Cherry Blossoms: Spring at Hwaseong Fortress
Updated: Aug 5, 2021
One of the most festive and colorful times of the year in South Korea is spring. This is especially true during cherry blossom season. Many coffee shops including Starbucks will release special drinks for spring and Diaso will be filled with many cherry blossom-themed items. You can even see cherry blossom-themed snack, alcohol, and even instant coffee!
For almost all Koreans, it is a must to take a stroll with friends and family to look at the blossoming cherry blossoms in all of their beauty. They even have a word for it in Korean: 벚꽃 놀이. If you happen to be visiting the fortress during cherry blossom season, and want to make the most of it, here are a few tips.
Cherry Blossom Viewing Areas:
If you want to see cherry blossoms while visiting the fortress, there are three prominent areas.
1. Gyeonggi-do Provincial Government Complex
The roads near Gyeonggi-do Provincial Government Complex are known to be one of the best places to see cherry blossoms in all of Gyeonggi-do. There are over 200 trees that line the roads that are near Paldalsan and Hwaseong Fortress.
Every year they also have a festival, which is announced a few weeks before the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. There is musical performances, photo zones and food trucks set up for visitors. Traffic is also suspended during this time, so feel free to stroll along the roads at ease.
2. Paldalmun Road
On Paldalsan, above the Haenggung (the Temporary Palace) there is a road that cuts through the mountain. The whole street is lined with trees, and it is free of vehicles, which makes it great for cherry blossom viewing. You will have to make a short walk up to the road, but once on it, it is not strenuous. You will also pass a small convenience store and a few areas that give you great views of the city as well. Paldalsan road is not just a great place for cherry blossoms though. You can also see plum blossoms, magnolias, and forsythias along this road as well, which makes it an excellent choice anytime.
3. Dongam-mun and Dongbuk-poro
Between Dongam-mun (동암문), the secret east gate and Dongbuk-poro (동북포루), the northeast sentry post, there is a grove of cherry blossom trees. The cherry blossoms make a great foreground if you want a scenic picture of the fortress.
Note: For spring 2019, Dongbuk-poro is under renovations. You can still view the cherry blossoms there, but will not be able to use Dongbuk-poro as a background.
If you happen to arrive too early for cherry blossom season, do not fret! Cherry blossom season has always seemed to outshine plum blossoms in Korea, but plum blossoms come earlier in the season and are just as beautiful. They also give off a lovely, flowery scent.
If you want to view the plum blossoms, the best place to go is Haenggung (the Temporary Palace). Inside the central courtyard, there are about six trees. Also, on the south side of the palace, there is a line of plum blossom trees.
These yellow flowers can brighten up a gloomy day. Forsythia also arrive earlier than the cherry blossoms. One of the best places to see forsythia is at Hwahongmun, the north water gate, and Dongpuk-poro pavillion on the outer wall. Another place to view them is along a cobble-stoned road below the fortress walls. The street is called Changryeong-daero 36 beon-gil (창룡대로 36번길). Half of it does not show up on maps though because it is a pedestrian road. The pedestrian section connects Changryeong-daero 36 to Namsumun.
I am a sucker for everything cherry blossom. I am that person who always has to view the blooming trees and then head to a cafe with a themed drink or something along those lines to go along with my excursion in search of pink petals. Here are a few places that can help you too achieve that cherry blossom high:
Cherry Blossom Cookies and Rain Drop Cake:
Samatdi Coffee (사맛디커피실록) sits on the edge of Yeong Pond. While you take in the beautiful views, try one of their spring-themed desserts which include cherry blossom sugar cookies and a raindrop cake with a flower in the centre.
Location: Suwon-si, Jangan-gu, Yeonmu-dong, 193-1398
수원시 장안구 연무동 193-398
Cherry Blossom-Themed Drinks:
Jeongjo Salon (정조살롱) is known for its delicious desserts, but they also make great drinks too! Every year, Jeongjo Salon releases a cherry blossom-themed drink (벚꽃라떼) for a short time. Their latte is similar to an ice cream float. Get them before they are gone!
Location: Suwon-si, Paldal-gu, Hwaseomun-ro 32beon-gil 4
수원시 팔달구 화서문로 32번길 4
Wonderful Cheetah (원더풀치타) also has two lovely iced blossom drink. Their cherry blossom latte (체리블로썸라떼) has ice cream and topped with a cherry! Their other drink (체리한테바나나), is a combination of cherries and bananas. It is pink in a cup. Wonderful Cheetah is located outside of the fortress but is still part of Haenggung-dong.
Location: Suwon-si, Paldal-gu, Jung-dong 14beonji, Manho Building, 1st floor
수원시 팔달구 중동 14번지 만호빌딩 1층
If cherry blossom-themed drinks are not your thing, but want to still carry on the pink vibe of springtime, head over to Eunyeun Cafe (카페 은연). They have a whole pink-themed room from the tiles on the walls, to the chairs. You can sip on their signature drink, the Eunyeun latte, which includes sprinkled dried flowers on top.
Location: Suwon-si, Paldal-gu, Sinpung-dong 221-21; Sinpung-ro 32 1st floor
수원시 팔달구 신풍동 221-21, 신풍로32 1층
Did I miss your favorite spot in the fortress for cherry blossom drinks or to view spring flowers?
Sign up and comment below!