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Travel Highlights

Travel Highlights

Spring Beauties in Jeollanam-do

  • Tag Event Tour
  • Date04/06/2021
  • Hit2294

Gwangyang Maehwa Village

Spring in Korea hits earliest down south, making Jeollanam-do the perfect travel destination for seeing beautiful spring blossoms. From sansuyu (cornus fruit) covering Jirisan Mountain in yellow to the pure white of maehwa (plum blossom) and pink-tinted tunnels of cherry blossom trees, flowers fill the land. While in the area, be sure to plan for a stop at Ssangsanje, the filming location for the popular show “Youn’s Stay.”

Sansuyu: Painting Jirisan Mountain yellow

Gurye Sansuyu Village

Gurye Sansuyu Village

One of the earliest places to bloom in spring is Gurye Sansuyu Village. Home to over 70% of all sansuyu trees in the nation, the whole village is painted in yellow by the time March rolls around. The village can largely be divided into the upper village, lower village, and Bangok Village. From the upper village, you can see the whole panorama of the area. In the lower village, walk through the blooming trees along the Scenery Trail by Byeorakbawi Rock and Gaksigyegok Valley. The Sansuyu Love Park at the entrance to the village is a great place for photos, with sansuyu-themed sculptures and photo zones.

Gurye Sansuyu Village

  • Address: Area of Wian-ri, Gurye-gun, Jeollanam-do (전라남도 구례군 산동면 위안리 일대)
  • Directions
    - From Gurye Station: Take a taxi for approx. 30 min
    - From Gurye Bus Terminal: Take a taxi for approx. 25 min
  • Operating hours: Open 24 hr
    * Hours may vary by facility; inquire in advance
  • Website: www.sansuyoo.net (Korean only)

Bangok Village Sansuyu Habitat

Bangok Village Sansuyu Habitat (credit: Gurye-gun Office)

Bangok Village, located at the entrance to Gurye Sansuyu Village, is home to a large habitat of sansuyu trees. This habitat in particular is a popular springtime destination for the beautiful scenery created by the yellow blossoms growing beside a stream flowing over large flat rocks.

Bangok Village Sansuyu Habitat

There are a few courses through the village, but the best one is by far Course 1, Flower Road. As the name suggests, this course passes plenty of flowers, as well as main attractions in the village, such as Sansuyu Love Park, Sansuyu Culture Hall, and Jirisan Nadeuri Market. The full course is roughly 3.6 kilometers long, and takes about one hour and 10 minutes to walk.

Bangok Village Sansuyu Habitat

  • Address: Area of Daepyeong-ri, Gurye-gun, Jeollanam-do (전라남도 구례군 산동면 대평리 일대)
  • Directions
    - From Gurye Station: Take a taxi for approx. 30 min
    - From Gurye Bus Terminal: Take a taxi for approx. 20 min
    * Times based on ride to Bangok Village Hall
  • Operating hours: Open 24 hr
    * Hours may vary by facility; inquire in advance

Maehwa: A white cloud of flowers

Gwangyang Maehwa Village

Gwangyang Maehwa Village

Gwangyang Maehwa Village gets its name from the large colony of maehwa trees growing in the area of Daap-myeon in Gwangyang. The beautiful white blossoms coat the landscape of the village each spring, and also provide the resources for Cheongmaesil Farm, the largest plum plantation in Korea.

Gwangyang Maehwa Village

At Cheongmaesil Farm, you can find a variety of plum products, including jellies, side dishes, and even pillows! During the annual Gwangyang Maehwa Festival, the farm also offers many hands-on programs like making foods with plums, and using plums for natural dyeing. The nearly 2,000 traditional onggi pots are also a showstopper.

Gwangyang Maehwa Village

When visiting Gwangyang Maehwa Village, be sure to try the maehwa ice cream, available at shops throughout the village. Despite looking just like regular milk ice cream, the maehwa ice cream has the sweet and smooth taste of green plums. Just one bite and you'll feel as if you're eating maehwa blossoms!

Gwangyang Maehwa Village

  • Address: Area of 1563-1, Seomjingangmaehwa-ro, Gwangyang-si, Jeollanam-do (전라남도 광양시 다압면 섬진강매화로 1563-1 일대)
  • Directions: Take a taxi for approx. 35 min from Gwangyang Bus Terminal
  • Operating hours: 09:00-18:00, open all year round
  • Admission: Free
  • Website: maehwa.invil.org (Korean only)

Hwaeomsa Temple's red maehwa

Hwaeomsa Temple (top credit: Hwaeomsa Temple)

While most maehwa blossoms are white, the red maehwa tree at Hwaeomsa Temple in Gurye blooms bright pink every spring! In addition to the brighter color, the blossoms also have a stronger scent. The aromatic pink flowers are in harmony with the wooden Gakwangjeon Hall, and the tree is special enough to have been designated as Natural Monument No. 485.

Hwaeomsa Temple

  • Address: 539, Hwaeomsa-ro, Gurye-gun, Jeollanam-do (전라남도 구례군 마산면 화엄사로 539)
  • Directions
    - From Gurye Station: Take a taxi for approx. 30 min
    - From Gurye Bus Terminal: Take a taxi for approx. 25 min
  • Operating hours: 08:00-18:00, open all year round
  • Admission: Adults 3,500 won / Teenagers 1,800 won / Children 1,300 won
    * Teenagers (middle & high school students) / Children (elementary school students)
    * Free: Preschoolers (ages 7 & younger), senior citizens (ages 65 & older)
  • Website: www.hwaeomsa.com (Korean only)

Cherry Blossoms: Sweet pink tints

Seomjingang Cherry Blossom Trail

Seomjingang Cherry Blossom Trail

The Seomjingang Cherry Blossom Trail stretches nearly 40 kilometers and is lined with cherry blossoms the entire way. The road can be enjoyed by car, bicycle, or even on foot. The road can also be combined with Seomjingang Daesup Road and Healing Ecology Course for a full trip. To see the road in full bloom, it's best to plan a visit in late March or early April.

Hwaeomsa Temple's Higan cherry tree

Higan cherry tree of Hwaeomsa Temple (credit: Hwaeomsa Temple)

While the red maehwa at Hwaeomsa Temple tends to get most of the attention, the temple is also home to a beautiful Higan cherry tree, registered as Natural Monument No. 38. Higan cherry trees tend to bloom earlier than other cherry blossom tree varieties. The tree is quite large, having grown for many years. To see this grand tree in full bloom, visit in April!

Seomjingang Cherry Blossom Trail

  • Address: Area of Muncheok-myeon, Gurye-gun, Jeollanam-do (전라남도 구례군 문척면 일대)
  • Directions: Take a taxi for approx. 5 min from Gurye Station or Gurye Bus Terminal
  • Operating hours: Open 24 hr

Ssangsanje: Slow down and smell the blossoms

Ssangsanje

While enjoying the spring blossoms in Jeollanam-do, stop by Ssangsanje for a break. Ssangsanje is a collection of traditional houses that were recently used for the Korean reality program “Youn’s Stay,” where foreigners new to living in Korea could stay to experience Korean culture.

Ssangsanje

Built during the Late Joseon Era, the buildings wonderfully preserve the atmosphere of scholarly studies before a garden, the layout typically found in traditional Korean houses. Spread over a large 16,500㎡plot of land, the complex has 15 buildings of various sizes, and over 100 species of plants in the gardens. Currently, the accommodations are unavailable, but you can still experience the beauty of the buildings and spring with a warm cup of tea.

Ssangsanje

  • Address: 3-2, Jangsu-gil, Gurye-gun, Jeollanam-do (전라남도 구례군 마산면 장수길 3-2)
  • Directions
    - From Gurye Station: Take a taxi for approx. 10 min
    - From Gurye Bus Terminal: Take a taxi for approx. 8 min
  • Operating hours: 11:00-16:30 (Last admission 16:00)
  • Admission: 10,000 won (one free welcome tea included) * Preschoolers (ages 7 & younger) not permitted
  • Website: www.ssangsanje.com (Korean only)

More Info

  • 1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Vietnamese, Thai, Malay)

* This column was last updated in March 2021, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here. We advise you to check details before visiting.

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