Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Early Signs of Spring in Korea (March 2017)


I have a confession. Since the year started, I was desperate for a Spring trip.
The thought never left my head, it caused me major anxieties over flowers! πŸŒΈπŸ˜‚


My plans were wrecked when one of my all-time favorite bands Coldplay announced their A Head Full Of Dreams tour early this year, suddenly all my travel budget goes to the concert ticket + airfare + travel allowance (will watch in Singapore). That's bye bye to my supposed one month travel goal in Japan! 

Taiwan's Spring in February was also impossible because it was too soon, while Korea and Japan's cherry blossom peak season falls during Holy Week and my Dad's birthday--both I can't miss!

And although cherry blossom predictions online (was tuned in to these the whole time!) said there will be no blooms till mid April, I decided to just try my luck and booked for an early Spring trip to Korea via AirAsia (March 17-21). 

Was just hoping and hoping that the Goblin will be happy when I arrive in Seoul, and show me some love early signs of spring blossoms, hehe!



Two of my target cherry blossom locations were in Yeoudio Park (photo above) and the nearby Yunjunro Street, behind the National Assembly Building. Websites were all-praises when it comes to spending Spring in these two destinations so I thought that if they have that many trees, at least ONE might give me early blooms when I visit. I strolled around Yeoudio Park along with the bikers, it was beautiful but obviously no pinkish trees in sight.


I crossed the street toward the National Assembly Building, and asked the guards for Yunjunro Street. Oppa guard (hehehe😏) gave me the directions, but also warned me that no cherry blossoms till April. Makulit ako, so I still walked and walked with my stubborn head.  



I walked and walked till I realized wala talaga, winter mode padin ang mga trees sa area. Sat for a while on a bench overlooking this huge park in front of the National Assembly Building, kids playing with their omma on my right side. With beyond aching feet, I took off my shoes for a few minutes while contemplating on my "wasted time" and life decisions, hehehe. πŸ™ˆ


Bongeunsa Temple

I started this post with that failed mission, so I can go on with all the victories from hereon! I thank God for the internet, as I get all sorts of real-time comments, feedbacks, cheers, and yep--even GREAT suggestions on where to go in Korea for early spring blossoms. Lots of them came from @_eagertravelcris_ on Instagram, who also turns out to be my unnie Ate's friend!







She showed me a link of a Youtuber who visited Korea during early March this year, and spotted spring blossoms even for an early date! Bongeunsa Temple is a Buddhist temple open for tourists (free for the first 30 minutes) and even for interesting temple stays (new bucket list).

The compound is not that big, so a few climbs and I already saw the blooms.




Daebak! These bright, colorful lanterns are also overwhelmingly pretty!



Beautiful painted walls:



And of course, the spring blossoms! I knew it was the lone tree as I saw many photographers huddled in the area, fighting for a spot. It was too early for spring blossoms, and it was just ONE tree. I am about to make a Goblin reference again, hahaha, but I am sure Kdrama fans are already thinking of the same thing! πŸ˜‚πŸ’–πŸŒΈ




Someone's happy! πŸ”₯

How to get here: Bongeunsa Temple Station (Seoul Subway Line 9), Exit 1.
Used Google Maps for easy navigation.


All That Sweets


Right after the spring blossom sighting, I realized that I deserve a good lunch and coffee break. Also suggested by @_eagertravelcris_, I went to an indie cafe called All That Sweets to check out their cute Cherry Blossom Latte menu for Spring 2017.





My latte is nice and sweet. Place is quaint, and can only accommodate a few groups, so I came in time for their opening (11am). After a while, lines started to form!





Although a bit pricey, I took home a small pack of the cherry blossom merengue for 3000 Won (around Php 134), and had them for next day's breakfast.
How to get here: Namseong Station, Line 7. Used Google Maps to navigate the directions. 


Yongdap Bridge

This is an accidental spring blossom sighting. My main agenda was actually just to visit the bridge, one of the popular settings in the k-drama Goblin. But I was lucky enough to hit two birds with one stone when I spotted trees with beautiful white plum blossoms while scouting the area.



My last spring blossom sighting for this trip:


My tattoo felt at home!


 You don't even have to go far from the train station to see the trees, it's just right outside! You'll also spot the Goblin poster showing scenes shot in their bridge, and the coolest and cutest senior citizens using the swings and other exercise gears provided in the area. It looks like a playground for the elderly!

 

 And of course, here's the Goblin bridge, where Sunny and the Grim Reaper first met. πŸ’œ More of my K-Drama tour on next posts!
How to get here: Yongdap Station, Line 2, Exit 2. It's just outside the train station!


It's not a perfect trip... I rode the wrong train, got lost and wasn't able to locate several places in my itinerary, and was even overcharged Php 5000 in a store a day before my flight home (currently solving this already!). But I (re) learned something important: If you set your mind on something, it will happen. You will never know how and when, but trust me, it will! 🌸


Excited to post more more more, finally my k-drama tour up next!

Read more on my Korea travels:

Special thanks to:
Philippine AirAsia
FLYTPACK for my stable internet connection while in South Korea

15 comments:

  1. Awwww!! ❤ always a fan of your perseverance and positivity! Never say never talaga! Thank you lagi sa inspirasyon. #Fangirl

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    1. Thank you sis! <3 Happy to read this comment!! :)

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  2. My GOblin bride heart is happy!! :) super cute nung lanterns!!

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    1. Yehey!! :) It's super beautiful! Thanks beb for visiting the blog and commenting!!!! :D

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  3. What a wonderful post! I would like to ask what model of camera are you using? You really take such wonderful photos! :D Also, thank you for sharing this quote: "If you set your mind on something, it will happen. You will never know how and when, but trust me, it will!" It really hit me hehe. πŸ˜„

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    1. Thanks Eunice! I use my old Fuji XA2! :) And yes, dreams do come true! Do tag me on your future Korea trip photos!!! ;)

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  4. Daebak! So kilig seeing the Goblin bridge.. cant wait for your post re kdrama tour, will bookmark it for sure for future reference.

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  5. Ugh <3 Kudos to your perseverance and will! Am always happy to see your Korea travel posts as a fellow Kdrama fan. :) Thank you for being an inspiration to book my first trip to Korea this year, galing mo mag-motivate. hehe. Miss you sis Ana!

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    1. Thank you so much Ella!!! Looking forward to your Korea trip posts! ❤

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  6. Ugh <3 I am always happy to see your Korea travel posts as a fellow kdrama fan. :) Thank you for inspiring me to book my first trip to Korea this year. Galing mo mag-motivate to encourage your readers to try new adventures! :) Miss you, sis Ana!

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  7. Thanks for this this �� question lang po, paano po ba makakakuha ng tourist visa papuntang South Korea?

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  8. Inbetween work catching up with your korea tour! Cant wait for weekend na hahaha! Unsuccesful yet successful trip indeed!πŸ‘❤

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  9. Hello Miss Ana! I am going to Seoul this April 6-10th! i wanted to know what camera you used on your trip here? Ganda ng photos nyo po! Wanted to see if I could find the right camera to capture the Cherry Blossoms on my upcoming trip. So far i Hav with me just an iPhone 6plus and a Sony Cybershot digital camera lang. hihi thanks in advance po!

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  10. Hi Ana! Just wonder how was the weather temperature? As I'm going coming 12th April to Seoul and Jeju, can't wait for it. Wondering light blazer is fine or thicker? Your post helps me a lot for the coming trip.

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Your turn! Always excited to read your comments! :)