Soft rose pink clusters, bursting with vibrancy in the centre. Delicate like lacework. Cherry blossoms are elusive, beautiful, unique and mysterious. In flower for only one week a year, the cherry blossom symbolises that life is short but beautiful.
As I walk through the concrete jungle of Seoul, the cherry blossom trees provide a dusting of softness. Their rarity captures your heart. Passers-by, strolling and cycling the streets are excited by the exceptional blooms and stop in their tracks to take in their pure magnificence.
As I watch, I notice that everyone is amazed and halted by their beauty. Smiles light up the observers faces, crinkles forming in the corners of their eyes. Excited squeals escape the lips of children witnessing these glorious blossoms for the first time. Mobile phones are raised to the sky as candid photographers attempt to snap masterpieces. Rusty bicycles lean against the coarse dark twisted trunks.
A gentle breeze sweeps through causing a flutter of petals to sprinkle those below. Children dance as soft pink petals flicker down on them as if in a snow globe, arms outstretched attempting to catch them like snowflakes. A sweet aroma fills the air. The seasons are turning and Summer is on its way.
Small birds flap about in a frenzy and suckle the nectar from the exquisite blossoms. A garbage man sweeping the streets stops to gaze upwards and appreciate the beauty. Everyone stares in awe.
A week later, I return to the same street. The branches are bare, no-one stops to look up and simply continue hurriedly on their way. There is no sign that only a week before such beauty even existed. The rarity and splendour of the cherry blossom tree disappeared as quickly as it appeared, truly symbolising that life is short but beautiful and should not be taken for granted.
Make this experience yours! Check out our Walking Through Cherry Blossom’s small group tour.
This category of tours involves light trekking, walking, cycling, rafting or kayaking for a few hours each day with a small amount of inclines and declines. You will require a reasonable level of fitness and good health to participate. It is important to note that due to the nature of some of our trips, they may take place in remote areas (with basic facilities) and can involve long travelling days on various modes of transport.
Suggested preparation : At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake aerobic exercise (this may include jogging, cycling or fast walking) for 30 minutes, three times a week. It is also advised to walk on variable terrain and in variable weather conditions. For a cycling adventure, road cycling twice a week is recommended and for adventures which involve paddling and kayaking, it is important to gain confidence and rhythm rather than speed prior to departure.
This category of tours involve trekking, kayaking and cycling for period of 6 to 8 hours a day at a fairly consistent pace. Ideal for people looking to slightly increase the heart rate. For our moderately rated tours, you must have a good level of fitness and also be in good health. It is also important to be prepared for variable weather conditions. Altitude may also come into play. This category of tours may involve visiting remote areas where facilities can be quite basic. Accommodation may also involve camping, homestays or basic accommodation where facilities may not be considered of western standards. To enjoy this style of travel, it is suggested for travellers to have a reasonable level of fitness and health, a positive attitude, as well as a fairly active lifestyle. An open mind is also required.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake 45mins – 1 hour of aerobic exercise, three to four times a week. Some potential exercises that could be beneficial include hill walking with a backpack on over variable terrain and weather conditions, as well as running and cycling dependent on the activity you plan on undertaking.
This category of tours involves trekking, kayaking, cycling or other adventure activities in remote areas for up to 8 to 10 hours a day. It is important to note that with the remoteness of some regions comes a variety of other challenges such as variable weather conditions, accommodation as well as facilities. You must have an excellent level of fitness and good health to be able to partake in this category of tour. You must have confidence in your own ability and be in good physical condition. Includes extended periods of endurance.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 to 4 months of strenuous exercise, four times a week. When preparing for treks it would be beneficial to participate in hill walks with a weighted day pack (approximately 5-8 kg) once a week for aerobic fitness and strengthening of leg muscles. It is also important to do this on variable terrain to prepare for challenging adventures. When preparing for cycling adventures, regular bike riding (at least 4 to 5 times a week for 1-4 hours is essential). It is also important to cycle on uneven surfaces or even participate in other aerobic exercises such as running or swimming to build up strength and stamina. Altitude may also be a factor in these tours.
This category of tour often involves extreme trekking, cycling or other extreme adventure activities. It is important to expect remote and poorly defined tracks and to be prepared for variable weather conditions for 10 to 12 hours per day (may sometimes be more depending on weather and altitude). These adventures are suitable for travellers who have prior experience in strenuous travel and activities, are extremely fit and have excellent health. It is also important to note that some of the terrain on these adventures will involve trekking in snow, at high attitude levels and may require technical equipment.
Suggested preparation: It is important to note that physical fitness should be an ongoing activity, commencing around 5-6 months prior to departure, or even before if you have no prior fitness. Exercise should focus on building maximum endurance and stamina. Four to five hard sessions of 40-60 mins per week should be completed and can include exercises such as going to the gym, running, swimming or cycling to focus on building aerobic stamina. It could also be beneficial to prepare by hiking on rough terrain, in extreme weather conditions or partake in altitude training.