May 11, 2018 10:34
The nation's largest cherry blossom festival in the southeastern port city of Changwon was packed with visitors amid a blaze of publicity this year. The city's beautiful spring landscape featured prominently on a number of popular entertainment shows this year, pushing the number of visitors to the festival to some 4 million.
The number of foreign visitors doubled from last year to 250,000. Though the spring festival is now over, other interesting fairs and tourist spots await visitors year-round in Changwon, South Gyeongsang Province.
◆ Attractions to Suit All Tastes
Changwon's beaches are popular in summer. Situated on the long, 324-km coastline between Masan Bay and Jinhae Bay, the city boasts breathtaking ocean views. Visitors can stop at major tourist spots along the coast, including a bridge to Jeo Island, a film set in Masan and a solar-powered tower at a marine park in Jinhae.
Walking between coastal villages is another way to enjoy the city. An artist colony in Chang-dong is a must-visit spot for shutterbugs. A row of small shops line its alleyways, whose walls are festooned with colorful murals.
Junam reservoir is one of Changwon's top natural attractions. Trekking among migratory birds surrounded by beds of reeds is an unforgettable experience. Visitors can wrap up their day at a hot spring nearby.
For visitors with children, touring major historic sites is an excellent option. A history-themed tour program includes the nation's first statue of Admiral Yi Sun-shin, the more than 100-year-old Jinhae post office building, which is designated as a national cultural property, and other modernist buildings influenced by China, Japan and Russia, as well as a naval museum.
◆ Many Festivals to Choose From
The city's calendar of diverse festivals attracts visitors from home and abroad.
The World Shooting Championship is one of the biggest sports events in Changwon. Hosted by the International Shooting Sport Federation, it takes place in the city from Aug. 31 through Sept. 15. About 4,500 shooters from some 120 countries are set to compete in the event.
If you're looking for an art festival, the Changwon Sculpture Biennale from Sept. 4 through Oct. 14 is an event not to be missed this year. K-Pop fans will flock to the city for the star-studded annual K-Pop World Festival on Oct. 5.
The annual chrysanthemum festival welcomes visitors in late October.
◆ City Tour Bus
Visitors can tour Changwon's major attractions in a double-decker bus. Buses run five times a day from 9:30 a.m. for a 2-hour, 20-minute tour.
Day passes allow you to get on and off at any stop. These cost W5,000 for adults and W3,000 for children and seniors.
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