Another weekend, another festival and this weekends choice found us due west at the Hampyeong Butterfly Festival. The trip takes about 40 minutes by bus from the Gwangju Bus Station (U-Square). My ride this particular time was awesome as I got the honor of riding shotgun since we arrived late. And for those wondering, yes, there is a shotgun seat on a bus. It happens to be a tiny fold-down seat that sits down in the steps of the bus entry. Not exactly a glam ride but it did give me the best seat in the house to mess with the Nikon as we passed through the many mountain tunnels along the way.
We arrived at the fest around 3pm and saw the usual tents lining the streets outside the main event full of the all the fest food we’ve come to hate and love all at once.
The venue and day were fantastic. If you are into mood to just walk around a nice park, this is definitely the place to do it. Lots of flowers, interesting trees and pathways to trek along.
The festival is held in a town famous for its abundance of butterflies thanks to the massive flower fields and milk vetches that attract them, however, it may have been to early in the season for them on our day as we only saw a few. The park does however have an enclosed sanctuary with a few hundred of them for display so it wasn’t a total loss on the butterfly viewing end. There was also some impressive gardening going on in the same greenhouse.
The festival offered actually quite an array of things to check out. We saw everything from reptiles, fish, bugs, chickens, rabbits, and even some dinosaur fossils as we hit up all the exhibits scattered through the complex. There were craft tents and games for the kids as well to keep the families entertained. We even took a spin on the swan pedal boats to get our leg workout for the day….and to watch the old folks play croquet on and oddly placed course within the park. We actually never checked it our but there were also some carny rides to the back of the even that even featured a decent sized ferris wheel.
Oh right, there was also a mud fishing pond where the kids could jump in and catch mud fish with their hands and stuff them into bottles and buckets for a souvenir, or a snack….I guess. Either way, fun to watch them splash around and try to find them 😉
After some bibimbop and galbi we finished up the day and headed back to Gwangju on our big red bus. The event is reallt great if you need something to do thats going to keep you outside and interested for a bunch of hours. The fest runs 17 days, April 23-May 9th and at a ticket price of 7000 won its definitely worth the money.
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Thanks for reading,