Autumn Flowers Demanding Attention In Seoul
Each autumn, the last flowers before the winter chill bloom and demand attention as they bid adieu to summer and bienvenue to winter.
These autumn bloomers are cosmos and while they are rather small and delicate, when together in a field they draw the eye away from everything else nearby. There are numerous popular fields of cosmos around the country and many of them also host festivals when the flowers are in full bloom. While festivals are super fun in Korea, some things I prefer to enjoy in a more low-key quiet and serene atmosphere and that’s what cosmos call for, I think. There are some albeit smaller plots here and there but they are still gorgeous to picnic near and in Mapo-gu in the World Cup Parks there are two not so famous, making them perfect in my book, cosmos plots to seek out in the autumn.
Nanji Hangang Park sitting on the banks of the Han River is popular in the summer as a music festival fun spot. A large field is used for festival after festival so if you’ve been there, you’ll be able to find this cosmos field easily as it’s directly behind where the stages are usually set up. The park is also a popular camping site and there are baseball diamonds there and an outdoor infinity pool that is a must visit in the summer all in the same vicinity. For most of the year, this plot of land doesn’t look like much. Come autumn, it’s transformed into a gorgeous cosmos field flanked on either side by willow trees. It’s a perfect photo-op spot and yet few manage to seek it out. There’s a smaller cosmos plot over near Mangwon Swimming Pool just a short 5 minute bike ride up the river and most people stop there because it’s closer to public transport but the larger of the fields is worth that bike ride away.
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The beautiful pink and white petals delicately look to the sky soaking in the last summer rays of sunshine.
The pink and white hues coupled with the slightly cooler breezes and bright sunshine could easily trick one into feeling like spring has just arrived rather than summer saying goodbye and maybe that’s what Mother Nature has intended. These flowers are a graceful departure to a new season. This year, we made it out a bit late right after one of those dreadful autumn downpours so the flowers were a little battered, but they were battered in such a lovely way showing their strength and endurance to thrive as long as they can. We enjoyed the flowers and the little bugs that seek them out, too.
While the pink and white cosmos are by far the most photographed and celebrated at festivals here in the autumn, there are other shades of the blooming beauties and just on the other side of Sky Park sits another large plot of cosmos in Nanji Stream Park.
These ones however, are a bright orange. While pink and white petals seem to bid farewell to summer, the orange ones most certainly shout loud and proud,
“Hello, autumn! Let’s have a party!”.
They bloom a little later in October which most certainly lends to the idea that they are excited by the approaching colorful foliage and harvest fun. This plot of land is tended year-round by grounds keepers so it is ever changing with tall reeds in the summer and flowers mid summer. There are cherry blossoms in the area too which makes this park a must-visit almost every other month just to see what new gardening excitement awaits.
The flowers will only bloom for a few weeks or until a big autumn downpour comes and wipes them out, so get out and about now to see the beauty. While in the area, don’t miss the Sky Park views as well because with the reeds waving in the wind, the autumn is the BEST time to visit that park too.
World Cup Park
서울 마포구 성산동 487-359
487-359 Seongsan-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, Korea
Subway: Worldcup Station, exit 1. Walk straight to the main street and turn right. Walk straight along the large road and Sky Park will come up first across the street. If you want to go to Nanji Stream Park, hop onto the Mapo local bus 08 at the bus stop under the bridge just outside of the stadium and get off a few stops down the road.
Bus: 7011, 7016, 470, 670, Mapo local bus 08
1. Noeul, Sunset, Park
2. Haneul, Sky, Park
3. Nanjicheon, Nanji Stream, Park
4. Nanji Hangang, Nanji Han River, Park
5. Pyeonghwa, Peace, Park
Haneul Park & Noeul Park
Jan: 9:00am – 7:00pm
Feb, Oct: 9:00am – 7:30pm
Mar, Sep: 9:00am – 8:00pm
Apr, May: 9:00am – 8:30pm
Jun, Jul, Aug: 9:00am – 9:00pm
Nov, Dec: 9:00am – 6:30am
Pyeonghwa Park & Nanjicheon Park
Open 24 hrs. a day, year-round
Parking, wheelchair rental, restrooms, sports facilities, jogging/biking paths