I had been to South Korea back in November of 2013. It was pretty fortunate that I got a 3 year multiple entry visa, so I always planned on going back. When a seat sale came last January 2016. I thought that maybe I should go.
I targeted a Mid April date as I really wanted to see the cherry blossoms. I thought that if Japan was too expensive, Korea would be able to provide an alternative. Also, for this trip I thought that it would be a different experience as during my previous visit I had already been able to go to most of the touristy sites except for the theme parks.
[Side note: That 2013 Korea trip was probably one of my best “scores” when it comes to Cebu Pacific tickets. I think I was able to buy 2 round trip tickets (I brought my sister along) with baggage allowance for less than 3500.00).
Even before I left, there were already a couple of problems that popped up:
First was I had a US work trip on the horizon and it seemed that I wouldn’t be able to fly to Korea as it would overlap with the schedule. I was actually all set on not going on the trip that I didn’t pack my bag anymore or even call a hostel to confirm where I’m staying (I did initially send emails though). I guess the trip was meant to happen though, as literally hours before my flight, I got confirmation that my US work trip will be postponed for a week. Upon reading the news, I packed my bags and called the hostel to check if they had rooms available, fortunately they did, and off I went to Korea.
The next problem was the cherry blossoms themselves. On the days leading to the trip, I had researched the dates of the blooming and it seemed that I will arrive a week or so too late for the cherry blossoms in Seoul. However, I did find that Yeouido park and the streets leading up to it are known Cherry blossoms and that there would still be some when I arrived.
To get to the park, I hopped off at the National Assembly Hall station. I then walked around the area and follow the signs on the way to the park. Those were the cherry blossoms on the roads leading to the streets which while gave me some hope, also showed me that the best views have already passed. However, for someone like me who has never seen it, they were already quite nice.
I went around the area, even visiting the KBS World station and anticipated that since the streets were lined with petals, the actual park would be more beautiful. Unfortunately, the park no longer had that much blossoms and only had this:
Disappointed, I just toured around the park and looked at the sights. I came across a clearing which had rows of basketball courts and were amazed at how empty most of the courts were. I was thinking, if this had been in the Philippines, I’m pretty sure this would have all been filled by now.
After a bit of touring, I headed back to Come Inn Guesthouse. I was disappointed with what happened, but what I was was still nice enough that it wasn’t really that frustrating. Fortunately, things turned out pretty well after this.