`Tis the season: Spring destinations in Busan for flower fanatics
Eager to finally put those winter clothes back in storage and get outside? So are we! Consider welcoming warmer weather back into your life with a visit to one (or all!) of these wonderful spring spots. The peak is season is too short, so make sure not to miss out!
Samnak Ecological Park
A pathway perfect for bike riding along the Nak-donggang River in Sasang-gu (district) is covered in pink every early spring.
Samnak Ecological Park is a lovely location to appreciate the great outdoors all year, but it truly shines during this time of year, especially along its five kilometer recreational trail that flanks the waterway. More than 3,000 cherry blossom trees live along the route, which envelop visitors in a otherworldly tunnel of pink petals. Enjoy them from the end of March until the beginning of April.
But, don't stop there! Samnak Ecological Park is exploding with wonder throughout the year, including lotuses and sunflowers in the summer, cosmos in autumn and reeds in winter. The park is also equipped with sports facilities for such activities as badminton, basketball, soccer and tennis. Take your bicycle there or rent one for 3,000 won an hour (6,000 won for tandem bikes). Identification card required. For those who want to simply relax, there are plenty of quiet spots in Samnak Ecological Park, far from roads, far from noise, that offer respite from busy city life.
- How to get there: Sasang Station (Metro line 2), exit 3. Walk 15 minutes. Or, Gwaebeop Renecite Station (Busan-Gimhae Light Rail Transit), exit 1. Cross the bridge leading to the park.
Daejeo Ecological Park
Another great place to experience nature throughout the year, Daejeo Ecological Park stands out the most throughout April when a world of yellow flowers wakes up.
Located near the western end of Busan metro line 3 in Gangseo-gu, Daejeo Ecological Park's ecosystem also includes preserved wetlands that serve as a valuable sanctuary for winter migratory birds. The park extends over 750,000 square meters and includes the largest yellow rape flower garden in Korea. Preserve a marvelous memory with a picture among these gorgeous flowers.
An annual festival celebrating the yellow rape flowers that dominate the landscape here during this time of year will be held in April in conjunction with their peak bloom. This enormously-popular event can easily attract thousands of visitors from around the country.
- How to get there: Gangseo-gu Office Station (Metro line 3), exits 1 or 3. Walk about 10 minutes toward the riverside.
Busan's central Oncheoncheon Stream flows from Geumjeong-gu through Yeonje-gu and Dongnae-gu to the Suyeonggang River and is surrounded by both cherry blossom trees and yellow rape flowers that explode with color every spring. Hundreds of cherry blossom trees line each bank, while the yellow rape flower gardens are laid out near the bank, making this a great place for an early spring jaunt.
With easy access from multiple places, including near several metro stations, visitors can walk, jog, bike ride or just find a bench to soak up a mild and sunny early spring afternoon along this lovely stream. Located near several university campuses, the area has become a popular hangout for students in search of spring flowers and relaxed vibes.
- How to get there: Dongnae Station (Metro line 1), exits 2 or 4. Access the walkway through a stairway leading under the station.
The Samick Beach apartment complex near Gwangalli Beach in Namcheon-dong (neighborhood) is flush with cherry blossoms in early spring. This landmark site was built on reclaimed land in 1980. Cherry blossom trees were planted outside the complex along the beach road, which have grown ever bigger and more majestic over nearly four decades.
The best time to visit Samick Beach is between the end of March and beginning of April when the flowers are in full bloom. Be prepared to witness more than a few Instagram-worthy snapshots. In addition, a nice coastal promenade around the complex, equipped with various facilities including a bicycle and foot paths, comes highly recommended. Finish up your afternoon with a relaxing drink at one of many lovely coffee shops along Gwangalli Beach.
- How to get there: Geumnyeonsan Station (Metro line 2), exit 5. Walk about 10 minutes toward Gwangalli Beach.
When people think of Haeundae they most often think about the beach. But, there's more to this popular tourist region than sand and surf. Visit nearby Dalmaji Hill for some of the finest views, of cherry blossoms and more, found throughout the city.
Head up Dalmaji Hill from the Mipo intersection and enjoy the blue ocean on your right, unique cafes, restaurants, galleries, handicraft workshops and more on your left. Cherry blossoms greet visitors on both sides. Stop for a cup of coffee and soak up not only the cherry blossoms but also a stimulating sea view, which is even more inviting at night.
Moontan Road, a forested pathway, can be accessed from several points, including at the outdoor stage, a location for performances as well as people looking for a place to enjoy a picnic. An outdoor market event is held regularly weekend afternoons at Haewoljeong Square. Check out some of the handicraft items on offer made by local artists.
- How to get there: Jungdong Station (Metro line 2), exit 7. Walk 10 to 15 minutes toward Mipo Ogeori (five-way intersection) toward the Dalmajigil sign. Either walk up from there, or take bus 39, 100, 139, 141 or 200 and get off at the Mipo Moontan Road entrance bus stop.
Oryukdo Island is a stunning place to visit during mid-to-late spring. It is composed of six different islands in front of the beach in Yongho-dong and features ample opportunities to connect with nature. The sunrises here are breathtaking.
If the crack of dawn is a little too early a time to tolerate, the beautiful yellow rape flowers can be enjoyed later in the day, especially during spring. A yellow rape flower complex here occupies nearly 30,000 square meters.
Of course, no discussion of beautiful Oryukdo Island can be without mentioning its impressive skywalk. Jutting out into the sea, one might feel like they are walking over the water as they step upon the skywalk's tempered glass. One of Busan's most popular hiking courses can be found here, as well, from Cruise Ship Oryukdo Quay to Igidae Park along the coast line.
- Oryukdo skywalk operating hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- How to get there: Kyungsung University/Pukyong National University Station (Metro line 2), exit 5. Take bus 24, 27 or 131 and get off at the Oryukdo Skywalk stop.
Head to Democracy Park to experience a special kind of cherry blossom. Here, the donarium variety of cherry trees bloom about a month later than the average blooming time for cherry blossoms and feature bigger, more colorful, more beautiful petals.
Located on a mountainside road in Yeongju-dong, Democracy Park, created to honor the modern Korean democracy movement, is well known among locals for this special breed of cherry blossom in mid-to-late April. There is a memorial hall, special sculptures, an outdoor rest area by a pond and arboretum for visitors to enjoy. Four hundred different kinds of trees can be found here. The park also affords visitors excellent views of Busan New Port, Busan Port Bridge and Yongdusan Mountain Park from its observation deck.
- How to get there: Busan Station (Metro line 1), exit 7. Take bus 43 and get off at Jungang Park Minju Park stop, the last stop.