When the cherry blossoms fall in Korea the shrubbery bursts into color from all the Azaleas. In the city of Gunpo there is a hill called the Royal Azalea hill or 철쭉 (Cheoljjuk) Hill which can be found near Surisan statio (a shortish walk from exit 3). While the festival itself is usually about 3 days (a busy weekend) the flowers are in bloom usually a bit before and after and you can easily go to the hill and wander around enjoying the flowers in bloom during the week without the crowd. Which is what I somewhat wish I’d done, instead however I waited for friends to be free and then together we headed to the festival to enjoy the flowers and to jostle with the crowd.
By going on the weekend/ during those three days we were able to go while the festival was in swing, while there was a ton of street food available and crafts to look at as well as many different performances.
We wandered around as we made our way through the park and to the hill. The hill has a couple different paths that wind through the Azalea shrubs and occasionally get a bit steep. (Wear comfortable shoes, there were some people wearing heels and I haven’t a clue how they managed.) You can make your way up higher and higher for good views and to take as many photos as you want. The paths are crowded as other people try to get their photos as well. There were so many selfie sticks and photo shoots happening that made moving through or getting a picture ourselves somewhat difficult.
It’s a beautiful flower festival and totally worth a visit if you want to disappear in a sea of flowers. It’s also quite close to Sanbon station where you’ll find a pedestrian friendly downtown full of places to grab a quick bite. (As well as the Muggle Cafe.)
You could also do what almost everyone else was doing which would be to bring a mat or blanket and have a little picnic while enjoying the flowers and music.
The Royal Azalea festival is free to visit and usually occurs towards the end of April.