I am officially a fan of 봄 (bom)! Not just the lead vocal of the very famous Korean girl group 2NE1 박봄 (Park Bom) but the season itself. A lot of K-Pop fans would probably know that 봄 means spring in Korea. This year I am fortunate enough to travel again to South Korea. It is my 6th time to visit South Korea and March 2014 marks my 3rd time to experience spring.
What makes me more excited now is that I will be traveling down to 진해 (Jinhae), a small town in the province of 경상남도 (Gyeongsangnamdo). Just a bit of information on naming places in Korea, 도 (do) is province in Korean. In the name 경상남도, 남 (nam) means south and so Gyeongsangnamdo is Province of South Gyeongsang. If there is south, the likelihood of having a north version is almost always there and north is 북 (buk). With that, North Province of Gyeongsang would be– 경상북도 (Gyeongsangbukdo) where the booming city of 대구 (Daegu) is located.
The town of Jinhae is where the biggest cherry blossom festival is held every year. For this year, the festival is happening from April 1-10, 2014. Based from the research I made, this is one of the most sought after festival in Korea. Now I realize what my long lost language exchange partner had been talking about. He was so proud of their province Gyeongsangnamdo, he mentioned that the biggest cherry blossom happens in their place. The traffic can be very heavy during this period but the good thing is the KTX makes a special direct route to Jinhae during festival period. We will be a day earlier from the festival and hopefully we see the cherry trees in almost its full bloom.
The weather forecast kept on changing for the past weeks but as of today, the forecast during our stay shows a no rain during our period of stay. According to the people I talked to last year when we visited Jeju, cherry blossoms disappears as soon as it rains. This is why experiencing cherry blossom would be a bit tricky if you are a foreigner like me who will need to book in advance to travel to Korea. The cherry blossom festival is usually announced within the month of March which is relatively near the actual date of the festival. The spring festivals is announced by the Korean Tourism through their website. During spring there are several other places in Korea that is worth a visit.
Spring here I come!