Monday, March 1, 2010
2010 Gwangyang Apricot Festival (광양매화문화축제): March 13th - 21st.
It's been a while since I've done one of these, but it's time for news of the 2010 Gwangyang Apricot Festival (광양매화문호축제), or Gwangyang Maehwa Festival, to be held from March 13th through the 21st at the Apricot Village (매화마을) in Gwangyang, Jeollanam-do. It's a chance to admire the apricot blossoms, see all the typical festival performances and displays, and buy apricot-related products. There's a schedule here, in Korean. The apricot blossoms in Hadong and eastern Gwangyang were pretty last year, but I should be honest and say that sometimes festivals are enhanced by all the people, but in the case of nature-themed festivals the crowds can be difficult to take.
I tried to get to the festival in 2008 and 2009 but the mission was aborted both times. The first time I couldn't find a bus to the village---so I bought a new camera instead---and the second time it was too damn cold. Last year my fiancee and I tried to approach from Hadong county---a charming place, I might add---which borders Gwangyang to the east, but because of the weather we decided just to stay along the riverside near the Hadong-Gwangyang border.
It's possible, if you enjoy walking, to go from Hadong-eup to the Apricot Village on foot, but like I said it was too damn cold, so we didn't go all the way to the festival site. There are free shuttle buses from a point along the river just across the Gwangyang border, but the lines were really long and it was, um, too damn cold to wait.
We initially tried to take a taxi from the Hadong bus terminal to the Apricot Village, but traffic was so bad it was just faster to try and walk.
So, you can get there from Hadong if you feel like walking a few kilometers; five kilometers from Hadong Station to the site, according to Naver. There are also shuttle buses from a parking lot just across the Gwangyang-Hadong border. This map, which I stole from the official festival website, shows how to get there from Hadong:
From Hadong you'll walk west across the red bridge on the bottom. You can continue walking north, or you can take the shuttle bus from the stop near the parking lot.
You can also get there from Gwangyang, presumably, but the website is no help. It says there are buses from Gwangyang-eup Bus Terminal and Gwangyang Station, but when I've tried in the past I was unsuccessful. I'd advise just going to Hadong first.