The vanishing of the cherry blossoms can leave one feeling that spring has come and gone, but the heart of the season begins in May. Various spring-themed events are under way at most tourist attractions across the country this month, and one of the best places to visit at this time of the year is Changwon in South Gyeongsang Province.
Here is a selection of the city’s offerings.
A small island off the coast of Jinhae has become one of the most-visited places in the city. A marine park on Eumji Island boasts a solar-powered tower, a marine-themed park and a naval museum. Visitors can learn about the country’s maritime history and culture and enjoy various hands-on experiences.
Notably, there is an exhibition room displaying a variety of fish species with accompanying information, offering a good place to visit for families with kids.
The 136-m-high solar-powered tower features the country’s highest observation deck, offering stunning views of the scenic archipelago in three directions. For an extra thrill, visitors can stand on the section of deck with tempered glass panels.
An artists’ village in Chang-dong is popular among young people. Small shops line the area’s alleyways, whose walls are adorned with beautiful murals.
Recently, visitors dressed in hanbok, or traditional Korean dress, have become a common sight. A guided tour program that encourages participants to dress in hanbok began in August last year and now attracts about 1,000 people a month.
Visitors can rent hanbok according to their tastes free of charge for four hours there from among a collection of 150 pieces in various sizes and designs. On weekends, the area is crowded with people in the traditional outfits.
There is also a popular historical drama set nearby, which offers free admission. The set consists of 25 buildings.
Among them, the must-see attraction would have to be the iron-manufacturing site, with its faithful reproductions of a traditional furnace and bellows used for making iron. The charred spots scattered around the site give visitors a sense of the many movie and drama scenes shot here.
A bridge connecting Jeo Island and the mainland is another must-visit destination in Changwon. Built in 1987, it has been a main attraction in the city for 30 years. It was rebuilt as a skywalk in March, and drew even more visitors after reopening.
Walking along the skywalk, which stands 13.5 m above the waves, visitors would feel as if they are walking on the sea. The skywalk offers up-close views of the sea surface, waves and passing boats, and the beautiful coastal scenery visible from the bridge is an extra.
At night the experience is more romantic, as the skywalk, illuminated with LED lights, offers fantastic nighttime views. Although it is some distance from the city, many couples visit the bridge after sunset, lured by the constantly changing hues of the lights, which create a romantic ambience.