Where to see cherry blossoms in Korea, Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam: 14 spots across Asia to add to your post-pandemic travel bucket list
The blooming of cherry blossom heralds the arrival of spring and perhaps brings a cause for guarded optimism too, despite continued social-distancing measures.
Cherry blossom generally sprouts in mid-April, but an earlier warming this year has caused the flowers to appear sooner than usual.
The annual blossom season gives families, friends and lovers a chance to enjoy leisurely strolls and take pictures amid the blooming white-and-pink cherry trees.
This year, people may continue to be asked to refrain from visiting cherry blossom sites to stem the spread of Covid-19, but digital travel platform Agoda shared ideas of where to experience them in Asia to fit into your future travel plans.
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Korea: Seoul and Jeju
Agoda mentioned Walkerhill Hotel Seoul’s Douglas House as a possible base, with its wooded surrounds offering a relaxing ambience for guests.
On Jeju Island, one of the top travel destinations in South Korea, king cherry blossoms, which have the largest petals of all cherry tree varieties, can be seen all round downtown Seogwipo, the island’s second city.
Hotel Seogwipean is a stylish minimalist hotel close to the downtown area for people wishing to see catch the king cherries in blossom.
Japan: Tokyo and Yamanashi
Springtime sees Tokyo’s famous Yoyogi Park and Meguro River come alive with colour, but tourists should not miss out on an alternative site to see these blossoms at Yanaka Cemetery.
In April, it is recommended to head up north as visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of the blooming blossoms against the picturesque Mount Fuji in southeastern Yamanashi.
Nagasaki Park is a popular spot for many locals to enjoy walks under canopies of white and pink flowers.
Taiwan: Taichung and Nantou
An hour’s drive from Puli Township in Nantou County is the Aowanda National Forest Recreation Area located behind Wanda Reservoir, home to the indigenous Seediq and Atayal tribes.
Tourists can see plenty of cherry blossom and butterflies there in spring, as well as the majestic Aowanda Bridge that connects the pine forest with the intersection of the north and south streams of the Aowanda River.
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Malaysia: Kedah and Penang
Every year during the dry season, from February to April, the streets of Alor Setar, the state capital of Kedah, are lined with ethereal trails of pink and white. Known as tecoma trees, these flowers resembling cherry blossoms transform the city. While the flowers can be found in most parts of the city, by far the best-known hotspots are along Jalan Kuala Kedah and Jalan Langgar.
A little further south, another city – Penang – boasts dazzling tecoma blooms, carpeting the roads with petals of pink, white and purple, another reason to visit alongside the city’s famous food, culture and heritage.
Philippines: Palawan and Cavite
In addition to its lovely beaches, Palawan offers another attraction – the Philippines’ own cherry blossoms. Known as the balayong, or the Palawan cherry, these trees produce white and pink flowers that bloom every March to April.
Closer to Manila, Dasmarinas, a city in the province of Cavite, also boasts its own faux cherry blossoms. The dainty pastel pink blooms are a product of trumpet trees – a distant cousin of Japan’s sakura trees which fall just as gracefully, leaving delicate sheets of colour across their surroundings.
Thailand: Bangkok and Phatthalung
To experience Thailand’s equivalent of cherry blossoms – chompoo pantip or trumpet trees – tourists should head to Bangkok’s Kasetsart University, which boasts more than 200.
Full bloom happens in March and April, where the trees on both sides of the street are adorned with pink flowers forming a romantic pathway covering the landscape with soft pink petals.
Those unable to experience chompoo pantip could console themselves with the Thale Noi Waterfowl Reserve’s blooming pink lotuses.
Vietnam: Hanoi and Da Lat
Nhat Tan Village in the northwest of Hanoi has a unique dark pink shade of cherry blossom trees, curated by local gardeners. Accompanying these beautiful spring views are cooler temperatures, ensuring a delightful holiday from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Da Lat is also exceptional in the spring and known as the city of flowers with about 3,000 bright pink trees. These blossoms are popular too for their unique shape, many being five-leaf apricot trees.
This article originally appeared on Korea Times.
- Hotspots to view the spring flower include Jeju island in South Korea, near Yamanashi prefecture’s Mount Fuji in Japan and Wuling Farm in central Taiwan
- Further south, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines have their own pink blooms on tecoma, trumpet and Palawan cherry trees