‘Twas the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

And I’m not referring to summer.

All this sweating in front of the fan while sitting scandalously clad, and drinking glass after glass of ice cold water has me longing for the former days of spring. Now, I’m generally not one to complain about the heat – I love me some tropics! However, the heat in Korea has reached a stupefying 40+ Celsius lately!

Spring in Seoul

So rather than facing the inferno, I am sitting in a cool cafe thinking up a gazillion reasons why spring in Seoul is so much better. Or maybe just four; I know you are all busy people…

Bright Paper Lanterns

The lanterns went up weeks before Buddha’s birthday and I had no complaints! The streets were adorned with lanterns strung from lamppost to tree to telephone pole. Red, blue, yellow, pink and green! It was a rainbow of colour, even more so at the Buddhist temples! I only wish we could celebrate my birthdays that way…

Paper Lanterns for Buddha's Birthday in Suwon

Cherry Blossoms

When the trees first began to bloom it was euphoria around town. After a brutally cold winter, flowers were exactly what everyone needed to brighten up their spirits. The streets were lined with blossoms in shades of pale pink and white, making it the perfect backdrop for photo shoots; and I saw many a couple getting cozy for the camera. Love was in the air!

The Cheonggyecheon

The stream that runs through the city of Seoul finally came to life. I had walked along its banks late in winter and it was a drab shade of concrete adorned with skeletal trees. As soon as spring arrived, however, so did an explosion of colour! And I don’t just mean the green leaves and fresh flower buds. Several small events took place along the Cheonggyecheon, including a Children’s Festival which resulted in colourful art installations going up all along the riverbank.

The Cheonggyecheon in Spring

Lotus Lantern Festival

This festival has been one of the highlights of my time in Korea to date! Traditional costumes, plumed dancers, and monks from Korea to Nepal all marching in unison. It was the most random of days; I started out as a spectator, ended up being interviewed for national television, snuck into the parade, and walked down the main street with red lanterns in hand which were kindly offered to me by a Korean woman. I couldn’t stop grinning as I waved at locals and foreigners, and they smiled back.

What’s your favourite city in the springtime?

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7 Comments

  1. says: Hannah

    Being anywhere, no matter how interesting or beautiful, while it’s blistering hot outside is pure torture. I know this because I live in Austin, Texas. The hardest thing for me is the heat combined with humidity; now that’s just gross. I think my favorite city in the springtime is Istanbul, Turkey because the weather is perfect, and the city is blanketed in tulips in March & April.

    1. says: thatbackpacker

      Yes, the humidity is what makes it unbearable! This week it felt like 48 Celsius. I didn’t know temperatures could get that high around these parts! And Istanbul in the springtime does sound beautiful. I love it when a city is covered in flowers. 😀

  2. says: Rika @ Cubicle Throwdown

    Wow – I have never seen such beautiful photos of Korea! Totally not what I picture in my head when I think of Korea 🙂 I love love love the lanterns! I think we should all get to celebrate birthdays like that.

    1. says: thatbackpacker

      It’s not what I was expecting before I moved out here either! Seoul has exceeded all my expectations. I think it’s a place more people should visit. 😀

  3. says: Ceri

    <3 Beautiful. I have a feeling I'll be teaching in Korea sometime in the future. The more I learn about it, the more it looks really fascinating and gorgeous.

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