a special experience. With its vast array of blooming flowers to torment every allergy I didn't know I had, I still can't help but to set out each and every spring in search of new and wonderful landscapes filled with stunning spring color. Yeosu is a beautiful city, but it is especially remarkable as it awakens from its winter doldrums. There are certainly more famous cities to see South Korea in bloom, but Yeosu is just off the festival map enough to be an enjoyable escape for people in search of these mesmerizing flowers without the typical crowds. We might be bias, but Yeosu is one of our top cities for seeing all manner of spring blossoms in one beautiful seaside location. Wherever you venture, we wish you a pleasant flower hunting season!