If you happen to be passing through Korea in May, one of the events you should try and catch is the Gokseong Rose Festival. Head down to Jeollanamdo and between seeing Damyang’s bamboo forest, Boseong’s green tea fields, or Suncheon’s beautiful bay, carve out a morning to wander around Gokseong’s old train village and enjoy roses from around the world in full bloom. While the festival itself runs for about two weeks, you can still catch the roses at least a week before and a week after before they begin to fade away. There are trellises and walkways covered in roses, and there’s even a little section meant for “kissing and hugging.” It’s a pretty relaxing way to spend a day of travel, and if you go early enough you can avoid the crowds.
Overall, it’s a pretty small event and there’s not a ton of information out there, but it’s well worth it to enjoy the flood of beauty. Elissa and I headed over there early one Sunday morning to avoid the afternoon crowds and enjoy all the colorful roses around the park. It’s only about a thirty minute bus ride from my town, and I had been wanting to go since Lynsey recommended it to me last year.
I had been the month before and couldn’t believe how different the village looked in full bloom. While cherry blossoms tend to be a marking of spring for many, true spring for me starts when all the roses come out and the weather turns warm! Grab a coffee at the mini-cafe within, and walk around all morning, enjoying the perfumed air and pretty sights.
More on the Gokseong Rose Festival
- Korean Name: 곡성 세계장미축제
- How to Get There: Take an Intercity Bus to Gokseong. From there taxi to the Train Village (기차 마을).
- Cost: 2-3,000 won
- There’s a little bicycle type train you can ride, but it’s really small and honestly not worth it. You can just as easily walk the same path in about the same time.
- Times: 9:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.
- “International Rose Festival Gokseong” via Imagine Your Korea
Have you been to any flower festivals this spring? What are some of your favorites?