Spring has arrived in Korea a while ago, but I’m only writing now because I finally feel like I have enough photos to show! (Actually more like I was busy with midterms and thesis :P)
So spring, where the freezing winter is no longer and you see the sun more, the green shoot growing and the flowers blooming. I still can’t decide if my favorite season is spring or fall, but I love the feeling of warming days and finally being able to shed those down jackets in exchange for colorful knits and now it’s even warm enough for cardigans! Oh the joy 😀
So the signal of spring in Korea comes sometime around mid-March, when the temperatures begin to slowly rise above 0°C. Though the skies are still gloomy and your fingers are still frozen, you realise that the sun rises and sets a little later every day. By the end of March, the real spring weather (around 10-15°C) would have arrived in Korea usually! But by mid-May or June it would be the sweltering summer so make the most of spring!
Some features of spring in Korea:
1) Light spring coatsThis is extremely common in Korea, and reminds me that spring has arrived every time all the females on the street start to dress like this. If you haven’t already realised, fashion trends are huge in Korea and you would literally see everyone on the streets dressing in the same way if it’s in trend. But that being said, the light spring coat is extremely useful especially when daily temperature range is still great. It can be 5°C in the morning but 15°C in the afternoon! Having the coat would keep you warm in the morning and you can take it off later in the afternoon too. 😀
2) Spring rain
I swear, there was a week that it rained 3 times in a week. It got really annoying for me at some point because my shoes were always soaking wet and my umbrella was in danger of breaking from the wind 😦 All in all I’m a person who hates the rain. But rain would come pretty often between end March to mid April, so be prepared with wet-weather plans all the time!
3) Beautiful spring flowersHow can I write about spring without mentioning the flowers! One of the most significant sights in spring are the cherry blossoms in Korea! Once it is warm enough, you will suddenly see trees blooming into beautiful cherry blossoms everywhere you go. Usually they will bloom from early to mid-April, but only for a short while (usually just one to two weeks) because the spring rain that comes would usually wash these weak flowers away really quick. Therefore when the cherry blossoms are in bloom, many Koreans take time off work and school to enjoy the beautiful flowers ^^
The Yeouido Spring Flower Festival is one of the most popular festivals in spring! With 1400~1600 cherry blossom trees lining the roads along Yeouido Hangang Park and the area surrounding the National Assembly building, the truly majestic sight is one of the reasons for its popularity. Check out the details of the event here: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SI/SI_EN_3_2_1.jsp?cid=700464
Another hot location for cherry blossoms (which I recently discovered) is Namsan Park! It just brings a different feeling when you see the iconic Namsan tower in the background along with the cherry blossom trees. http://www.visitseoul.net/en/article/article.do?_method=view&art_id=740&lang=en&m=0004003002017&p=03
The location that I absolutely have to exclaim to everyone is none other than Yonsei University! I swear that all these beautiful spring flowers and cherry blossoms on campus make going to school such a great joy, especially after the dreary winter with its bare trees. I’ll just leave the photos to speak for themselves.
The Ilsan Lake Park has a International Horticulture Expo every year which showcases flowers from all over the world! Perfect to have a picnic at the park before heading over to the Expo in the spring weather too! http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SI/SI_EN_3_2_1.jsp?cid=292632
There are many many more other locations for spring flowers such as Kyunghee University for cherry blossoms, the most popular Jinhae Cherry Blossom festival, among other festivals in Korea. You can refer to KTO website which updates Spring festivals in Korea every year http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SI/SI_EN_3_6.jsp?cid=1985915
I would usually recommend family and friends to come to Korea either in spring or in fall, simply because the weather is great for sightseeing and there are additional sights that are rarely seen in Singapore! I do hope that this post has helped introduce some of the hot spots for flower viewing in spring too 🙂