It officially became Spring a few weeks ago and with that comes the season of warmth and flowers! Since I arrived in Korea towards the later end of Winter, trees were pretty barren and flowers were something you had to go out of your way to find. For some reason, I didn’t expect Korea to be as cold as it is. The weather can be deceiving, as sometimes it will appear to be warm but will drop in temperature dramatically throughout the day. I get a little bit jealous when I see my friends back in Philly enjoying their 70+ degree weather, while we’re still enduring mid 40’s. But things are starting to look up as the season has shifted! It’s slowly starting to warm up and a sight that you cannot miss around here is the cherry blossoms. They are extremely beautiful and while you can find them in the states as well, they often hold festivals here to commemorate the beginning of a season.
I’ve been researching the estimated spring flower boom dates and trying to find festivals that were recommended nearby. While I wanted to attend more than one, there were limits such as not wanting to travel too far and the actual cost of travel. With this in mind, I decided to go to the Yeongdeungpo Yeouido spring flower festival. The festival ran from April 5th to the 11th and was not too far away. You could see cherry blossoms around campus as an indicator as to whether they have begun to blossom or not, so I was eagerly waiting for the festival since we’ve already begun to see sneak peeks the week prior!
The bus ride from my apartment took a little less than an hour. The moment I got off the bus, I could tell there was a festival going on nearby. There were tons of people walking toward the direction of the park or seem to be coming back from the event (as evident from Sakura leaves in their hair and flower crowns all around). As I got closer to the entrance, you could see food vendors lined up and little stands set up with goods. Upon entrance, a large arch stood greeting you to the park and not too far away was a tourist information booth. The people at the desk were very friendly and had brochures in a couple languages— thankfully English was one of them! They explained to me when the events were and what there was to do around the festival.
Sadly, the Sakura trees were not all in full blossom, but it was still a very scenic view and the festival was well-set up. It was absolutely still the main attraction! There were street performers entertaining crowds, tents set up with local vendors, photo zones for people to pose in, pet areas, and the main stage, where lesser known celebrities and groups came to perform.
The atmosphere was very calm and people of all ages could be seen there. While it was a welcoming event, it felt a little more of a date-spot as there seemed to be mostly couples holding hands, walking around. It was a little awkward as I was traveling alone, but it didn’t take anything away from my experience. It was definitely a good time though and made for good footage/photos! I probably would have stayed longer if it wasn’t so cold at night and the travel distance back home. If anyone is considering going to the spring flower festivals, I recommend going a little later than sooner as they might be more in full blossom.