The whole world seems to have frozen over with the spread of COVID-19. Among the hardest hit is the travel industry. Nonetheless, the seasons change and the entire Korean peninsula is now filled with the energy of spring. Because the winter passed without being severely cold, flowers already have appeared in the south, heralding the early arrival of spring. Rape flowers in Jeju, which usually peak in March-April, are already waiting for spring travelers with their buds bursting.
1. Eongdeongmul Valley
If you want to fully appreciate the canola flowers of Jeju, you should look for Eongdeongmul Valley in Jungmun Tourist Complex. It's a hidden spot that few people know of, but the trails are nicely developed here for enjoying the blossoms.
It used to have many big rocks and the terrain was rugged. Even the animals looking for water couldn’t access the valley easily. They would long for it from a hill before turning back without a sip, only to stick out their butts and relieve themselves before they go. This is the origin of the valley’s name (“eongdeong” means “butt”).
But now there are well-established trails and canola flowers in between. Thanks to the effort by the Korea Tourism Organization's Jeju branch that planted them in abundance, we can appreciate the beautiful blossoms here. The scenery is so spectacular that pressing the shutter at any angle creates your life’s most memorable shots.
■ 192, Jungmun Gwangwang-ro, Seogwipo-si
2. Olle Trail Course 8
Olle Trail Course 8 next to Hyatt Regency Jeju Hotel in Jungmun Tourist Complex is another must-see spot for canola blossoms. It is characterized by the natural spread of the flowers along the coastal road, instead of plots of flower beds. At this time of the year, you can also enjoy camellia flowers as you walk along the coastal path. Unlike other tourist destinations that are packed with tourists, only few visitors come here, making it the perfect spot for taking pictures.
■ 256, Yeraehaean-ro, Seogwipo-si
Gashi-ri Village in Seogwipo is one of the best driving courses for viewing canola blossoms, spread throughout 10km from the entrance. It was selected as one of the “100 beautiful roads in Korea.”
Known for the spectacular scenery, Noksan-ro in Gashi-ri passes through Noksanjang and Gammajang, top breeding grounds in the Joseon period. It is the No. 1 spectacle among the 10 beautiful sceneries of Gashi-ri. At the village, you can also enjoy other beautiful natural views of Jeju, such as Ddarabi Oreum and Keunsaseumi Oreum.
■ 54-1, San, Gashi-ri, Pyoseon-myeon, Seogwipo-si
Seopjikoji, famous for Aqua Planet and the drama "All In," is a place that cannot be left out of famous canola blossom sites. The flower garden is located between Zippo Museum, Yumin Art Nouveau Collection, and Bangsupo Lighthouse. Search for “Seopjikoji Parking Lot” in your navigation and walk along Seopjikoji through the Cozy House for about 10 minutes to see the spectacular view. The background of the sea with canola flowers is stunning. While you’re there, make sure to also drop by Yumin Art Nouveau Collection (formerly Genius Loci) and Zippo Museum, designed by Ando Tadao.
■ Goseong-ri, Seongsan-eup, Seogwipo-si
5. Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak
Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak, the most famous sunrise spot in Jeju, is also famous for its canola blossoms. Canola fields are located along Gwangchigi Beach, the path that leads to Seongsan Ilchulbong. The flower complexes on both sides of the road, with the Peak in the backdrop, have distinct features. Some are exhibiting sculptures that are nice for taking pictures and others simply have a wide area of blossoms.
However, as each complex is operated by different owners, ticket prices vary. On average, the admission is quite affordable at about 1,000 won per person. Just choose the complex with the best view of Seongsan Ilchulbong.
■ 284-12, Ilchul-ro, Seongsan-eup, Seogwipo-si
6. Sanbangsan Mountain
If you ask those who have visited Jeju for canola flowers, not a few of them will pick Sanbangsan Mountain as their top spot. Behind Sanbangsan Mountain, canola complexes are formed from Sagyeri Intersection to Yongmeori Hamel Ship Exhibition Center and Yongmeori Coastal Ticket Office. As you travel around Sanbangsan around this time, you will see yellow fields with the sea in the background. Some of the large canola gardens require you to pay a fee for admission. Among them, the canola complexes near Sagyeori Intersection and on the Yongmeori Coastal Ticket Office are the most famous.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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