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ROMANCE BLOSSOMS IN KOREA

  • Date03/25/2014
  • Hit51511

Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) will be participating in the upcoming Air Asia Travel Fair, highlighting the Beauty of Authentic Korea in the spring (March – May), and giving away exclusive editions of redemption gifts and exciting activities for travel enthusiasts in Malaysia.

Air Asia Travel Fair

Date : 28th February (Friday) – 2nd March (Sunday) 2014
Theme : Romance Blossoms – Cherish the Sweet Aroma of Flowers in Spring
Location : Level Ground Walkway, Paradigm Mall Kelana Jaya

1. Inspiring Destination Highlights

BUSAN IN FULL BLOOM SHOWCASES THE BEAUTY OF AUTHENTIC KOREA

Busan, Korea’s second largest city is blossoming into a tourist destination that’s capable of holding its own especially during the spring season

With Korea currently riding high on the “hallyu” (Korean wave), its port-city of Busan looks set to grab a bigger share of the country’s tourism pie. Located on the southeastern tip of the Korean Peninsula, Busan has 15 autonomous regions, one county and 215 “dong” (neighborhoods) with a population of 3.6 million.

Beyond the city’s impressive high-rise skyline and shopping havens, Busan’s inner beauty shines through its verdant parks and landscaped gardens, and scenic shorelines with glimpses of the emerald sea juxtaposed against a backdrop of majestic mountains. The well-connected Gimhae International Airport coupled with extensive inter-city bus and railway services make Busan the perfect gateway to the wonders of Korea’s southern region. Popular domestic destinations such as Jeju and Gyeongju are merely a hop, skip and jump away. Unsurprisingly, Busan’s very own four C’s – cherry blossoms, café society, culture & arts and culinary delights are quickly gaining widespread interest amongst intrepid travelers.

1.1 An Authentically Blossoming Korean Romance

Busan literally bursts into full bloom each spring with thousands of cherry trees flowering in every nook and corner. Some of the prime sites for breath-taking cherry blossom views include Dalmaji Hill, Jinhae and the neighbouring Gyeongju. Easily accessible by foot from the famous Haeundae Beach, Dalmaji Hill offers numerous vantage points featuring stunning springtime vistas. A stone’s throw away from Dalmaji’s café strip stands Haelwol (sea-moon) Pavilion, an ornate pergola where couples go to view the sunrise and moonrise.

Just a 40-minute drive away from Busan is Jinhae which is world famous for its annual Cherry Blossom Festival which began in 1952. Held annually, this charming town’s lively parade with its spectacular floral display attracts over two million visitors annually from late March to early April. Set on a mountainous stretch of the southern Korean coastline, Jinhae’s most picture-perfect spots are the 1.5km boardwalk alongside the picturesque Yeojwacheon Stream and the 800-metre long the Gyeonghwa railway track that is flanked by an endless row of blossoming cherry trees on both sides.

Another vantage point is the park on Mount Jaehwangsan in the centre of Jinhae. Visitors must hike up 365 steps for an encompassing view of the town blanketed with cherry blossoms, but for those who rather not to sweat it, hitch a ride on the monorail that goes right up to the summit. The profusion of delicate pink blooms can also be admired around Gyeongju in the Gyeongsangbuk-do Province - once the capital of the ancient Silla Kingdom (57 BC – AD 935) - which is about an hour’s away from Busan by car, bus or train.

Bomun Lake – an integrated tourist resort surrounded by deluxe hotels, hot springs, golf club and the Shilla Millennium Park is another hot cherry blossom viewing spot. The long, cherry tree lined walkway along the serene Bomun Lake becomes pretty in pink each April, paved with a flurry of delicate cherry blossom petals.

Similarly, Jeju Island’s King Cherry Tree blossoms – its petals being the largest and lushest of all cherry blossoms - flourish all over Seogwipo’s downtown area for only 2 to 3 days, in April. So take a romantic stroll along scenic Jeju’s gorgeous cherry blossom boulevard, while you can.

1.2 Cultural & Historical Catchet

For culture, arts and history buffs, Busan and its surrounds have plenty of interesting sights, landmarks and attractions to keep them fully occupied. For starters, the Forty Steps Cultural Themed Street feature lifelike sculptures that served as poignant reminders of the lives of ordinary people during the Korean War (1950 – 1953) period.

Buddhism, adopted in the 6th century by the Silla Kingdom, left numerous fascinating relics in Gyeongju. Among the major historical sites found here are the Bulguksa Temple and Seokguram Grotto, both designated as UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites. Home to the Dabotap and Seokgatap pagodas in front of Daeungjeon (main hall), Bulguksa’s detailed craftsmanship and art of the 8th century are reminders of the Silla Dynasty’s rich spiritual heritage. Similarly, the dome-shaped, 1,200 year-old Seokguram Grotto is a testament to the dynasty’s expertise in architecture, science, geometry and art.

1.3 Culinary Pursuits

The Jagalchi Market is a multi-storey complex where the day’s freshest catch and a wide selection of dried marine products unfailingly reel in hordes of home cooks and passionate seafood lovers. The street food carts that operate nightly at Haeundae Beach also proffer seafood specialities that are cooked to order.

Besides the ubiquitous kimchi, bibimbap, bulgogi and galbi, Busan’s best delicacies include sashimi, gukbap (boiled rice with pork, innards and Korean pork sausage in rich beef stock), milmyeon (chewy wheat noodles in broth with sliced cucumber and other garnishes, seasoned with red pepper sauce, vinegar and mustard), and haemultang.

Further afield in Gyeongju, the most outstanding offering is ssambap, a lavish feast where spoonfuls of rice are eaten wrapped in fresh greens such as lettuce, Chinese cabbage, kelp seaweed and dried laver with soybean paste accompanied by 20 to 30 types of robustly flavored Korean ban chan (pickles and appetizers), namul (wild greens), gui (grilled), jijim (pan-fried) dishes. When in Jeju, don’t leave without sampling the famed heukdwaeji hanmari gui (Korean barbecue of assorted black pork cuts), hallabong (an orange-tangerine hybrid grown prolifically in Jeju) and gunbam (roasted chestnuts).

2. Inspiring Redemptions & Promotions

Air Asia Travel Fair

Authentic Korea Full Package & Ground Package Purchasers:
THEFACESHOP Travel Kit

Flight Bookings within 3 Days of Travel Fair:
T-Money Transportation Card (5,000 credit included, top-ups possible)

*While stocks last
*Terms & conditions apply

2.1 Inspiring Activities

Air Asia Travel Fair

Busan Tourism Organization will participate in this Fair, and customers who have purchased tickets can inquire for more information at the Korea Tourism Organization booth. Fair attractions also include gift redemptions, a “hanbok” (Korean traditional dress) trial and Authentic Korean food-tasting.

Inquiries

For more information on Korean tourism, visit www.visitkorea.or.kr. Details on exclusive promotions for Malaysians are available on www.visitkorea.com.my or by contacting:

Ms. Tan Hue Yee, Marketing Manager
Korea Tourism Organization, Malaysia & Brunei
T: 03-2143 9000/F: 03-2143 2515/E: marketing.ktokl@gmail.com