Seoul, South Korea, April 2017: Visitors to Seoul at this time of the year, April, will undoubtedly notice the spring cherry blossoms. They’re pretty much everywhere lining the shopping streets, motorways and railway lines. Parks and open spaces too are adorned with blossoms along their cycle tracks. One of the shopping streets here in Mokdong is lined with what seems an infinity of white blossoms – yes, its impossible to see where it ends!. According to Google, there are a few spots around the city worth making the effort to go and see the blossom displays. where Koreans mingle, celebrate the arrival of Spring and smooch to their hearts content! Jamsil is one such location where cherry blossoms beside a lake make for a nice photo location.
Jamsil is the farthest I’ve travelled on the Seoul subway – 50 minutes and still only £1.35. So now lets climb up to the street and see why this place is worth the visit. Exit 1 opens out onto a wide 8 lane boulevard and a plethora of skyscrapers, giant office blocks and of course shopping malls – gold plated!
A quick look in the mall, just for curiosity you understand. About 8 floors of gold plated opulence. Its obviously the place to hang out if one is rich with expensive tastes as its the high end luxury part of Korean life one finds in here. Personally, i don’t need to dwell on this any longer, slightly nauseating if anything. Time to get out of here and join the blossom trail.
So, what do Koreans do on a warm, sunny Monday morning in spring – come here to Jamsil judging by the crowds. Yes, the place is packed with young Koreans enjoying a walk hand in hand under the cherry trees while a thousand or so pensioners get in the way!
And when the girl gets board with all the smooching, the boy can treat her to a ride on the fairground – yes, this city park even has a roller-coaster and various other insane looking rides. A mini Disneyland one could say.
About an hour to circumnavigate this huge man-made lake in a rather picturesque city park in the shadow of a giant tower. Another tower where a ride to the top isn’t cheap – about £10 for that birds eye city view, accessed through one of these giant shopping malls. Perhaps this mall is worth another look, get as high as legally possible and look for a window. Well, there’s a window all right, and an outside deck also. Head up to the 8th floor where one will come across a concert hall, its coffee shop and some soothing classical music being piped around the place. So, to the outside deck and the alternative birds eye view to the tower next door.
And to finish off today’s excursion, a stroll along the Olympic Boulevard amidst more skyscrapers, to the next station along the line – well, truth be told I had hoped to walk to neighbouring Gangnam, but it’s just too far!
Getting there: Jamsil Station Exit 1,2,3 or 4. (Google Map)
Cost: Free to wander around the park. About £8-10 for the Lotte Tower Viewing Deck. About £26 for a fairground ticket.
Eat and Drink: Expensive.
Alternatives: Concert hall next door to the Lotte Tower has free birds eye views across some of the city.