Category: Busan


This weekend I did a hike from Jangsan subway to Songjeong Beach to Haedong Yonggungsa Water Temple.

We started to follow these directions to Songjeong and these to Haedong Yonggungsa Water Temple but the Koreans with us kept asking people along the way and then changed course multiple times….so below is what we actually did.

From exit 1of Jangsan, turn right for a bit (past what I think was a school because it had tons of kids toys out front) and then left at the big intersection and follow that until you are at the top of a hill. This will all be though apartment complexes.

From the top of the hill turn left and go uphill on the wooden path next to the road. We got to the top of that and were told we had to go back because it is ‘too dangerous’ to go down the way I wanted. This was from Koreans, and most of us agreed that it probably was not dangerous at all (in a country where you’re not allowed to go in the ocean more than 20 feet and have to wear a life vest at water parks, something being ‘dangerous’ could be exaggerated) but some people were wearing flip-flops and the Koreans with us didn’t want to go that way.

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Here we went back to the start of the wooden path and went down some steps and followed the road, veering left and following the road past some seafood restaurants until it ended and we climbed over some rocks to get to a railroad we had to walk next to for a bit. A train came which was pretty scary (and hot) and we saw a sign later saying there is a 10,000,000 won fine for walking there (although at the place we started it was obvious that many people did this and the sign there just said ‘danger, keep a look out and don’t walk on the tracks’).

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When we could, we stopped walking next to the tracks and followed another road along the coast until we got to Songjeong Beach.

HIke to Temple 026We hung out here for a bit and listened to funny announcements, such as ones telling us that this beach is for relaxing, and no ball playing is allowed or another one saying that if you take your pet into the water it will confuse other people so don’t do it.

From the other end of the beach walk left (if you go right you will go around a little island) and walk along the street until you get to a CU. We went behind it and downhill to another fishing village and kept going as straight as we could. At one point the paved road ends and becomes a dirt road, then there are some pipes we thought were for sewage which you have to jump over and walk along a very dirty beach. After that you go into a wooded area which has the trail. I wanted to keep going past the CU and turn in when the wooded area started, so if you want to skip the fishing villages and jumping over a sewage line you can try that.

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From here we went around the coast and saw a few military buildings and a look out point.

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To get to the temple we had to wiggle under a gate. I’m sure there was a way to not have to do this as we saw some people coming from that way and signs inside saying to go a different way than the one we came, but oh well.

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This last weekend there was a hike scheduled to start in Children’s Park and go further to the mountains to the West.

I was a bit hungover due to no food the night before and no food in the morning (not smart, but I didn’t think about it and was in a rush both times).

Children’s Park is beautiful and I can’t wait to go back. It starts with a a strange square statue and then goes into a pond with massive fish and swans followed by ramps to make it easier to go up.

Childrens Park, Hike, Lanterns, and Breakdancing 003 Childrens Park, Hike, Lanterns, and Breakdancing 017At the top there was a temple. It’s all decked out for Buddhas Birthday on the 17th.

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Childrens Park, Hike, Lanterns, and Breakdancing 048 On the way up to this point, every step up made me want to throw up, and it was only getting worse. I decided to walk down on my own and find a way out. Adventure Time!

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Yeongdo Night Hike

The night after a full moon, April 26th, I went on a night hike with Busan Daytrippers. I was supposed to go on two before when I lived in Ireland, but they got rained or snowed out. It was tons of fun and I hope that we do another one here!

We went to Yeongdo (do meaning island) which is where I went before for the taejongdae. We didn’t go that far out, as there are mountains in the middle, called Grandma, Son, and Grandson and those are the ones we hiked.

We took bus to the lion temple.

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We then walked along the beach to a mini Buddhist shrine and went up from there.

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Never sit on Grandma! It’s a curse!

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Son has a little building at the top.

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Grandson is where we saw the sunrise, but I think any would be fine for it.

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When the sun did come up we got a good view of oryuk islands, or four or five islands.

Song-do Hike

This past weekend there was a hike in Busan to Song-do Beach. Taking a bus from Nampo out toward Song-do but stopping by a market and uphill street you can start going up toward the peak–which is just very steep but not too far.

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There were lots of flowers starting to bloom.

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After a few more ups and downs we ended up at a park that overlooks a big rock of an island. There are some rocks jutting out in other places with lots of colors.

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Then, back the same way we came with a few changes to stay closer to the water and we were at the beach. There is a beach side walk that we could have taken back, but I went with the group that kept hiking. There are statues in the water of whales tales and dolphins–pretty odd, especially at low tide when you can see the change in color and rust on the dolphins.

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This past weekend I took part in a hike from Jungang subway station (Jungangdong) to Guedok Stadium in Dongdaesindong where the Busan Transportation Corporation Football Club played. They are a third division team, so they aren’t amazing, but were pretty good–better than I could ever be!

The hike was…interesting since there were two groups going at two different speeds and the leader didn’t seem to care about the group that was going slower saying she wouldn’t wait or change the hike for them, which I thought was pretty crappy. There was also a surprise bus ride to get there (people were rooting in their bags looking for money because they thought they wouldn’t need any) and my friends and I were confused as to if we were going down or back up as nothing was said about the plans. We’re supposed to go together, right? My friend was in the second group and said they didn’t have anyone that knew the route we were doing, so they could have gotten ‘lost’. I put lost in quotes because you can’t really get too lost, they would have just ended up in a different area than us, and been further from Guedok Stadium. In the end everyone made it to the Stadium, and I almost wish I had slowed down and stayed with the second group because they went for a proper meal and mokgoli while we just kept pushing; we saw the whole game while they got there at halftime though.

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Kind of disappointing when you get to the top and you can’t see much…but then we kept going!Dongdaesingdong Hike and Guedok Stadeum 006 Dongdaesingdong Hike and Guedok Stadeum 008

Before the game they thew golden balls into the stadium that the team had signed, which was pretty neat, even though they are 3rd division. At halftime there were 4 cheerleaders. The game ended in a tie, which I didn’t think they usually did and thought there would be an extra period and penalty kicks, but I guess they don’t do that if the game is not important.

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It’s free to get in, but they could start charging 1,000KRW and I’d still go for sure. Maybe even for 5,000KRW. Great end to a hike.

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Gasan-ri Hike

Finally got around to doing another hike–I had been meaning to for awhile and either didn’t wake up in time or other things came up. This one was to Gasan-ri (according to Google Maps). Take the subway to Hopo, exit 2 and take a right and start going up a street and eventually turn in following the paths to the top. There are tons of paths and not many signs but, at least when I went, tons of other people.

I think this one would have been a bit harder without a guide who knew the area because of the lack of maps and signs.

It is the highest mountain in Busan and has great views of the city from afar because it is at the North end of the city itself (almost in the next county and city). The only other views of Busan that I had seen were from the middle of the city mountains so this was a nice change of pace.

The most interesting part of this hike for me was the bit of rope course that is around the Golden Pond (not so much golden as muddy) but its at the top of a rock separated from the rest and was quite pretty anyway–almost heart shaped as well which is a well loved (and on everything) symbol in Korea. There were ropes to get to the viewing point for it as well as down because the rocks were quite steep.

Gasan-ri Hike 017 Gasan-ri Hike 018 Gasan-ri Hike 026 Gasan-ri Hike 027 Gasan-ri Hike 031 Gasan-ri Hike 032 Gasan-ri Hike 041 Gasan-ri Hike 042 Gasan-ri Hike 045 Gasan-ri Hike 060Our hike ended at the North Gate. To leave you walk straight from the gate and take a left when it ends (which is in awhile) and you will walk into a town and have to walk awhile more until you get to the bus stop. You can go to Oncheonjang…or somewhere else on the Green Line (line 2).

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Taejongdae

Came here for a cool brisk hike on December 8th, the day after it snowed in Busan (which never happens, right?) which was really nice. Clear blue skies with a bit of wind so you need to wear gloves, but there are some more intense walking parts so the hat and scarf might come off. You can take a a train all the way or walk, but why take a train and miss out on some of the cool things or view points? I could see the people on the train looking longingly as I was at the first view point, sad that they were not stopping for it.

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It is a beautiful walk as well, even when its cold out with the foliage.

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At the lookout where the train stops the first time there is an interesting Western looking man trying to sell you a burger. There is some Korean food and other fast food as well, but the main point is this lookout! You can see the Japanese Island of Tsushima, but that didn’t show up to well in the photos.

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But here is the actual lookout with the weird arch thingy.

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After walking quite a bit more in the loop around (not going back) there is a monument.

This monument is dedicated in consecration of the old camp site of Young-Do-Group (Oct 1950-Dec 1952), composed of the young anti-communists from three north Eastern-Sea provinces. Equipped in tactics of guerrilla warfare, they were launched deep into the hostile territories, inflicting heavy damage on North Korean army installations and facilities.

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Because every forest needs fake tree stumps.

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