Saturday, September 21, 2013

A day out in Taejongdae, Busan Sep 2013

Thanks to Chuseok holiday, I get to spend another weekend in Busan!  Which was fantastic cos it gave me time to explore Busan at a leisurely pace.  So on a bright, sunny Saturday morning, I headed out to Taejongdae, one of the most beautiful spots in Busan, named after King Taejong who visited this place because of its beauty.

It is a fairly simple journey to Taejongdae.  Get off at Nampo station (Line 1) Exit 6 and hope onto any one of the buses that goes to Taejongdae - 8,30,88,66,101 (takes about 20mins).  Yup seems like all buses go to Taejongdae and just sit and relax till the very end.  Interestingly, once you get off the bus, the cruise touts start to guide you to listen to a briefing of the cruise, obviously in Korean.  Yup, not understanding a word they said, I just looked at the map and walked off.  

There's an information counter where you can get a map and try to ask questions to the ladies at the counter who barely speak English.  But a map is worth a thousand words!
The tram station

Basically, Taejongdae trail is a loop of 4.3km, start at the information counter, and end back there!  You could hop onto the tram (1,500won for adults) that allows you to do the hop on and off thing and takes you round the loop, or just like me - walk it!  It's a fairly easy walk, but of course the sun was cruel and 15mins into the walk, I swear I lost 1kg of water.

There isn't really much to see along the way - 1st stop was at Taewon pebble beach, where you get a fairly nice view of a small bay.  Then onwards to the big attraction point - the lighthouse and Sinseon Rock.  By the time you get to that point, you know you are halfway through the loop!
Pebble beach so called cos there are pebbles on the beach!

Getting to the lighthouse and Sinseon Rock requires a bit of exercise - first you have to walk down thousands and thousands of flights of steps (at least it felt that way) to get to the bottom where the Sinseon Rock is.  I really loved it down there where you get a view of the Taejongdae cliffs.  The rock formations create a really interesting and great scenery.  Standing right at the edge of the cliffs, it gives a really adventurous feeling - nope not to jump but to climb or take a hike.  Of course, all just in my mind.  
See that rock in the middle? Apparently that was a woman waiting for her husband

And once you are down, you need to get back right up! Up to the lighthouse where the air was so bloody stale up the top!  Frankly speaking, climbing into the lighthouse and up was not worth the effort.  Once you get up to the top of the lighthouse, you get enclosed in the glasshouse and fully experience the greenhouse effect where you feel like you cannot breathe, the air is stale and stuffy and the view is less breathtaking as when you were outside.  So don't bother with climbing up the lighthouse.

Once you hit that spot of Taejongdae, you have pretty much came to do and see what you came to do and see.  The walk back to the end is a rather leisurely one with nothing much to stop along the way to see.  I took a side track to the Taejongdae temple but like I've said many times before, really gota stop trying to walk to see a temple in Korea!  Really not impressive.  And no exception this time.  I walked close enough to get an idea of what might have been and turned back.

All in all, the trip in Taejongdae itself took me about 2 hours (to walk, hike, stop and take pictures).  Of course if you are utilizing the tram, it will take much shorter.  I was tempted to at first, as the lady at the information counter told me 4.3km from start to lighthouse which would have made the entire loop an 8.6km!  But of course I should have known!  Studying the signboards out at the tram station, I realized the loop itself is 4.3km.  So manageable walk!  And I was deterred by the snaking crowd at the tram station.  I hate crowd and I bloody hell was not going to walk 40mins to get onto a tram!  40min would get me close to the lighthouse just by walking!

It's a good half a day to spend in Busan surrounded by nature and water and rocks.

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