Jeju Island is famous for its summer attraction, and to be frank, it is not as much fun visiting the island in the winter season, as the island’s most strong points are open areas. Almost all outdoors attraction are windy and the cold breeze is quite hard to endure. Finally, I can recommend one place that is a must-visit in the Winter in Jeju. It is a botanical garden called Camellia Hill. It’s not all tree branches, green pine trees, and silver grasses in the winters, there are flowers that blooms only in the winter, one of which is Camellia flowers. These flowers will bloom from December to March. Note, that winter is not the only time to visit this place either, since it has many different species of flowers. For example, you can enjoy Hydrangea Festival in the summer.
The garden opened since 30 years ago, and it is the biggest botanical garden in East Asia, covering 60,000 square meters. Here, you will find yourself wandering around passing a very big collection of Camelia trees. Don’t be fooled by the name, though. They actually have 500 different species of flowers that are imported from more than 80 countries is the world! If you have interest in knowing these species, fear not, they have signs and panels to describe their different colors, types, shapes and scents.
What is very impressive is that this is not your ordinary flower garden, since you can really smell the very aromatic scents from the Camelia flowers, you will instantly feel calm and relaxed while walking around the garden and glass houses. One of the interesting facts I learned while I was there is that, some camelia trees can live up to 200 years in the wild. Consider yourself lucky if you have your very own Camelia tree, since it will outlive you!
As I said before, the garden is one of the biggest in East Asia, so you can expect that it takes time to explore the place. There is a printed map when you enter the place, but you can also just take a picture of the map board at the entrance too, if you are too lazy to carry a brochure or prone to lose it instantly, like me. Spare one to two hours to really enjoy wandering around and take all the nice pictures here.
If you want to take a break from the flowery scenery, there are paths with light bulbs that are interesting to take pictures with.Like in many of my posts, one of the strong reasons I recommend any place is usually because of how instagramable these place are. For the girls, I would suggest wearing a girly solid-collored dresses (as flowery dresses would clash and be too much for the flowery scenery), and for the men, you could wear dressy suits or at least hemmed shirt to make an impressive frame. It said the garden has 21 Photo Zones, but really, it is beautiful anywhere you look and any snap you make will be lovely!
One of the “pit stop” you want to make is the Green House Cafe, as the place is technically a glass house filled with very beautifully the sorted plants and flowers (not to mention the calming scents it makes), it also has a café that you can just rest your feet while enjoying good coffee.
On your way out, as many attraction has, there will be a souvenir shop that you can stop by to. The local natural product store of Camellia Hill has some camellia oil, balm, and camellia soaps, etc., that you can bring home with, or you can make some good souvenirs for family and friends back home. Don’t forget, Camellia flower has a special meaning. The flower language for Camellia is “I love you and only you,” so technically, you can give this symbolism to any of your loved ones and it will always be a meaningful gift for them.
Okay, so that was the story of my experience, and some tips I gained based on my own experience so that you can enjoy the visit. Overall, I think this place is worth the visit, especially if you need some healing time, you can find time to just relax and enjoy the peaceful, flowery garden.
Follow the point map below to get to Camelia Hill. I recommend using Kakaomap because it has the most accurate navigation using the public bus, and it even has English narrative navigation if you ride a rental car.
[KakaoMap] Camellia Hill http://kko.to/l727ws4Yo
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