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[Well-curated] Late bloomers

Cherry blossoms, spring poems and warm bowl of soup

By Lee Si-jin, Hwang Dong-hee, Hong Yoo

Published : April 12, 2024 - 09:01

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A visitor poses for photos at a cherry blossom tunnel at Seongnae Stream section of the Songpa Trail in Songpa-gu, southern Seoul, Tuesday. (Lee Si-jin/The Korea Herald) A visitor poses for photos at a cherry blossom tunnel at Seongnae Stream section of the Songpa Trail in Songpa-gu, southern Seoul, Tuesday. (Lee Si-jin/The Korea Herald)

Enjoy last-minute cherry blossoms with less crowding

With the arrival of spring in earnest in the last week or so, popular cherry blossom destinations in Seoul like Yeouido and Seokchon Lake have been packed with people day and night.

If you wish to enjoy last-minute cherry blossoms this weekend with fewer people around, try the Seongnae Stream section of the Songpa Trail -- widely known as Seongnaecheonduk-gil --before the delicate pink and white petals drop off.

Seongnaecheonduk-gil is a causeway along the Seongnaecheon, which flows through Seoul’s southeastern district of Songpa, starting from Asan Medical Center to the pavilion next to Olympic Park.

Approximately a kilometer in length, the paved walking trail is usually enjoyed by families and nearby residents for casual walks.

Both cyclists and strollers can pass through the flower tunnel, or enjoy spring to the fullest by walking the trail.

Visitors take a break at a pavilion in Songpa-gu, southern Seoul, Tuesday. (Lee Si-jin/The Korea Herald) Visitors take a break at a pavilion in Songpa-gu, southern Seoul, Tuesday. (Lee Si-jin/The Korea Herald)

If you walk along the trail, it eventually splits into two. One path leads to a small pavilion, which is both a good place for a rest and a popular photo spot for spring photos.

If the cherry blossoms are not enough, visitors can explore the Olympic Park, where a seemingly endless green field unfolds.

Seongnae Stream

20, Olympic-ro 39-gil, Songpa-gu, Seoul

"Spring and Seeing in Literature" (National Library of Korea)

Enjoy spring in literature

If you've delighted in the cherry blossoms this spring, why not immerse yourself in the world of literature and explore how the season has been portrayed through the ages?

An exhibition titled “Spring and Seeing in Literature” is currently running on the first floor of the National Library of Korea. Featuring some 45 literary works, paintings and multimedia pieces spanning from the Joseon era to modern times, the exhibition revolves around the theme of spring. The flowery season was celebrated and revered as a symbol of life and a yearning for freedom during the Japanese colonial period.

"Spring and Seeing in Literature" (National Library of Korea)

In addition to the literary delights, the exhibition offers a media art zone and an audio zone where visitors can listen to the recitation of six iconic spring poems. Among the highlights is a video inspired by the poem "Sanchun" (Spring’s Embrace) from the early Joseon era, which vividly portrays nature's triumph over the harshness of winter as a bird heralds the arrival of spring.

Visitors can also listen to vinyl LP records featuring spring folk songs such as "Bongseonhwa," "Arirang Nang Nang" and "Kkotmacha" (Flower Carriage).

The exhibition runs until April 21.

National Library of Korea

201 Banpodaero, Seocho-gu, Seoul

Souper Gwanghwamun (Hong Yoo/ The Korea Herald) Souper Gwanghwamun (Hong Yoo/ The Korea Herald)

Get cozy with a warm bowl of soup

Souper, a restaurant specializing in soup, opened its third store in the Gwanghwamun area in downtown Seoul just a couple of months ago.

It’s a perfect place for those looking for a warm bowl of soup when feeling under the weather and for those looking for a light meal.

The restaurant offers seven different types of soups on the menu — tomato and basil cream, New England clam chowder, mushroom truffle bisque, chili con carne, chicken and vegetable, chorizo lasagna and chickpea curry.

New England clam chowder, focaccia sandwich and coffee (Souper) New England clam chowder, focaccia sandwich and coffee (Souper)

New England clam chowder had various textures -- a creamy soup with chewy clams and crispy bacon bits.

Souper serves four types of focaccia sandwiches — eggplant and bacon, classic prosciutto, grilled veggie and ricotta, and fresh Italian.

The classic prosciutto focaccia sandwich is recommended for those who like peanut butter, as the taste of peanut butter stands out among other ingredients.

The restaurant also offers a set menu that consists of a bowl of soup, half a sandwich and a drink.

The interior of the shop, which looks like an old cabin, also helps create a cozy environment to enjoy a warm bowl of soup when the ever-fickle spring weather turns chilly.

The price for a bowl of soup varies from 6,500 won ($4.43) to 9,000 won.

Souper

9-3, Gyeonghuigung 2-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul