South Korea islands soaked in lavender to attract visitors

Published on : Monday, March 15, 2021

In South Korea, Banwol and Bakji Islands are known as Purple Islands as well as they are soaked in lavender color. Starting right from the houses, roads and natives, all are being painted purple, wearing purple hued clothes. These weird measures gave been taken to attract tourists.

In southwest South Korea, women are dressed all in purple, walked in a line to a lavender field to carry out some pruning on an island.

The natives of this island are inspired by their unique balloon flower, residents of the Banwol and Bakji Islands, known as the ‘Purple Islands’, have also painted their houses, roads and bridges in purple and planted purple flowers like lavender and asters to transform their town into a tourist attraction.

“Old people like us have a secluded life here, since all the young people left the town,” said villager Shin Deok-im, 79, who has lived on Bakji island for more than 60 years.

“I’m glad to see young people and kids visiting to see our town. They are all like my grandchildren.”
These tiny and serene islands have a little over a hundred populations and were picked by the government for a tourism project.

Shinan County since 2015 has invested 4.8 billion won ($4.25 million) to turn the islands purple, including painting more than 28,000 square metres of roofs lilac.

The campaign attracted over 487,000 people since it officially kick-start in 2019, according to the county office. On the islands, restaurants offer purple rice and food are served on purple plates. Some residents have taken to the purple project with gusto.

“Every morning I dress up in purple from head to toe, even including my underwear and shoes, and that makes me happy,” said 88-year-old resident Jung Soon-shim, sitting in a purple gazebo.

There are three purple footbridges connecting the two islands. Visitors can walk through. There are benches decorated with the ‘I purple you’ slogan made popular by K-pop band BTS’ member Kim Tae-hyung, more commonly known as V, which means ‘I trust, love and support you.’

To the islands, those wearing purple are allowed free entry. “We couldn’t travel overseas due to Covid-19, so we visited these purple islands instead,” said visitor Shin Eun-me.

“Seeing these grandmas wearing purple clothes is very dreamy.”

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