Looking for Cherry Blossoms in Seoul
The Korean Peninsula tension has been in the headlines for days. But I was unfazed by the news and embarked on a first-time trip to Seoul with a friend.
We were told that spring had finally arrived in South Korea. It was our mission to see blooming cherry blossoms in its capital, especially that our country, the Philippines, do not enjoy having four seasons.
Our second mission, of course, was to shop for beauty products.
Arriving at Big Cho's Guesthouse, a young cherry tree in its front yard piqued our interest. Buds were everywhere and one cherry blossom flower in bloom. We were part excited that we will be able to fulfill our mission, but part disheartened because we were told that the buds will bloom probably a week after.
We would be back home by then.
Enjoying Tourist Sites but too few Cherry Blossoms in Bloom
We visited Gyeongbokgung Palace, Myeondong, N Seoul Tower, Changdeokgung Palace, Namsangol Hanok Village along with other tourist attractions, and took the Seoul City Tour Bus to see more of the city.
There were some trees in bloom. But the cherry trees seem to be elusive. We would find some of the flowers in bloom, but not quite enough to fill a whole tree.
Rainy, Sunny and Chilly Climate
It rained the whole Saturday and the city was enveloped in fog. Cold was seeping through our layered clothes. But on Sunday and Monday, the sun came out, though the chilly breeze still remained.
As we went around Seoul, we enjoyed the markets found in the city. Myeondong was a shoppers' heaven, especially those who are fond of cosmetics. Insadong is a place for those who are into collecting souvenirs and cultural items.
But we fully had a fun time at the Sunday bazaar at Gwanghwamun Square.
The soups and the spicy food warmed our bodies. And they were delectable, too! Kimchi is a staple in South Korea. We specially liked the food alley at Namdaemun where you can find a variety of Korean food. We tried almost all the street food found in Seoul. I must say that they were all delicious!
Spring Flower Festival
We devoted Monday morning to Yeouido, where the Spring Flower Festival is usually held. Behind the National Assembly, the winding road is host to thousands of cherry trees.
As we got there, the trees were all barren and showed no signs of life except for birds resting on its branches. But near the Yeouinaru Station, a tree was in full bloom. Finally, we could go back home fulfilled.
We may be a week or two early for all the cherry blossoms to spread their petals, but this lone cherry tree made our trip even more memorable.
Travel diary shared by Write on the Spot