For May (and April) flowers, Goyang is the place to be

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For May (and April) flowers, Goyang is the place to be

Where have all the flowers gone? Possibly to Goyang, Gyeonggi province, whose colossal annual flower show starts tomorrow.
Blossoms from around the world will greet visitors to the 11th Goyang Flower Show. The show’s spacious exhibition center, which covers nearly 10 square kilometers (four square miles), sits inside Lake Park in Ilsan, a district in Goyang, which is northwest of Seoul. From coffee trees to carnivores, not to mention classic favorities like roses and orchids, the festival offers a rare chance to enjoy the exotic beauty of the world’s plants.
One part of the exhibition center will be decked out in a wedding theme, with a flurry of white flowers. “Flower Island,” on the other corner, offers a colorful contrast, as its florist try to conjure up the image of a tropical paradise.
The festival is big business for the floriculture industry, both domestic and international. Fifty Korean companies will take part, along with more than 30 companies from 10 other countries. A festival organizer expects $2 million in sales to take place.
A guide map in English is offered for expatriate visitors. Volunteer guides who speak English are also available, but a map should be sufficient, according to the organizer.
The flower show runs from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, and from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on weekends and holidays.
Ilsan’s Lake Park is open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day; after the show, a bicycle ride around the park might cap off a perfect spring day. The park has a bicycle lane, and offers bicycle rental. Walking around the lake amid the high-rise apartment buildings, around sunset, is one of the nicest attractions in Ilsan.
Less than an hour’s subway ride from central Seoul, Ilsan has many other attractions, such a museum of African Shona sculpture called Touch Africa (031-908-7177) and a zoo with more than 2,000 animals, from buffalo to parrots, called Zoo Zoo (031-962-4500).
The flower show runs through May 9.


by Chun Su-jin

Admission is 4,000 won ($3.30) for adults, and 2,000 won for students. From Seoul, Lake Park is best reached by taking subway line No. 3 to Jeongbalsan Station, exit No. 1 or 2. You can also get off at Madu Station or Juyeop Station. For more information, visit the festival’s Web site, www.flower.or.kr, viewable in English, Japanese and Chinese, or call (031) 908-7750.

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