Goyang Autumn Flower Festival 2019

Autumn is just like another spring and if you think that the flower festivals are only popular in spring, then you’re wrong. Korea has an equally beautiful autumn flower farms and festival too. In line with the much awaited color changing of ginko trees in yellow gold and maple trees in orange to crisp red, autumn flower fields are mere reasons why you should stay outdoors and enjoy the weather before the spell of winter comes. Lake park in Ilsan attracts thousands of visitors every year at Goyang spring flower festival and autumn flower festival is annually held there too, but not as popular as the first one though.

Maple trees starting to change color.

Halloween display as part of the exhibit.

We visited Ilsan lake park for the season’s flower exhibit on its opening day and we walked around the lake, literally. Oh, by the way the exhibit is of free entrance this time and set until October 13, 2019 . Autumn flowers in halloween theme are in display and its really pretty cute.

Been here for several spring festival but this is my first to see the autumn flower display. There’s not much to expect actually, nevertheless our visit was still enjoyable hence we stroll around the park leisurely.

It took us 3 hours of strolling (with rest of course!) and enjoying the scenery around the lake. Here are the rest of the things that you can take joy with your eyes and make happy feel photos.

Ilsan park is accessible by subway, the easiest way… take Seoul subway line 3/orange line and get off at Jeongbalsan station exit 2 (walk on your right and walk thru the park until you see the foot bridge that will lead you to the lake). The flower festival will end up shortly but for sure the colors of fall will come sooner.

Enjoy autumn!

A Myriad of Pink Azaleas in Korea: Best Three Spots to Wander

Royal azalea is native to the Korean Peninsula. It blooms appealingly late of April up to early summer and really an attraction for nature lovers. Its colors varies from white to pink and obviously the myriad of pink flounder most.

To catch a glimpse of this dainty flower and capture instagrammable photos here are my best spots for you to wander.

Starting out with Wonmi Bucheon Azalea Hill (Wonmisan Azalea Festival), though the festival has ended, azaleas are still on its peak and worth the visit. Located In Bucheon City.  How to go: Take Line 7 to Bucheon Stadium station, exit 2. Walk straight about 5 minutes and turn left on the sign of Azalea Garden.


The next one is, Gunpo Royal Azalea or the Gunpo Royal Azalea Festival. Lucky you, the festival will be held from April 24-28, 2019. This hill is eventually a sea of flowers.

Direction: Take Line 4 to Surisan Station..exit 3. Walk straight passing the park. You’ll find the entrance after 5 minutes walk.


And of course my favorite of among these three, the Goryeo Mountain Azaleas or the Goryeosan Jindalle Festival in Gangwha, Incheon. This nature wonder is a spot for hikers usually, but don’t worry even if you’re a first timer you will brave out this one. And yes, the festival was over too yet not to worry the flowers are still in full bloom.


View for the other mountain.

Here’s how to go: (From Seoul) Take Subway Line 2 to Sinchon station and head to exit. Walk to the nearest bus stop and get on bus 3000 (an express bus) to Gangwha Intercity Bus Terminal (that’s the last stop actually). From the terminal, take bus #1, 23, 25, 27, 30 32 or 70 and get off to Gangwha History Museum.

Enjoy this pretty flower only in Korea.


Pink Mountain in Spring: Goryeosan Jindalle Festival

Have you had a great time with sakuras? As the charming beauty of cherry blossoms slowly withering away, here comes another spring flower that’s bathing the peninsula in pink. The azaleas! This flower’s charm spring in different colors and pink is predominant that made a few mountains in Korea looks prettily and exciting especially for mountain hikers.


For sporadic hikers like me, wandering this mountain is just fine and will be the same even for first timers for sure. No sweat. Nice and easy, literally.

Though we had traveled almost two hours from Seoul, it’s definitely worth the time as the view promises a thousand pictures. LOL! That’s what we foreigners are up to right?


The beautiful pink mountain.

After getting off the bus, we followed the crowd considering that I knew everybody’s heading to the same direction (so don’t worry you’ll not get lost!). We made a left turn to the first corner (it’s right after a cow farm) and walk straight until we reached an intersection and continued walking to the left again.


Way going up, you’ll know you’re near if you’ve seen the temple and a small community of locals. You’ll see stairs that will lead you to a short cut to the top yet there is another narrow road behind the temple. Whichever means you take it will both brings you to a the spectacular view of Goryeo mountain.

Certainly, rather as expected there’s a huge crowd of locals and foreigners overlooking the beauty of this nature. They’re mostly ending up in picnic style after the long walk. The direction we headed took us about 30 minutes to the top. While it took us an hour going down because we chose to try another direction, that was the main road and which was the road took by most of the hikers.




A clear sky and a great hike! Really enjoyed the myriad of pink azaleas. Want to see it too?

Here’s how to go: (From Seoul) Take Subway Line 2 to Sinchon station and head to exit. Walk to the nearest bus stop and get on bus 3000 (an express bus) to Gangwha Intercity Bus Terminal (that’s the last stop actually). From the terminal, take bus #1, 23, 25, 27, 30 32 or 70 and get off to Gangwha History Museum.

Kind of a suggestion: For taking the right bus to from Gangwha during the festival, buses going there has banners/posters of the festival and just follow the crowd they’re heading there for sure.

Enjoy your hike too!

Joggyesa Temple Chrysanthemum Festival 2017

Move over cosmos, chrysanthemum is here. This is the time of the year where chrysanthemums bloom and if you love this little colorful flower, Joggyesa temple will be a perfect place.

Last year, I was able to visit this festival but unfortunately the festival was some days over. However, I still was able to witness the beauty of this flower though not on its pinnacle allure. And yet I was hushed by the way it was displayed at the temple.

Gladly thru a post of a friend inviting for a weekend visit, I decided to take a stint yesterday because my weekend will be kind of engaged for a certain activity. And since I’ve got extra time in the morning then there I was.

Walking around, chrysanthemums were displayed in an exquisite work of art. I remembered last year there was a maze of this flower right after the entrance. This fall on its 7th year of the festival was again in another beautiful and colorful array.

The festival started October 13th and will end November 8th.

Located at Anguk Station of subway  line 3 or the orange line. Walk towards exit 6 to Insadong. Walk straight passing the tourist information booth on your left. Cross the pedestrian (after the small plaza), walk on your left and continue walking until you see the main entrance to the temple. It will certainly take only 5minutes on foot.

Seoul International Fireworks Festival

The most impressive annual fireworks festival in Asia is once again to happen this Saturday, September 30. I suddenly remembered my first time watching this, my experience tested my patience literally.


The fireworks started at past 7:00 in the evening and we were there in the middle of Mapo bridge at 2:00pm securing a spot. You know when you are with a group of photographers, the best location must be secured not for the sake of watching but for their tripods position, LOL!


While waiting and letting the time pass we ate and chatted, less drinks as the toilet is far from our location and it is difficult to pass thru the crowd. As a photographer, securing a good spot is a struggle, taking nice photos is like breaking one’s back and after less than an hour show, going to subway is an obstacle. As there were a huge crowd of watchers and photographers, expect that going home won’t be as easy as a pie. The struggle is real here!

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However, for my second time I decided to watch from a distance. I was able to appreciate the beauty and loved those magical lights and that is from Dongjak station, less crowd and less tripod in front of me.

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There were several nice spots to check if you’ll be there to photograph this fascinating fireworks. The most occupied and easily filled up is in the opposite direction of 63 Building. They say it’s the best spot.


Map from Yongsan


View from the opposite direction of 63 Building

Nevertheless if you’ll be there as an onlooker, you may head to these directions:

Yeouinaru Station (Seoul Subway Line 5), Exit 4.
Yeouido Station (Seoul Subway Line 5, 9), Exit 5.
* Heavy traffic is expected and Subway Line 5 may not stop at Yeouinaru Station. Please use the nearby Yeouido, Mapo or Daebang Stations… this is most probably to happen after the fireworks display. Be prepared for a long walk to the nearest open subway station.

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All photos here were taken form 2016 Fireworks show and copyrighted to Mario M. Ulant, a Filipino from Isabela and currently working in Korea. An active member of Filipos, and a freelancer photographer. He also offers Tour Guiding with Photo Services package and volunteering in the Filipino community and Philippine embassy’s events.

Hanseong Baekje Culture Festival

I saw the poster of this festival on the way to my work and decided to check it out today, it’s the first day of this festival. Just yesterday, I took a brief walk to the yellow cosmos hill located at Olympic park and here I am again.




The entrance of the pop up village with real Korean guards on post.

Hanseong Baekje Cultural Festival, this is also being held at Olpark or Olympic Park in front of the Olympic Peace Gate. This festival will run from September 21st until September 24th, 2017. A little of its history is that, this festival commemorates the platinum age of Hanseong Baekje. It carries out the glorious civilization and arts for the first 500 years of Baekje history.

As I walked around, I certainly noticed those children having their field trips. They were dressed on their traditional clothes and trying on the activities inside the pop up village. They seemed enjoying the experiences and programs of the festival.


Korea’s rich history is truly remarkable that every important event was almost reenacted. The palaces had changing guard rituals and the popular kings and queens wedding reenactment and culture related festivals as examples.


Food booths on the right side of the Peace Gate…. beside Lotteria.


The sumo wrestling arena.


Anyway going back, there are lots of reasons to come and visit this festival. As I’ve read that this is Seoul’s biggest history and culture festival, there will be a grand parade, performances, fireworks and foods to try.  Food booths, art works display, souvenir items and culture related items are surrounding the entire Olympic Peace Gate. I watched a little of the sumo wrestling show and the opening program.


Lanterns around the park.


This festival is of free admission and easily reached from exit 1 of Mongchontoseong Station Line 8, the pink line.


Boryeong Mud Festival, Daecheon Beach

Beach and mud are what makes Boryeong festival a widely known summer destination in Korea. What makes the mud special? Well, Daecheon’s beach mud has a cosmetic property that said to be good for the skin and honestly, I don’t know know if it’s really true 🙂


True or not, we did had a good time on the beach and activities at the festival. Covered with mud we are! Mud slides, mud games, face painting and literally mud swimming. Long lines scenario for each and every activities though.


Hours of enjoyment and laughter. Definitely a must this summer if you haven’t experience it yet. Yearly, this mud festival lasts for two weeks and it will kick off from July 21 to July 30 this year.


Daecheon beach is always packed with swimmers, hence it is one of the closest beach from Seoul with only two and a half hours travel time and easily accessible by bus or train. Though I can’t consider it as one of the best beaches that I’d been, it was cool enough for us.


While hotels are the most convenient place at hand, camping site is also available for those who wanted to get closer to the seaside and wanted to stay overnight. Bring along your tent and fit in. Shower rooms are available with a minimal fee and we leave our stuffs in a locker room. Thus, we were not bothered and truly enjoyed the ooze.


How to get to the festival?

by Bus

Seoul Express Bus Terminal (Central) –> Boryeong (Daecheon) Estimated Time : 2 hours 20 mins. (10,900won-one way)

Dong Seoul Express Bus Terminal –> Daecheon (Boryeong) (3 hours, 8,700 won-one way)

Daecheon Terminal to Daecheon Beach


by Train

Yongsan Station –> Daecheon Station

(takes about 2 hours and 50minutes)

Travel tip: for a hassle-free summer get away check links, you need not to worry of how to go the festival.

1 Day Shuttle Package from Seoul

1 Day Shuttle Package from Busan

Boryeong Zip Trek

Enjoy summer!