Catch a Butterfly At South Cholla Festival, but Hurry!(It Closes Tuesday)The Butterfly Festival is an annual event held since 1999 by Hampyeong county, South Cholla province. This year's festival, which began Saturday and ends Tuesday, features more than 100,000 butterflies. They can be seen in the square of Hampyeong-cheon, where yellow rape flowers and red Chinese milk vetch are in full bloom.
Among the special events during the festival is a daily quiz on environmental issues. On Monday, people will fly kites shaped like butterflies, sending aloft their wish for the reunification of Korea. The festivities include a variety of live shows, such as Korean traditional music concerts and dance performances.
The National Railroad Administration is offering special train service from Seoul Station to Hampyeong county for the duration of the festival. These trains are decorated with huge pictures of butterflies, and passengers will receive souvenirs such as butterfly buttons and pocketbooks. Free herbal tea is offered to passengers upon their arrival at Hakgyo station in Hampyeong county. A round trip ticket costs 29,000 won ($22). The shuttle bus service between Hakgyo station and the town square is 5,000 won.
For more information about the festival, navigate to the county's Web site at www.hampyung.chonnam.kr (English service available) or call the county office at 061-320-3224 (Korean only).
For more information about train service, call the National Railroad Administration at 1544-7788 (English available).
People who do not have time to visit the festival may want to take their children to "Nabi Gonggan," a cafe located in Wondang-dong, Kyonggi province. The name of the cafe translates to "butterfly space" in English. It has an exhibition hall with more than 700 specimens of rare butterflies, including Imperial Blue butterflies from Myanmar, Birdwing butterflies from Indonesia and Molpo butterflies, also known as Papillon butterflies, from South America. Also on display is a breeding ground of butterfly larvae, pupae and imagoes.
For more information, call the cafe at 031-968-0742 (Korean service only).
by Kim Sae-joon