Timing is everything in chasing cherry blossoms. Cherry blossoms typically bloom in the last week of March in Jeju Island. The local tourism site (VisitJeju) is the best place to get regular updates on the forecast and help you plan your trip. Canola flowers bloom around the same time and last longer than cherry blossoms. Canola fields are quite stunning and are generally found in Seogwipo-si.
Cherry blossoms can be found in shades of light pink and white. There are some blossoms that are deep pink in colour. It’s quite a task to capture the exact colour of the blossoms. A lot depends upon camera settings, filters, and also the natural lighting on that day.
I only had a Korean brochure for reference and wasn’t sure about the exact location of the cherry blossom street at Jeju Stadium. We decided to take a taxi to get there. Jeju taxi drivers are very friendly and our taxi driver showed us a couple of cherry blossom festivals en route. There are multiple entrances to Jeju Stadium and we asked him to stop at the location where we could spot a few blossoms. It turned out to be a parking lot of sorts. I wasn’t complaining because the blossoms were in full bloom.
There are many routes around Jeju Stadium to explore. We chose the one that cut across the parking lot and lead to a small park. From there, we stumbled upon Ora-Dong — a street that was lined on either side by fully bloomed cherry blossom trees.
There were hardly any people in the morning and it was a treat to walk under a canopy of cherry blossoms. Few cars passed by at the slowest speeds possible. The sun was playing hide-and-seek and changed the colours of the flowers. I wanted to stay here for a very long time.
Jeju Bus Terminal
We walked along Ora-Dong and tried to get to the main road. Once again, we stumbled upon yet another stunning location. The cherry trees were growing with wild abandon and covered every inch of blue sky above. Designated paths were created, to ensure people stuck to the walking tracks, but didn’t take away from the sights around.
Along the riverbed
Another trail lead to a path that hugged the dry riverbed. It’s hard to describe in words or even pictures the feeling of walking with those delicate pinks (or whites) all around you. I was in fairyland and I wanted to believe in magic. Adorable tiny tots were lead by their teachers along this magical path. They shouted, ‘annyeong’, in different pitches and intervals. And we returned the greeting with another ‘annyeong’ and a smile. This was bliss.
The riverbed was dry and had cherry blossoms spilling all over. The bridge is a good place to click pictures. Honestly, it’s hard to capture how stunning this sight looked in reality.
Around Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal
We walked further and found another nondescript street lined with cherry trees. That’s the best part about visiting a place in the best season. The best sights are often not listed on tourist sites and can be found by walking around.
There’s a tourist information centre at Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal. It’s pretty difficult to reach Noksan-ro by public transport. The tourism officer helped us hire a taxi to Noksan-ro and back — with an hour waiting. Noksan-ro is popular for its canola and cherry blossom road. I tried not to get my hopes high because it’s hard to get the timing right and we could have been early. The view from the taxi was amazing and I struggled to click a few bad pictures of the stunning road.
The taxi driver parked the car at a designated parking lot and we walked back to click pictures of the road. Now, it’s not easy getting a great shot of the road when you’re not whizzing by. Cherry blossoms hadn’t bloomed here yet. But it looked like a scenic spot and it would look amazing during the festival.
Caution: This is a two-way road and always remember that cars will pass at high speeds. Be careful while crossing or clicking pictures.
Noksan-ro didn’t look as amazing as the pictures suggested because we had visited a week earlier. But, there were many pretty flowers to be found and admired.
The parking lot was located in the middle of two interesting routes. One lead deep into a forested area. We walked as far as we could and returned back because we didn’t see anyone else on the path.
NohyeongOgeori (five-way intersection)
NohyeongOgeori is popular for its department stores, business hotels, and entertainment options. I never expected to find cherry blossoms here. One of the main streets (towards seogwipo-si) has a long line of cherry trees. I could get only a few shots from the window when we took the bus to Sanbangsan and back. It’s definitely one of the best spots to admire cherry blossoms.
Noyeon-ro is equally stunning. On a Sunday morning, the streets were deserted and the weather was beautiful. We also spotted the five-flavour berry (omija) trees growing on the pavement.
Jeju Jeil High School Park
We finally found this local park hidden in plain sight. I had spotted this park on one of my city tour routes. It was chilly, but the blossoms kept us going.
Sanjicheon Stream (산지천)
Sanjicheon Stream was a surprise find. There’s a wide variety of colourful plants planted along the banks of the stream. It’s nice to enjoy a pleasant stroll here in the afternoon or even after dark.
Dongmun Market is a stone’s throw away from Sanjicheon Stream. You won’t find cherry blossoms here, but you’d get good deals on Jeju’s famous Hallabong Oranges.
Samseonghyeol & Shinsan Park
Samseonghyeol is one of the most important cultural sites in Jeju folklore. There are few cherry trees here, but it’s a nice walk in the woods. Shinsan Park looks gorgeous when the trees are in full bloom. You can read a detailed post here.