I love traveling around Korea! I spend a lot of time scouring the internet for the best places to visit and because of that my list of places to see in Korea is a mile long. When I saw that there was a hydrangea flower festival going on in Busan last weekend I immediately told Dave we had to go. Luckily for me, Dave usually just goes along with my crazy ideas and spends most of his weekends driving us all over Korea (he’s a keeper!).
I used my irresistible charm to talk Dave into waking up verrrrry early so that we could get to Taejongdae in time to watch the sunrise. That’s a pretty big ask considering the sun comes up around 5am and we live an hour and a half away from the park. Not only that, but once we got to the park it was a bit of a hike to get to the lighthouse.
Taejongdae Park is very hilly and there’s a lot of steep areas to walk up. If you’re not up for the challenge, there is a tram that will take you around the park for a small fee. The trams start running around 9:00am so if you’re there early like we were you’ll have to walk the whole way. The path leads you in a big loop so we opted for the trail on the right. We felt like we made the right choice because even though there were lots of hills going up, there were a few downward slopes that helped give you a bit of a break from the inclines. It was also great because that meant when we left the hydrangea festival we were going downhill the entire way back.
Usually when you visit Taejongdae you stop and check out all of the sites which helps break the walk up a bit, but since we were on a mission to catch the sunrise, we had to book it up the hills to the lighthouse as fast as we could. Apparently we weren’t going fast enough because at one point we were passed up by a little old Korean lady who was jogging up the hill. Show off.
It was a humid day so as we were walking up the hills I kept thinking, “I have the worst ideas!” but as soon as I got a glimpse of the vivid colors in the sky I immediately changed my tune. All of our hard work had paid off in the most amazing way!
We sat there for ages taking in the beautiful colors of the sunrise and enjoying the warm glow cast on the rocks below by the early morning sun.
After we packed up all of our gear we headed back up the steps (which seemed like a sick joke at the time) and off towards the temple to take a look at the hydrangeas. We got there around 7am which was perfect because the festival wasn’t that busy yet.
I was amazed at how many hydrangea bushes there were. While Dave was busy trying out his new macro lens, I tried to capture the big picture with my camera and I honestly feel like I failed. It’s almost impossible to capture the full beauty of this festival. I can only say that my heart and eyes both felt extreme joy and satisfaction.
The Hydrangea Festival takes place every year at Taejongsa Temple, which is inside of Taejongdae Park in the southern part of Busan. This year the festival ran from July 5-July 13. Even though the festival is over, the blooms seemed to be in good shape so you can probably still check them out for the next week or so. This is definitely one of my favorite festivals in Korea so I highly recommend it.
Taejongdae Address: 257, Jeonmang-ro, Yeongdo-gu, Busan
부산광역시 영도구 전망로 24 (동삼동)
The walk to the temple takes 30-45 minutes or you can take a tram for a small fee.