Heading to Busan was a last minute decision hence having less than 12 hours here. Our friends Alex and Gabby are both working here as English teachers and failed to mention how awesome it is in South Koreas second largest city.
If you don’t have long you can conquer some of Busan in less than 12 hours. You just need to get on that bullet train and go for gold.
Note: be aware that you need to pre purchase your train ticket direct from the korail website for W59,000 one way thats about $70 AUD you will need to do this seperatley for your return journey as well. You will need have this printed at the station before you board the train. The line moves pretty quickly so don’t stress, but do leave sufficient time to pick breakfast and coffee at Paris Croissant.
Our Busan in one Day Itinerary looked like this:
Gamcheon Cultural Village:
Wake up 6.45am: Woke up in our little hostel (Sunny Hill Hongdae) walked to Hongik Univ station caught the train to Seoul station and followed the train to KTX (Bullet train to Busan)
Catch the 7.50am train from Seoul to Busan: The train took approximately 2.5 hours. It was easy as. The train also had wifi…How Good?!
From Busan station we bought an all day metro pass for W500 from one of the ticketing machines which translated easily to English.
We had to take the metro from Busan station to Toseong Station, (you need to take Exit 6 to head in the right direction). You can take a bus up to the starting point of the cultural village however we didn’t realise that till our friends told us. So we walked. I wont lie, Its a pretty steep hike. But if you like to get your heart rate up then it is a perfect way to see the local culture and enjoy the view to the top. Much more rewarding and terrific for your gluteus maximus.
You could spend all day getting lost here weaving and climbing the narrow streets of this culture rich historical village. We desperately wanted to make the journey to this village for its unique colours and artistic inspiration but we didn’t do too much research on its history.
The town was originally formed as the Taeguekdo followers and war refugees settled in the area; and it used to be referred to as a religious settlement. The lives of refugees are deeply rooted in the history of Gamcheon Cultural Village and the village has preserved Busan and the nation’s painful modern history. For more of Gamcheon history check out this site.
We ate ice cream, took pictures of all our little observations, climbed to rooftops all with in about 2 hours before heading to our next destination.
Taejondae Resort Park
It probably seems like a random selection for a one day visit to Busan, but it was definitely worth it. If you like nature, coast lines, and the ocean then then this is the perfect day trip. Again, you can spend a whole or a half day here. Like we said, we packed allot into less than 12 hours.
From Gamcheon Village, you would need to walk back to Toesong Station (unless you take a taxi or find the bus?) we walked, but hey thats us. From Toesong Station you need to take the train back to Nampo, take exit 6 (yes again) from this exit you will see buses that will head toward Taejongdae. You need to take bus Take bus 8, 30 or 113. In your best Korean accent just say phonetically Tae-jong-dae the driver should nod in recognition. It is pretty much the end of line for most of these buses. The ride took us max 40 mins and the fare was W1200
Once you arrive to the park you will need to head to the ticketing office to get the Danubi train (the train for the resort park) This cost about W3000 / $3.75 AUD
You can walk it, but its not for the faint hearted. It is a steep climb that would take over an hour uphill to get to the observatory and then a little more to the light house. The train is much more time efficient, however you could wait in the queue for a while to board the Danubi Train.
To get back from Toejongdae you will need to catch the Danubi train back to the main square and take the bus back to Busan station. You can take Bus 88 or 101 (please note this is not Nampo station where you may have started from.
You may have stopped reading… or noticed that we actually haven’t mentioned food. Well this is because we didn’t think about too much (well we did) but in reality we did think that if we saved our appetite we could meet out friends when they finished work and eat as much as we could. Check out the next blog on Food in Busan.