Cherry Blossoms

Jenifer DeLemont
One of the most popular things to do in spring in South Korea is to look at cherry blossoms.

bunches_of_blossoms

There is an island called Yeouido in the middle of the Han River (which runs through Seoul) and it is the best spot to see the cherry blossoms because the trees ring the outside the island.

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The walking trials under the blossoms allow you to go all around and see the trees from lots of different angles.

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Vendors set up stands to sell snacks and drinks in case you need refreshment, too.

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Of course it is crowded. That’s what most Americans notice in my pictures of South Korea. But I guess in Asia you sort of get used to sharing all the pubic spaces with other people.

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Crowds are just as much a part of life as the air or the trees themselves. It’s not as daunting as it seems, either. Koreans keep to themselves.

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I think one of the things that can make crowds in the US seem so overwhelming is that people talk to each other, and so you are forced into social interaction just by virtue of others being around.

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In Korea, people don’t talk to you unless they know you, so as odd as it sounds, you can have a peaceful day free of any unwanted social interaction even when there are millions of people around you.

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Yeouido is a wonderful place to see the blossoms and it’s right on one of the main subway lines so it’s easy to get to. I went to a few other cherry blossom festivals in Jinhae and some of the more remote cities, but this was the best!

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Koh Samui Island

lita and me

A friend asked me to meet her on Koh Samui, which is an island off the southern part of Thailand.

the water

I flew to the coast, and then took a boat the rest of the way. It was a nice journey, and I saw a lot of wonderful things along the way.

the loft sign

When I got there, I checked into my hotel. I hadn’t seen any pictures when I booked it, so I was surprised to find that it had a spider theme. Some might find that unsettling, but it just made me laugh.

another loft sign

Nazialita came to join me, and the two of us spent some time riding motorcycles around the island, renting jetskis, and generally trying to see the place.

jetskis are fun

We also spent plenty of time just being lazy on the beach.

beach wave shot

And of course, we ate a lot of amazing food.

island food

Island food is a little different than the food on the mainland. They cook a lot more pigs on spits and BBQ a lot more.

bbq pig

This seems to be a thing on all of the islands in Southeast Asia, so I have just accepted it.

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It was a really pretty island, and since we were mostly there to relax, it fit the bill. There are other islands if you want to eat mushrooms and go to a full moon party or if you are really into scuba diving.

food on koh samui

However, Koh Samui is really just a place to kick back and relax, and that was exactly what Nazialita wanted, so that is what we did.

coconut trees used to seem exotic

I recommend it if you aren’t planing on doing too much adventuring and you just want to chill at the beach and look up at coconut trees while people walk by selling cocktails or offering to give you a massage.

in front of my hotel