Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Busan: Haeundae Beach and Moontan Road

I don't think I announced it yet on the blog, but I took two more vacation days last weekend (Friday and Monday) to visit Busan, a city on the southeast coast of Korea.  Here's a map of Korea with Busan marked with a red dot:

Map of Korea showing Busan and Seoul

I left home at 9 a.m. on Friday to bus into Seoul for my 12 p.m. KTX (fast train) to Busan.  I arrived at the Busan train station around quarter to three, then took a metro to my hostel, arriving sometime after 4 p.m.

Haeundae Beach

After checking in, I walked down to the Haeundae Beach (two blocks from my hostel) to check it out. Though warmer than Seoul, it's still cold in Busan. I wore my winter coat and leggings under pants throughout my whole stay.

No one was in the water, though I didn't expect to see anyone in there. It's cold! Lots of seagulls milling about and photos being taken.

Busan's Haeundae beach in February

I walked the length of the beach, and then kept walking into the nearby neighborhood, when I happened upon Dalmagi Road.  I had seen the name before when skimming wiki travel's Busan page the night before. I turned and started following the uphill path.

Moontan Road  

Not too far in, there was a spot to go down some stairs, into a forest, and take the Moontan Road path. So I followed the stairs down and liked what I saw. Completely alone in the forested path just above the shore, all you could hear were waves of the sea, and all you could see were pieces of nature.  Out on Dalmaji Road, however, you hear the cars that you're walking beside, and you see the forest and shops - no ocean view. So this was a nice surprise along my walk.

Moontan Road in Busan, Korea

I hadn't expected to stay out so long when I originally left the hostel, but when I read that Moontan Road is a path many couples take under the moonlight, I knew it was okay to be there past dark. And sure enough, there were lights along the dirt path that did turn on when the sun went down. It was a really relaxing walk, and I didn't run into too many others. I went 2 - 3 km before my growling stomach made me turn around and head back.

I walked back on Dalmaji-gil Road, back across the beach, and to my hostel's neighborhood. I got bibimbap at a nearby Korean restaurant, but it wasn't very appetizing.  Then I retired to the hostel, exhausted, so I wrote a little and read until I passed out around 10 o'clock.
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