Scenic Places Within Haeundae, Busan
Scenic Places Within Haeundae, Busan
Beauty is all around us, sometimes in the most obvious of places, others tucked away in places you can only find when you least expect it. Within my time living in Busan, Haeundae was never top of my list. Since it’s one of the most touristy places in Busan, I wrote it off as being “overrated”. It wasn’t until I had to move to Haeundae for work, I realized it wasn’t all just about the night life and crowded beaches. Haeundae is home to, in my opinion, some of the most beautiful places in Busan. And if you’re looking for a path to walk along to clear your head, look no further than here. Download your favourite playlist, pop in your headphones and let’s go.
Dalmaji-gil Road, Mipo Railway
First on our list is somewhere you might know if you’re familiar with Busan. The abandoned railway tracks behind Haeundae Beach are quite the tourist attraction for people looking for a nice Instagram photo. The tracks can be quite popular on weekends, people ranging from young to old walking the path and taking photos. But if you go later in the day, or in a time where it’s not particularly hot, you’ll find the further down the railway you get, the less people you begin to see.
Whereas most people tend to walk around 10-15 minutes down the track, taking their photos under the railway tunnel, something they don’t realize if you continue walking, you will uncover breathtaking views of Haeundae from afar, and surround yourself with nature and silence, something that seems quite out of reach in the hustle and bustle of the city. The walk may be long, the path quite uneven and sometimes uncomfortable, but the views and fresh air make up for that.
If you continue along the line (a fair walks away) you will come to two lighthouses, and if you see that, it means you’ve (almost) walked all the way to Sonjeong beach! I’d say it takes around 40-50 minutes to walk the entire way, not something most people do. You will also find a small, but very pretty skywalk, called Cheongsapo Daritdol Observatory. It’s free to walk along, all you have to do is wear a cover over your shoes, which they will provide, so you don’t get the glass floor dirty. Although the walk may be long, I honestly think its totally worth it. It helped me clear my head, feel refreshed, and the end results were beautiful.
A little background history about the railway; It was originally constructed in 1918, as a part of the Donghae Nambu line. It was a costal train that went from Haeundae to Sonjeeong, but closed in December of 2013. After numerous requests from citizens, the railway was finally opened again on the 1st of March, but this time as a public walking trail.
Next on our list is a place located on the opposite side of Haeundae beach, right where Western Chosun Beach Hotel is. If you’ve walked along the beach, you’ve probably spotted this island before and thought “what are all those trees over there?”. Well, it was designed as the 46th monument of Busan on march 9, 1999. “Dongbaek” is the Korean word for camellias and “Seom” is the Korean word for island. Although it is now connected to the mainland, Dongbaek was originally an island and is still referred to one.
The island is easy to navigate since they have built a handy walking path all around it. It does include a lot of stairs, so if you plan on going in the summer, be prepared to get quite hot. The same comments I made about crowds earlier apply to here too. There have been times where I went and it was very crowded, and others I went and hardly met a soul. It is also a great place, of course, for some nice Instagram photos. There are many trees, and the walking path leads you right next to the shore. Personally, my favorite place is the red bridge I pictured above, a very photogenic place. If you’re like me and love nature photography, here will be heaven. There’s lots of cool shots to grab and as the seasons change, the atmosphere and aesthetic changes with it, too.
There are quite a few attractions within Dongbaek, the most popular being the mermaid statue. The statue was built to represent the heartbreaking love story of the princess of Topaz from the Naranda country beyond the sea. You can walk down some stone steps towards the statue, where there will be a sign in which you can read more about her story. Located there is also the Nurimaru APEC House and a monument inscribed with a poem by the scholar Choi Chi-won. The island is also a beautiful place to be at night, since it is illuminated by lights so you can find your way around. Just make sure to take a jacket if you’re not going in summer, since the sea breeze can get a little chilly at night.
Whether you’ll be walking these paths alone or with friends, always take a moment to stop, breathe, and appreciate the beautiful world around you.