Konjiam Arboretum (Hwadam Botanical Garden)

Royal azaleas, wild flowers, birch tree forest… Spring’s cherry blossoms may have wilted but there are other types of seasonal flowers at their peak right now. Take a tour in Hwadam forest for a perfect colourful spring scenery!

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Located in Konjiam Resort, Hwadam Forest is a less known botanical garden easily accessible from Seoul and one of the perfect destinations for a spring picnic in the nature.

Opened in 2010, Hwadam Forest has been designed by the LG Foundation as a preservation sanctuary for many trees and plants species.

This beautiful 1,350,000-square-meter area is renowned for its pink royal azaleas in May and colourful maple trees in October and November.

 

Start your tour by the walk across the Bridge of Promise and admire the view of the large pond with its traditional Korean house. You can choose from different hiking courses which take you around the arboretum.
The main 5-kilometer trail has a low slope and is easily accessible for prams.

You can also take a monorail right from the entrance of the arboretum and enjoy the view from above. It takes around two hours to explore the entire area but count more if you want to  picnic or have a drink on the terrace of the coffeeshop by the lake. There is also a small playground at the end of the trail.

 

How to get there:

278, Docheogwit-Ro, Docheok-Myeon, Gwangju-Si, Gyeonggi-Do, Korea

Opening hours:

  • March– May 8:30 – 6:00
  • June – October 8:30 -6:30
  • October – November 8:30 – 5:00

Admission: adults 9,000 KRW, children 6,000 KRW

Information: Tel. 031-8026-6666

For more information, check the Korean website.

 

Yeon Deung Hoe 연등회 – Lotus Lantern Festival 2016

More than one hundred thousand lotus lanterns lighting up Seoul night – don’t miss the magic Lotus Lantern Parade on Saturday May 7th from 7PM

Lotus Lantern Parade Seoul

The 2016 edition of Yeon Deung Hoe 연등회 (Lotus Lantern Festival) will be held from May 6th to 8th with exhibition of traditional lanterns in various places such as Jogye-sa Temple or Cheonggyecheon stream.

The Lotus Lantern Parade stands out as the most colourful and memorable part of the festivity. This magical event draws participating crowds carrying tens of thousands of specially made, brightly lit lanterns in the shape of dragons, pagodas, white elephants, and lotus flowers down the street to the tune of Korean classical music. The procession is a must-see tradition both for kids and adults. The sidewalks along the parade route are always jam-packed with people, but if you come one hour before the start, you shall be able to find free seats along the main street.

Here is the detailed schedule:

  • Exhibition of Traditional Lanterns: May 6 ~ 15 Jogye-sa Temple and Cheonggyecheon stream
  • Eoulim madang (Buddhist Cheer Rally): May 7 (Sat) 4:30 pm Dongguk University Stadium
  • Lotus Lantern Parade: May 7 (Sat) 7:00 pm Jongno Street (Dongdaemun ~ Gwanghwamun Plaza)
  • Hoehyang Hanmadang (Post-Parade Celebration): May 16 (Sat) 9:30 ~11:00 pm Jonggak Intersection
  • Traditional Cultural Events: May 8 (Sun) Noon ~ 7:00 pm Street in front of Jogye-sa Temple
  • Cultural Performances: May 8 (Sun) Noon ~ 6:00pm Gongpyung intersection
  • Yeondeungnori (Final Celebration): May 8 (Sun) 7:00 ~ 9:00 pm Insa-dong ~ Street in front of Jogye-sa Temple

For a wider selection of Parade pictures, see Flickr archives here.

Detailed information, itinerary and schedule available on Lotus Lantern festival official website.

 

Spring in the Baby Animals Farm (대관령아기동물농장)

Would you like to spend a day feeding and cuddling chicks, ducklings, puppies, calves, lambs and many more baby animals…? We found the perfect place. It’s the Baby Animals Farm 대관령아기동물농장 located in a beautiful setting very close to Yongpyong and Alpensia ski resorts

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2 days old piglets in Daegwallyeong Baby Animals Farm

Our kids were enjoying Spring break last week so we decided to return to the East Coast – one of our favourite destinations in Korea.

Despite the chilly weather and some snow on the road, we enjoyed fresh air and windy days on the beach. Our very last day, on the way back home, we stopped by Daegwallyeong Baby Animals Farm. Initially it was supposed to be just a quick stop to cut the journey but we ended up spending the whole afternoon in the farm and no one didn’t really want to leave:-)

 

 

Right at the entrance we were welcomed by freshly hatched chicks, ducklings and quails. The kids were delighted to touch the soft cute baby poultry and feed them. We spent a long time cuddling baby bunnies and puppies, feeding the nimble squirrels and colourful budgies and we even experienced petting hedgehogs while wearing protective gloves😀

 

At a second station we found baby calves, kids (baby goats), lambs and the cutest 2 days old piglets. It was an amazing experience to bottle-feed the newborn calves and have fun with the playful baby goats.

 

Our next stop was in the stable. After feeding the hungry horses with hay the kids wanted to ride them. For an extra charge of 15,000 KRW you can ride a pony or horse. The outdoor circuit is beautiful with view of the mountains and the kids really enjoyed watching the surroundings from the saddle.

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We finished a perfect afternoon trying to catch the geese in the vast field. It was so much fun!

The Baby Animals Farm was definitely one of the highlights of our Spring break holidays and everyone – little ones and grown ups – seized the day.

 

How to get there:

Gangwondo Pyeongchang Daegwallyeong Hoenggyeri 262-21

강원도 평창군 대관령면 횡계리 262-21

Opening hours:

  • April – October 8:30 – 5:30
  • November – March 9:00 -4:30

Admission: 7,000 KRW (food for animals included)

Information: Tel. 033-336-3579

For more information, check the Korean website.