Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Spring Trip 2013: Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival

It always happen this way. I tend to blog during exams preparation week. Honestly, I don't care really much about getting good results as I believe taking lectures should be more about learning than regurgitating facts during exams. 

Where is my Rose? (Me alone? ahhh!!!)
Nevertheless, I want to achieve well. Unlike in the past where my goals were to get excellent results and obtain admission to good university, now, I work hard solely to learn as much as I can and indirectly, achieving my small set of short-term goals.

"Little Moments" fashion mag~
These days, I felt my time in Korea passes by so fast because in less than a year, I will be graduating and then, a new dilemma begins: What's next for me. So instead of worrying about the next phase in life, I began an adventure of travelling to places I missed during my past four years in Korea. I started off at Jinhae.


Jinhae (진해) is a beautiful port town located in the south of Korea. Travelling there is not a problem especially during non-peak months but come spring, you will come across huge crowds of visitors to the Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival (진해군항제). This festival is usually held on early April for a week. This is also the time where you can see traders increasing their prices on every goods/food they sell.

Jinhae 2013
I am very kiamsiap (stingy) when it comes to paying for below-average food. I don't mind paying good money for a haute cuisine but if you asked me to pay double for a kimbap with so little ingredients, I wouldn't like paying for that crap

It happened when I was outside the Changwon station buying a cheese kimbap (a plain roll of kimbap: rice and seaweed with some garnishing, topped with only a slice of cheap cheese), it was 3,000 Won! Damn! I can get bulgogi kimbap for less than 2,000 Won at the nearby convenience store.  

Changwon Station, out from the train
Getting to Jinhae from Seoul/Daegu: Just take a train (KTX or Mugunghwa, the slow train) to Changwon (창원) and transfer to Jinhae using the Mugunghwa. Going back is the same. However, if you prefer to visit more places, you can travel to Masan, 마산 (most Koreans do it anyway if they found out that train tickets were all sold out) from Jinhae and take an express bus or train back. 

Going there: Dongdaegu - Changwon (KTX) - Jinhae (Mugunghwa)
From Masan to Daegu/Seoul by bus, you need to walk to 마산시외버스터미널 or the Masan Inter City Bus Terminal (around 1000 m from the station). It costs less than 7,000 Won, from Masan to Daegu/Dongdaegu Station by either bus or train.

Jinhae to Masan (you can get a ticket to Changwon too...)
Masan to Daegu (but we took off at Dongdaegu Station)
The key attraction spot in Jinhae during spring is the Yeojwa Stream (여좌천). This is where most travel brochures and flyers prominently display this place as a "must-visit" place. Fear not the countless touts waiting for you outside the Jinhae station telling you they are willing to fetch you there, you can, in fact, walk there by yourself! 

Outside the Jinhae station, walk a little further up until you reach the road and turn to your right. Keep walking until you can see an underpass on your right. This is it. You are already there.

As we walked pass the stream, flower petals were showering down on us whenever the wind gusted. Instead of snow during winter, this was petal showers during spring. Wouldn't it be nice if we can have two seasons in Malaysia, spring and autumn

My only complain was the overpriced food sold around the area. I really have serious issue with the food price here. There were a lot of kebab stalls (each is 4,000 Won) operated by Turkish and since I am bringing my Muslim friends, the vendors hesitated when I asked them whether they were halal or not. They simply said that the meat was halal, whether to believe or not, I don't know. I chose not to believe...   

Most snacks were above the 3,000 Won price range. You can get more delicious, cheaper and better alternatives in Seoul (especially in Itaewon for the Kebab), Daegu or anywhere else. If you come for food, I would not recommend it at all. This is also true for photography if you are there on weekends. I intentionally traveled to Jinhae on a weekday (Wednesday) just to avoid the crowds. And I don't have classes on Wed. Even better!

Side Trip: Jinhae Tower

As Jinhae is also the home of Korea's naval academy, they will be military parades during this festival (exact time not sure). According to a Korean I met over there, he said that the Yeojwa Stream looks better at night as the whole will be colorfully lit up.


Say "Gangnam"!
With over a year left, I intend to travel to as many places (yet to be visited by me) as I can in Korea. It's quite amusing to see people studying over five years in Korea but have yet to visit Busan or Gyeongju (경주). My next trip would most probably be Busan, it is so near to Daegu. Happy weekend. 


Jia Ling Lee said...

hey! I m staying in sinlim. btw hav u been to jejudo or nami island? would like to heard about ur experience there. thanks!! :)

kyle said...

Staying in sinlim? Nway, I've been to Nami but not Jeju (maybe this coming summer) ;)

Check out this link below for my Nami's experience:-

Jia Ling Lee said...

oh ok thanks! btw i m a student from malaysia studying korean in SNU.. will be continuing my studies in engineering nex year :) i would like to ask you, where can I subscribe phone line here? I heard tat we cannot sub line if underage rite?

kyle said...

Do you mean land line?

I don't subscribe to it so I am not sure about the regulations, all Malaysians I know do not have a house phone. :) Get Skype, it is better than a land line (Just agree on the time to meet and voila~!

If you meant a mobile phone subscription, yes, you cannot if you are still underage, but ask your seniors in SNU. They are more than willing to sign on your behalf here. Just make sure you pay the bills on time though.

Anonymous said...

yea i mean mobile phone subcription. anyway thanks for ur advice :) love reading ur blog especially now staying in korea.. gives me a lot of insight of life and studies in korea :)

waniemy said...

Hi Kyle,

I'm planning to visit Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival next yr Apr 2014. Now... I'm looking for accommodation nearby the festival as I will be in Busan for 3D2N. Unfortunately, I found limited accommodations in Jinhae. Many are in Busan city which is 3hrs from Jinhae, something like that, if i'm not mistaken.

Where can I stay in Jinhae? Where can I get accommodation nearby the festival?

Thanks in advance.

kyle said...

There is plenty of motels around Jinhae, so I'm sure you can find accommodation. They are located outside the train station or a short distance away from there.

PS. It can be more costly to stay at Jinhae during the festival than on normal days. They will usually hike up the price. :(

Thanks for reading.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kyle,

I find your blog very useful.

I am planning to visit the festival this year. I understand it's from April 1-10. May I know what date you visited last year? I hope to see the full bloom too. :)

Do you recommend taking Changwon’s city bus tour during the festival? Or will I see more activities and more of cherry blossom if I just walk?

Thank you very much!

Helen Boon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Hi, can i know how much did your trip cost? (From Seoul to Jinhae and back)

You might also like..

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
"This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning" ~Winston Churchill~