This weekend one backpack bee packed up and headed to the Changwon’s Jinhae Gunhang Je (known as the Cherry Blossom Festival) with friends (Mr. B was under the weather). We took a private bus trip departing in Dongducheon at 6AM to Changwon. Our guide joking stated the best comparison she could provide distance wise is like when you are in the states heading through the four southern states to get to Miami Florida. The trip down was about 5 ½ hours South including three rest/ stretch stops along the way.
We enjoyed the bus ride and traffic was fantastic right up until we were nearing the festival location. Our friends packed food for an army so of course we munched on snacks, talked, relaxed to tunes, and munched more. We celebrated Hectors birthday with a cake, candle blowing, and song, along with an anniversary.
Changwon’s cherry blossom festival is the oldest known festival beginning in the year 1952 and is held annually April 1st to April 10th. This year marked the 49th year of the festival celebration! The town is best known as the world’s largest number of flowering beotkkot namu (cherry trees). The festival commemorates Korea’s famous naval hero, Admiral Yi Sun Shin. Closer smaller celebrations near Dongducheon will take place around Seoul later in the month when the blossoms start to open.
Last year over 2 million tourists came from all over the world to attend and walk along the beautifully tree-lined streets and take in the picturesque mountain views. At some points when the wind would blow it would look as if it was raining pink petals. Words really cannot express just how beautiful the sights were.
I snapped as many pictures to try to capture what the town and festival looked like to share with all of our bloggers. In the pictures you will notice that a new friend Mary and I tried beondaegi, or known as boiled silkworm larve. Yes, ewww! Ha-ha! It was something I said I was going to try and blog about once I had done so. The taste I can’t even put in words. It is definitely something that I have gotten out of my system and do not feel the need to try again….well until I make my way to Taiwan where I hear they are actually pretty tasty.
I snapped a few pictures of the various food vendors to include the little beans that one vendor was selling. Suk grabbed the sampling plate and told our group to try them out that they were very good. Surprisingly I really thought they were good! Suke went on to tell us that these beans were a local thing that the area prided themselves on. The beans are said to provide your body with a cancer fighting preventative factor. Next year if we go back I will definitely purchase a box or so because they were so yummy!
Okay, enough rambling! Go check out the pictures!