Cherry blossoms (벚꽃 [bot-gote] in Korean) are an exciting, beautiful, unofficial introduction to spring in Korea. There are full-blown festivals and even songs dedicated to this time of year. There are a few places in the country that are famous for viewing cherry blossoms, such as the island of Jeju (where we went for our anniversarymoon) and Jinhae in the southwest part of the country. As usual, you can always find something in Seoul as well.
But despite Korea’s small size and efficient transportation system, it gets tiring traveling all over the country to do things. Cherry blossoms bloom everywhere, so Eric and I were determined to find a scenic place near us. Luckily, with the recommendation of our Korean co-workers, we found a great spot in Cheongju (the closest city to us) along the Mushincheon River downtown.
Lots of families, couples, friends, and more were there to enjoy the sites.
There was some kind of festival happening at the same time; I assume it was related to the cherry blossoms due to the souvenirs being sold.
Unfortunately, lot of people were pulling flowers off of the trees for photos (and then just dumping them on the ground!). This is not only bad for the trees but it also makes them go bare faster. Blossoms only bloom for about one week, and they are very delicate, so it’s best not to disturb them so that others can enjoy their beauty!
Cherry blossoms are interesting because the flowers come full force before ANY green leaves, so all you see are shades of pink and white on the branches.
I’m sure the bigger blossom festivals have much more impressive scenery, but it was nice to be somewhere that wasn’t too crowded, yet just as picturesque and enjoyable.
Cherry blossoms bloom at different dates each year. Ask around in February/March of each year to get a forecast on when they will be in full bloom near you!
More sites to see/things to do in Korea:
Try on hanbok, traditional Korean attire.
Jump into an art painting at the Trick-Eye Museum.
Visit Jeju Island, the Hawaii of Korea.
Take a trip to Busan, the second-largest city along the southern shores of Korea.