Thursday, June 23, 2011

Stroll along the footpaths and feel the real Busan

Stroll along the footpaths and feel the real Busan
A walk through Busan’s  scenery

In Korea, spring is a great season to go for a walk. All of Busan is ablaze in flowers, and a beautiful spring scent permeates the air.

Within Busan, Galmaet-gil footpaths are especially famous spots for its spring ambience and are perfect for a scenic stroll. Comprising 21 courses, Galmaet-gil is the collective name for the footpaths connecting Busan’s most beautiful shores, forests and parts of the city.

The word Galmaet-gil is a hybrid of galmaegi or seagull, the representative bird of Busan, and gil, which means road. When combined, the word Galmaet-gil means “blue city” or a city you’d like to walk in, which is just the kind of place Busan is looking to become. Here is introduction to the best Galmaet-gil footpaths in Busan.

Haeundae Three Fishing Villages Walk  ( 8.4 kilometers, 3 hours )
Mipo, Cheongsapo and Gudeokpo are collectively known as the Haeundae sampo (meaning “three harbors”). The Three Fishing Villages Walk (Sampogil) takes you along the shore of those three harbors, following a trip around Dongbaek Island, the setting for the legend of Choi Chi-won.

After passing by Dongbaek Island, Haeundae Beach and the Donghae-Nambu line, the walk continues through the entrance of Dalmaji Road. After passing by the Moontan Road parking lot and walking for another 500 meters, on the right hand side you will see Haeundae Beach, Dongbaek Island and even Gwangan Bridge in a single glance. In front of the Korea Art Center stands a sign marking the entrance of Moontan Road, a 2.2 kilometer course taking in Mipo, a pavilion, an observatory and Eulmadang. The straight course from the forked lane of the trail leads to the Cheongsapo trail, and walking for another kilometer will take you all the way to the rock observatory.

From here, you can see not just Songjeong Beach, but right up to the front of Yonggungsa Temple. Keep going through the underpass at the Nambu Railway and you’ll come to Gudeokpo, from where the road leads directly to Songjeong Beach.

▷ How to get there: To get to the entrance of Dongbaek Island take metro line No. 2 to Dongbaek Station or bus No. 31 or 139. If you prefer to start from Gudeokpo, take bus No. 100, 100-1, 139, 1003 or 1006.

Gwangalli~Igidae~Jaseongdaegil ( 23.1kilometers, 8 hours )

This course starts from Gwangalli Beach, passes by Igidae and ends at Jaseongdae. It will take you past the city from Gwangalli Beach to Namcheon-dong, and from Yongho-dong onward, the course follows the shore. From the Igidae seaside pedestrian walk you can enjoy views of Gwangan Bridge, Dongbaek Island and Haeundae. From Seungdumal, you can see the Oryuk Islets, and from Sinseondae you can see up to Bukhang (North Port), Jodo and even Yeongdo. The course then passes by UN Memorial Cemetery, Pusan University of Foreign Studies, Seongji High School and finally Jaseongdae, which takes you on a road back to downtown through Jang Pass and Munhyun Rotary.

▷ How to get there: To get to the starting point on Gwangalli Beach, take metro line No. 2 to Gwangan Station and walk or take bus No. 41 or 83. The end of the trail, Jaseongdae, is near Beomil Station on line No. 1 and there are numerous buses.

Suyeong River~Oncheoncheon Street ( 15.5 kilometers, 4 hours )
The Suyeong River Oncheoncheon Street course starts from the Dongdae Bridge at Hoedong-dong. The course begins on a neat and clean road before passing through the wonderfully clean air of the citizens’ park under Dongcheon Bridge. Cross Sewol Bridge, go through the underpass, and in front of the Centum City Shinsegae Department Store you’ll come to the APEC Naru Park, a riverside park created to celebrate the APEC Summit Talks in 2005.

Cross Suyeong Bridge No.1 over the Suyeong River and walk downstream toward Wondong Bridge. From the bridge you will walk toward the Oncheoncheon pedestrian walk, which continues all the way to Dusil Station. Since the course passes by Busan National University of Education Station, Dongnae Station and Myeongnyun Station, you can hop on the metro at various spots along the way.

▷ How to get there: To walk the Suyeong River Oncheoncheon Street, it is best to start from Hoedong-dong. Bus No. 42, 99 or 179 will take you to the last stop of Geumjeong District Hoedong-dong. You can also easily get to Oncheoncheon from Busan National University of Education Station or Dongnae Station on metro line No. 1.

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