Spring has finally sprung in Korea.
And, it’s by far the most incredible spring season I have ever experienced.
Korean springtime beats Toronto springtime by a long shot. Sorry Toronah. I still love and miss you and all of your summertime goodness a whole lot though.
Mother Nature appears to be kinder to us over here. The transition from winter to spring is quick and decisive. Unlike Toronto – where one day I’ll be in a t-shirt, unwinding outside on a lounger, Corona in hand, and, the next day, I’ll go outside to find that same lounger buried under 30 cm of snow and the remainder of the Corona turned to pure ice. Just like the heart of Canadian Mother Nature.
But, what really makes spring in Korea better than in Toronto (sorry again), are the colours. The welcoming of this highly anticipated season (Korean winters are pretty brutal) is one of the most magical sights my eyes have ever seen. For two, short weeks, the landscape of the whole country transforms into a pink wonderland.
The lifeless cherry blossom trees lining roadsides and covering mountains begin a beautiful metamorphosis. And just like that, literally overnight, the cherry blossom trees are covered in buds of pink.
My daily commutes to work became enchanting. As the bus drove through the windy roads of my rural town, I would stare outside my window, my jaw hanging in complete awe. All I could think about for these two weeks was how much these trees reminded me of cotton candy and how hungry they were making me.
There are so many places scattered throughout the country that are deemed to be the best for seeing the cherry blossoms. Lucky for me, I live right beside one of them.
Cherry Blossoms at Daewonsa Temple
I welcomed spring by attending the cherry blossom festival at the Daewonsa Temple in Boseong.
For two weeks, thousands up thousands of people flock to this remote part of the country to take an incredibly scenic 5 km drive (or a walk, for the more ambitious) leading up to the temple.
Typical Korean Festival Problems
With every festival in Korea, comes enough traffic to turn even the calmest of drivers into ones fuming with uncontrollable road rage. What would normally be a 5 minute drive, turned into an hour, sitting bumper-to-bumper, the whole while thinking about how much I regretted chugging that entire coffee before leaving my apartment.
But, it did allow me a whole lot of extra time to soak in all of my surroundings. After all, it was one of the most breathtaking drives I have ever taken.
The Daewonsa Temple is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in the country. Although it is quite small in comparison to most temples in Korea, its grounds and location couldn’t be more picturesque.
And, of course, with every festival in Korea, there is no shortage of food. This festival had enough food to feed a small nation – or, about a day’s worth of meals for me.
Along the 5 km drive, different parking lots are set up with food tents, where they served up typical Korean festival fare. This included everything from bibimbap and fiery kimchi to ice cream and corn dogs covered in sugar.
My friends and I split a massive pajeon. Pajeon is a Korean pancake, made up of eggs, flour, onions, and a whole jumble of other ingredients, like meat or seafood. Ours had a bunch of mysterious tentacles sticking out, which always makes for fun and interesting dinner conversation!
HOW TO GET THERE:
Take the local bus from Boseong intercity bus terminal. There is a special events bus that runs during the period of the festival. Timetables are subject to change and can be accessed at the terminal. The bus journey is approximately 40 minutes.
But, if you can, I recommend taking a car to the festival. This will give you the freedom to discover the scenic drive as you wish!
In Korea for Cherry Blossom Season?
LUCKY YOU! Check out the cherry blossom festival at Daewonsa Temple or at any of the many festivals taking place throughout the entire country.
Here are other notable festivals and destinations for viewing the cherry blossoms in all of their glory:
- Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Festival
- Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Marathon
Liked the post? Pin it!