Sniffing Around Jeju #3 Wimi Camellia Forest

I take Bori to a morning walk around Wolpyeong Village. This daily routine has recently changed with the red camellias on full bloom above the stonewalls. I get to stop every time I see those camellias above the wall.

When I first started my job in Jeju, my colleagues and I went to the Camellia Forest. What I thought back then was just a trip and a quick stop by. And more importantly it was during the summertime, which meant that there were no flowers. It's gotten so popular now but back then, there were hardly anybody there. This made me feel like I know a secret garden and thought I should write a post about this place. I've had this place in mind up until the winter. 

To be quite frank, I didn't know what camellias exactly were. I knew there was an old song about it but I've never really seen it. I would s some red flowers here and there but most of the times, they were roses. As I begin to drive round, I would stop by to see if flowers had begun blooming. I saw tiny flower buds then and now the winter has finally come and I got to see camellias. 

You will get two addresses on the GPS if you put Wimi Camellia Forest. I clicked "Wimijungang-ro 300gil 23-7" but if you do this, you'll find yourself in an awkward situation. All you'll see at the end of the destination is tiny lot with no place to park and puny blooms dropped and rotting away on the flower. You will accordingly say, "What the heck is this?" But do not be disappointed and let us continue to the side and walk. About 5 minutes into it, you will find a magenta-colored garden waiting for you. For those you chose to come by "Wimiri 929," you would have gotten here directly.

How can I describe this... In the Japanese animation, Spirited Away, there is a chase scene in a grass and flower field and this place just feels like that scene right out of the movie or a scene from Life of Pi. It wasn't just the trees with flowers were beautiful but even the fallen flowers on the grounds creates another spectacular scene. From what I hard, camellias, like hibiscus, drop as a whole and you can see here.

The entrance fee here is 3,000. They only take cash so make sure you bring it. If you come with a pet, there are no extra fee but you must with them by carrying them. This place gets crowded so for everyone's safety and the psychological stability for your pet, this is important. Just to be extra cautious, I held Bori's leash short and had him in my arms. Bori is a sensitive dog so being looked at was fine, but I rejected people's request for petting him.

Dogs are sensitive with their noses so Bori got busy sniffing around for a long time. Now that I think about it, I don't think I have ever taken him to see flowers. When cherry blossom or plum blossom season came, we went for walks around the neighborhood but I never got him so close to flowers before. Dogs relieve stress through these sniffing activities and I felt bad for not giving him the right opportunities for Bori.

There were people who came in pairs to take pictures with this beautiful backdrop and I wanted to take a nice picture with Bori here. I wished I had brought a tripod with me but I couldn't. So I put my camera on the wall, put it on timer and ran around. I highly recommend bringing a camera.

It was strange for me because Bori normally doesn't look at the direction I'm looking at when I'm holding him. He would usually position his body that he'd look directly behind me. But on that day, he looked directly into the camera. I ran for 30 minutes to capture the shot but Bori behaves so well which for me even more to the mood.

As I came back and looked back at the photos I could, writing this series has been most rewarding. I think this is because I got to leave these beautiful photographs with Bori. For 6 years with Bori as part of my family, I never took any family photos with him. Back on the mainland, something else always had priorities over him. There are much more flower seasons to come like canola flowers, cherry blossoms, hydrangeas and green barley. And I should take Bori to all these different places be leave these wonderful photographs with him. 

<This series was inspired by a book, 제주犬학>

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