It’s spring time here in Canada, but it still feels like winter. Spring however arrived in Korea a few weeks ago. In fact, the last week and this week people have been waiting for the Cherry Blossoms to bloom. Gyeongju is one of two cities in Korea famous for its cherry blossoms. Jinhae is another city people flock to in order to see the blossoms.  They bloom and only stay for about a 2 weeks, with a very short time to see them at their peak in full bloom. I never wanted to risk the experience to go to Jinhae; Gyeongju is quite amazing for seeing the blossoms. There’s two pages of all this glory so don’t forget to check out the second one here.

Gyeongju Cherry Blossoms Pt. 2

Gyeongju is relatively warm, with no real extreme winters so the blossoms are usually on schedule. They come around the last week of March and the first week of April.  People from all over Korea go to Gyeongju so it’s one of the busiest times for the city. You’ll never believe that Gyeongju is just a small city when there’s grid lock everywhere. Gyeongju being a little ways away from most major cities, you’ll find that there are more people coming in on the weekends, which is why I choose to go out of town on the Saturday and Sunday.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the cherry blossoms and see them on the weekdays and nights instead, when there are less people and more of the local Gyeongju people out. With that said, there are a few good places to see the blossoms. These pictures were taken during 2011 and 2012 Cherry Blossom Season.
In no particular order:

General Kim Yu Shin Drive Course – Hengmu road
김유신장군 드라이브코스 (행무로)

Across the Express and Intercity Bus Terminals (고속터미널 & 시외터미널) and across the river you’ll find this area populated with the trees. They line the road and make a canopy over it. While you drive through it’s quite like a scene from a movie, except in real life, and ten times better.The road is split in the middle with a walkway where vendors usually set up. It makes quite a nice atmosphere for a warm spring night with blossoms in the trees, vendors selling snacks, and families or couples outside. At night time they light the road with various colours that change periodically. Under these lights you can see the cherry blossoms in purple, blue, red, pink, and more.

The only downside is that driving through can be extremely slow, and the side walk isn’t quite that big so you’ll have to watch where you’re going. It’s located at one of the entrances to the city so it’s quite busy as a first stop for tourists. Here’s a video taken of the area when the blossoms fall and the trees start to look green again. You’ll see the nice canopy I mentioned earlier.And here are some photos during the night time. If you’re like me, you don’t quite appreciate the different coloured lights so much. I do appreciate the effort to make it different; however I would rather enjoy them under a natural or white light to see their true colours.

Seonggeondong – hanbit-gil 20beon-gil (성건동 – 한빛길 20번길)

A smaller place to see the blossoms, and barely passable for mentioning, is the drinking area in Gyeongju. Across the bridge from Dongguk University is Seonggeondong. In one of the small roads you’ll see cherry blossoms between apartment/condo buildings and the bars. It’s nice if you’re already in the area and don’t want to miss the blossoms while you’re out drinking or eating dinner. There are barely any people here that are from out of town specifically to appreciate the blossoms. You’ll find more of the locals in this area.

Gyeongju Cherry Blossoms in Seonggeondong

Gyeongju Cherry Blossoms in Seonggeondong

Gyeongju Cherry Blossoms in Seonggeondong 2

Gyeongju Cherry Blossoms in Seonggeondong 2

On the way to Bomun Lake

Gyeongju Cherry Blossoms Pt. 2

If you’re driving, another great stretch of road is BunHwang Road(분황로) It’s a four lane road with very few cars on it at night time. It’s sided with a mass amount of cherry blossoms, similar to that of the one in the General Kim Yu Shin area, just without the canopy. It makes for a nice detour on the way to Bomun Lake (another great cherry blossom area). If you pass this area, some people will stop over on the side of the road to take a look, but most just drive through. It’s a nice straight road with very few distractions like buildings. You’ll really feel you’re in the country side when you see the farms and random statue making places beside the trees.