A Trip to Gangneung

Gyeongpo Lake Cherry Blossoms Festival 2016. Last April 9, Arbie and I decided to spend the peak of Cherry Blossoms in Gangneung, Gangwon-do. This was because we were trying to avoid the huge crowd in Seoul, Busan, Gyeongju, or somewhere else popular.


We did not regret our decision. Even before entering the location of the festival – everyone in the bus, including us, had all our jaws dropped in awe of the very beautiful cherry blossoms that welcomed us.

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Expectations vs Reality

There were a lot of people, yes. But, the place was almost boundless and the cherry blossoms weren’t the only spectacle you can enjoy; in fact, the people were dispersed in various locations like the lake and the beach.

Us, for example, rented a bike  at the festival area and drove to Gyeongpo Beach.

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Looking back, we actually spent more time at Gyeongpo Beach. I must say that this beach is a must-visit to all repeating tourists to Korea. The beach, which is less than 5-minutes bike ride away from Gangneung lake, is approximately 2.5 hours by bus from Seoul.

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At the beach, you can choose to spread your picnic mat at the sand under the bright sun or under the shades of fresh crisp pine trees.Since we are not a huge fan of sunburn, it wasn’t that difficult to decide where to spend the rest of the afternoon.

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our beautiful spot

Everything was almost perfect – the sun, the beach, the shade, the tree, and then, it was lunchtime and we both craved for some 생선구이 (고등어) fried mackerel. We checked every restaurant right beside the beach but surprisingly, they don’t sell this very common fish meal. Instead, they invite you to have some king crab, lobster, or eel for lunch that cost more than a hundred thousand won!

My food craving was intense that we had to go back to the nearby market a few meters away from the beach. After more than 30 minutes of searching, going back and forth, we finally found what we were looking for! It was funny though because we only ordered the usual 1 fish serving, praying that it would be enough for us to share because it was overpriced (2ok KRW)! Turned out the owner decided to give us 2 servings because they didn’t have the “large” one – but the serving they gave us was the “large” fish we originally thought of — so, I had to bring a leftover going back home.


After lunch, we went back to the beach and enjoyed the blinding powdery sand. The bike we rented cost 5 thousand won per hour and we were almost beyond our budget so we decided to go back to the festival to return it and of course, enjoy the reason why we actually went there in the first place – the cherry blossoms (ha!)

It’s been almost a month since we went to Gangneung and as I skim through my photo album, it is surprising and funny how we did not have many photos with the cherry blossoms at the festival! It only goes to show that Gangneung’s charm is not dependent on the seasonal blossoming of flowers but of the wonderful gift of nature it possess.

Let me know of your thoughts about Gangneung or your trip too if you have ever visited the place 😉 

 

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