It’s Spring. Enjoy. Spring in Gyeongju.
It’s Spring. Enjoy. Spring in Gyeongju.
The time of spring flower bloom is drawing near. The first flowers you think of in spring at Gyeongju would be cherry blossom. The wide fields of rape in front of the Cheomseongdae Observatory offer another great view. Lately, a lot of people have also been visiting the cherry trees on the hill in front of the Bulguksa Temple. As the charming springtime nears, we would like to introduce ten attractions that feature spring flowers in Gyeongju.
※ The attractions are in the order of the start of the flowering.
1. Downtown - Daereungwon Stonewall Walkway
The Daereungwon Stonewall tree-lined road offers the earliest cherry blooms in Gyeongju. The stone wall around Daereungwon keeps away the cold wind and gives a homelike feeling to anyone who is walking by. The ridges of the ancient tombs on the other side of the wall combine with the quiet old walkway around the stone wall, and the cherry blossoms in full bloom to make a wonderful harmony. The flowers in their full bloom stage are surely some the most beautiful scenery, but the flower petals raining down a little later is my favorite time.
2. Downtown - Heungmuro Cherry Blossom Road
Visitors who arrive at the Express/Intercity Bus Terminal will immediately fall in love with the line of cherry blossom that stretches along the river right outside the terminal. Selected as one of the ‘100 Most Beautiful Streets in Korea’ by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, the Heungmuro Cherry Blossom Road is situated here. The large cherry trees are well on in years, and create shade with their blooming flowers while the winds brush through them. Don’t forget to visit the Tomb of General Yu-sin Kim not far from here. There is yet another cherry blossom site that welcomes visitors with a cherry blossom tunnel on the way back from the tomb.
The cherry tree forest surrounding Wolseong Palace, an old palace site of Silla, is another popular spring flower location. Currently, it is included in the restoration project of the Silla Royal Palace, and some of the cherry trees at the bottom of the mound have been removed for the purpose of the excavation and restoration. Nevertheless, it would be a good idea to walk along the wide field of Wolseong where the beautiful cherry tree forest still stands along with the excavation and restoration project.
Bomunjeong Pavilion was introduced by CNN as offering great scenery in Korea. Although it is in the Bomun Tourist Complex, it may go unnoticed because it is on the other side of the walking trail around the lake. Bomunjeong, with its almost-secret location, is one of the most popular photo spots for photographers who want to take pictures of the cherry trees surrounding the pavilion and their reflection in the lake in one picture. In addition, you can find a different kind of cherry tree called the weeping cherry, so-named because its drooping appearance resembles a weeping willow.
The cherry blossom road beside Bomun Tourist Complex is one of the most popular cherry-blossom sites in Gyeongju. Enjoy driving along the street lined with cherry trees, and strolling along the cherry tree lane beside the lake where you can take a slow walk under the cherry trees. The lakeside cherry blossom road, viewed from Hoban 1-Gyo Bridge in a circular trail around Bomunho Lake at the back of the Hilton Hotel, offers a picturesque scene.
A factory and cherry blossoms. They do not really match, I know. However, in Angang, Gyeongju, the Poongsan Metals Cherry Blossom Road is popular among the local residents for viewing cherry blossoms. A road lined with cherry trees is located near the factory. There is a defense business at the entrance to the factory, and the entrance for civilians is usually restricted. It is only open to the public during the time of the cherry blossoms. The old cherry trees that were planted at the time when the factory was built in the early 1970s now make a beautiful tunnel. Since it is uncrowded compared to other places, and you can enjoy a quiet time watching the flowers.
7. Amgok Cherry Blossom Tunnel
Another beautiful scene. If you drive from Bomun Tourist Complex for approximatly 15 to 20 minutes towards Dongdaebongsan Mountain (which is the location of Mujangbong Peak, famous for its silver grass field in the autumn), you will find the Amgok cherry blossom tunnel. Since it is located at the foot of a mountain, the cherry trees bloom a few days later than at the Bomun Complex. Thus, if you arrive late for your cherry blossom viewing, this is the place you should visit. Although the tunnel is only 300~500 meters long, it leaves a strong impression.
8. Cherry Trees at Bulguksa Temple
In mid-April, the low hill before the precincts of the Bulguksa Temple turns cherry pink. You will feel the fullness of spring in these charming flower blossoms. The cherry blossoms start to bloom here after the end of the cherry blossoms in the downtown and Bomun Complex, consoling visitors who are sorry to let these flowers go.
9. Cheomseongdae Rape Flower Garden
Many kinds of flowers are planted in the wide fields of Cheomseongdae from spring to fall. The first to bloom are the rape flowers. According to the Gyeongju Historical Park Administrative Office that manages the Cheomseongdae Flower Garden, the rape flowers are expected to be in full bloom in late April this year.
10. Hwangnyongsa Rape Flower Field
The rape field at Hwangnyongsa Temple is another popular spring flower site, along with the rape flowers at Cheomseongdae. Nearby attractions include the Bunhwangsa Temple, Hwangnyongsa Temple Site, and the Hwangnyongsa Temple History and Culture Center which newly opened last November.