Busan is the second largest city in South Korea and it’s sums of activity and life. The city is surrounded by beautiful mountains and the sea which gives you great opportunities for hiking (all year) and sunbathing (during summer time). I spend one day in Busan and I had enough time to see all the activities I wanted to see. Here is what I enjoyed the most:
Go scavenger hunting in Gamcheon Culture Village
This village has gotten an arty makeover and today it is a colorful village with bright colors and art decorations on the walls. There are many twisted alleys and streets which makes this village a wonderful place to wander around. You can buy a map for 2.000 won and follow this map around to find treasures. We got a bit lost but ended up drinking tea and eating homemade Korean candy at a small cafe. This village is worth a visit!
Overview of Gamcheon Culture Village
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Korean candy shop
How to get there
You can take the metro line 1 and get off at Toseong (109) use exit 6 and go 100-ish meters to the right and take mini-bus 2-2. You will know when to get off!
Hike to Seokbulsa temple and Geumjeongsanseorg Fortres
Start your tour from Geumgang Park by taking the cable car up to the top and start walking towards ‘South Gate’ you can enter the gate here and enjoy the fortres. Afterwards you should head towards the Seokbulsa temple. It is app. 2 km. from the south gate. Quite often I experienced the signs was only shown in Korean (so take a picture of how the characters looks as this will help you a lot). Though, I found myself asking the locals for help which proved to be very helpful! You will find yourself walking though small areas with abandoned volleyball courts and you then know you are on the right track! From South gate it took me approximately an hour to get to Seokbulsa temple and it was more than worth it. I sat down next to the beautiful stone carved buddha statues and enjoyed the amazing view. You can go back the same way as you came or follow the cement road down to Mandeok metro station (app. 3 km).
The lazy version – take the metro line 3 and exit at Mandeok and take a taxi to Seokbulsa temple, walk app. 100 meters, and you will find yourself standing next to one of the most beautiful temples.
Geumjeongsanseorg Fortres – South Gate
How to get there
Take Metro line 1 and Exit at Oncheonjang and walk from there to Geumgang Park (app. 15 min.). Take the cable car (4.000 won) and start your hike. Or start your hike from Mandeok metro station and walk app. 3 km on a cement road to the temple. The first option is the best and most beautiful route to walk.
Have dinner at Jaglchi fish market
Finish the day by going to Jaglchi fish market and choose fish(It is still alive!) you would like for dinner. The fish will then be prepared and served for you at one of the floors in the building (you will be told which floor your fish will be served, don’t worry).
How to get there
Take metro line 1 and exit at Jaglchi station.
Other things to do
You can visit Beomeosa temple which is a huge temple located up in the mountains and offers temple stays. It is possible to hike from Geumgang Park to Beomeosa temple, but it takes four hours.
I did not really know what I should expect from South Korea before coming here, but I have (so far) been surprised very positively about the country and especially the Korean people. A few times I found my self a bit lost and asking for help. Not only did the Koreans try to explain the best they could (sometimes Korean) they also took my arm and followed me to the bus stops that I was looking for (!). I was quite surprised about how helpful they have been, sometimes it even seemed as they were going in the opposite direction of me, but still followed me to where I needed to be.