Nonsan Strawberry Festival

Sleepy eyed I hopped onto a bus to travel for three hours to have delectable strawberries for a late morning breakfast. After reading that you might be thinking ‘What the bleep? Couldn’t you have gone to your local grocer instead?’ Hold on a moment, you need to understand that this does not involve a regular café-sized portion of strawberries atop your yogurt and muesli.

The Nonsan Strawberry Festival, now in its 11th year, offers you this mouth-watering, speckled berry in every form you can imagine. From strawberry-shaped flower arrangements, strawberry-flavoured gochujang (a spicy Korean condiment) to strawberry mascots (one of which proclaimed his undying love for me), strawberry tteok (rice cake) and a jam-making experiences for the kids.

Nonsan Strawberry Festival

Silence pervaded the greenhouses and a eat-as-much-as-you-can policy resurrected the little glutton in me. No, I take that back. Who am I kidding? It didn’t need any resurrecting. I pretended to accidentally miss the tour bus back to the official festival grounds. ‘Oh, woe is me,’ I gasped, palms cradling my cheeks and mouth agape. I sighed deeply (all those drama classes came in handy) as I was told I would have to wait for another 20 minutes for the next bus to arrive. I tried my utmost best to pretend to be disappointed, but I wasn’t fooling anyone. The ensuing toothy smile was in plain sight, for all to see. I just about ran back to the greenhouses to continue indulging in my banquet. The festival officials were kind enough to call me when the next bus arrived – or was it that they were worried I wouldn’t leave any strawberries for the others?

The festival was not what I had anticipated. I had recollections of my younger self roaming beneath the Hartbeespoort sky among the strawberry shrubs, in mind. Here a forest of white tent canopies pointed skywards. However, for KRW10,000 and after a ten-minute bus ride you were dropped off at the gates of earthly heaven where you could eat strawberries to your tummy’s content. I brought back three boxes-full and didn’t eat anything else for the remainder of the day. Now the freezer is as far as I need to go if I want to make frozen strawberry smoothies for breakfast.

How to get there: By train: From Yongsan train station take a train to Nonsan station. It runs from 5:20am-11:10pm and departs every 10-15minutes. The estimated travel time is 1hr 30mins. The festival grounds are a 15-minute walk from the station.

By express bus (which is what I did. It cost around KRW13,000 one way): From Seoul City or Express bus terminal take a bus to Nonsan bus terminal. It runs from 6:30am-10:45pm and departs every hour.

Iga Motylska

Iga Motylska is a Johannesburg-based freelance writer, photojournalist, sub-editor and blogger. She is published in numerous local and international publications, including: Forbes Africa, Forbes Woman Africa, Forbes Life Africa, CNBC Africa, Ventures Africa, Marie Claire, Sawubona, AA Traveller, Fastjet inflight magazine and Seoul Magazine among numerous others. Her editorial interests range from documenting the entrepreneurial spirit to women's and human rights issues, environmental affairs and of course travel writing.

One Comment:

  1. Looks absolutely divine! A strawberrians fantasty world! Those are also some amazing pictures! I hope when I come to visit you could teach me!

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