After Busan, I went for a quick check to the towns of Pohang and Gyeongju before heading to Jeju island. Pohang it is a coast town with nothing specially interesting but have nice beach and views of the bay, also many parks around the coastline.
On the other hand, Gyeongju it is a very historic city, capital of one of Korean kingdoms for a long period. It has many tombs and historical remains and also a very nice historical museum where you can get a pretty good idea of the importance of the city.
About 40min bus ride from the town you can find a beautiful budist temple called Bulgoksa which is also situated on the perimeter of a national park with many hikes around. Unfortunately the temple it is very popular and large numbers of groups visit it. The temple opens at 7.30h so you have like 1.30h to see it quietly before the crowd show up. Walking around the tombs and the park it is very nice and pleasant so I totally recommend it!
Also in this two smaller towns I could feel that the people was warm and kind. I got invited to a coffee the night I arrived with a very kind man and we shared some nice words and gestures as the conversation was not very fluid.
The sunrise the next morning was beautiful and despite the industrial view the landscape was amazing.
Has been almost 2 weeks since I arrived to Busan. I have been most of the time working for accommodation in a language cafe. My task was basically talk english with the students and help them with their speaking and listening skills. The only problem with it was that the schedules are a bit inconvenient depending on the shift. I got to visit some mountains and temples around and of course the main beaches in town. The name of Busan in Korean means Bu- Many and San-Mountain so you can get an idea of the city.
The main things you should visit if you stay here for a week are the following:
- Gukje Market
- Jalachi fish market
- Millak raw fish Market
- Seodong Maze market
- Dongrae traditional market
- Pusan tower
- BIFF square
- Yeongdo Bridge
- China town
- Gamcheon Culture village
- Dongbaek island (APEC house)
Beaches and parks
- Songdo beach (cable car)
- Dadaepo Beach (sunset beach)
- Gwangalli Beach (Bridge)
- Haeundae Beach
- Songjeong Beach
- Yongdusan park
- Guengmang park Botanical garden
- Busan citizen park
Hikes and Temples
- Igidae Coastal walk
- Geumjeong mountain fortress
- Jangsan mountain
- Jangsan seongbulsa Temple
- Haedong Yonggungsa Temple
- Samgwansa Temple
- Beomesa Temple
The city also have a good university atmosphere so you can find party and cheap food pretty easy.
Some pictures here
View from top of the Jang san mountain
Haedong yonggungsa temple
Geumjeong mountain fortress
So as some of you may know I had to abandon the baekdu deagan trail that cross the South Korea peninsula because of the heavy rains from the Monzón, we were evacuated. I decided then head south looking for some sun and less rain.
One of the peaks along the Baekdu Daegan trail
So after doing a bit of emergency research I got to find a place to work in exchange for accommodation in Tongyeong, a city I had never heard of before, in the south of the peninsula. Unfortunately the weather was not much better than in the north as it has been quite rainy also but at least I was not sleeping in the middle of the forest. The guesthouse were I worked was pretty welcoming thank to the owner that is a really nice and funny person always willing to help.
Tongyeong it is a nice little town that lives mostly from fishermen and tourism. It has nice views over the bay and the Hannyeo marine national park. From here yo can go to many of the island in the marine park like Bijindo or Somemuldo which are among the most famous. Depending on the island you may find beach or not. I strongly recommend Bijindo as the ferry it is not so expensive (16$ round trip) and it has a beach and a couple of nice trails to the peaks of the mountains. Somemuldo it is similar than Bijindo and has no beach. Also the ferry it is much more expensive (around 35$ round trip).
I was very lucky to arrive the day the Hansan battle festival was starting. Among fireworks and free food stands you could find many concerts of traditional music and representations of the battle.
Hansan Festival perfonmaces
In Tongyeong there are many attractions as an undersea tunnel build by the Japanese people, a cable car going to the top of Miruksan mountain, you can also walk to the top trough the many trails they have! From there you can also take down the loose cars and enjoy the marina or the beach close to it. In the city you also find the painted village the music park, and the very nice Yi sun shin park where you can view where the Hansan battle took part. On top of this you can go to sunset road where you will see amazing sunsets as it goes through the west coast of the city. From here you can go to Geoje island, which is a nice place to.
Tongyeong from the top of Miruksan mountain
I am now in Busan after 10 days in Tongyeong to discover the second largest city in South Korea where I will be working for accommodation as well but this time in a language cafe.